When you’re running a consumer sales-oriented business, there are a lot of choices you have to make. Do you have a storefront, or are you all online? Do you have a crew of employees under you, or are you flying solo as a sole proprietorship? What web host do you use? But most importantly, what are you doing with your money?
That’s where choosing a point of sale system comes in. And with so many up-and-coming POS companies out there, it’s a pretty big choice to make. That’s why we’ve broken it down into five of our favorite POS systems for 2019. So shop around, and discover the one that’s the best fit for you.
Most Versatile: Square
Square is free, making it a boon for small-business owners just starting. Of course, you do wind up covering some transaction fees, but it helps a lot only to have to pay when you’ve actually made a sale, rather than before. Their free plan gives you all the basics you need to get the ball rolling. You get inventory management, conducting sales transactions, maintaining customer profiles, and creating sales reports included with the service. All that being said, Square still gives you room to grow with inexpensive add-ons like loyalty programs and the like. This is also one of the most user-friendly options out there, so you don’t need a degree in computer science just to figure out how it works.
Their big competitor to check out: Clover.
Best for a Fast-growing Business: Lightspeed
When business is booming, it’s time to invest in a professional-level POS. Lightspeed answers that need with a sleek and robust POS system. Although their services are in the $60-$100 range per month, they start you off with a 14-day free trial to give it a try before you buy. It comes with an integrated e-commerce platform so that you can use it seamlessly between the brick-and-mortar and online sides of your business. And you’ll find just about every feature under the sun offered with the software.
Their big competitor to check out: NCR Aloha.
Best for Online Sales: Shopify
Shopify has long been the go-to for online sales, and there are good reasons for that. Shopify has come a long way since it launched as an online-only point of sale, and now it’s fully integrated across platforms. You can even get a full register setup with cash drawer from Amazon, though you’ll always have the option to stick to online sales only.
Their big competitor to check out: BigCommerce.
Best for Transparency: Payment Depot
There are no hidden fees or percentage markups with Payment Depot. You pay a flat membership fee with a small transaction fee ($.05 to $.15 per swipe), and that’s all. There’s no haggling or negotiating rates. You’re just getting some of the lowest in the business, automatically. As a business owner, that’s hard to beat.
Their big competitor to check out: Stripe.
Best for Large Scale Hospitality Businesses: Heartland
For an honest, reliable company that specializes in the restaurant industry (as well as a few other specific niches), Heartland has the POS system for you. Keep in mind, this service does come with a contract, and the early termination fee is nearly $300. They also don’t disclose pricing on their website, so you’ll need to contact them directly for more information. But their industry-specific programs (for hotels, restaurants, laundromats, and others) include value-added options based on volume and integrated back-office aspects worth considering.
Their big competitor to check out: InfoGenesis.
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