What Is the best POS System For A Small Business?

Whether you’re starting a new business or managing an existing one, it’s crucial to have the right point of sale (POS) system put in place. This system will allow you to process cash and card payments in a flash to keep customers happy and your business running smoothly. In order to keep up in an ever-evolving tech world, having up-to-date POS systems should be one of your main priorities. Today we want to present a small business owner’s guide to POS systems.

Like any technical system, there’s a lot of information and choices out there. To help you navigate the world of POS devices, we’ve provided some basic information along with some industry-specific advice for choosing the right device that best suits your business.

What Is A Point Of Sale (POS) System?

A point of sale (POS) system consists of both purchasing devices and software that allows consumers to complete a transaction. Common devices that are used in POS systems include barcode scanners, credit card readers, tablets, mobile computers, computer monitors, receipt printers, and cash registers. Then when it comes to software, common choices for small businesses include 3s-Pos, Square, eHopper, TouchBistro, Vend, Shopify, and ShopKeep.

Important Note: These systems are not one-fits-all solutions and will need to be set up in a specific way to meet the needs of your business. 

How Do POS Systems Work?

The main function of a POS system is to process payments and manage sales. This sounds pretty straightforward, but there are various ways you can set up your system that ranges in complexity and require different devices. 

Some of the older POS systems use cash registers, swipe card readers, and bare-bones purchasing software. There’s nothing wrong with using an older system, it’ll get the job done, it just won’t be as effective as some of the newer systems on the market.

Many of these newer systems are completely digital, allowing you to process payments from virtually anywhere. Many of these systems utilize tablets, mobile computers, and portable card readers. They also allow you to easily create discounts, manage inventory and track online sales. The more insight you have into sales analytics, the better you’ll be able to serve your customers.

Woman using a POS System. The store can help her because of their guide to POS stystems.

How Do I Choose The Right POS System For My Small Business?

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to dive a little deeper into how to find the right POS system for your specific industry. Each industry comes with its own unique challenges. You’ll need a system that is not only capable of handling those challenges but will also provide you with the right tools to excel in the industry.

The Best POS Software for Retail

To have a successful retail business, you’ll need to choose a POS system that offers the ability to set and manage prices easily, keep track of inventory, collect sales data and build reports. Currently, the best POS system on the market for retail businesses is Vend.

FeatureDescription
User-Friendly InterfaceEasy to navigate and integrates seamlessly with purchasing devices.
Inventory ManagementTracks inventory in real-time and sets reorder points.
Sales Data and ReportingCollects sales data and generates detailed reports.
Cloud SyncSyncs payment data to the cloud for secure access.

This system offers a user-friendly interface that integrates seamlessly with your purchasing devices. All payment data is synced to the cloud allowing secure and easy access from virtually anywhere.

The Best POS Software for Restaurants

If you’ve ever worked in or managed a restaurant, you know that things move fast. The last thing you need to worry about is a slow POS system. Ideally, you’ll want a system that can handle online orders, reservations, order tracking, and bill splitting. Right now, the leading POS system on the market for restaurants is TouchBistro.

FeatureDescription
Order ManagementHandles online orders, reservations, and order tracking.
Bill SplittingEasily split bills and manage payments.
Dining Room ManagementStreamlines management of dining room and kitchen operations.
Guest EngagementEnhances guest engagement and satisfaction.

This system helps to streamline and simplify restaurant operations by providing easy management of the dining room, kitchen, and guest engagement.

Waitress standing at bar counter and using pencil while adding order in restaurant POS system.

The Best POS Software for Service Providers

Whether you’re a massage clinic or a carpenter, you’ll need a way to process payments quickly and effectively. The best all-around POS solution for the service industry is Square.

FeatureDescription
Payment ProcessingAccepts payments in-person, online, and on the go.
Loyalty ProgramsOffers loyalty programs to reward repeat customers.
Marketing ToolsIncludes email and SMS marketing features.
Message HubCentralized hub for customer communications.

This flexible system allows service providers to collect payments in-person, online, and on the go. It also offers special features such as loyalty programs, email and SMS marketing, and a message hub.

The Best POS Software For Online Sales

Some of the most successful small businesses of today operate entirely online. If this is the direction you’re wanting to take your business, you’re going to need a secure payment system that is easy to use on the front end and back end of your website. One of the best and most affordable POS systems for online sales is Shopify. 

FeatureDescription
Online SalesAllows you to sell, ship, and process payments from home.
Product ManagementEasily manage products and inventory.
Sales DataProvides insightful sales data for informed business decisions.
E-commerce PlatformCompatible with various e-commerce platforms for seamless integration.

This system allows you to sell, ship, and process payments from the comfort of your own home. Not only will you be able to easily manage products, but you’ll be provided with insightful sales data to help you make more informed business decisions.

BEST POS SYSTEM FOR WHOLESALE BUSINESSES

Wholesale businesses need POS systems that can handle bulk transactions and extensive inventory management. NetSuite stands out as the best choice for this industry. This cloud-based solution offers advanced inventory management, real-time stock tracking, and automated reordering. It supports complex pricing structures, including volume discounts and customer-specific pricing, making it ideal for handling large transactions efficiently.

FeatureDescription
Advanced Inventory ManagementReal-time stock tracking, multi-location management, and automated reordering.
Order ProcessingHandles bulk transactions efficiently with volume discounts and customer-specific pricing.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)Maintains detailed customer records for personalized service and stronger relationships.
Accounting IntegrationSeamlessly integrates with leading accounting software to streamline financial processes.
ScalabilityGrows with your business, handling increased transaction volumes and additional users.

NetSuite’s integrated CRM helps maintain detailed customer records, enabling personalized service and stronger client relationships. It also seamlessly integrates with leading accounting software, streamlining financial processes. Highly scalable, NetSuite can grow with your business, managing increased transaction volumes and additional users. With NetSuite, your wholesale business will run more efficiently, providing exceptional service to your customers.

BEST POS SYSTEM FOR GROCERY STORES

Grocery stores need POS systems that manage high transaction volumes and extensive inventories efficiently. Toast POS is an excellent choice, offering fast checkout with barcode scanning, real-time inventory management, and seamless integration with payment processing.

FeatureDescription
Fast CheckoutSupports barcode scanning and integrated payment processing.
Inventory ManagementTracks inventory in real-time and automates reordering.
Sales AnalyticsProvides detailed sales data and reporting tools.
Loyalty ProgramsIntegrates with loyalty programs for personalized discounts.

It also provides detailed sales analytics and supports loyalty programs to enhance customer satisfaction and drive repeat business.

Integrating A POS system with your website

Integrating your POS system with your website can streamline your business operations and enhance the overall customer experience. By seamlessly connecting your online storefront with your in-store POS system, you can manage inventory, process orders, and track sales all from one centralized platform.

Benefits of POS Integration:

  1. Unified Inventory Management: Integrating your POS system with your website allows for real-time inventory updates. This means that whether a product is sold in-store or online, your inventory levels are automatically adjusted, reducing the risk of overselling or stockouts.
  2. Efficient Order Processing: With POS integration, online orders can be automatically synced with your POS system, eliminating the need for manual order entry. This streamlines the fulfillment process, reduces errors, and ensures orders are processed quickly and accurately.
  3. Seamless Customer Experience: POS integration enables a seamless omnichannel shopping experience for your customers. They can browse products online, make purchases, and even choose between in-store pickup or shipping options, all while experiencing consistent pricing and inventory information.
  4. Comprehensive Sales Reporting: By consolidating both online and offline sales data into one system, POS integration provides valuable insights into your business performance. You can easily track sales trends, identify top-selling products, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your sales strategies.

How to Integrate Your POS System with Your Website:

  1. Choose a Compatible E-commerce Platform: Ensure that your POS system is compatible with popular e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento. Many POS providers offer integrations or plugins specifically designed for these platforms.
  2. Enable API Access: Most modern POS systems offer APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow for seamless integration with third-party applications, including e-commerce platforms. Enable API access within your POS system and follow the documentation provided to connect it with your website.
  3. Customize Integration Settings: Once your POS system is connected to your website, customize integration settings to suit your business needs. Configure settings such as inventory synchronization frequency, order fulfillment workflows, and payment processing methods.
  4. Test and Troubleshoot: Before fully deploying POS integration, thoroughly test the functionality to ensure everything is working as expected. Test various scenarios, such as placing orders online, updating inventory levels, and processing payments, to identify and address any issues.
  5. Provide Staff Training: Educate your staff on how to use the integrated POS system effectively. Ensure they understand how online orders are processed, how inventory is managed, and how to troubleshoot any potential issues that may arise.

By integrating your POS system with your website, you can streamline operations, enhance customer satisfaction, and position your business for success in an increasingly digital marketplace.

Are our POS Systems Secure?

With the advancement in technology, more and more systems are transitioning to an online environment. With this transition, business owners must take proper measures to protect customer data. A breach in your POS system could end up costing you millions of dollars due to stolen financial information and loss of consumer trust.

The best way to ensure that you’re putting a secure POS system in place is to spend time researching and comparing different POS software packages. All of the software options mentioned above include PCI compliance, meaning that they abide by a set of strict security standards when it comes to processing and storing financial data.

Here Are A Few Quick Tips For Maintaining A Secure POS System:

  • Implement application whitelisting.
  • Keep POS software up-to-date by installing software updates.
  • Perform regular vulnerability testing to identify weaknesses.
  • Closely monitor all activity within your POS software.
  • Use secure passwords and two-factor authentication when possible.
  • Run antivirus software regularly to scan for software breaches.
  • Hire an IT professional who specializes in cybersecurity.

How Do I Service A POS System?

Man Fixing Products We Serve at TSI

Choosing the right POS system is the first step, now you’ll need to maintain that system and keep it running smoothly. All of the best POS software packages will include personalized customer service. Any time you have questions or run into an issue, you should be able to reach out to your service rep for assistance.

When it comes to POS hardware, it’s a little trickier. Oftentimes businesses use devices from different manufacturers. For example, your cash drawers may be from APG while your handheld scanners are from Honeywell. Each manufacturer usually has its own system set in place for getting devices serviced and it’s not always the easiest or most cost-effective route.

At TSI, we streamline the process of getting your POS hardware serviced by accepting all types of devices from various manufacturers. So back to our example, if you needed to get both your cash drawers and barcode scanners serviced, you could purchase one of our service programs and have them worked on in the same location. This will take some extra steps out of the process, saving you valuable time and money.

Guide To POS Systems FAQs

Q: What Is A Pos System?

A: A POS system is a combination of hardware and software that allows consumers to complete transactions. It typically includes devices such as barcode scanners, credit card readers, tablets, computer monitors, receipt printers, and cash registers, as well as software such as Square, eHopper, TouchBistro, Vend, Shopify, and ShopKeep.

Q: How Do POS Systems Work?

A: The main function of a POS system is to process payments and manage sales. Older systems may use cash registers, swipe card readers, and basic purchasing software, while newer systems are completely digital and can be used from virtually anywhere. These systems allow for easy creation of discounts, management of inventory, and tracking of online sales, giving businesses valuable insights into sales analytics.

Q: How Do I Choose The Right POS System For My Business?

A: Different industries have unique challenges and requirements, so businesses should choose a POS system that can handle those challenges and provide the necessary tools to excel in their industry. For example, retail businesses may benefit from Vend, while TouchBistro is ideal for restaurants, and Square is a good choice for service providers. Shopify is a great option for businesses that operate entirely online.

Q: Are POS Systems Secure?

A: As more systems move online, it is important for business owners to take measures to protect customer data. All of the software options mentioned in this guide are PCI compliant, meaning they abide by strict security standards for processing and storing financial data. Business owners can also maintain a secure POS system by implementing application whitelisting, keeping software up-to-date, performing regular vulnerability testing, closely monitoring activity, using secure passwords and two-factor authentication, running antivirus software, and hiring an IT professional who specializes in cybersecurity.

Q: How Do I Service A POS System?

A: The best POS software packages include personalized customer service, so businesses can reach out to their service rep for assistance. When it comes to POS hardware, businesses can streamline the process of getting devices serviced by using a service provider that accepts devices from various manufacturers, such as TSI. This can save time and money by allowing businesses to have all their devices serviced in one location.


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