How to Select the Best Retail POS Systems for Small Business?

best retail pos systems for small business

For retail businesses, POS systems are the backbone of the operation. They power inventory, allow fast transactions, and make customer loyalty programs easier than ever.

But here’s the thing: Choosing a retail POS system isn’t an easy choice to make.

First, there are numerous options available on the market, from basic iPad POS systems with limited inventory, to advanced systems that can power your retails stores and warehouse. Ultimately, for retailers, we put together this guide to help you explore the best retail POS systems for small businesses.

Read our guide to learn what features you need, how to research POS systems, and different ways a retail POS can impact your business.

Why the Right POS System Is Essential for Business Success

Selecting the right POS system is a valuable investment for your business success. A POS system directly impacts operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and profitability of a business.

A well-selected POS system streamlines sales transactions, minimizes errors, and speeds up service, improving overall customer experience. Plus, a POS system provides useful insights through detailed reporting and analytics. This helps in making informed decisions on staffing, inventory management, and marketing strategies.

Additionally, a robust POS system helps grow your business, supports business expansion, and adapts to new sales channels and business models. The most suitable POS system simplifies routine operations and provides a strategic benefit to the business in the competitive market.

What Is a Retail POS System, and Why Do You Need One?

A retail POS system consists of hardware and software which processes sales transactions and manages retail operations. It includes tools for transaction processing, reporting and analytics, inventory management, and integration capabilities.

It is required for efficient transaction processing, inventory control, sales and reporting insights, integrations, employee management, security and compliance, taxes, scalability, flexibility, and improving customer experience. Besides, a POS plays a vital role in improving operational efficiency, providing valuable insights, supporting growth, and improving customer satisfaction.

Stats/Facts About the Growth of Retail Technology

Retail industry is a dynamic industry constantly evolving in response to advanced technologies. Recent stats show that investments in retail technology rose to an impressive $109B in 2021. Retailers can no longer avoid advanced retail technology if they want to stay competitive. They should embrace omnichannel strategies to bridge the gap between in-store and online shopping experiences.

When retailers stay ahead of technological advancements, they can meet the demands of omnichannel customers, who spend 1.7 times more than single-channel shoppers, as per McKinsey & Company.

Top Best Retail POS Systems for Your Small Business

With different types of POS systems for retail available in the market, it can prove challenging for business owners to find the best one. We have made this task easier by listing the best retail POS systems ideal for small businesses along with their pros, cons, and pricing details.

  1. FTx POS

This powerful all-in-one system is designed to help retailers improve their bottom line. It has useful features, functionalities, and integration capabilities, which makes it one of the best Lightspeed POS alternatives.


  • It has integration capabilities with third-party solutions
  • It is intuitive and has easy-to-use interface
  • It has responsive customer service
  • It has comprehensive reporting tools
  • It offers customized modules and features


  • It has a learning curve
  • It has certain limitations for customization
  • Occasional technical issues
  • Pricing: $99 per POS/Month

Square is a popular POS option among small retailers owing to its affordability, ease of use, and comprehensive features. It suits all businesses like retailers, restaurants, beauty and wellness operations, and service-based industries.


  • It has a forever FREE plan
  • It has competitive flat-rate payment processing
  • It has advanced, and the add-on intends to support business growth
  • It offers restaurant, retail business, beauty, and service industry-specific POS systems


  • It is restricted to Square payments only
  • It has add-ons only, no loyalty programs offered in any of its plan
  • It lacks significant e-commerce integrations, including Shopify
  • Pricing: FREE (Transaction fees 1.75% per transaction)

It is a well-known point-of-sale (POS) system ideal for all businesses. It also has an industry-specific system for retailers – Lightspeed for Retail or Lightspeed R Series.


  • It offers industry-specific POS system for retail business
  • It offers 24/7 customer support
  • It offers granular, matrix inventory management tools
  • It offers choice of in-house or several third-party payment solutions


  • It is expensive as it has high monthly software fees
  • It has limited mobile app options
  • It has a UI learning curve
  • It has monthly fees for using a third-party merchant account
  • Pricing: $89/month

Factors to Consider for Selecting the Best Point-of-Sale System (POS)

The following are some essential factors to consider when buying the best POS systems for retail:

  1. Software

The best retail POS software integrates with business tools like CRM, accounting, and e-commerce platforms. Ensure it is scalable and intuitive, adapting to your business needs and growth. It should offer reliable support and regular updates.

  1. Hardware Compatibility

The POS system should be compatible with preferred devices like traditional terminals, mobile phones, or tablets. It should also support essential peripherals like barcode scanners and receipt printers and should be compatible with different operating systems. Also, consider the ease of integrating or upgrading hardware as your business evolves.

  1. Cost

Cost plays an essential role in selecting a POS system. It is not true that the cheapest POS system would be best for your business. Consider essential factors before investing in a point-of-sale system.

Remember that a high-quality, dynamic, and advanced POS system will provide long-term benefits to your business. It will also save time, money, and energy. Opt for a POS system that best fits your business needs, even if its cost is a bit high.

  1. Advanced Features

The POS system should have advanced features like employee management, which tracks employee hours and performance. Besides, it should also offer other key features like E-commerce integration, mobile, and remote access.

  1. Inventory Size

The POS system should be able to handle inventory size and complexity of your business, whether you manage a small store or a large retail chain. It should also offer real-time tracking, automatic reordering, and robust reporting for large or diverse product catalogs. Specialized inventory management features are essential for businesses with perishable goods or serialized items.

  1. Ease of Use

Your point-of-sale system should be user-friendly, create a smooth experience when accepting orders and making changes. Ensure that it can adapt or adjust itself to create a customized ordering process for hassle-free operations. It should also reduce the number of clicks you need to make without switching between tabs to accept a customer’s order.

  1. Security

A robust POS system ensures data protection through encryption compliance with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). It should also offer security features like user access control to prevent unauthorized transaction access. Safeguarding sensitive customers and transaction data against fraud and breach gives peace of mind for both the business and customers.

  1. Payment Integrations

Choose a POS system that offers leading payment integrations like UPI, debit/credit cards, and other digital payment methods. This allows customers to select their preferred payment method for making purchases. This improves the shopping experience and builds customer loyalty. It should also increase sales and create happy customers.

  1. Customer Support

The POS system should offer round-the-clock customer support. This feature provides numerous benefits to the business like increased uptime, efficiency, productivity, resolving issues quickly, and peace of mind. All this contributes to the growth and success of a retail business in the long run.

Wrap Up

Selecting the best pos systems for retail is essential for seamless operations and business growth. When buying a POS system, consider factors like ease of use, integration capabilities, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Ensure the POS offers robust reporting and inventory management features customized per your industry needs. By evaluating these factors, you can invest in the best point-of-sale system that improves overall efficiency and customer experience and supports long-term success for your business.

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