The best retail POS systems
A good Point of Sale (POS) system is a key tool for any shop. But which is best for you? Compare top providers with us.
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Like any industry, retail operates in a very particular way. So a retailer needs a POS system to manage particular tasks.
It may handle sales tracking, stock management and staff rota organisation. It may need to scan barcodes and print receipts. And, of course, it needs to be able to process cash, card and mobile payments.
The right Point of Sale system for your shop will be flexible and cost-effective. It will also boost your business’ efficiency and productivity. But which one is it?
5 best retail POS systems
Given how many Point of Sale systems there are, how do you find the right one? It can be bewildering. To help you, we’ve identified our top four retail POS systems. We believe these offer good value for money.
|POS system||Best for||Price|
|EPOS Now||Scalability||£1,438.80, or £47 per month|
|Revel||Customisation||Prices available on request|
|Vend||Remote access||From £49 per month|
|First Data||Intuitivity||Prices available on request|
|Worldpay||Reputation||Prices available on request|
Processing over £2bn in transactions every year, Epos Now is the largest EPOS provider in the UK. It comes highly recommended by its customers and retail industry gurus. Government advisor Mary Portas, for example, once dubbed it “the best system in the country”.
Epos Now’s retail POS system can be simply upgraded from a single system to a multi-site solution. There are no hidden costs either. That makes this a good POS system for businesses to start with if they aim to scale.
What can Epos Now’s retail system do?
Epos Now’s retail POS software offers a variety of handy features, including:
- Customisable dashboards: View real-time reporting on product, sales and employee information, and keep an eye on KPIs
- Stock control: Perform rapid stock takes, set up minimum and maximum stock alerts, enable automatic compilation of purchase orders, view stock across your locations
- Accounting: Enable the automatic running of quarterly and end of year tax and VAT returns, and the calculation of profit, loss, operating margin, and staff gross pay
- CRM integration: Keep track of your customers' details and send them marketing communications
How much does Epos Now’s retail system cost?
Epos Now offers retail system bundles, which aim to provide both the software and the hardware you might need to get started – depending on whether you already have the hardware you need.
Unusually, Epos Now also gives you the option to pay for these bundles upfront, eliminating the need for monthly recurring costs.
What you get:
- A receipt printer
- A cash drawer
- Epos Now retail software
- Installation, configuration and training
- A 12-month warranty
Who is Epos Now best for?
Epos Now is best for new businesses on a tight budget. It's quick to get the hang of and has a manageable cost. That makes it ideal if you want an intuitive system to get up and running with.
Rather than traditional computer-style terminals, Revel Systems specialises in iPad POS. It offers a dazzling variety of features designed for particular businesses. Examples include ticket tracking for cinemas to topping customisation for pizzerias.
With this, Revel Systems gives a pre-configured package of software and hardware. This includes an iPad and stand, a card payment machine and a cash drawer. There's also a receipt printer and, of course, the POS software.
What can a POS system from Revel Systems do?
Revel Systems's POS software offers many handy features, including:
- ‘Always On’ mode: Keep processing card transactions offline when your internet connection drops or slows down
- Built-in CRM: Access your customers’ details and purchase histories to better understand their preferences, and attract them back with targeted marketing
- The Insights management app: Take a look at operational information – including real-time sales data and your staff’s attendance – on-the-go from your phone
- Stock management: Keep account of all of your stock across multiple locations
How much does a POS system from Revel Systems cost?
This POS system is modular. You can choose which elements of the software suit you best and only pay for these. That means you don’t have to pay over the odds for features you don’t really need.
For this reason, Revel Systems doesn’t offer one-size-fits all pricing. It asks that potential customers get in touch to discuss their specific needs.
Who is Revel Systems best for?
Revel Systems has a few more bells and whistles than your standard POS system. It's great for businesses looking for a more elaborate POS system that can combine CRM and payment processing.
Over 20,000 retailers using Vend’s retail POS – including Disney and Sennheiser. So it’s safe to say it’s one of the most popular systems out there.
Vend’s cloud-based system can be accessed from any internet-connected device. That means you can use it from your tablet or phone while away from the shop.
What can Vend’s retail system do?
Vend’s software’s many features include:
- Ecommerce integration: Use integration with platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce to seamlessly launch a corresponding online store
- Flexible payments: Accept gift cards, split payments, partial payments, mobile payments and contactless payments
- Inventory management: Sync products across all your channels into a catalogue, perform multiple inventory counts at once, set up automatic stock orders and more
- Customer management: Manage a database of all your customers’ profiles, view their purchase history, and set up your own custom loyalty programme
How much does Vend’s retail system cost?
Vend charges flexible monthly costs for its software, with no obligation to join a long-term contract.
Unlike other retail POS systems, this cost doesn’t include any hardware. However, you can buy the hardware separately from Vend.
Alternatively, Vend says its software is flexible enough to work well with a range of hardware types and brands – including iPads, Macs and PCs – meaning you might save yourself some money if you’ve already got the bits you need, but have been using them with different software.
Who is Vend best for?
Vend is best for businesses who already have POS hardware in place and are simply need the software to plug into pre-existing kit. Also, the as it's a cloud based system, you can keep an eye on your business finances from any internet-connected device, even when you're out of office.
A leading merchant services provider, First Data offers a modern and intuitive EPOS system – including both hardware and software – that’s been specially designed for retail businesses. It’s known as the Clover Station.
First Data also offers the Clover Mini, a more compact terminal, and the Clover Flex, a mobile card machine. These can serve as valuable add-ons to the Clover Station.
What can Clover do?
Clover station's features include:
- Sales data reporting: Use insights about your customers and what they buy from you to intelligently promote your products
- Built-in security: Help keep your information and your customers’ details safe with Clover Station’s built-in fraud protection and multi-layered security
- Loyalty programme management: Set up physical and digital loyalty and rewards programmes to attract and keep customers
- Customisable business management: While things like inventory and employee management are built in, you can also integrate specialised apps from the Clover App Market for additional functionalities
How much does Clover Station cost?
Clover Station is a comprehensive package, including a touch screen terminal, a cash drawer, a receipt printer and First Data’s retail EPOS software.
However, First Data does not advertise prices for its Clover systems, instead requesting that potential customers get in touch to discuss their individual needs.
Who is First Data Clover station best for?
This system is best for retail businesses looking for both the hardware and software necessary to make those sales as speedy as possible.
A reputable brand that’s a core part of day-to-day operations for over 300,000 businesses, the Worldpay Hub is as practical as it is stylish, well adapted to cater for a variety of retail business needs.
Plus, the integrated dashboard means that it’s easy to keep an eye on your financial comings and goings. And, as it’s a cloud-based dashboard, you can take a look at your accounts from an internet-connected device, whenever and wherever you like
What can the Worldpay Hub do?
Worldpay offer several features:
- Real-time sales data reporting: Use insights about your customers and what they buy from you to intelligently promote your products
- Built-in security: Help keep your information and your customers’ details safe with Worldpay Hub’s built-in fraud protection and multi-layered security
- Built in inventory and employee management: allows you to manage your staff and your stock with ease
- Barcode scanner: makes sales quick and efficient
How much does the Worldpay hub cost?
Worldpay does not advertise prices for the hub, instead quotes are issued on a case-by-case basis.
Who is the Worldpay Hub station best for?
This system is best for retail businesses looking for both the hardware and software necessary to make those sales as speedy as possible.
Best retail EPOS systems: the FAQs
What does POS mean?
POS means Point of Sale and refers to the place in a shop where the product is purchased (ie: the checkout). POS systems can do more than make sales, they can keep stock, manage staff and book keep too!
What is a POS payment?
Point of Sale payments refer to the transaction that occurs between customer and POS system when a sale is made. The benefit of this is that payments are logged, stock re-counted and a receipt can be printed for the customer's records.
How does POS work?
A POS system will work via a card machine that processes debit or credit payments or mobile wallets transactions. Usually linked with the system's stock level counts, a POS will automatically update product lists in-line with sales made.
What POS hardware add-ons might you need?
As explored above, some retail POS providers will sell systems that come with a lot of the hardware you’ll need, while others will simply sell the software and require you to buy hardware separately.
To shed light on the hardware you might need, we’ve listed the key hardware components of a retail EPOS system:
- Payment terminal – This is the ‘computer’ from which the POS system is run – in short, the central hub that connects all elements of the system together. This can be a computer-style monitor, or in some cases an iPad. Most terminals have intuitive touch screens for easy use.
- Card reader – The modern customer has expectations about how they can pay, so you’ll need to be able to accept all major credit and debit payments, contactless, and potentially mobile payments using a card machine. Some POS packages come with chip and pin devices.
- Barcode reader or scanner – Either handheld or multi-line, barcode scanners are essential for quickly scanning your products. You’ll want to make sure yours comes with a cradle where it can be safely placed while not in use.
- Customer displays – This is a customer-facing screen on which the customer can view the details of the transaction that’s happening – primarily the cost.Cash drawerCard payments are very popular, but it’s likely you’ll still get the odd customer who’s keen to pay in cash – especially if your prices are fairly low – so you will need a secure cash drawer in which to keep cash.
- Scale – If you price your products based on their weight – for example, fruit or fudge – you’ll need a scale electronically integrates with your EPOS system.
- Receipt printer – In order to save money and waste, you can give your customers the option of an email receipt – but many will still prefer a paper one. Most retail EPOS systems use thermal printers because they can print fast and cope with high volume.
- iPad or Android tablet – If you opt for an iPad POS system, you’ll need a tablet to run it from.
What are the benefits of a retail POS system?
An EPOS system that’s been designed specifically for retail can bring your business a plethora of benefits, and should help you to grow and be more productive.A retail POS will also come with some specific benefits, which may be different to those that you would find with a hospitality POS system, for example.
- Increased revenue. A POS system makes accepting payments of all kinds easy, meaning you don’t miss out on any sales.
- Fewer mistakes. In a high-pressure environment like retail, mistakes can be made. POS systems automate processes to reduce human error, and highlight anything that seems like an error.
- Efficient management. Retail POS systems often come with a range of management functionalities such as inventory management, sales reporting and analysis, real-time data presentation, and accounting capabilities for the efficient running of your business.
- Improved speed. POS systems process payments more quickly than traditional cash registers, and can also save time on things like stock takes, accounting and compiling orders.
- Reliable maintenance. Traditional cash registers are outdated and prove costly when it comes to repairs and maintenance. By contrast, POS system packages often include specialist maintenance and support.
Visit our comprehensive guide to POS systems for small businesses to learn more about what they might do for your business.
How should you choose the best retail POS system for you?
When browsing different POS systems, you can narrow down your options by asking yourself two main questions:
Would you prefer the convenience of an all-in-one package complete with software and hardware, or would you rather mix and match your own components?
Would it be better for you to pay for your system outright, or pay in bitesize monthly instalments?
Of course, the best POS system for one retail business won’t necessarily be the best for another. Your size, the nature of your product ranges and your customer base are all factors that’ll influence what you’ll need from a POS system.
Our advice? Make sure your Point of Sale system is intuitive to use and easy to scale. Strong customer support is also essential.
Compare retail POS systems
The information on this page should help you to understand what to expect from some of the UK’s top POS providers. For the best idea of what might suit you, though, it’s a good idea to speak directly to suppliers.
We can help you with this – simply fill in our quick and easy form. We’ll put you in touch with up to four top UK EPOS suppliers who can provide bespoke quotes for you. This process is free, quick and easy, and could save your business time and money. Good luck!