8.5
Editor’s Rating:
Best Overall
Square: Item Management
Square
  • Payment processing and POS
  • Works in-store and online
  • Transparent pricing
8.4
Editor’s Rating:
Most Affordable
eHopper: PO Receiving
eHopper
  • Free credit card processing for the business
  • QuickBooks Integration
  • Strong inventory management
8.0
Editor’s Rating:
Best for Restaurants
Toast POS: Toast Dashboard
Toast POS
  • Supports EMV and mobile payment options
  • Includes integrated email marketing and customizable loyalty programs

Small business POS systems help streamline payment processing, inventory management, and eCommerce for retailers and restaurants alike. We used our advanced review methodology to select the top options for all different types of small companies.

1 Square - Best Overall

Why We Chose It: Square stands out as the best overall POS system for small businesses because of its flexibility across industries and hardware. It offers cordless terminals, wireless card readers, and standard physical terminals to accommodate all business needs. It integrates with both online and in-store systems, supporting eCommerce for retailers with a presence across platforms.

We like that Square can support a wide range of small businesses, from restaurants to almost any retailer. For restaurants, it features staff management with payroll and shift scheduling tools. Furthermore, small hospitality businesses can set up a loyalty program to promote regular customers. Its inventory management system is good for retailers, allowing owners to track all their products with SKUs and barcodes.

Square offers a free version for restaurants and retailers and a subscription Plus plan starting at $29/month. However, it charges processing fees of 2.6% plus 10 cents per transaction for in-person sales and 2.9% plus 30 cents for online.

Best Overall:
Square

Square: Item Management
Square: Loyalty Program
Square: Gift Card Management
What We Like
Payment processing and POS
Works in-store and online
Transparent pricing
Overview
Client OS: Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

2 eHopper - Most Affordable

Why We Chose It: eHopper is a good option for small businesses of all types because of its affordability. It offers a free processing program through a credit surcharge or cash discount program, which can benefit small retailers with tight budgets. However, the free POS plan is only available if businesses sign up for the eHopper credit card and is limited to US merchants only.

We like that eHopper can be used on all types of devices, from Windows to Android, as well as on desktop and mobile devices. Small retailers will appreciate its inventory, order, and customer management modules, which let owners track and store stock levels and client data all in one system.

Most Affordable:
eHopper

eHopper: PO Receiving
eHopper: Reporting
eHopper: Payments
eHopper: Inventory
What We Like
Free credit card processing for the business
QuickBooks Integration
Strong inventory management
What We Don’t Like
Better in a retail environment vs a restaurant
Limited customization
Tedious split payment process
Overview
Price Range: $$
Starting Price: $10/license/month
Client OS: Android, Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

3 Toast POS - Best for Restaurants

Why We Chose It: We like Toast POS best for small, single-location restaurants because of its features tailored to the food service industry. Specifically, its online ordering and delivery system helps new restaurants gain a broad reach by letting customers order through their website or on the phone.

We also like Toast POS’s menu management feature, which lets owners update their menus through the mobile app, updating all terminals. Its handheld waterproof tableside device also allows easy tableside payments, ideal for small restaurants looking to speed up service.

Toast POS offers a free starter kit with a POS system and one terminal. This plan works well for new startup restaurants that only require the basics. Unfortunately, the online ordering and third-party delivery integrations are add-ons that require a separate fee.

Best for Restaurants:
Toast POS

Toast POS: Toast Dashboard
Toast POS: Toast Staff Management
What We Like
Supports EMV and mobile payment options
Includes integrated email marketing and customizable loyalty programs
What We Don’t Like
Requires a commitment to a long-term contract
Primarily designed for Android-based devices
Overview
Price Range: $$
Starting Price: $79/user/month
Deployment: On-Premises

4 Clover POS - Best Hardware Options

Why We Chose It: We found Clover POS has one of the best hardware and software selections on the market. It includes over six different POS systems, including their Go handheld card reader, which is ideal for businesses that don’t require a full register.

We also like Clover’s employee management features, including its time clock app, where staff can clock in and out. This benefits small businesses, as owners don’t need separate systems for their POS and timekeeping, so all hours and overtime are easily logged in one platform. However, we don’t like that Clover does not offer a free plan like other leading POS systems.

Best Hardware Options:
Clover POS

Clover POS: Dashboard
Clover POS: Home Screen
Clover POS: Register
What We Like
Add-ons available through Clover App Market
Accepts EMV chip cards, magnetic swipe cards, NFC payments
Syncs directly with accounting software like QuickBooks
What We Don’t Like
Monthly subscription rate details require a developer quote
Does not have a free version
Overview
Price Range: $
Client OS: iOS, Android, Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

5 Shopify - Best eCommerce Capabilities

Why We Chose It: We like Shopify because it integrates in-person and online sales. Features like automatic inventory syncing, order management, and digital gift cards optimize omnichannel back-office tasks for small businesses. Also, it supports many popular online payment methods like Apple and Google Pay to give customers a range of options.

We also like that Shopify easily connects with QuickBooks for an integrated POS and accounting solution. Unfortunately, there is no real-time syncing between them, so users must manually sync to see real-time updates. Its most popular Basic omnichannel plan is $39/month with 2.9% plus 30 cent transaction fee.

Best eCommerce Capabilities:
Shopify POS

Shopify POS: Product Report
What We Like
Integrates with Shopify eCommerce platform
Easy setup and intuitive UI
Extensive app ecosystem
Overview
Price Range: $$
Starting Price: $29/month
Client OS: iOS, Android

6 Lightspeed - Best Inventory Management Features

Why We Chose It: We put Lightspeed POS on our list because of its strong inventory management tools. Its built-in purchase orders and inventory counting tools allow businesses to keep stock levels where they want. Businesses can even make product variants to identify and label complex inventory items.

Additionally, we like Lightspeed’s open API, which enables owners to integrate additional tools like BI, CRM, and marketing as the business grows. This allows retailers to create custom integrations to optimize workflows. However, Lightspeed can be pricey for startup businesses. Their lowest Lean plan is $69/month and does not include eCommerce or accounting modules.

Best Inventory Management Features:
Lightspeed POS

Lightspeed POS: Back Office
Lightspeed POS: App
What We Like
Clean design
Frequent updates
Offers their own payment processor
What We Don’t Like
Basic reporting
Difficult to use outside payment gateways
Expensive upgrades
Overview
Price Range: $$
Starting Price: $69/month
Client OS: Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted
Visit Website

7 Korona POS - Best for Hardware Stores

Why We Chose It: Korona POS is an effective system for hardware stores because of its strong tracking tools. Specifically, its shipment tracking feature effectively lets stores know exactly when product deliveries will arrive. Also, its bulk B2B shipping capabilities work well for hardware stores to optimize large and complex orders.

Additionally, we like its CRM module, which helps businesses keep engaged with customers and clients through email and texts, fostering better relationships. The system also consolidates customer information into one database for easy access. One downside of Korona POS is that the CRM module is only available in its Retail package at $69/month.

Best for Hardware Stores:
KORONA POS

KORONA POS: Inventory Dashboard
KORONA POS: No Sale Tender
KORONA POS: POS Screen
KORONA POS: Edit Product
KORONA POS: Dashboard
What We Like
Multiple users have praised customer support
Supports multiple locations
What We Don’t Like
Lacks ID scanning
QuickBooks integration may not always work
Overview
Price Range: $$
Starting Price: $59/month
Client OS: Windows, macOS, Linux
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

8 The General Store - Best for Boutique and Apparel Stores

Why We Chose It: We put The General Store on our list because of its features tailored to small boutique stores. It offers apparel and boutique kits included with the system, which helps organize and sell all types of clothing while staying on top of their unique inventories. Its inventory system makes adding and deleting clothing easy with its mobile capabilities, essential for seasonal fashion shifts.

We also like its vendor management feature, which helps businesses organize purchase orders, invoices, and bill deadlines. The enhanced organization can allow owners to keep track of costs and payment history to ensure accurate expenses. While these features are effective, some small businesses might be turned away by the $600 annual technical support fee included with the subscription.

Best for Boutique and Apparel Stores:
The General Store

The General Store: Tablet Interface
The General Store: POS Screen
The General Store: BlockChyp Payment Processing
What We Like
System is user-friendly with minimal training
Hardware for mobile POS available
What We Don’t Like
Separate charges for tech support
Users frequently report issues with tech support
Overview
Price Range: $
Starting Price: $695 (perpetual license)
Client OS: Windows
Deployment: On-Premises

What Are Small Business POS Systems?

Small business POS systems help streamline online and in-person payment transactions and inventory updates for small retailers and restaurants. These systems help daily transactions and back-office tasks run smoothly, allowing small business owners to manage their operations effectively.

Most POS systems are web-based and bundled with hardware such as registers, tablets, kiosks, and mobile card swipers. Different systems are also tailored to various types of businesses. For example, Toast is designed for small restaurants, while Shopify is built for eCommerce retailers.

eHopper Inventory
View all product inventory in eHopper.

Key Features

  • Inventory Management: Get accurate inventory levels available in real-time. Set up automatic ordering, count maximums and minimums, and low-count notifications. Efficiently create purchase orders directly through the system.
  • Payment Processing: Accept various customer payment methods, including credit, debit, EBT, and gift cards. Integrate with your existing hardware or purchase vendor-specific equipment.
  • CRM: Set up loyalty programs to reward regular customers and create new ones. Store loyalty customer information in a database for easy access while gaining a better understanding of your clientele.
  • Receipting: Create receipts after every transaction with purchase details and the amount paid through physical paper printing or email.
  • eCommerce Integration: Combine the data and inventory from your physical store and online website into one dashboard. Automatically sync data to ensure the website displays accurate stock counts and prices.
  • Employee Management: Streamline time tracking for all employees by having them clock in and out through the POS system. Schedule employees on a digital calendar for easy shift visualization.
  • Reporting: Automatically generate sales and inventory metrics reports, helping small businesses make more informed decisions about their store.
Clover POS Dashboard
View modules like reporting, transactions, and orders in Clover POS.

Primary Benefits

Streamlined Checkout Process

POS systems can make checkouts easier and faster. Payment processing is necessary for any small business looking to accept credit and debit card payments from customers efficiently. Fast checkout times can boost customer satisfaction and help companies get through long rush hour lines. Barcode scanners also make for easy checkouts, as they automatically generate accurate product information and prices, eliminating manual entry at the register.

Accurate Inventory Management

POS systems allow small businesses to keep accurate stock counts for all products. This allows owners to manage their inventory in real time and see what products are selling and which are not. Also, owners can set stock maximums and minimums to have the system purchase more products when the count gets too low, ensuring fast-selling items stay in stock.

Korona POS Inventory Dashboard
Access inventory levels, average revenue, and invoicing through Korona POS’s inventory dashboard.

Small business owners must have a good sense of their sales metrics to adapt and shift with the current market. POS systems give accurate sales reports so owners can easily see their business’s financial health, including which products are selling more than others. Visualizing these trends can help understand the buyer and identify potential sales opportunities.

Pricing Guide

Small business POS systems generally cost between $0 and $100/month, depending on the business’s size and needs. Many companies like Square and eHopper offer free plans that include most of the essential features that startups require, like payment processing and inventory management. More established small businesses will have to pay more for additional features like eCommerce and restaurant mobile ordering.

POS hardware comes with additional costs, ranging from $20-$2,000, depending on the type of equipment and the number purchased. There is a wide variety of different hardware options, including small chip readers, full registers, tablets such as iPads, and mobile terminals. For example, a Square mobile terminal costs $299, its register costs $799, and a chip reader costs $59.

All Products

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Square Screenshot

Square

★★★★★
★★★★★
(1)
Square provides online businesses and brick and mortar stores with a payment processing and POS system. The Square card readers allow you to swipe credit cards on the go. Square allows you to set up merchant services, accept payments, complete online transactions, and more from one powerful system. [[toc]] @youtube Accept Card Payments Online or In Person; Invoicing; and Remote Credit Card Payments. Process Payments; Manage Refunds; Track Inventory; Customize Reports; and Manage Customers.
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
eHopper Screenshot

eHopper

★★★★★
★★★★★
(1)
eHopper is an intuitive and easy-to-use cloud-based POS system developed for small business management. It features transaction processing, sales reporting, customer and employee management, and a mobile app for on-the-go management. Additionally, it offers basic inventory management and sales reporting, providing small businesses with essential tools to manage daily operations and track performance. This makes eHopper a full solution to drive business operations, cut operating costs and transparency when looking over important transaction data.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$10/license/month
Client OS
Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Toast POS Screenshot

Toast POS

Toast is an Android-based restaurant point of sale and management system that helps improve restaurant operations and increase ROI. Toast scales for any size food service business from small cafes to enterprise restaurant chains with multiple locations. Point of Sale Tableside Service;; Analytics and Reporting;; and Menu Management;. ; Kitchen Display System; Online Ordering System; and Loyalty Program Integration. Tableside Service;; Analytics and Reporting;; and Menu Management;. Software
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$79/user/month
Deployment
On-Premises
Clover POS Screenshot
Clover POS is a point of sale that can run on any mobile device or tablet. It acts as an all-in-one solution that combines software, hardware, and merchant services. Clover has their own brand of hardware and offers bundles on their systems alongside the Clover POS software, including tablets, credit card scanners, and more. Clover offers their POS software within all of their POS system options, including their POS station, “Flex” (a payment card reader), “Mini” (a full POS in tablet form), and “Go” (a mobile phone adapter for accepting payments). The software supports a wide range of payment types, including credit, debit, and contactless options.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Shopify POS Screenshot

Shopify POS

Shopify POS is an iPad application that lets you sell your Shopify store’s products in a physical, retail setting. It’s quick and easy: browse your store’s catalog, pick a customer’s products, swipe their credit card, and print their receipt or send it through email. Shopify Reports let you track customers, payments and sales made both online and in-store. See which products are selling, and which ones aren’t. Detailed analytics give you a better understanding of how your sales vary
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$29/month
Client OS
iOS, Android
Lightspeed POS Screenshot

Lightspeed POS

★★★★★
★★★★★
(2)
Lightspeed POS, formerly ShopKeep by Lightspeed, is a cloud-based point of sale system tailored for retail, rental, and service-based businesses. Main capabilities include tracking margins, taxes, and discounts on products, as well as vendor management and order management. Its CRM functionalities enable businesses to build detailed customer profiles, track sales history, and implement loyalty programs. As part of Lightspeed, this POS has more resources and the ability to accelerate product innovation.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$69/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Visit Website
KORONA POS Screenshot

KORONA POS

★★★★★
★★★★★
(7)
Korona POS is a customizable and affordable point-of-sale (POS) system with specialized features for various niche business types, such as liquor stores, vape retailers, cannabis dispensaries, and ticket-selling businesses. It supports a variety of hardware options and can accommodate almost any major payment processor. The base program includes inventory counts, stock management, and customer management, while advanced inventory management and specialized tools are available for an additional cost.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$59/month
Client OS
Windows, macOS, Linux
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
The General Store Screenshot

The General Store

★★★★★
★★★★★
(6)
The General Store is a point of sale software which has been providing retailers worldwide with the management tools they need to succeed since 1983. It is designed primarily for small and medium-sized retail businesses. As a retail management solution, The General Store features inventory management, employee management, customer management, and more. Pricing is as low as $49 per month or users can buy the software outright for a one-time fee. The software is versatile and can be used by a range of retail businesses including stationary and gift stores, general merchandise, and music stores.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$695 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises

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