Best POS Software For Small Business Shortlist
Here are the point-of-sale software solutions that made my list:
- Square - Most versatile POS software
- Shopify POS - Best omnichannel POS system
- Lightspeed - Best POS software for e-commerce brands
- Toast - Best POS software for restaurants with multiple locations
- Vend - Best POS software for retail stores
- Revel Systems - Best for delivery services and take-out restaurants
- Ehopper - Best for value
- Clover - Best for hardware options
- TouchBistro - Best for restaurant management
- Stax - Best for high transaction volumes
- NCR Silver - Best for remote teams
- PayPal POS - Best for no commitment
In this guide, I’ll break down the best POS software for small businesses to help you find the best fit for your company.
My selections are based on the factors that are most relevant to small businesses: affordability, user-friendliness, functionality, features, and integrations.
What Is POS Software?
POS stands for point of sale. There are POS systems and POS software.
A POS system includes POS software, as well as the physical hardware, like a cash register or other payment terminal, that’s used at checkout. POS software is what powers a POS system—it’s the backend functionality that lets workers add items to purchases, process payments, calculate and collect sales tax, make change, etc.
In other words, POS systems include both the hardware and the software required to complete in-person customer sales. POS software is simply the software side of things. Oftentimes, POS software providers also offer physical hardware needed for a complete POS system.
Some businesses, namely e-commerce businesses, don’t need physical hardware to use with their POS software. Since they don't process in-person payments, they only need the software.
The software service may provide hardware to vendors, or the vendor may supply POS terminals, tablets, or other handheld devices.
Overviews of the 12 Best POS Software For Small Business
Below, you'll find overviews of my top POS software picks. Each overview contains a summary of standout features, integrations, available pricing details, and some notable pros and cons.
1. Square - Most versatile POS software
Square is a popular POS software that offers a versatile feature set. Its simplicity, ease of use, and customization options can work for any type of business.
Why I picked Square:
I selected Square because it’s as close as you can get to a one-size-fits-all POS system. By that, I mean that it’s a genuinely versatile software suite (which comes with optional Square-branded hardware) that can be deployed in-store or online.
Standout features include Square Appointments to help service providers manage appointments, integrated payment technology, and industry-specific applications tailored for restaurants and retail operations.
I also like Square’s built-in loyalty program options for businesses looking for ways to manage promotions and incentivize repeat customers.
I was also impressed with Square’s build-to-suit pricing model, which lets you mix and match hardware. So if you don’t want to use Square’s hardware, they let you use their software with hardware from other vendors like Vend, TouchBistro, or Toast.
Integrations include WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, Zoho Books, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Xero, Mailchimp, TouchBistro, and Upserve.
Pricing: From 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
Free Trial: Free tier available (just pay transaction fees).
- Mix and match hardware options
- Offline functionality
- All card types (Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, Discover) charged at the same rate
- Limited user support
- Some Square users report the internal fraud warning system is over-sensitive
2. Shopify POS - Best omnichannel POS system
Shopify POS is software that helps streamline business operations by unifying sales channels. By focusing on omnichannel solutions, Shopify helps deliver a more consistent customer experience.
Why I picked Shopify POS:
I selected Shopify POS because it’s specially designed for omnichannel retailers. Customers and employees will have a predictable experience and workflow whether the order is an online, in-store, or ship-to-home order.
Standout features include real-time inventory monitoring so companies with multiple sales channels can ensure their most up-to-date inventory numbers are syncing across channels, helping avoid canceled transactions and surprise out-of-stock alerts.
I also like how Shopify’s real-time syncing also applies to customer data. It used to be difficult to analyze customer behavior when dealing with multiple sales channels—but Shopify makes it simpler by unifying customer data records across channels and automatically tagging transactions to a specific customer account based on factors like the credit card used.
Integrations include PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, Square, QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks, Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Zendesk, Google Analytics, Metrilo, ShipStation, and Easyship.
Pricing: From $39/month, plus 2.7% per transaction.
Free Trial: First three months at $1/month
- Precise inventory management and tracking (with omnichannel syncing)
- Customer relationship management and data-tracking features
- Competitive payment processing rates for high-volume businesses
- No free tier ($39/month + processing fees is the cheapest option)
- Many features require two paid subscriptions: Shopify + POS Pro, which starts at $89/month
3. Lightspeed - Best POS software for ecommerce brands
Lightspeed POS is a tool that optimizes the sales process by allowing you to manage multiple offline and online stores in one place. It’s particularly useful for ecommerce firms with multiple online sales channels.
Why I picked Lightspeed
I picked Lightspeed due to its intuitive omnichannel setup for retailers. You can use it to sell on Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, eBay, and Walmart—as well as on your own websites and physical store locations.
Standout features include automatic stock synchronization across channels and out-of-the-box support for sellers on Amazon and eBay. I think Lightspeed does a good job of unifying inventory levels, pricing, and promotions across internal channels and third-party platforms.
I was also impressed by Lightspeed’s retail analytics and reporting capabilities. There are over 50 pre-built reports that can shed light on sales volume, customer behavior, and pricing strategy. While not quite as capable as a dedicated business intelligence or corporate performance management software, Lightspeed has more advanced analytics than many competitors.
Integrations include iZettle, Mailchimp, Planday, Podium, SKU IQ, Vantiv, Homebase, Cloudbeds, Planday, Moneris, and Accumula.
Pricing: From $89/month plus 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
Free Trial: 14-day free trial
- All plans include a free register
- 24/7 customer support
- Data analytics
- Upgrades can get costly
- Moderate learning curve
4. Toast - Best POS software for restaurants with multiple locations
Toast is a POS software with a focus on restaurants, hospitality, and restaurant chains. It’s designed to centralize operations across multiple locations so you can more easily manage sales, product orders, and staff.
Why I picked Toast:
I selected Toast because it has restaurant-specific features like digital ordering and portable, handheld POS systems so your servers can take orders and accept payments at the table.
Standout features include time-specific pricing (for 2-for-1 happy hours or seasonal specials) and integrated front-of-house and back-of-house workflows that can make it easier to manage restaurant chains or a multi-location retail business more efficiently.
I also really like Toast’s restaurant-ready hardware. Their handheld tablets are waterproof and drop-resistant.
Integrations include Axial Shift, Craftable, Marketing Vitals, Recipe Costing, Backbar, ChowNow, DeliverZero, WineView, MarginEdge, Lunchbox, and Tenzo.
Pricing: From 2.69% per transaction
Free Trial: Online demo available
- Free version available for single location
- Integrates with most popular restaurant software
- Waterproof, durable POS hardware and handheld devices
- Payment processing fees are less transparent and vary by card issuer
- Slow performance during peak hours
5. Vend - Best POS software for retail stores
Vend is a relatively simple POS platform from the same company behind Lightspeed (another of my picks). It aims to make the sales process quick and easy.
Why I picked Vend
I like Vend because it’s really easy to learn how to use—which is particularly helpful for retailers with high employee turnover rates that are frequently training new hires. It’s designed for in-person retail sales, but also offers ecommerce integrations and omnichannel support.
Standout features include flexible checkout options. You don’t have to void sales when a customer forgets part, or all, of their order—the parked sales option lets you put the transaction on hold until the customer can come back and complete the transaction. You can also split checks, offer store credit, and let customers put things on layaway.
I also found the multi-store functionality particularly easy to grasp.
Integrations include Deputy, Quickbooks Online, Timely, Xero, Shopify, WooCommerce, Square, and PayPal.
Pricing: From $89 per month plus 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
Free Trial: 14-day free trial
- Supports many payment processors
- Compatible with third party hardware
- Multi-store functionality
- Only compatible with the Google Chrome browser
- No phone support with basic plan
6. Revel Systems - Best for delivery services and to-go restaurants
Revel Systems is a cloud-based POS software that gives you multiple options for food delivery. Revel was the first company to bring an iPad-based POS to market.
Why I picked Revel Systems
I selected Revel System mostly because of its restaurant-friendly features. Since take-out is so commonplace these days, restaurants have to adapt to the rise in pickup and delivery orders (and the high fees charged by third-party delivery services).
Delivery can be handled via in-house teams on the Delivery XT software or outsourced via Revel Driver XT (fulfilled by DoorDash).
Standout features include a Customer Display System (CDS) I found easy to understand. I was particularly impressed with the customer relationship management (CRM) tool, which allows you to quickly take customers' personal details and contact them with relevant marketing.
I also like the online ordering system (Online Ordering XT), which pairs well with Revel’s multiple delivery fulfillment solutions.
Integrations include eConnect, FreedomPay, Give Gift Cards, Gratuity Solutions, Homebase, Incentivio, LevelUp, Paytronix, Pepper, Quickbooks Online, Thanx, Value Tec, and Wand.
Pricing: From $99/month per terminal (plus payment processing fees).
Free Trial: Free demo available.
- CRM tools
- Multiple fulfillment options for delivery orders
- Lots of integration options
- High subscription fees
- Minimum three-year contract required
7. eHopper - Best for value
eHopper is a restaurant and retail POS software that offers a unique “free-to-you” payment processing feature, which I’ll explain more below.
Why I picked eHopper
I picked eHopper because of its unique value proposition. New clients can get a free payment terminal, free POS software, and (most notably) free payment processing.
Standout features include an essentially no-cost model. eHopper encourages businesses to implement credit card surcharges to cover payment processing fees—essentially passing on processing costs to customers. So if a customer buys $100 worth of product, you might opt to charge them $103 (3% fee)—or offer a cash discount.
Keep in mind that laws around charging customers extra for payment processing do vary by state. Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma do not allow surcharges, and other states may have restrictions. Likewise, some credit card merchant agreements don’t allow the use of credit card surcharges. So, if you plan to use eHopper, make sure to read the fine print of both your local laws as well as existing merchant/payment processing agreements.
Integrations include Stripe, PayPal, Square, Authorize.Net, WooCommerce, Shopify, Quickbooks, Xero, DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, Loyverse, and Mailchimp.
Pricing: From $0 per month
Free Trial: Product demo available
- Easy to use
- No monthly fees or payment processing fees on free tier
- Free hardware
- Limited customization
- Passes surcharges onto customers
8. Clover - Best for hardware options
Clover offers POS and small business management systems for all types of businesses—whether you need a countertop POS or a handheld device.
Why I Picked Clover
I selected Clover because of its high-quality hardware options. Clover has handheld, mobile, and countertop POS hardware, and multiple terminals and devices that you can easily link together to customize your system.
Clover Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include the ability to accept multiple payment options (all major credit cards, mobile payments, cash, and even check scanning). This makes it easy for customers and ensures you don’t miss any sales.
I also like that Clover has team management and scheduling features built into the POS software.
Integrations include QuickBooks by Commerce Sync, Thrive Inventory, Digital Loyalty, Time Clock, and Skipcart Delivery.
Pricing: From $14.95/month plus 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction).
Free Trial: 30-day free trial on no-hardware plan.
- Countertop, portable, and mobile POS devices
- Offline functionality
- 24/7 phone support
- No free hardware
9. TouchBistro - Best for restaurant management
TouchBistro is a food service POS software and hardware company with solutions tailored to restaurants, food trucks, breweries, and cafes.
Why I picked TouchBistro
I selected TouchBistro because of its restaurant management features. In addition to its standard point-of-sale functionality, TouchBistro can manage reservations, create team schedules, process orders, and manage menus.
Standout features include customizable floor plans, order handling, menu management, and restaurant inventory management, all of which can help restaurants operate more efficiently.
I was also impressed with the level of detail in their reporting tools for things like inventory rotation and sales mix.
Integrations include Restaurant365, MarginEdge, Xero, Sage, QuickBooks, Shogo, Wisk.ai, Optimum Control, Square, Moneris, and Worldpay.
Pricing: Starts at $69 per month + payment processing fees (varies by card type and volume).
Free Trial: Free product demo available
- Restaurant industry-specific features
- Easy to operate and navigate
- Detailed financial reporting
- Relatively expensive compared to other systems
- Many features cost extra
10. Stax - Best for high transaction volumes
Stax is a tool designed to provide fast shopping experiences across various channels, and it waives per-transaction processing fees (which are often $0.10-$0.30 per transaction with competitors).
Why I picked Stax
Stax stands out for me because it only charges interchange fees, unlike other processors that add per-transaction fees on top of credit card company charges. The interchange fees are not marked up at all, meaning that Stax doesn’t take a cut (they make money off their monthly subscription costs).
Standout features include the detailed analytics system and a dashboard that allows you to schedule recurring invoices and payments.
I also like that Stax stands behind their product. If you don’t save $100 in processing fees, you get the first month free.
Integrations include HubSpot, WordPress, Calendly, QuickBooks Online, Asana, Atlassian, Google Sheets, Slack, Wrike, Xero, and Zoho.
Pricing: From $99 per month + interchange fees
Free Trial: Free product demo available
- No extra processing fees
- Straight-forward pricing structure
- Can handle high transaction volumes
- Advanced features require additional fees
- Monthly costs scale up for higher transaction volumes (but still costs less than most competitors)
11. Total by NCR Silver - Best for multiple locations
Total by NCR Silver offers both traditional retail POS systems and cloud-based omnichannel commerce solutions that come with detailed sales reporting and 24/7 support.
Why I picked NCR Silver
I chose NCR Silver because its cloud-based system and detailed reporting capabilities allow managers to track business operations across multiple locations.
Standout features include the NCR console, a dashboard that includes comprehensive sales reporting and various management tools. I like that the dashboard gives managers more insight into operations, profitability, and performance markers—and that it’s built right into the POS software, instead of requiring a separate business intelligence software.
Integrations include Xero, QuickBooks, Mailchimp, Shopify, WooCommerce, DoorDash, Grubhub, and LevelUp.
Pricing: Pricing available upon request
Free Trial: Free product demo available
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface
- Fast transaction processing
- Financial reporting and monitoring tools
- Limited customization options
12. PayPal POS - Best for no commitment
PayPal POS is an omnichannel POS solution from PayPal.
Why I picked PayPal POS
I selected PayPal POS because it offers the option of a free account. You just pay payment processing fees (though cash drawer and other physical hardware may cost extra).
Standout features include contactless payment processing through NFC technology or mobile wallets. I also appreciate that PayPal POS has relatively low payment processing fees.
Integrations include BigCommerce, Quickbooks, SalesVu, WooCommerce, and PayPal.
Pricing: From 2.29 % + $0.09 per transaction
Free Trial: Free plan available
- No initial investment required
- Affordable processing fees backed by PayPal
- Cost-effective card reader and QR capabilities
- Not designed for high transaction volumes
- Limited integrations
Other POS Software Options
There were some more tools I shortlisted during my research. They didn’t quite make the cut for my main list, but might still be worth investigating further.
- Brilliant POS - Best for advanced inventory management
- Odoo - Best for integrated business management software
- ShopKeep - Best for small retailers
- Epos Now - Best for scalability
- Stripe Terminal - Best for integration of online payments
- Netsuite - Best for enterprise-level businesses
- Korona POS - Best for mid-size retailers
- Agiliron - Best for omnichannel businesses
- Rain POS - Best for specialty retail stores
Selection Criteria for Small Business POS Software
Here’s a short summary of the main selection criteria I used to develop this list.
At its core, POS software should enable your business to:
- Build carts/orders: Team members should be able to easily scan items or add product SKUs manually. Ideally, this should be a quick and simple process, as many small businesses frequently hire new staff. And for food service firms, having the option to take digital orders directly at the table (using a tablet or other mobile device) is a big selling point.
- Calculate sales tax: POS software needs to be able to quickly and accurately calculate sales tax amounts on a state and local level (and federal, for options available in countries with a federal sales tax).
- Process payments: POS software should be able to accept and process credit card payments, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover—as well as cash payments, gift cards, mobile wallets, and perhaps even pay-over-time providers.
- Track inventory: POS software should also provide at least basic inventory management features. When a sale is completed, internal inventory records should be updated automatically. Larger companies may wish to also use inventory management software.
The features offered by POS systems can have a significant impact on your business. Some basic features to look out for include:
- Customer management features: It’s beneficial for POS systems to collect and compile customer data for the purposes of marketing and customer loyalty programs.
- Loyalty programs: POS systems should also have the capability (if desired) to implement customer loyalty programs, customer rewards, and gift card programs to encourage repeat business.
- Sales reporting and analytics: POS software should provide a bird’s-eye-view of metrics looking at revenue, daily sales volume, etc. Ideally, it should be able to compare factors like sales by location and daily sales vs. long-term averages.
- Employee management features: Many POS systems also include employee management features, like scheduling, time clocks, and even payroll (though many firms will also use external software for some of these workflows).
- Versatile deployment: Most POS systems these days are cloud-native, making them relatively easy to deploy in a variety of situations. Ideally, POS software should be able to be used on physical registers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices.
You’ll want a POS system that’s easy to use. Remember, POS platforms will likely be used by many employees—including those who are relatively new on the job. It’s great if a POS system is able to run several elements of your business, but it should be able to do so with relative ease of use.
Integrations allow you to connect your POS system to other business software.
It’s particularly important to choose a POS system that integrates with your accounting system, along with whatever inventory systems or payroll software you’re using too.
Also, be sure your POS software supports your payment processing systems. Most POS platforms offer their own payment processing, but you may not necessarily want or need to switch over.
What are the different types of POS systems?
How much does a POS system for a small business cost?
After reading through this list, hopefully, you’re closer to finding the POS software that’s a good fit for your team.
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