You want every transaction to be seamless for the customer and your business. Modern POS systems offer many important capabilities, allowing you to simplify the transaction process. With the best POS system, you can track products, measure employee productivity, and do much more.
Finding the right POS system is important whether you are a startup or just looking to upgrade your current system.
Today, we’ll break down what qualities to look for in a POS system and share the top POS systems for 2021.
Why You Need a POS System
POS systems are about a lot more than just payment processing. Having a great POS system makes it easier to manage your business. The top POS solutions allow you to:
- Track sales metrics
- Access real-time data from your mobile device.
- Manage employees and inventory.
- Integrate your POS with accounting systems, payment processors, eCommerce, email marketing, and more.
By improving your business as a whole, your POS system will help better the customer service experience. You can leverage a POS system to reduce the time of your in-store sales process and make your reporting more accurate.
Qualities of the Best POS System
There are some factors that you must look for to find the top POS system for your business. Here are the top qualities to look for in a POS system:
Your POS system must be able to process payments. If you already have a payment processor that you like, you’ll need a POS system that can integrate with it. However, other POS systems may have built-in payment processors or third-party integrations.
Top POS systems are easy to set up and use. You can simply install software on your own devices, not requiring any special hardware. There are also other POS solutions that require you to purchase hardware but are still easy to set up.
The POS system should be intuitive and simple for your staff to use. Depending on your industry, you may have several part-time workers or quick staff turnover, so you want your POS software to be easy to use with minimal training.
Nowadays, it’s common for POS solutions to offer inventory management, but some have better capabilities than others. Sometimes, you’ll have to upgrade your plan to get comprehensive inventory tracking. Any businesses that have multiple locations or sell online will need inventory management capabilities.
Any business that sells online or wants to in the future needs a POS system that can integrate with an eCommerce store. If your POS system cannot integrate with eCommerce, you will have major issues with inventory management.
There are some industry-specific POS solutions. Depending on your industry, there may be a POS system that is best designed to meet your unique needs.
The size of your business also plays a factor. Consider how many locations you have and how many registers and look for a POS system that matches.
What Are Some of the Best POS Systems?
Cegid Retail Y2
Cegid is a top contender, known for heralding a sweeping digital transformation to companies that implement it. Great for a wide variety of industries, such as fashion, beauty, and specialty retailers, Cegid offers top of the line cloud services and enterprise software.
With a focus on omnichannel retail, Cegid is ranked the #1 retail system provider in RIS Leaderboard. Its full-service suite of tools, including POS, mobile POS, inventory and replenishment, clienteling, CRM and loyalty, are all located in a single, centralized database.
Top qualities of Cegid:
- Seamless omnichannel retailing
- Real-time inventory and merchandise management
- Mobile engagement
- Up-to-the-second performance insights
- 360 degree customer view
Revel is a top POS system for the retail and service industry. As a hybrid POS solution, Revel combines your local network and the cloud to store information. If you lose a connection, you can still process transactions via your local network. It has a centralized management system that will standardize everything on all of your sites.
Revel strongly suggests you buy hardware from them directly. While this is an added cost, it will help ensure everything goes smoothly. They have several hardware options that you can choose from.
- Price: $99 per month per terminal. Installation and onboarding starts at $649.
- Contracts: Billed annually. Requires a 3-year minimum contract.
- CRM features include customer segmenting, managing appointments, customer insights, integration with marketing campaigns.
- Enterprise-grade POS systems for small businesses.
NCR is another one of the best POS systems for 2021. It is very user friendly, easy to install, and update. It includes other useful modules like customer CRM and supply chain management. NCR accepts various payment methods, tracks transactions, inventory, and even a cashier journal log.
The top qualities that people enjoy about NCR include:
- Easy to use.
- Fast and accurate.
- Quality support.
With NCR Counterpoint POS powered by RCS, you get a comprehensive solution to meet your business needs. Use Counterpart mobile to view your inventory instantly and check prices from anywhere. Control every aspect of your business operations mobility for a more efficient business, and enjoy durable hardware integrated with touch displays, customer-facing displays, and ports for legacy hardware.
Request your NCR demo HERE.
Shopify is another good POS system, ideal for online stores. In fact, it’s free with many Shopify plans, making it the logical choice for people with Shopify eCommerce stores. It allows you to manage your online and in-store selling in one convenient place, updating your inventory across locations in real-time.
Using Shopify, you can accept payments from anywhere in the store, helping you cut down long shopping lines. You must only pay extra for the processing fee.
If you sell online and have several physical stores, Shopify won’t quite cut it, but it’s a great solution for those selling online with only a couple of physical locations.
Starting at $1,200, QuickBooks is a great small business accounting solution with an impressive POS system. The primary benefit is the powerful compatibility between QuickBooks accounting and QuickBooks POS, making it a great choice if you already use QuickBooks. You’ll get very accurate insights that can help you improve your bookkeeping process.
There’s no monthly fee just a one-time purchase of:
- Basic — $1,200
- Pro — $1,700
- Multi-Store — $1,900
Lightspeed is not as well known as the other POS systems, but it’s still a good option for inventory management. It offers POS solutions for restaurants and retailers.
Enjoy centralized purchasing catalogs that you can iterate into the POS software. This allows you to manage several product variations and to sell in bundles. It’s a great system if your retail location handles special requests because you can meet the demands directly from your POS. Because of this, Lightspeed is a popular choice for small business owners with bike shops, jewelry stores, pet supplies, etc.
Use Lightspeed with your own hardware and create different customer profiles to track purchase history and lifetime value.
The POS comes in five different price points based on your business size:
- Basic — $79 per month ($69 billed annually)
- Starter — $119 per month ($99 billed annually)
- Standard — $139 per month ($119 billed annually)
- Advanced — $189 per month ($169 billed annually)
- Pro — $259 per month ($229 billed annually)
You can upgrade to advanced for customer loyalty programs, and add additional registers for $29 per month. If you prefer, you can use Lightspeed for only payment processing for 2.6% and $.10 per transaction.
However, Lightspeed does not have as many payment processing integrations as some of the other POS systems.
Starting at $69 per month, TouchBistro is a great industry-specific POS for restaurants and bars. Their tools are excellent for clubs, food trucks, bars, restaurants, and quick-service food or drink businesses.
TouchBistro includes a wealth of restaurant-ready features to help you with everything you need in the food industry. Integrate your POS system with online ordering, set up a customer loyalty program, and take reservations with TouchBistro.
You can use your own hardware and only purchase the software, or buy both. There are several licensing options to choose from based on the size of your business. You can also enjoy 24/7 support and training with this hybrid system that is both cloud-based and run on your local network.
If you ask “what are the most common POS systems for retailers?” Square is likely to come up as one of the answers. Square is 100% free to download on your own device, offering great flexibility. You can also get hardware from Square including a register, reader, or more. It also doubles as a credit card processor and offers real-time analytics and reporting.
Square is a versatile POS system that has become a popular choice for small businesses. Your only cost is the transaction rate of 2.6%+ $.10 per transaction (with volume discounts for larger businesses).
However, some businesses have run into issues when scaling, reporting account holds on large transaction volumes due to the system’s security protocols.
The Bottom Line: What is the Best Cash Register for Small Businesses?
Choosing the right POS software is absolutely essential for your business, but the choice is not always easy. Modern POS solutions have many different key offerings.
So, what is the best cash register for small businesses?
What are the most common POS systems for retailers?
While our list is full of top contenders, Revel and NCR are two of the best POS systems available.
Both POS systems are rich with easy-to-use features that will transform your business operations and help you integrate all of your operations. Powered by RCS, Revel and NCR are two of the best possible POS systems you can get on the market in 2021. Learn which one is best for your business and get started today by contacting an RCS expert today.