James McGill | Updated on June 20th 2022Privacy and Technology Consultant
In a hurry? Here’s the top POS Software for 2023:
🏆 Lightspeed:This parental app is packed with features that will keep your family safe in the digital community: social media monitoring tool, location tracker, call and SMS monitoring, keylogger, and many more!
No matter what type of business you're in, retail shop, restaurant, bar, dollar store, or pop-up coffee shop, picking the right POS system is crucial to your business' success. Slow checkout lines, payment processing glitches, unrecorded sales, stockouts, and pricing snafus are some of the most common pitfalls that can be easily avoided with a POS solution.
For example, no one likes queueing, right? It's costing your store sales and the customers their time. If you're using one of the most advanced point-of-sale software, you'll be able to reduce lines by turning your employees into mobile checkout points. Armed with a mobile POS system on a tablet or mobile phone, your staff can process purchases, scan items, look up information, or print receipts from anywhere in the shop.
And that's just one of those business headaches a POS can help you with. Here are some more examples:
Slow checkout times: How often have you waited in line due to payment processing glitches? It's either because the credit card reader is not working, or it's taking forever to authorize your card. Or how about missing barcodes or a scanner that just won't work? Or perhaps a receipt with 4 lines that takes more than a minute to print? Nobody wins in these situations: you lose sales, the customer lose their time, and everybody's exasperated. With an upgraded POS system, problems like this will be reduced, if not totally eliminated.
Poor inventory management: There are quite a few things that could grip a business owner's heart in fear: stockouts, spoilage, theft, deadstock, surplus inventory, and rising storage costs. Maybe it's because you're still doing manual inventory and stocktaking or due to inadequate forecasting. A good POS will let you stay on top of your inventory, saving you time, money, and perhaps even your business.
Failure to adapt: Technology advancements and the new normal have forced many businesses to adapt their products and how they do their business in order to survive and remain relevant. Equipped with a modern POS solution, you can easily change product offerings, offer contactless payments, or promote/sell products on multiple platforms.
Poor customer relations: Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, and if you want your business to thrive, you must do more than provide a happy and positive customer experience. Most POS systems are CRM-enabled, so you can manage customer relationship activities, offer rewards, implement a loyalty program, track customer purchases, and gather customer information to make better decisions.
High employee turnover: Let me guess, retail employees are quitting their job because of emotional and physical exhaustion, poor compensation, little to no feedback or recognition, or lack of proper training and onboarding. Well, who can blame them if they face customer's wrath day in and day out or slaving away manually counting inventories on weekends? With the right POS, you can track employee activities (hours worked, collected tips, or sales made), manage schedules, streamline HR and training, or create employee reward and recognition programs.
An overview of the best POS Software for 2023:
🥇 1. Lightspeed — Keep track of everything remotely and in real-time: social media apps, SMS, calls, GPS, live cameras, calendar entries, and 30 other data types!
🥈 2. Square POS — Keep track of everything remotely and in real-time: social media apps, SMS, calls, GPS, live cameras, calendar entries, and 30 other data types!
🥉 3. QuickBooks POS — Keep track of everything remotely and in real-time: social media apps, SMS, calls, GPS, live cameras, calendar entries, and 30 other data types!
Okay, but what should I look for when buying a POS system for my business?
It all boils down to your business type, size, and structure. Are you in the hotel, retail, or food and beverage industry? Do you currently have a physical store but aim to set up a self-service kiosk? How many employees do you have? Once you've explored your current needs and business goals, you'll pretty much have an idea of which POS suits you best. But even then, with so many choices, it can still get somewhat confusing. This is why we've come up with a few factors to consider when shopping for a POS system:
Ease of Use: You're trying to make things easy for your staff and faster for your customers. If your sales staff has to consult a manual every now and then, it defeats the purpose of you trying to speed things up: checkout, invoicing, returns process, etc. Choose one with all the features you need but is simple enough to operate.
Cost: This is probably one of the biggest hesitations every business owner has when switching or upgrading their POS. The good news? Getting a POS set up in 2023 is far more economical than 10 years ago, with tablets and smartphones replacing bulky desktops and servers. If budget is an issue, think carefully about the hardware requirements. Do you purchase each piece individually or go for an all-in-one provider? What are the initial costs? How much are you willing to pay per month? Fixed and variable expenses? Does the vendor charge extra for customizing software or apps or software licenses? At the end of the day, we can say that the benefits your business gets from using a POS solution far outweigh the initial investment.
Adaptability: We mentioned earlier that you consider your business goals when choosing a POS. Even though POS setups have become more compact and cost-effective in recent years, it's still quite a considerable investment, especially for small businesses. This is why you don't want something your business will outgrow in just a year. Resist the temptation to go for the cheapest ones, as you might end up upgrading to a new system before you had a chance to recoup your initial investment. Think how fast technology is changing the way business is run nowadays, and pick a more scalable and adaptable POS.
Features: POS systems don't offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Some are more tailored for cafes, bars, and restaurants, while others are designed for retailers. As such, you must do your homework and figure out what features your business can't live without. Will it help your business grow? What features will make the customer experience easier? What can improve inventory and employee management?
Security: We can't stress enough the importance of choosing a POS that's secure against hacking, data breach, and other forms of cybersecurity threats. After all, your POS processes payments, stores customer data, and records transactions. Imagine what will happen if unsavory individuals get their hands on all those information? So when choosing a POS solution, look for something PCI compliant that offers encryption, EMV technology, anti-fraud services, and breach protection.
How we picked the top POS solutions for 2023
So what criteria did our experts use to narrow down the list of our recommendations? Before a POS software makes it into our Top 10 list, our experts evaluated the following key factors:
Hardware and Software Setup
Payment Processing Fees
Apps and Add-ons
Security and Compliance
Product and Customer Support
Top POS Software - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
🏦 Does my business need an industry-specific POS system?
Going with a point-of-sale system designed specifically for your industry is recommended. Why? Each sector can have very different needs. For example, a gym needs a POS that can handle not only payments but also class and PT bookings, client registration, and locker room management. A luxury resort has different needs than a video store or a coffee shop. Having a point-of-sale explicitly made for your business's unique needs without having to pay for unnecessary bells and whistles. It also makes streamlining your workflow that much easier.
💻 Do I have to purchase software and hardware from the same point-of-sale provider?
Not necessarily. While most POS companies offer bundle packages, you do have the option to purchase various POS components individually. If you're just starting out, it might make sense to use what you already own, such as a cash drawer or tablet. Just make sure those are compatible with the POS software. That being said, there are benefits to purchasing your POS system as a bundle. It's easy and convenient, and you won't have to worry about compatibility. Some vendors also offer a lifecycle management program to ensure your hardware runs at its optimal level.
💵 Do I have to pay a monthly fee for the POS software?
It depends on which point-of-sale vendor you go with. In general, most providers charge a monthly fee ranging from $15 to $200 per month. The prices depend on many factors, such as your business size, number of terminals, how many sales you process, how many products your store carries, number of features, etc. On the other hand, you'll find vendors like Square that requires no setup fees or monthly fees. You only get charged a processing fee every time you process a payment.
📝 Do I have to sign a contract?
Many POS providers do not require a contract, but you usually get better pricing when you sign one. If you don't like the idea of locking yourself in a long-term contract despite the savings, you can go for a vendor that offers a month-to-month plan. Clover, Lightspeed, Flagship Merchant, and POS nation offer monthly contracts.
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