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.

About us

Startups was founded over 20 years ago by a multi-time entrepreneur. Today, our expert team of writers, researchers, and editors work to provide our 4 million readers with useful tips and information, as well as running award-winning campaigns. Our site is governed by the Startups editorial manifesto. This article was co-authored by:

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 systemBest forPrice
EPOS NowScalability£1,438.80, or £47 per month
RevelCustomisationPrices available on request
VendRemote accessFrom £49 per month
First DataIntuitivityPrices available on request
WorldpayReputationPrices available on request

EPOS Now

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.

Pros

  • The software can be learnt in 15 minutes
  • Important hardware is included
  • Packages can be paid for with a single fee
  • A 30-day free trial is available

Cons

  • Advanced 24/7 support costs extra

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.


Revel Systems

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.

Pros

  • A free live demo is available
  • You can pick and choose features
  • Specialises in more modern iPad POS
  • Has a broad variety of functionalities
  • A hardware bundle is available

Cons

  • The pricing is unclear
  • No free trial is available

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.


Vend

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.

Pros

  • A 30-day free trial is available
  • Pricing is transparent with no hidden fees
  • A custom package can be tailored to your needs
  • The support team is accessible 24/7
  • The system is scalable
  • The software works with iPad, Mac and PC

Cons

  • Hardware isn’t included in Vend’s packages
  • Installation and set up costs extra

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.


First Data

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.

Pros

  • Robust security and fraud prevention
  • Up to £150 cash back is available on switching
  • Important hardware is included
  • Has a comprehensive online help centre
  • Regular free software updates are provided

Cons

  • No free trial is available
  • Pricing is only available on request

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.


Worldpay

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

Pros

  • Robust security and fraud prevention
  • Clear visibility on takings
  • Clean, simple hardware
  • Looks professional and minimalist
  • A very popular system amongst businesses. Customers will recognise and trust the brand

Cons

  • No free trial is available
  • Pricing is only available on request

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.


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!


Julia Watts

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top