Updated 14th of January 2020
Added a table of pros and cons.
Updated 20th of January 2020
Updated offer pricing.
A point of sale (POS) system allows businesses to calculate sales and accept payment from customers. It may include hardware such as a scale, scanner, cash register, tablet, and computer, as well as software to help operate it.
The best 15 POS software systems ranked, with info about what exactly their free software is. Includes info on open source and downloadable free POS systems.
Jan 10, 2020
Why We Chose Square:
Square offers a highly intuitive POS system that is easy to set up and presents a gentle learning curve. Users benefit from its offline functionality, responsive inventory management tool, and detailed, real-time sales reporting features. Square is highly mobile, making it easy for users to do business from virtually anywhere.
Another stand-out feature is Square's comprehensive customer directory which is automatically updated after each sale. Square also offers a plethora of add-ons, such as a loyalty program, customizable gift cards, and email marketing. Optional cash drawer management and HR-related software readily support the daily running of users' businesses.
With Square, there are no setup or monthly fees and no contracts. Instead, Square charges a standard rate per swipe and clients can cancel at any time without incurring penalties. This pricing structure is often suitable for low-volume businesses. High-volume businesses should enquire about discounts to gauge the cost-effectiveness of this product.
If free is what you're looking for, be sure to view our detailed list of the best POS systems that don't cost a penny.
Things to Consider When Evaluating POS Systems:
- POS systems should be fairly easy to operate. Highly mobile businesses should evaluate the ease of transporting their preferred systems before finalizing their choices.
- Your chosen POS solution should be compatible with your business's existing software. Be sure to check for integrations with pertinent accounting, staffing, and e-commerce platforms, among others.
- Industry-specific POS systems, such as those designed for restaurants and jewelers, may offer helpful features that are not included in general POS systems.
51 Best POS Systems for Small Business:
2.75% transaction fees.
User-friendly system with very few shortcomings, but there are cheaper options.
Reasonably priced and great for busy restaurants, but could be more user-friendly.
Includes sales recording capabilities but inventory management could be improved.
$69.00 + $199.00 setup.
Effective product with good customer service, but check-splitting and reporting features could use work.
Simple-to-use offering that includes helpful reporting features, but cannot integrate with PinnacleCart.
Straightforward and inexpensive option that's suitable for small businesses.
Great reporting and inventory management features, but missing PinnacleCart and WooCommerce integrations.
User-friendly offering that's regularly improved upon, but has a tendency to freeze.
Excellent reporting and inventory tracking features, though some users have reported product-related issues.
Cost-effective system with email integration, but new customers can't be added through the app.
Intuitive and responsive product that includes a few bugs post-update.
Includes a real-time inventory management and mobile access.
User-friendly system with various payment options, but the Basic plan lacks some useful features.
Secure, feature-rich option that can be costlier than competing products.
Easy-to-use product with good inventory management features, but lacks FreshBooks and Kashoo integrations.
User-friendly offering that's designed for jewelry businesses and supports RFID technology.
$79.00 /mo. + $499.00 setup.
Advanced yet user-friendly, but clients are restricted to using Toast credit card processing.
Intuitive with great reporting capabilities, but lacks catalog management.
$75.00 /mo. + $500.00 setup.
Affordable and dependable with great customer service, but missing basic updates.
Includes sophisticated reporting and inventory management tools, but can't integrate with Freshbooks or Clear Books.
User-friendly product with superb offline processing capabilities, but lacks inventory tracking features.
Intuitive and dependable but doesn't offer a Windows mobile app.
A restaurant- and bar-specific option that's competitively priced but lacks an Android app.
Robust and user-friendly, but lacks a built-in feature that supports bulk importing of data.
Feature-rich, but some have felt constricted by their contracts.
An easy-to-use product that only includes credit card processing in the paid version.
Straightforward with solid inventory tracking capabilities, but doesn't include a table mapping feature.
Includes many features but lacks accounting integrations.
Offers useful reporting and inventory management features, but doesn't integrate with Shopify or WooCommerce.
Includes key features but lacks telephonic support.
$69.00 /mo. + $895.00 setup.
An intuitive and reliable web-based system that isn't accessible on Android devices.
Offers inventory management, daily reports, and good customer relationship functions.
$1,200.00 one-time payment.
Includes many features, but frequent updates can be difficult to keep up with.
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Highly customizable with great reporting features, but tends to lag during busy periods.
$99.00 /mo. + $649.00 setup.
Frequently improved-upon system that presents occasional technical and customer service issues.
Robust and intuitive with excellent reporting capabilities, but the transfer inventory tool could be better.
Includes a great inventory management tool, but add-ons can be costly.
User-friendly with great reporting capabilities, but missing many functions.
$49.00 /mo. + $1,495.00 setup.
A scalable, easy-to-use option that lacks kitchen and menu management tools.
$59.00 /mo. + $999.00 setup.
Straightforward with many customer support avenues, but lacks Android and Windows mobile apps.
Solid offering with a clear pricing structure, but company information is tough to come by.
Easy setup with seamless integrations, but users are restricted to using Clover's hardware.
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Intuitive and efficient product that requires occasional updates.
Delivers excellent reporting and integrations, but the entry-level plan lacks multi-location management.
Solid reporting tool and helpful customer support, but the entry-level plan lacks some useful features.
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A well-established system designed for franchises, can't integrate with Shopify or FreshBooks.
$1,190.00 per license.
Feature-rich and readily customizable, but pertinent hardware can be costly.
$49.00 /mo. + $449.00 hardware.
Inexpensive and equipped with basic features that need upgrading.
User-friendly product with an excellent reporting tool, but the Training Mode requires work.
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Includes many features, but lacking barcode scanning and discount management features.
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Affords many integrations a superb scheduling tool, but lacking possibilities for customization.
Pros and Cons:
- Accurately track sales.
- Improve customer service.
- Automatic record keeping.
- Manage employees and operations.
- Generates data for analysis.
- Initial costs can be expensive.
- Requires technical support.
- System failure due to power outages, server problems, user errors, etc.
- Requires training.
What does a POS system do?
- Inventory management.
- Customer marketing.
- Reduces paperwork.
- Minimizes data entry time.
How do I choose a POS system?
- Review what you need out of a POS system.
- Do you need hardware, or can you use an iPad POS system with your own devices?
- How detailed do you need the reporting to be?
- Will you need barcodes?
- From there, you can take free trials or demo different POS system software.
How much does a POS system cost?
A POS system can cost between $0.00 and $1,295.00 per year or much more, depending on how many devices you need to take payment from, what types of devices you need, the number of locations, and the features your business needs.
How does a POS system work?
A POS system allows businesses to calculate sales and accept payment from customers. It may include hardware such as a scale, scanner, and cash register, as well as software to help operate it.
Why is a POS system important?
- Avoids unrecorded sales, human error, and the time wasted correcting them.
- Accurately collects and records data.
- Offers organization and consistency.
- Automatically logs all sales in real-time.
- Collates data for detailed analysis.
- Can track staff members and work hours.
What are the key features of a POS system?
- Inventory management with a database, counting, and transfers.
- Low-stock notifications with auto-order.
- Product reports.
- Sales and promotions.
- Third-party software integrations.
- Employee reporting and management.
- Built-in bookkeeping.
What's the full meaning of POS?
POS stands for 'point of sale,' and refers to the method by which a customer makes a payment to a business.
How should I choose our POS system for retail?
The right POS system can make inventory management, bookkeeping, and reporting much easier. Check out customer ratings and POS system reviews, then see a demo or take a free trial before making a final decision.
What are the best retail POS systems?
How should I choose a bar POS system?
POS systems for bars should include easy check splitting, credit and debit card pre-authorization, menu management, discounts for specific times (happy hour), and inventory management. You'll want to demo or do a trial of a couple to see which is best for your business.
What are the best POS systems for bars?
What is the best POS system for small business?
Choosing a POS system for small business has a lot to do with what kind of business you run. There are POS systems for bars, restaurants, and retail. You may need a convenience store POS system, a grocery store POS system, a salon POS system, or even a pizza POS system.
Do I need to get a POS system cash register?
It depends on the needs of your business. Some may be able to get by with a POS system for iPad, or an Android POS system on a tablet. If you're looking for an online POS system, you won't need a cash register.
How much does Focus POS cost?
Focus costs between $30.00 and $300.00 per month, and $1,000.00 per month with the inclusion of POS hardware.