The most effective POS system for your online business in 2021

The most effective level of sale (POS) techniques allow your online business to shortly and simply settle for funds and, as we discover beneath, POS techniques can empower your online business to realize a lot extra.

From buyer perception and advertising, to worker monitoring and stock administration, the very best POS techniques assist streamline your online business by making cost, operations, and stock re-stocking rather more environment friendly.

That can assist you select the precise POS system for your online business, we have created this in-depth information which explains all the advantages and options of POS techniques, in addition to reviewing and evaluating the entire hottest POS suppliers.

Or, when you’re prepared to talk with a POS supplier proper now, we might help by offering a free quote tailor-made to your wants from out trusted companions.

Our choose of the very best POS techniques in contrast
POS system Lowest month-to-month payment Card charges Free trial Assist
AirPOS $29.99 Integrates with iZettle, SumUp, and WorldPay 14 days On-line type
Lightspeed £69 2.6% + 10¢ 14 days 24-hr cellphone help (diminished weekend hours)
Shopify $29 2.7% 14 days 24/7 chat help
Epos Now $39 Integrates with iZettle and others 30 days Electronic mail help (Professional: 24/7 cellphone help)
Sq. $0 2.6% + 10¢ N/A Telephone and chat help
TouchBistro $69 2.75% + $0.25 7 days Telephone, e-mail, assist web page

In at the moment’s digital world, your prospects have all kinds of choices in the case of making a purchase order: contactless playing cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay through mobile phone, third-party on-line cost suppliers, and even digital currencies like Bitcoin.

What’s extra, folks like utilizing digital cost choices. A latest research by Mastercard discovered that fifty% of customers globally favor these new sorts of funds over money. With higher flexibility in your level of sale system you may velocity up transactions and enhance buyer satisfaction.

Subsequently, it is smart that any fashionable enterprise ought to provide the cost choices its prospects needs to make use of. Nobody needs to cancel a sale as a result of a buyer has to run to an ATM to withdrawal money. Chances are high, they are not coming again.

These new digital payment-processing applied sciences will also be leveraged by companies to raised perceive buyer spending habits, handle inventories of all sizes, and provide sensible companies like on-floor cost processing and value checking.

A contemporary POS system ties all this collectively and may do wonders in your front-end and back-end operations. However which is the precise one for your online business?

Let’s begin by answering a number of the most frequently-asked questions on POS and ePOS techniques.

What’s a POS system?

A POS system will allow you to take funds however can achieve this rather more in addition to. (Picture credit score: Photograph by Blake Wisz on Unsplash)

POS stands for ‘level of sale’, and easily refers back to the place in a retailer or restaurant the place a monetary transaction takes place. Prior to now, this has nearly at all times meant the money register, which frequently stays a outstanding a part of a contemporary POS system (it simply would not must).

The most effective POS techniques have advanced to do rather more than merely handle transactions: they’ll intelligently handle your inventory; deal with reductions, gross sales, and surge pricing; combine instantly with back-end accounting software program; and even monitor staff.

So what’s a POS system, precisely? A POS system sometimes includes 4 essential elements: a display screen to overview and handle info relative to a sale, a card reader, a receipt printer, and software program that ties the whole lot collectively. In fact, in retail sectors, a barcode scanner can be a part of the system.

They’re additionally typically known as ‘ePOS techniques’, the place the ‘e’ stands for ‘digital’.

How a lot does a POS system value?

Normally, you’ll pay as soon as for {hardware} after which month-to-month for software program use and extra companies, though there are some suppliers who do not cost month-to-month, with all charges taken from transactions (often a flat payment plus a proportion of the transaction).

Additionally, not all suppliers promote each {hardware} and software program, and never all cost for both {hardware} or software program.

When it comes to POS {hardware}—that’s, a cost display screen, card reader, and printer—the prices have come down lately, and you will get all of the {hardware} you want for a single terminal for about $600. Many fashionable suppliers have an array of elements to select from, so you may combine and match as wanted.

POS software program is often paid month-to-month or yearly and varies broadly. Easiest ones, like AirPOS, are as little as $30.00 monthly, whereas Shopify Superior is available in at $300, albeit with a bevy of additional options. 

Epos, alternatively, permits for a one-time cost of $750, and Sq. POS solely expenses per transaction.

Lastly, you’ll possible incur sure transactional charges in your day-to-day operations, relying on supplier. For every transaction, you’ll be charged wherever from 1-5% of the value. These differ between suppliers and even packages from the identical supplier.

Costlier choices usually have less expensive transactional charges, so that you’ll must steadiness issues in keeping with your online business’s common exercise.


What number of POS terminals do I would like?

This is dependent upon the scale of your online business and your day by day turnover. For smaller or medium-sized companies that take care of decrease quantity, a single cost terminal is often sufficient.

Eating places could need to put money into a number of handheld cost terminals (or use Apple or Android tablets) to allow funds to be taken at tables by serving employees.

For medium-sized companies coping with excessive quantity and for bigger firms, two or three terminals shall be very best. The most effective answer is to start out with one or two primarily based in your quantity and scale up as wanted.

Are all POS techniques PCI compliant?

Whereas most, if not all, POS techniques are PCI compliant, merely utilizing one doesn’t imply that you just don’t have to fret about different elements of your cost ecosystem. Choosing a POS that manages extra particulars might help streamline the method, however it might be extra pricey.

Learn our article about PCI compliance to study extra.

What’s a cellular POS?

couple paying for a restaurant bill with a pos terminal

A cellular POS system is good for a restaurant. (Picture credit score: Shutterstock)

POS techniques have advanced to grow to be extra versatile, in order that they work on many units. For instance, with nothing however a smartphone and cellular card reader, you may handle funds, refunds, and extra. 

Cell POS options are particularly helpful for small companies and people with no fastened deal with, like meals vehicles and private trainers. However in addition they signify an important alternative for fastened companies seeking to leverage pop-up shops, kiosks, and cellular storefronts.

For more information, learn our article concerning the Greatest cellular bank card processors.

What’s a pill POS?

Most fashionable POS techniques are constructed to work on iPads and Android tablets, which provides you higher flexibility. 

You may select to have them fastened in place with a stand or to maintain them free to serve prospects in a brand new however more and more well-liked method, which is a good possibility for a restaurant or bar.

They’re usually the best POS to make use of as effectively, as they’ve been simplified for simpler dealing with on a pill. A lot of the POS techniques on this information are pill appropriate.

What can a contemporary POS system do for your online business?

Product Stories

Product reporting will enable you to higher handle your inventory and discover alternatives for progress. Goal poorly performing merchandise for enchancment or elimination, and enact campaigns for the preferred ones. 

Consumer accounts and permissions

Your employees doesn’t want entry to the whole lot. A POS system with person accounts and most significantly, permission settings will allow staff to carry out their duties with out you having to fret about them stumbling onto delicate info.

Cell options

Cell {hardware}, Android and iOS purposes, and useful cellular options like invoice splitting, Apple and Google Pay compatibility, and receipt emailing can all make it simpler for cellular and small companies to fulfill prospects and improve turnover.

Buyer dealing with show

For retail companies, that is thought-about indispensable, and there are lots of choices on the market. Fashionable customer-facing screens are an important alternative to tell prospects and promote campaigns, all whereas offering a clean and clear transaction expertise

Buyer Relationship Administration

An umbrella time period for a bunch of options and functionalities, CRM allows you to construct higher and extra productive relationships with prospects. Contact particulars and cost historical past, for instance, can be utilized to maintain prospects knowledgeable of latest merchandise which will curiosity them. 

Worker monitoring and reporting 

Streamline your day by day operations with built-in worker clock-in and clock-out capabilities, and discover alternatives for worker progress with reporting. Reward excessive performers and enact coaching when essential.

Inventory administration 

An excellent inventory administration system might help you save prices and streamline operations. Many POS help multi-location inventory administration, enabling you to extra shortly reply to inventory issues or reply to buyer requests.

Loyalty programmes

Included in CRM however nonetheless worthy of point out are loyalty packages, which many companies have used with nice success to spice up gross sales and preserve buyer involvement. A POS with sturdy loyalty program capabilities, in addition to the power to course of reward playing cards, will be effectively definitely worth the cash.

Bulk operations

Getting began with a brand new POS doesn’t must be a headache. POS techniques that help bulk operations by way of CSV import, for instance, or integration with third-party apps, will tremendously simplify the method.

These options make it simpler to show impatient prospects into enthusiastic ambassadors in your model. An excellent POS can facilitate SRM by streamlining these processes.

When you’re searching for recommendation about POS techniques for particular kind of enterprise, then check out our guides to picking the very best POS techniques for small enterprise, POS techniques for eating places, and POS techniques for retail.

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To request a quote, simply fill within the type beneath to start out the method. It takes lower than a minute.

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The most effective POS system evaluations

square logo

(Picture credit score: Sq.)

Sq. evaluate – the very best all-round POS system

An excellent possibility for all enterprise varieties


Month-to-month payment: $0 monthly

Card charges: 2.6% + 10¢

Free trial: N/A

Assist: Telephone and chat

Causes to purchase

+No month-to-month charges+Big selection of {hardware} choices+Can function in offline mode

Causes to keep away from

Risk of account freezes or suspensionsExcessive charges for bigger companies

Sq. was one of many earliest suppliers to allow card funds instantly from cellular units, with {hardware} that plugs right into a smartphone or pill – a way that makes it simple and inexpensive for cellular enterprise house owners to take card funds without having costly POS {hardware}.

Whereas others have adopted the mannequin, Sq. nonetheless stays the most effective selections for cellular companies. Notably engaging is the pricing: Sq. solely expenses per transaction, with no month-to-month charges for software program use. That is all of the extra attention-grabbing provided that at 2.6% + 10¢, transaction charges aren’t a lot increased than different suppliers.

When you solely want to often take card funds, as is commonly the case with cellular entrepreneurs, it is a good compromise.

Set-up is straightforward, and because the Sq. POS app works on each Apple and Android units, it ought to really feel instantly acquainted. Useful options like Splitting a invoice proper from the product display screen, PCI-compliant Playing cards on File, and an offline mode make this a surprisingly highly effective little app.

Sq.’s POS choices and companies have grown significantly lately, and it now provides a variety of {hardware} and software program options for companies of all kinds.

Accepted cost strategies embody Visa, Mastercard, American Categorical and rewards playing cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Bitcoin – through its Money App.

Learn our full Sq. evaluate. You may additionally like our Helcim POS and Adyen POS evaluations. 


shopify logo

Shopify evaluate – the very best POS system for ecommerce

Our high choose for on-line companies


Month-to-month payment: from $29 monthly

Card price: 2.7%

Free trial: 14 days

Assist: 24/7 chat

Causes to purchase

+Easy to implement+Extremely versatile+Nice person expertise

Causes to keep away from

Further {hardware} required

The Shopify POS app is among the greatest all-in-one e-commerce options out there. With out the {hardware}, it’s a powerhouse for e-commerce companies, however the addition of a easy card reader turns your smartphone or pill into a whole POS answer for bodily money and card transactions. 

Shopify Primary is available in at a lean $29/mo, which makes it a great answer for small e-commerce companies, although others shouldn’t dismiss it too shortly. Shopify Customary, at $79/mo, is an effective all-round POS, and Superior Shopify at $299/mo, whereas pricey, is a full enterprise administration suite, with the whole lot from employees monitoring to superior analytics. 

Card charges begin at 2.7% and go as little as 1.5% for costlier plans, so you may tailor your bundle to your quantity. 

The fundamental model, nice for e-commerce and small companies, contains an internet retailer, limitless inventory, employees accounts, 24/7 help, gross sales channels, order creation, and low cost codes. 

Shopify works on each iOS and Android units, so there’s not a lot of a studying curve right here. If you know the way to make use of your individual system, you’re effectively in your solution to opening up an internet or bodily retailer with Shopify.

Learn our full Shopify evaluate.


touchbistro logo

TouchBistro – greatest POS system for eating places

POS {hardware} and software program designed particularly for catering companies


Month-to-month payment: From $69 monthly

Card charges: 2.75% + $0.25

Free trial: 7 days

Assist kind: Telephone, e-mail, assist web page

Causes to purchase

+Nice {hardware} choices+Aggressive pricing+Straightforward setup

Causes to keep away from

Customer support could possibly be higher

TouchBistro – because the title suggests – is a POS system designed with eating places in thoughts. 

Along with its cellular, tablet-centric level of sale system, TouchBistro can (relying on the plan you select) handle menus, reservations, and tables, in addition to buyer advantages like loyalty rewards. It additionally helps on-line ordering, particularly useful when you’re seeking to develop your supply or meals pick-up choices.

TouchBistro’s POS {hardware} and software program – utilising iPads – is easy-to-use and well-suited for a restaurant or bar atmosphere. 

Small eating places can profit from a single iPad POS system, the place you have got one cost terminal. Medium-sized eating places can use as much as 5 iPads with a sixth performing because the central terminal. Bigger eating places can profit from custom-built POS techniques with a PC because the central hub, enabling you to attach as many cellular units as required.

TouchBistro additionally provides different nice {hardware} options akin to self-serve kiosks, a digital menu board, and a kitchen show system, the latter streamlining FOH-BOH communications.

With feature-rich software program, aggressive costs, and a easy setup course of, TouchBistro represents wonderful worth for cash. And when you personal a restaurant or bar it might be exhausting to discover a more-suited possibility in your wants.

Learn our full TouchBistro evaluate.


eposnow logo

Epos Now POS evaluate – the very best POS system for hospitality

Nice for catering, lodges, and eating places


Month-to-month payment: from $39 monthly

Card charges: Variable

Free trial: 30 days

Assist: Electronic mail help

Causes to purchase

+Constructed-in CRM+Personal app retailer+Internet hosting outsourced to AWS for improved safety

Causes to keep away from

No knowledgebaseNo kiosk possibilityPaid buyer help

Epos Now’s a cloud-based POS system that’s well-suited to be used in hospitality settings, with a built-in CRM and loads of additional capabilities, due to its app retailer. As a result of the whole lot is within the cloud, you may entry your studies and back-office instruments from any browser, making this a handy and extremely versatile possibility.

When it comes to pricing, you may pay $750 up entrance for the software program, which may imply huge financial savings in the long term: it’s cheaper after simply 20 months of use in comparison with the month-to-month price.

Product administration and efficiency reporting will enable you to goal alternatives, whereas worker studies allow you to coach and incentivize the place essential. 

The built-in CRM will enable you to maintain monitor of and analyze buyer habits. The loyalty mode is a good function for hospitality companies—it prices additional however is kind of highly effective.

Funds are managed by way of third events, like iZettle and PayPal, so transaction charges rely upon these companies, though the app retailer means there’s no scarcity of cost choices: playing cards, Apple Pay, and so forth. 

Learn our full Epos Now evaluate.


lightspeed logo

Lightspeed evaluate – greatest for bespoke options

One other good all-rounder, with nice flexibility


Month-to-month payment: from £69 monthly

Card charges: 2.6% + 10¢

Free trial: 14 days

Assist kind: 24-hr cellphone (excl. weekends)

Causes to purchase

+Bespoke answer+Mac-friendly+Nice reporting and analytics

Causes to keep away from

No Home windows or Android possibility

Lightspeed is a wealthy and sturdy POS system, notably effectively suited to eating places, but it surely additionally works effectively for retail and e-commerce companies. 

Lightspeed doesn’t provide off-the-shelf packages, so it’s a bit extra concerned to enroll and get began. For smaller companies searching for a easy answer, this might not be appropriate, however for others, this customizability generally is a actual benefit.

Primary restaurant pricing begins at £69/month, with completely different options and choices that may be added as wanted. Transaction charges for card funds begin at 2.6% + 10p, which is about trade commonplace. Lightspeed additionally helps money, checks, reward playing cards, and retailer credit score variants.

Inventory administration is a full-service key function, constructed for each retail and restaurant POS techniques. It’s intensive and extremely customizable, consistent with Lightspeed’s MO. 

Lightspeed is obtainable for Apple units solely: iPad or desktop. Nevertheless, the apps are highly effective and straightforward to make use of, so even these unfamiliar with the Appleverse can have no issues. Set-up is extra concerned than different “ready-made” POS techniques, however the upshot is a bespoke, completely tailored POS for your online business.

Learn our full Lightspeed evaluate.  


airpos logo

(Picture credit score: AirPOS)

AirPOS – greatest POS system for small enterprise

Really useful for SMBs


Month-to-month payment: from £29.99 monthly

Card charges: Variable

Free trial: 14 days

Assist kind: On-line type

Causes to purchase

+Straightforward enroll+No fastened contract+Integrates with companion companies

Causes to keep away from

Somewhat disjointed in locations

AirPOS is a lesser-known POS service, but it surely has a lot to supply, together with a easy and intuitive back-end and straightforward integration with cost and accounting software program. Totally cloud-based, you may entry your POS from wherever and at any time. Because it’s easy to make use of and straightforward to arrange and has no fastened contracts, it is a nice answer for small companies. 

To make full use of AirPOS, together with taking funds, you’ll must combine it with companion companies like iZettle and SumUp, though that is a simple course of. As a result of funds are dealt with by way of third events, transaction charges are variable; iZettle, for instance, begins at 1.75%.

{Hardware} is obtainable by way of UK-based ePOS firm StoreKit, with all kinds of {hardware} choices. If you have already got a pill so all you want is a card reader, that’s an possibility too. For small companies, this makes it simple to start out small and add {hardware} as wanted. Further options can be found with the Professional bundle (£39.99), together with a loyalty program. 

AirPOS is obtainable with no contract or any hidden charges—simply pay the month-to-month price and also you’re good to go. 

Learn our full AirPOS evaluate.


How we evaluate POS techniques

We reviewed many various POS techniques earlier than deciding on which to function on this information. Our evaluate course of entails evaluating key elements, together with options, ease of use, set-up, help, and naturally, pricing. 

All our evaluations are primarily based on hands-on expertise: we trial software program and supplies to get a transparent image of what options are included, for instance, and the way simple or troublesome it’s to get began and use the software program.

We anonymously contact person help so we are able to draw sincere and knowledgeable conclusions about availability, data, and friendliness. 

Lastly, pricing is gleaned from web sites, however we by no means hesitate to go in-depth with documentation and person help to supply the clearest potential image.

Be taught extra about the advantages of POS techniques

On the lookout for extra info on POS techniques? Strive these articles: Right here we advise on How to decide on a POS system; this function explains How a POS system works; and on this article we show 5 methods POS techniques enable you to handle employees.