Best POS System for Small Business

Point of sale (POS) systems have become essential for small businesses of all sizes. POS systems allow businesses to accept payments, track inventory, and manage their customers. There are many different POS systems on the market, so it can be difficult to know which one is right for your business. 

In this article, we will discuss the factors to consider like type of the business, the size, budget, and the features desired when choosing a POS system, and we will recommend some of the best POS systems for small businesses.

Best POS System for Small Business

8 Best Point of Sale System 

1. Clover

Clover is a comprehensive point-of-sale (POS) system developed by Clover Network Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corporation. It offers a wide range of plans and pricing options to fit any budget, with the monthly fee waived for the first 30 days. However, its hardware costs can be high. Clover is easy to use and has a host of features that can help businesses of all sizes manage their transactions more effectively.

One of the biggest benefits of Clover is its integration. The Clover App Market offers hundreds of software apps that can manage various aspects of a business, and these apps integrate seamlessly with Clover devices. Clover POS also has inventory management features, employee management features, reporting and analytics, and training and support for users looking for guidance.

Clover is a good POS system for businesses of all sizes, with its wide range of features and integrations making it a versatile solution that can be tailored to fit the needs of any business. However, pricing can vary when choosing a Clover partner to order through, and the hardware can be expensive.


Clover POS is a cloud-based system that includes both hardware and software components. It has inventory management features that enable businesses to track stock levels, monitor expiration dates for perishable goods, and automate repetitive inventory-related tasks. Additionally, Clover POS offers employee management features to streamline workforce operations and enhance efficiency. With its reporting and analytics capabilities, businesses can gain more insights into their profitability. Clover also provides training and support for users who need guidance.


  • The monthly fee is waived for the first 30 days.
  • Extend the functionality of your POS with integrations from the Clover App Market.
  • A wide range of hardware is available.
  • Attractive pricing on its monthly plans.


  • Pricing can vary when choosing a Clover partner to order through.
  • Hardware is expensive.

2. Shopify

Shopify POS is an excellent choice for retailers who either already have a Shopify e-commerce store or are looking to sell both online and in person. To use Shopify POS, you first need to sign up for a Shopify e-commerce account, and then you can choose between the included free POS or premium POS features at an additional cost.

Shopify is primarily known for its robust e-commerce platform and integrations for selling on social media channels. Its POS system offers a customizable checkout interface, flexible payment options, and offline selling capabilities. Shopify also tops our list of the best e-commerce

We recommend Shopify If:

  • Connecting with a Shopify online store
  • Have multi-channel POS
  • Selling on social media, Shopify has the best integrations 

When not to use Shopify and get an alternative:

  • If you do not need an online store.
  • Restaurants or cafes should use a specific POS like Toast.
  • C-stores and liquor stores would benefit from a POS with age-restriction sales tools.
  • Food and beverage retailers could benefit from ingredient-centered inventory tracking.
  • If you need a free POS: Consider Square.


  • Smart omnichannel and inventory tools
  • Social media selling
  • Easy to use; intuitive interface
  • Best-in-class e-commerce platform


  • Offline mode can be glitchy
  • Free POS has limited features
  • Pricey; POS requires e-commerce subscription
  • Not compatible with high-risk businesses

3. Square

Square, founded in 2009, offers versatile POS systems and devices that are popular among small businesses, including retail shops and diners. With its various pricing options, Square is the best overall POS system for small businesses.

Square offers three plans, all with integrated payments. The Free Plan and the Professional Plan, which costs $12 a month for extra features, both charge credit card processing fees of 2.9% plus $0.30 for online transactions. The Performance Plan costs $26 a month for even more features and charges the same processing fee. The Premium Plan costs $72 a month and offers lower processing fees of 2.6% + $0.30.

Most small businesses will want to purchase a Square register for $799, but Square also offers mobile readers and iPad stands for a customized setup. All three plans come with standard features such as barcode scanning, invoice and electronic gift card options, Instagram selling capabilities, low and out-of-stock inventory tracking, sales reports, time tracking, and timecard reporting.

Square also offers integrations with small business software such as WooCommerce, QuickBooks Online, Xero, TaxJar, and SumAll. You can add extra services like loyalty programs, email marketing, and payroll programs to get more from your services. If you need help with your Square POS system, you can contact Square support via phone or email or get answers from the seller community or support articles.


  • Robust free option for online sales.
  • Easily track inventory.
  • Integrated payment system.


  • Expensive processing fees for businesses with high volumes.
  • Free option lacks advanced features.
  • Extra fee for a loyalty program.

4. Helcim

Helcim is a merchant services provider that offers an all-inclusive platform with transparent and competitive pricing. While it may not be the most affordable option for businesses with low sales volumes, it is an excellent choice for most other small-business owners.

As a full-service merchant services provider, Helcim offers a range of features and capabilities. These include merchant accounts for accepting credit and debit card payments from customers, a mobile app for iOS or Android for accepting payments on the go, virtual terminals for accepting credit card transactions over the phone or in other ways, and payment gateways.

Helcim’s payment gateway options include hosted payment pages, which allow you to accept payments, register customers, add QR codes, save credit cards, and subscribe users to recurring payment plans on your business’s website. The payment gateway API can also integrate with a shopping cart, billing system, or compatible third-party software.


  • Pricing is transparent.
  • Offers an all-inclusive platform.


  • Potentially expensive for low-volume businesses.

5. Toast POS

Toast is a cloud-based POS system designed specifically for the restaurant industry. With a free starter POS and pay-as-you-go hardware options, small restaurants can start using Toast with no upfront cost and expand their POS footprint as their businesses grow.

Toast is also a great choice for enterprise-level restaurants, with its integrated online ordering, delivery management, marketing, and employee management tools. This is why we recommend Toast for both new and growing restaurants, and it is our top choice for restaurant POS systems, pizzeria POS, delivery POS, and bar POS systems.

Toast is an excellent restaurant POS that can improve the operations of virtually any restaurant. Its industry-grade hardware can withstand high-traffic environments, and its multiple subscription tiers make it a good fit for restaurants of all sizes. However, Toast users are locked into Toast Payments, so if you already have a preferred payment processor or if you prefer an iPad POS system, you may want to consider other options such as Lightspeed Restaurant or TouchBistro. Additionally, Toast typically requires a two-year contract, so if you prefer a shorter-term commitment, Square for Restaurants may be a better choice.

  • Toast offers workforce management, digital ordering, delivery management, reporting, loyalty, and marketing features to help restaurants streamline their operations and grow their businesses.


  • Free starter POS.
  • Pay-as-you-go plans.
  • Robust workforce management.
  • Automated tip pool management.
  • Flexible online ordering and delivery tools.


  • Locked into Toast for payment processing.
  • Two-year contract.
  • Operates on proprietary hardware.
  • Many features are only available in pricier plans.

6. TouchBistro

TouchBistro is a POS system designed specifically for restaurants, with a wide range of add-on features. As a hybrid system, it saves data both locally on your iPad app and in the cloud, allowing you to complete most POS functions across multiple devices even during an internet outage. When your system is running online, it syncs data in real time and can be accessed from anywhere.

TouchBistro’s core features include table management, which allows you to lay out your restaurant floor plan, assign staff to sections, and view availability in your dining room with ease. Tableside ordering allows servers to browse the menu, enter items and modifiers, and send the entire ticket to the kitchen when the order is complete. The menu management feature lets you build and adjust your menu directly through the POS system, with detailed descriptions of items to help servers answer questions and create special orders.

TouchBistro also offers staff management features, including a clock-in/clock-out function for tracking employee hours, the ability to assign staff members their own accounts and adjust their permissions based on their roles, and payroll details for calculating wages. The inventory management feature keeps track of the quantity and cost of ingredients used in your recipes, helping you determine menu item profit margins and make decisions about whether to keep or remove items. Stock-level reports help you determine when to order.

TouchBistro also provides over 50 reports with valuable insights into your restaurant’s performance, customer behavior, and spending patterns.


  • Tailored for the restaurant industry.
  • Helpful features such as menu cloning, time tracking, and inventory management.
  • Customizable add-ons.
  • Offline mode.
  • Customer support is available 24/7 at no additional cost.


  • No free or pay-as-you-go options.
  • No transparency on hardware or payment processing costs; quote only.
  • Automatic contract renewal with a short cancellation window.

7. Lightspeed

Lightspeed Retail is the best POS system for businesses with large or complex inventories, including specialty shops that need to manage custom orders. The software allows retailers to create product bundles, categorize items with multiple variants, and manage purchase orders with a built-in catalog. Lightspeed also features one of the most sophisticated analytics platforms for small businesses.

In addition to its retail POS system, Lightspeed also offers a restaurant POS with robust, automated inventory management, including ingredient-level tracking and the ability to place “1-click” vendor orders directly from the Lightspeed dashboard.

Lightspeed is our top recommendation for POS inventory systems, bike shop POS, cafes and coffee shop POS, and iPad restaurant POS systems.


  • 14-day free trial
  • Detailed analytics tools
  • Robust, integrated e-commerce platform
  • 24/7 customer support and onboarding
  • Granular matrix inventory management


  • The user interface can take time to learn
  • Pricey
  • Shipping integrations are limited

8. Aloha Cloud

loha Cloud is a cloud-based POS system designed to help restaurants manage their front and back-of-house operations, retain and grow their customer base, and gain actionable insights into their business. It offers a free Starter plan with higher processing rates of 2.99% plus $0.15 per transaction, while its Premium plan starts at $175 per month and comes with a lower payment processing rate of 2.25% plus $0.15 per transaction.

Aloha Cloud is a good choice for restaurants that want next-business-day access to their funds, as it offers next-day funding. This can help restaurants maintain healthy cash flow. Aloha Cloud can also help restaurants streamline their operations by automating tasks such as inventory management and scheduling, freeing up time for other aspects of the business.

Aloha Cloud can also help restaurants grow their customer base by providing insights into customer behavior, which can be used to target marketing efforts and improve customer service. Overall, Aloha Cloud is a great option for restaurants looking to streamline their operations, grow their customer base, and get next-day access to their funds.


  • Free forever plan
  • Email marketing and loyalty included in both plans
  • Access to funds the next business day
  • 24/7/365 customer support
  • Personalized onboarding


  • Payment processing rates are high for its free plan
  • Inventory costs extra
  • Pricey paid plan

How do I choose a POS system?

Choosing a POS system for your small business can be a big decision, with many options available on the market. To find the right POS software for your business, you should consider a few key factors.

  • First, decide on the features you need. This will depend largely on the type of business you have and may include things like table and menu management, inventory tracking, or appointment scheduling.
  • Next, weigh the functionality of the system against its upfront and ongoing costs. Consider the monthly service fees, hardware costs, payment processing fees, and contract terms. Try free demos or watch videos of the software in action to get an idea of how easy it is to use and whether it would work well for your specific business.
  • Finally, narrow down your options by considering factors such as customer service, compatibility with existing hardware, ease of setup, and speed. These details may not be the biggest deciding factors, but they can help you make a final decision on which POS system is the best fit for your business.

How much does a POS system cost?

These days, many POS systems are cloud-based software with monthly subscription fees that vary widely. Some basic plans are free or start at $10 per month; other basic plans start at $99 per month. In some cases, setup fees apply. However, to use that system, you might also need to pay for:

  • Hardware. Some POS systems offer a basic card reader for free, and you may be able to operate it using a phone, tablet, or desktop computer you already have. In other cases, you might need proprietary hardware that can cost hundreds. Some POS systems charge monthly fees to use rented terminals.
  • Payment processing fees. Usually, a payment processor comes included with a POS system. Every time you accept a debit or credit card transaction, you’ll have to pay a transaction fee, usually around 2.5% to 3% of the transaction, plus 10 to 30 cents. Pricing can vary widely. Some processors use flat fees, so you pay the same rate for all in-person transactions, for instance. Others use interchange-plus fees, which means fees can vary depending on factors such as your industry and the type of card your client is using.
  • More expensive plans or add-ons. If you want multiple registers or locations or exceed a certain amount in revenue each month, a basic plan might not cut it. Certain features, such as inventory management features or loyalty program tools, might also be add-ons that cost extra.

What should a good POS system do?

A good POS system should come with features that help you run your business. These can vary widely by industry. Some examples of things you might want to look for:

  • Inventory management. Keep track of how many items you have on hand and when you need to reorder.
  • Table or menu management. View the status of tables in your restaurant, see how long it takes to turn tables, update menus and track when you run out of certain items.
  • Multi-Location management. Track inventory, menus, or services in multiple areas, set different prices and tax rules for each location, and run reports to see how each location is performing.
  • Loyalty program. Engage your customers with a point- or discount-earning system that gives them a reason to keep coming back; be able to send custom discounts — for example, a discount for a customer’s birthday.

Aside from useful features, other things to consider include:

  • Transparent pricing. You can expect to pay a monthly fee, along with payment processing fees and hardware fees. Generally, you want to avoid early termination fees or long contracts that are hard to cancel without penalty. If payment processing comes bundled with your POS, make sure you understand the pricing first and can avoid pesky fees such as PCI compliance fees and high chargeback fees.
  • Intuitive user flows. You want a system that’s easy to use and understand.
  • Robust customer support. While some answers might be easy to find online, it’s nice to be able to talk to someone who can help you troubleshoot when you need it.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *