The Best Retail POS Systems for Your Boutique


Fri Nov 18 2022

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What is a POS System? Discover the Best Ones for Retail

Running a successful boutique means ensuring that all your operations run smoothly— first and foremost your sales and payment collection processes. You can have the best product offer in town and the most amazing customer service, but if your checkout operations are not at their best, you risk losing time and profit.

At the heart of a good payment collection process, there’s your POS system. The right POS system is in fact critical for your daily operations: it can help you not only in having a fast and stress-free checkout experience but also in holding and collecting important data regarding your business, which will make for an overall more efficient management of your activity.

Let’s dive deeper into what is a POS system and explore together the best pos system for your retail clothing store.

What is a POS System?

A POS system, or “Point of Sale” system, is a software and hardware combination system that functions as the central hub for a business’ transactions.

It’s like a good old cash register, but computerized and much more advanced. In fact, it doesn’t only calculate purchase totals, but also tracks sales, holds info about your inventory, collects business data, and, of course, processes all your clients’ payments.

Ultimately, a good POS system will make it easier for your customers to pay, and make it easier for you to run your retail business.

Benefits of using a POS System

The benefits of using a POS system are several and varied, impacting different aspects of the business. The right POS system can really upgrade your entire strategy, so if you have to invest in just one piece of technology within your activity, let it be this one.

Some of the benefits you’ll get from a POS system are:

  • Increased sales capacity

  • More efficient inventory management

  • No out-of-stock surprises

  • Important data about sales and customer behavior

  • Easier management of loyalty programs

  • Streamlined on- and off-premises operations

Types of POS Systems

There are different POS systems on the market, and the right choice for you will depend on your business goals and needs. Here are the main Point of Sales types:

Legacy or Traditional POS System:

These are on-premises POS systems: wifi-connected and hardwired devices that live in the store, normally at the counter. They are stationary and save data locally, just on connected devices. They use hardware that is purchasable from the POS provider, and they need a bit more training and maintenance than other options.

Tablet or Touch-screen POS System:

Running on familiar hardware (the iPad!), the tablet-based POS system is a more modern option that is convenient and easy to use. It normally runs on a cloud-based network system, so you can make changes to it from anywhere, and they usually come with self-set up and self-maintenance.

Mobile POS System:

A modern POS software that runs on mobile hardware— or simply a mobile phone. They let you take payments quickly from your phone, with the addition of just a card reader. They’re great for businesses on the go and pop-up experiences. They also normally include self-set up and self-maintenance.

Cloud-based POS System:

These are systems that are hosted entirely online: they are software-based and data is stored in the cloud, rather than on a local device or network, and can be accessed from anywhere. With a cloud-based POS system, you can log in and manage everything from your own device, without the need for extra hardware. They’re normally cheaper options.

The best POS Systems for Retail

Now that you know everything you need about POS, let’s have a look at the best point-of-sale systems for retail.

Square POS:

  • Best for: Small retailers

  • Starting price: Free

  • Transaction fees: 2.6% + 10 cents per transaction

  • Key features: inventory management; multi-location setup and appointment scheduling.

  • Pros: no set-up fees, and its POS hardware is also available for free; it supports payment from credit cards and also contactless transactions; no contract requirements and transparent pricing; strong analytics, inventory, and third-party integrations. 

  • Cons: loyalty program and email marketing features cost extra; higher processing fees because of no monthly fee.

Clover POS:

  • Best for: Larger retail businesses

  • Starting price: $60 per month for hardware + software

  • Transaction fees: 2.3% plus 10 cents per transaction

  • Key features: real-time sales tracking; employee management.

  • Pros: works off-line; 24/7 support; free overnight shipping of your system after approval; user friendly.

  • Cons: no free plan; need a sales rep to sign up; need a dedicated merchant account.

Vend POS:

  • Best for: Reporting

  • Starting price: $99 per month 

  • Transaction fees: variable, as it relies on third-party providers

  • Key features: training for new hires; real-time reporting; integrations with third-party providers.

  • Pros: 14-day free trial; loyalty program; 24/7 support.

  • Cons: no free plan available; payment processing not included; prepayments not refundable.

Zettle by PayPal:

  • Best for: Businesses on the go

  • Starting price: Free

  • Transaction fees: 2.4% plus 5 cents per transaction

  • Key features: lower fees for payments over $10; invoicing; inventory management.

  • Pros: great transaction fee rates; unlimited users; easy to use; accept multiple currencies.

  • Cons: deposits go to your PayPal account first; additional 1.5% charge on foreign transactions.

Lightspeed POS:  

  • Best for: Omnichannel Businesses

  • Starting price: $69 per month

  • Transaction fees: 2.6% plus 10 cents per transaction

  • Key features: inventory management; bespoke features.

  • Pros: omnichannel gift cards; loyalty program; contactless payments; great analytics tools.

  • Cons: no free plan; only bespoke solutions.

Shopify POS:

  • Best for: Stores selling both offline and online

  • Starting price: $29 per month

  • Transactions fees: 2.7% for in-person credit card payments and 2.2% for online credit card payments

  • Key features: staff management; multi-location inventory management; customizable checkouts.

  • Pros: omnichannel functionalities; exchanges and returns for online purchases in-store; integration with social media; 14days free plan; email marketing.

  • Cons: only available to Shopify users; no free plan; hardware is extra.

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