How to Choose the Right Point of Sale (POS) System

Author: Ellen Cunningham

Ellen Cunningham

6 min. read

Updated April 11, 2024

A point of sale (POS) system can be a great addition to your business. Capable of far more than simply taking credit cards, POS systems offer features like inventory management, reporting, and even time clock options.

In my work for CardFellow, a leading resource for small businesses looking for credit card processing and terminals, I regularly test, research, and write overviews of equipment. As a result, I field a lot of questions about POS systems.

But one question  always  comes up: “There are so many options. How do I choose?”

The good news is that picking the right POS system doesn’t have to be a chore. Follow these three steps to find the right POS system for your business.

See Also:  How to Do Market Research

1. Know what’s most important to you

There are two approaches to deciding on a POS system: choosing based on features, or choosing based on costs.

Choosing by features

If particular features are the most important thing, you should choose a POS system first. But if low costs are a priority, you’ll actually want to find a credit card processor, then choose from the POS systems that processor can support.

Know which features you need

When I say that you should find your POS system first if specific features are most important, I’m talking about less common features. POS systems offer basic capabilities standard, including credit and debit card acceptance, reporting, and inventory management. For restaurants, the ability to split checks and add tips is also common.

So, what sort of features do you need to look for specifically? Here are the main ones:

  • Online ordering for in-person pickup (restaurants)
  • Delivery tracking for food or non-food businesses (pizza shops, florists)
  • Age verification/ID prompt (liquor stores, tobacco sales)
  • Integrated appointment or class calendars (healthcare, beauty salons, yoga studios)

If those features sound like must-haves for your business, it’s worth finding your preferred system first. Be sure to explicitly ask the POS company or processor if the feature you need is included, or check the POS company’s website.

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Use a product directory

The easiest way to research POS systems and find specific features is to use an online POS system product directory, like the one we have. These directories provide overviews of POS systems, so you can view important information quickly. You’ll be able to narrow down choices by the manufacturer, features, processor, and more.

Note that choosing your POS system first may limit your choice of processors, which can result in higher costs overall. We’ll get into that more in a minute.

Choosing by cost

If you scanned the list above and decided that standard POS system features will suit your needs, finding a processor first is likely to save you time and money. While POS systems (and costs to take credit cards) aren’t cheap, you may be able to reduce expenses by finding a competitive credit card processor and then choosing your system from the available options.

Picking a processor before a system gives you a much larger pool of options. Credit card processors usually offer multiple different brands and models of equipment, so you’ll still get to choose a system that fits both your needs and your budget.

When choosing a processor, start by getting quotes from multiple companies. A quick search online for credit card processing comparison sites can help you find services that will allow you to compare quotes privately, without sales calls. After you get quotes, you can ask about available POS systems. You’ll have a smaller range of choices, but the systems will be some of the most popular and user-friendly.

Many of the businesses I work with take this route when choosing a POS system, and find that it’s helpful to choose from tried-and-true popular systems even if it’s a smaller selection of the total systems on the market.

2. Decide if you’ll accept proprietary POS systems

Some POS systems are proprietary, meaning that you have to work with a specific processor in order to use that system. This isn’t inherently good or bad, but you should be aware of possible pros and cons.

A pro is that it may require you to do less research, as you won’t need to review pricing from multiple processors. You’ll get pricing from the processor that supports the equipment and that’s that.

A con is that you don’t have as much ability to negotiate your costs. Since the processor knows that you have to work with them to use the system, your competitive advantage disappears. You can’t simply go to another processor. Moreover, if you decide to switch processors in the future, you’ll have to purchase a different system, since your current one won’t be compatible with another company.

When making your decision, think about the worst case: If you switch processors for some reason, can you afford to buy new point of sale equipment even if your current system isn’t outdated? If not, a POS system that only works with specific processors might not be the best choice for your business.

You can identify systems that require specific processors by disclosures on the manufacturer’s website. It will often state the name of the credit card processing company that can support the system. By contrast, if it works with multiple processors, the site may mention that the system is “processor agnostic” or list multiple processing partners. If in doubt, you can also ask the POS manufacturer directly. They’ll advise on processors that support their system.

See Also:  What You Absolutely Cannot Afford to Forget When Pricing Your Products

3. Decide if you’ll lease or buy

Another consideration when deciding on a POS system is how you’ll pay for it. Since POS systems are more expensive than basic countertop credit card machines, you’ll want to think about what makes sense for you.

Some companies will offer the option to lease equipment instead of purchasing it outright. The benefit is that there’s little or no upfront cost, but remember that leasing equipment can cost you a lot over time. The monthly fee you’ll pay could add up to many times the retail cost of the system. Be sure to check the math yourself, and scope out what it would cost to buy the machine outright.

It’s also worth noting that leasing often comes with a contract that can’t be cancelled for four years or more. The contract is often with a separate leasing company, not your processor, so even if you stop using your POS system, you’ll still be on the hook for the equipment lease.

Purchasing a POS system outright is a bigger upfront commitment financially, but you’ll have the benefit of owning the equipment. Many POS companies offer free software updates, which will help keep your system current. If you choose to buy, you may want to consider purchasing a system with the newest technologies, like contactless (NFC) capabilities, so that you’ll be able to take a wider range of payment types.

See Also:  The Complete Guide to Choosing Your Business Structure

The tips outlined above will help you find the right system for your business in no time. Just remember:

Decide if you’ll shop by features or by processor

  • Choosing by features:  Use a product directory to research POS systems and choose the one you want, then set up a merchant account with a processor who can support that system.
  • Choosing by processor:  Choose a processor with competitive rates and fees. Then choose a POS system from the processor’s supported systems.

Content Author: Ellen Cunningham

Ellen is the Marketing Manager for CardFellow, leading provider of free credit card processing comparison tools. She has a degree in English and spends her days researching and writing about everything related to credit card processing.

Check out LivePlan

Table of Contents

  • 1. Know what’s most important to you
  • 2. Decide if you’ll accept proprietary POS systems
  • 3. Decide if you’ll lease or buy

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business plan for point of sale

Home > Software > Point Of Sale

The Ultimate Guide to POS Systems

Andrew Mosteller

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure .

The point of sale (POS) is a crucial moment in the success of your business. A good point-of-sale system makes for a smooth and easy sales process. But above and beyond that, a good system can add tons of value to the point of sale .

This guide will help you understand how to get more value out of the point of sale so you can boost productivity, improve business operations, and make more sales.

The ultimate guide to payroll table of contents

Point-of-sale basics.

  • Payment processing

POS hardware

Pos software features, pos glossary.

business plan for point of sale

Square readers are everywhere for a reason. It's easy to get started, reasonably priced, and scalable as your business grows.

What is the point of sale? It’s the moment when the customer makes a purchase.

In the past, the point of sale was pretty simple because most sales were made in cash. All business owners needed was a simple cash register to tally up the day’s sales.

Today, POS systems are designed to do so much more. A truly modern POS system can do a few key tasks :

  • Accept all modern payment methods from credit cards to digital wallets
  • Manage and track the inflow and outflow of inventory
  • Automate all processes that rely on the moment of sale, like accounting and customer loyalty
  • Bring the sale to the customer through mobile payment options

These essential functions are what set apart the POS systems of today from the cash registers of days past. In the following sections of this guide, we’ll bring you up to speed with what exactly a modern POS system can do for your business.

The Ultimate Checklist for Purchasing a Perfect POS

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Important payment-processing factors to consider

Modern payment methods.

There are so many ways to pay these days. Here’s a list of all the methods we can think of:

  • Credit card (including swipe, dip, and tap)
  • Debit card (including swipe, dip, and tap)
  • Digital wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Venmo
  • Direct bank transfer (ACH payments)
  • Cryptocurrency exchange

Each of these payment methods represents a way customers may want to pay for goods and services from you . Some methods are more common than others, but the kind of payments you usually take depend on specific business factors like location, industry, and services offered.

If you know what payment methods your customers want to use, you’ll want to find a POS system that makes accepting those kinds of payments easy.

Transaction fees

The next thing to consider is how expensive the fees for payment acceptance are. Keep in mind that different payment methods (like the following) have different fees assessed:

  • Cash payments don’t have any fees assessed by the processor.
  • Debit and credit card payments have fees assessed by the processor with debit card fees usually being a bit lower.
  • Digital wallets, direct bank transfers, and cryptocurrency exchange usually have fees assessed as well.

It’s important to note that these fees are not pointless —processing a credit card is too complicated for small businesses to handle on their own. That’s why almost all businesses use the services of a processing company.

Transaction fee types

Transaction fees usually come in two types:

  • Flat rate fees are when you get charged the same amount for every transaction.
  • Interchange-plus fees have a variable amount that changes based on what the credit card company charges.

Generally speaking, interchange-plus fees are cheaper than flat-rate fees because interchange-plus fees are more responsive to the actual cost of processing. That said, some processors that use interchange-plus pricing will charge a high monthly fee. So, the key to saving money with interchange-plus is processing enough transactions to make up for the monthly fee.

If you don’t process a lot of transactions or have trouble with consistent processing, a flat-rate fee may be more cost-effective. See the tables below for an example where flat-rate processing is more cost-effective and an example where interchange-plus processing is more cost-effective.

100 transactions per month at $10 per transaction

1,000 transactions per month at $20 per transaction.

Some processing companies don’t list their processing fees and instead work out a fee with you over the phone. It’s important to use your negotiation skills to get a decent price when working with processing companies like this.

POS hardware can range from a simple card reader to a kitted-out iPad stand. The kind of hardware you’ll need depends on how you plan to use it. Here’s a list of the hardware you may want to consider :

  • Mobile card reader . These card readers often attach to your smartphone or tablet. Some are battery powered. But all of them have one simple function: the ability to process credit cards anywhere.
  • Standard terminal . The classic credit card terminal has no bells and whistles. It’s usually just a card reader with a number pad that needs stationary power and an internet connection.
  • Smart terminal . There’s a lot of variety in smart terminals. Most POS providers have their own versions of these types of terminals. The function of a smart terminal is to handle more complicated business tasks, like inventory management and item lookup.
  • Cash drawer . A standalone cash drawer allows you to connect to your smart terminal to make change for cash payments.
  • Receipt printer . Many businesses are going paperless with receipts using smart terminal receipt options like email. But, if your customers need or expect paper receipts, you may want to pick up a receipt printer.
  • Barcode scanner . This one is pretty self-explanatory—it scans product barcodes. It also helps with inventory management on smart terminals.
  • iPad stand . Some POS providers have built their software for iPad and will only sell you an iPad stand. One nice thing about using an iPad for POS is that you can remove the tablet from the stand and assist customers around the shop with a mobile POS device.
  • Classic cash register . We wouldn’t really recommend using the old-school cash register systems. They tend to be clunky, more expensive, and have fewer smart features.

Using the above-listed features as a guide, you can decide what your business needs. Many modern brick-and-mortar businesses opt for something simple like a smart terminal and a cash drawer.

Software features are the heart and soul of modern POS systems. It’s in the software that all the magic happens—magic that allows you to automate your business operations from one central place.

Inventory management

Tracking and managing inventory can be a pain if your POS system isn’t helping you do it. Luckily, today’s POS systems offer comprehensive inventory tracking and management tools. The best POS inventory management integrations will help automate many tasks:

  • Keeping track of in-store stock
  • Keeping track of stock in multiple locations
  • Notifying when inventory of a certain item is low
  • Making it easy to order new inventory
  • Analyzing the flow of inventory to generate reports on top-selling items

Each of these functions can be a game changer. For example, POS systems that have inventory-management programs that can track inventory at multiple locations can make it possible to automate your shipping process.

If for example, a person wants an item that’s in a different store, you can either send them to that store, or you can offer to ship them the product from that location. Thus, this functionality not only consolidates your inventory more efficiently, but it also gives you more opportunities to make a sale.

There’s no underestimating the power of good inventory management software . It’s a feature you’ll definitely want to consider when choosing a POS system.

business plan for point of sale

Square is the best free point-of-sale system on the market. From invoicing to inventory tracking, Square gives you all the features you need to boost your POS experience.

Employee management

Employee management makes it easy to track employees and manage their permissions to your POS software.

A good employee management program will allow employees to clock in using a login you’ve created and permissions you’ve designed. The program will also track employee sales and will generate performance reports to help you determine if an employee needs further training.

Many POS systems integrate with third-party accounting software like QuickBooks . Automating your accounting process will help simplify your already-complicated business taxes. And the point of sale is a great place to have your accounting software working for you by tracking your sales and returns.

Customer loyalty

Many modern POS systems offer customer loyalty integrations. You can set up rewards programs, offer gift cards, and keep better track of your return customers. Not only do rewards programs keep people coming to your place of business, they also help you gain insight as to what keeps your customers coming back.

Industry tools

Some POS systems have specific tools for a given industry. Upserve, for example, offers a ton of restaurant-focused tools that automate the ordering process. There are many POS systems that are built around a specific industry, but the most common industry tools you’ll find in a POS system include restaurant and retail programs.

No matter your industry, it may be worth doing a quick search to see if there is a POS system designed for your kind of business.

This is a list of terms commonly used in talking about point-of-sale systems.

POS.  Abbreviation for point of sale.

Terminal or credit card terminal.  A piece of hardware used to process transactions.

Interchange-plus pricing.  A common pricing model used by credit card processors. The word “interchange” refers to a fee that major credit card companies charge. This fee changes from transaction to transaction, so interchange-plus pricing is whatever the major credit card company charges plus the fees of the credit card processing company.

Digital wallet.  A kind of payment method made via smartphone. Customers will have apps like Apple Pay or Android Pay on their phones that they’ll want to use to purchase items at your store. There are also online-only digital wallets and checkouts, like PayPal and ChasePay. These payment methods make for faster online checkouts.

Swipe . Swipe payments use the magstripe on the back of the card.

Dip . Dip payments use the EMV chip on the front of the card.

Tap . Tap payments use an embedded chip that emits radio waves and connects to the card reader.

ACH . This acronym stands for automatic clearing house. It’s an online network for processing transactions between financial institutions.

Cryptocurrency . A type of digital currency made popular by the rise of Bitcoin. These currencies are decentralized in that no official governing body distributes them. Coins or tokens held in these types of currencies are not physical entities; they are digital only.

The takeaway

POS systems can be a total game changer for your business. The level of automation and data reporting they can bring to your workflow is a catalyst for greater efficiency and faster growth. Now that you know what to look for in a modern POS system, the next step is to find the right one for your business.

We recommend checking out our detailed reviews of the top POS systems on the market today .

At, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

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Best POS Systems for Small Businesses

Manage your sales and inventory with one system

business plan for point of sale

From contactless payments to online sales, point of sale (POS) systems improve the customer experience and make it easier for business owners to track inventory, sales, and employee performance. Moreover, your POS solution supports omnichannel experiences, which are seamless transitions between in-store, phone, and online sales.

In fact, 44% of retailers plan to upgrade or replace their POS, while 32% prioritize omnichannel experiences using their existing POS solution.  

Selecting the best POS system for your small business is challenging. We researched more than two dozen POS solutions and compared them side-by-side. We judged systems on their ease of use, hardware and software options, customer service, features, and pricing packages.

The 6 Best POS Systems for Small Businesses in 2024

  • Best Overall: Square
  • Best Value: eHopper
  • Best for Restaurants: TouchBistro
  • Best for Retail: Vend
  • Best for E-Commerce: Shopify
  • Best for Inventory Management: ShopKeep by Lightspeed
  • Our Top Picks
  • TouchBistro
  • ShopKeep by Lightspeed
  • See More (3)
  • Methodology

Best Overall : Square

Square provides flexibility for small businesses and plenty of room to grow.

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

Founded in 2009, Square POS systems and devices are used in small businesses, from retail shops to diners. The platform’s versatility, combined with various pricing options, makes Square the best overall POS system for small businesses.

Square offers three plans, all of which provide integrated payments. You’ll pay credit card processing fees of 2.9% plus $0.30 for online transactions on the Free Plan and the Professional Plan charges the same rates, but costs $12 a month for extra features. The Performance plan also costs $26 for even more features, but charges the same fee for processing. Premium costs $72 and offers lowering processing fees of 2.6% + $0.30.

For most small businesses, you’ll want a Square register for $799. But the company also offers mobile square readers and iPad stands so you can customize your setup. All three plans come with standard features like: 

  • Barcode scanning
  • Invoice and electronic gift card options
  • Instagram selling capabilities
  • View low and out of stock inventory
  • Sales reports
  • Time tracking
  • Timecard reporting

Select from popular Square plans such as:

  • Free: It’s free to sell online or in-person while tracking inventory, reviewing sales reports, and overseeing your employees. 
  • Professional: $12 a month and create custom websites without Square branding.
  • Performance: For $26 a month you get advanced reporting, reviews, marketing features, and more.
  • Premium: Costs $72 a month. It has a lower processing fee and performance features.

Square also offers integrations with your small business software. Just head to your dashboard to connect your POS system with:

  • WooCommerce
  • QuickBooks Online

Get more from your services by adding extra services like loyalty, email marketing, and payroll programs. 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.

Get 20% off your first Square POS hardware device with code DDSquare . Valid 4/3/23-6/30/23.

Best Value : eHopper

Inexpensive software with everything a small business owner needs to run a company.

Extremely affordable POS system

Built-in inventory management

Works with most tablets

No gift card management

Credit card processing fees charged to customers

For nearly 15 years, eHopper has provided an affordable alternative to pricey POS software. Its low-cost plans give entrepreneurs access to customer and inventory management tools, making it a clear winner in our best value category.

The eHopper POS system offers four plans, all of which include integrated credit card processing features. Currently, the merchant fees are passed to customers via a surcharge. With all versions, you’ll get features like:

  • Inventory management
  • Print or email receipts
  • Tip management
  • Reporting options
  • Customer management

The company offers two plans to chose from, a free version, and a paid service:

  • Essential: The free plan helps you easily adjust inventory, manage customer accounts, or create barcode labels for your products.
  • Freedom: For $29.99 a month, you get employee time tracking options, low stock alerts, and QuickBooks integrations.
  • Restaurant: It’s $39.99 a month for menu building, table management, and floor planning tools, along with standard POS features.
  • OmniChannel: The regular cost is $39.99. This plan adds loyalty, e-commerce, and enables Meta sales.

With eHopper, you can use existing hardware or Android tablets, iPads, Windows PCs, and Poynt terminals. But, eHopper offers a variety of hardware options for sale, including:

  • Hardware bundles
  • Thermal printers
  • Cash drawers
  • Credit card terminals
  • Stands and accessories

You won’t get many integrations with eHopper, but you can add an additional loyalty package to your plan. You can call, initiate a support ticket, or chat with customer service for help with your POS system. The company also offers an online knowledge base.

Best for Restaurants : TouchBistro


TouchBistro supplies restaurateurs with cloud-based analytics to boost their food and beverage sales.

iPad POS system

Integrated credit card processing

Easy-to-use interface

Must use mostly Apple products

Customer support isn’t always responsive.

In business since 2010, TouchBistro offers software designed specifically for the restaurant industry. TouchBistro is our top pick for the best restaurant POS system with restaurant inventory management tools and restaurant-specific hardware.

TouchBistro POS software licenses start at $69 per month. With a TouchBistro system, you’ll get various tools and features to support your operations, such as:

  • Intuitive touch controls for table management
  • Remote menu management
  • Add recipes to manage inventory costs
  • Access data and reports via the cloud portal

You can add services to get more from your restaurant POS, which are available through TouchBistro, including:

  • Reservations system for $229 per month
  • Online ordering for $50 a month
  • A gift card program for $25 per month

Choose your own hardware or buy from TouchBistro’s hardware partners for equipment such as:

  • Apple Mac Mini computer
  • AmpliFi MeshPoint HD
  • Kitchen and thermal printers
  • Networking hardware
  • iPad stands
  • Payment devices

TouchBistro integrates with many popular programs, including QuickBooks, Sage, and 7Shifts. 

If you run into problems, TouchBistro provides plenty of self-service options. You can also contact them via email, chat, and 24/7 phone support.

Best for Retail : Vend

Trusted retail software that your employees will learn how to use in minutes.

No limits on products

Works offline (Limited functions)

Simple interface

Must buy the upper plan tp have comprehensive software

Gets costly when adding registers

Founded in 2010, Vend is a reliable provider of POS systems that are easy to use and compatible with many equipment types. With advanced inventory management and analytics, Vend wins our best POS system for retail.

Vend offers three plans that cover one register and one location, but you can pay to add extra registers and locations. All versions give you features that are easy to use and support your retail operations, such as:

  • Real-time inventory management
  • Unlimited products and employees
  • Customizable receipts for email or print
  • Total cash management  
  • Inventory control levels
  • Easy-to-personalize reports 
  • A mobile dashboard

All three plans give you API access, integrated payments, POS, and 24/7 support. An overview of the plans and prices:

  • Lean: For $69 per month when paid annually or $89 for monthly payments, this version contains all standard features.
  • Standard: It’s $119 per month when paid yearly, or $149 with monthly payments. This package adds accounting and ecommerce features.
  • Advanced: It costs $199 per month when paid annually or $269 per month when making monthly payments. This packaged adds loyalty, advanced reporting, and more.

You can choose from tons of hardware options or use your existing equipment. Vend offers bundles, and you can use Mac or Windows systems. This POS software integrates with nearly all credit card processing companies, along with top retail programs like:

  • BigCommerce

Get the customer service your retail store needs with Vend’s responsive support systems, including 24/7 online or in-app live chat support, email, phone center, plus a full knowledge base.

Best for E-Commerce : Shopify

Oversee in-store and online sales easily from your mobile dashboard.

No extra transaction fees above interchange rates

Abandoned cart recovery comes with every plan

Plug-and-play hardware

Only two staff members can access the POS with the Basic plan

Inventory location are limited

Since 2006, Shopify has provided e-commerce entrepreneurs with capable online shopping services that are easy for store owners to use and offer a pleasant digital customer experience. Its robust virtual features make it the best POS for e-commerce.

To use the Shopify POS system, you need to select a Shopify plan first. These programs cover your e-commerce website and blog, plus many features, ranging from $29 to $299 per month. Your Shopify plan determines your credit card processing fees: 

  • Basic: In-person rate is 2.7% and online rate is 2.9% + $0.30
  • Shopify: In-person rate is 2.5% and online rate is 2.6% + $0.30
  • Advanced: In-person rate is 2.4%, and online rate is 2.4% = $0.30

All plans include the Shopify POS Lite plan with features such as:

  • Order and product management
  • Customer profiles
  • Integrated credit card processing 
  • Quick response (QR) codes
  • Custom discounts and discount codes

If you opt for the POS Pro version for $89 per month per location, you can take advantage of added features like:

  • Smart inventory management
  • Unlimited registers
  • Omnichannel selling features
  • In-store analytics

Shopify offers tons of plug-and-play hardware, so it’s easy to customize your setup. Choose from complete retail kits, tap and chip card readers, and iPad stands. To get assistance, go through Shopify’s 24/7 support center or check out its vast knowledge base.

Best for Inventory Management : ShopKeep by Lightspeed

With advanced inventory tracking and a simple interface, ShopKeep by Lightspeed is a favorite among small business owners.

Low stock phone alerts

  • Unlimited inventory items

Inventory reporting features

Basic package doesn’t include online payments.

Can only accept gift cards with upper plans or by purchasing an add-on

Founded in 2008 and acquired by Lightspeed in 2021, ShopKeep by Lightspeed is a cloud-based POS system used widely by small retail stores, like specialty shops and cafes. However, its impressive inventory capabilities make ShopKeep the best POS for inventory management .

ShopKeep offers three plans, which all come with one free credit card reader for eligible merchants. Credit processing is included, and you’ll pay one flat rate of 2.6% plus $0.10 per transaction. All plans offer many great features, including:

  • Unlimited transactions
  • Customer payments via text message
  • Real-time sales data
  • Matrix inventory
  • Employee management and rewards
  • Inventory reports like sales trends and inventory value

Ecommerce features are only offered in the Standard or Advanced plants. Each plan only covers one location. If you have multiple locations, you can contact the company for a custom plan.

To get the best prices, you’ll want to make one annual payment. You can pay monthly, but the cost is higher. Here are the plans:

  • Lean: $69 per month paid annually or $89 per month paid monthly for all base features including integrated payments.
  • Standard: $119 per month paid annually or $149 per month paid month. This plan adds accounting and ecommerce features.
  • Advanced: $199 per month paid annually or $269 per month paid monthly. This plan adds omnichannel loyalty and advanced reporting.

ShopKeep sells equipment individually or as part of a kit. There is both hardware for desktop and iPad. For example, the retail kit comes with:

  • Cash drawer 
  • Receipt printer 
  • Bluetooth scanner
  • Receipt paper

Customers can call, email, or look through the self-support resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a point of sale system.

Your point of sale (POS) system puts all your transaction data in one spot. Many programs provide tools to track inventory, manage employees, and see revenue data in real-time. POS solutions go beyond traditional registers to offer you various ways to accept payments from anywhere in your store.

Small business owners use a POS system to better understand their sales trends, available inventory, and customers. Moreover, mobile solutions enhance the customer experience with quick checkout options and integrated customer programs.

What Does a POS System Include?

Today you can build a POS system that works for your store, so you’re not limited to just a cash register. Typical hardware for small businesses includes: 

  • A standalone POS cash register or an iPad system
  • Cash drawer
  • Receipt printer
  • Credit card reader

However, you can add self-service kiosks, mobile units, and customer displays to enhance the shopping and buying experiences.

What Are the Types of POS Systems?

Although retailers still rely on standalone systems, many prefer iPad solutions, which allow you to place the iPad on a secure stand or carry it throughout the store. Mobile units or self-service kiosks are especially crucial for curbside sales or contactless payments, so many business owners incorporate these types of units into their existing setup.

Most POS systems place some or all features in the cloud . This gives you access to tools using different devices in your store or from home.

What Are the Expected Costs of a POS System for a Small Business?

POS systems come with a hefty monthly cost, and if you’re starting new, you’ll also spend quite a bit on hardware. Many larger POS providers offer financing or payment plans for bundled hardware kits along with month-to-month payment options for your POS software subscriptions. Prices ranges consist of:

  • Monthly POS software: Free to $299 per month
  • Basic hardware bundles: $299 to $899
  • Payment processing: Interchange fee (small percentage of the transaction) plus $0.10 to $0.30 per transaction

How We Chose the Best POS Systems for Small Businesses

To find the best POS systems for small businesses, we reviewed several factors, including subscription prices and fees, hardware types and costs, payment processing options, and features. After searching through more than two dozen POS providers, we narrowed it down to winners in specific categories by the best POS systems for things like e-commerce, inventory management, and retail use.

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Businesswire. " ShopKeep Acquires Ambur POS ."

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Best POS Systems for Small Businesses of 2024

The POS providers listed below are our top picks for the Best Point-of-Sale Systems for Small Business of 2024. Each POS provider offers a unique POS system with features, pricing, and hardware that meets the needs of small businesses and startups.

Popular POS Systems

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Block (formerly Square) »

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Toast »

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TouchBistro »

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Clover »

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According to Capterra’s research , retailers across the U.S. are saying goodbye to traditional POS systems with bulky counter registers and opting for cloud-based POS software that runs on tablets , with iPads being the most favored hardware option. In fact, small to midsized businesses doing less than $10 million in sales make up 79% of cloud-based POS system users.

Woman using a credit card on a pos system

The mass adoption by small businesses of cloud-based POS systems, also known as mobile points-of-sale or mPOS, makes sense. Small businesses have different needs than larger enterprises, and cloud-based business software meets a lot of those needs. Mobile POS systems are ideal for small businesses because they tend to be more affordable and provide busy business owners with the flexibility needed to grow their companies. Cloud-based POS systems can cut costs with month-to-month subscriptions and minimal upfront expenses, since they are often designed to run on mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. Cloud-based POS systems also allow owners to keep track of business on the go, through mobile apps on their cellphones.

The modern approach of mPOS systems is a great fit for any small business, whether it’s an e-commerce site, local coffee shop, or boutique clothing store. To help you identify the right POS provider for your small business or startup, we compiled a list of the Best POS Systems for Small Business, based on our overall rating of the Best Point-of-Sale Systems of 2024 .

Our Best Rated POS Systems for Small Businesses

  • Block (formerly Square)

Vend by Lightspeed

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Best POS Systems for Small Businesses in Detail


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How Much Does a Small Business POS Cost?

Cloud-based POS systems tend to be cheaper than traditional on-premise options. In fact, Capterra’s research suggests that most mobile POS providers actually design and price POS software for small businesses. Abandoning long-term contracts and hefty upfront costs, many cloud-based POS systems use month-to-month subscriptions or don’t charge a monthly fee at all. However, mobile POS systems don’t just cut costs on software; upfront hardware expenses also are less for cloud-based POS systems. Instead of outfitting your entire restaurant or retail store with expensive equipment, cloud-based POS providers typically design POS software for tablets. Downloading a mobile app onto your smartphone or tablet gives you access to a fully functional POS system that can be used in your store or on the go at farmers markets and trade shows. This makes cloud-based POS systems a great option for startups that can’t afford an upfront POS hardware investment or may not even have a space for a standard register.

While mobile POS systems are less expensive, small businesses still pay credit card processing fees, monthly software fees, and hardware expenses, depending on the POS provider. For instance, Block’s POS system is free to use without signing any contracts. It also provides users with one free magstripe reader to begin taking payments. However, you must use Block Payments , its integrated in-house payment processor, as your credit card processing solution. This means that while you don’t pay a monthly fee for its POS software, you will pay it a per-transaction fee for its payment processing.

Other POS providers, like Vend by Lightspeed , don’t have in-house payment processors. Vend charges a monthly fee for its POS software that starts at $99 per month if paid annually, and allows you to shop around for the best payment processing rates from more than 20 compatible third-party credit card processing companies . Lightspeed offers different monthly fees depending on your industry and Shopify has a tiered-plan structure designed to provide you with different price options based on the features your business needs.

Consider both how much you’re paying and what you’re paying for to find the right POS system for your small business. Not all POS systems provide free equipment, but free card readers may not meet your needs. A POS provider’s monthly fees may be higher than another, but it may include features that other providers only offer as add-ons for additional costs. It is best to call a company representative and get a quote for your exact business needs.

POS Systems Price Comparison Chart

What Should I Look for in a Small Business POS System?

The best small business POS systems are cloud-based. Therefore, you should begin your search by identifying mobile POS providers. From there, you should narrow down your POS options with the following factors in mind.

  • Industry: Point-of-sale systems tend to come in two varieties: retail and restaurant. Choose a POS system that is designed for your industry. This can be more challenging for cafes and other businesses that straddle the line between retail and restaurant. Think about where the majority of your sales come from and choose a POS system that will have features that best support these transactions.
  • Price: Mobile POS systems are generally less expensive than traditional on-premise systems. Therefore, cloud-based POS systems are a better fit for small businesses and startups with tight budgets. The main expenses of a mobile POS are monthly fees, the number of locations and registers, hardware, add-on features, and credit card processing fees. Be sure to take advantage of free trials to ensure that the POS system you’re interested in will work for your small business.
  • Hardware: Cloud-based systems are designed to run on tablets, most commonly iPads. However, some businesses need additional equipment, such as card readers, cash registers, cash drawers, receipt printers, barcode scanners, kitchen display systems (KDS), and customer-facing displays. Be sure to pick a POS system with the hardware your small business needs.
  • Features: Retail and restaurant POS systems provide different features to help you run your particular business efficiently. Retail stores will find inventory management tools that can sync across multiple locations to be helpful, while restaurants may focus on loyalty programs, online reservations, and mobile or web order-ahead technology. According to Capterra’s research , restaurant patrons find these features to be the most important to their overall experience. Capterra also found that 52% of restauranters cite high operating and food costs as their top challenge. Restaurant POS systems offer menu management features that track the price of ingredients and other food costs that can help restaurant owners optimize their menu.
  • Customer support: When it comes to POS providers, choose one that offers 24/7 customer support. The ability to call a live representative instead of using email or online chat with a bot makes a big difference when your business is experiencing a POS system error that's keeping you from making sales.
  • Payment processor: Payment processing is one of the most important factors in choosing a POS system. Some POS providers offer an integrated in-house payment processor, while others allow you to shop around for a third-party credit card processor. Both have advantages and disadvantages. In-house payment processing means that everything is handled under one provider and can be easier to manage for a small business owner. However, shopping around for a payment processor may reduce your processing fees. Read our rating of the Best Credit Card Processing Companies of 2024 to make sure your credit card processor is right for you.

Security: A POS system should have security features, beyond Payment Card Industry compliance, that protect your business and its customers. The National Retail Security Survey reports that 72.5% of businesses use POS data mining as a part of their loss prevention system.

Point-of-Sale Features

What Is a Small Business POS System?

A POS system is a combination of software and hardware that in its most basic form allows you to ring up sales. At its most advanced, a POS system runs numerous aspects of your business like sales analytics, payroll , and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. A small business POS system is one that provides quality budget-friendly POS options for growing businesses and startups.

A POS system and payment processing are different. Payment processing, also known as credit card processing , is done by a processor that acts as an intermediary by transferring funds between a merchant account and a business’s bank account. The credit card processor does this by integrating with a POS system. The POS system is the software and hardware used to accept the payment. It collects the payment information through a swipe, dip, or tap of the customer’s credit card, and encrypts and passes along the data to the payment processor.

You can learn more about this process in our What Is Payment Processing? Guide.

To use a POS system, you will need a phone, a tablet, or a laptop . You will also need a merchant account, payment processor , internet connection, and subscription to a POS account. The hardware is needed to set up your various accounts, build an online store, and sell goods. A merchant account allows you to accept payment from debit and credit cards, while a payment processor is used to process a payment-card-based transaction. An internet connection connects your business to the payment processor, and a subscription to a POS provider brings the whole thing together.

If your business has a physical location, you may need additional hardware, such as a cash register and cash drawer, a receipt printer, and a computer or tablet to connect everything and use as an interface.

For more information, visit our guide How to Use a Point-of-Sale (POS) System .

Read our ratings and reviews for more information on point-of-sale systems.

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Best POS Systems For Small Business In Canada For May 2024

Updated: May 1, 2024, 10:42am

Fact Checked

The best point-of-sale (POS) systems do more than just process transactions. These systems can also streamline your daily workflow by combining tools such as employee scheduling, customer loyalty programs and inventory tracking into one sleek platform. Granted, choosing the right system can be a challenge. That’s why we analyzed leading providers across various metrics to bring you this list of the best POS systems for small business in May 2024.

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Best POS Systems of 2024

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Shopify POS

Lightspeed POS

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  • Best Payment Gateways
  • Best Credit Card Processing Companies
  • Best Credit Card Machines In Canada
  • Best Mobile Credit Card Readers
  • Best Retail POS Systems

On Shopify’s Website

Pricing starts at

$7 per month for casual sellers $51 per month ($38 per year) for retail sellers

Mobile payments

Key features

Syncs with Shopify online store, smart inventory management

  • Clover: Best for Integrations
  • Square POS: Best for Businesses on a Budget
  • Shopify POS: Best for Retail Businesses
  • Lightspeed POS: Best for Customer Loyalty
  • eHopper POS: Best for Omnichannel Businesses
  • Aloha Cloud: Best for Next-Day Payments
  • Erply: Best for Inventory Management
  • Revel Systems: Best for Hospitality Businesses
  • KORONA POS: Best for High-Risk Merchants
  • PayPal POS: Best for No Monthly Fee

The Forbes Advisor Small Business team is committed to bringing you unbiased rankings and information with full editorial independence. We use product data, strategic methodologies and expert insights to inform all of our content to guide you in making the best decisions for your business journey.

To find the best POS systems for small businesses, we considered over 20 of the top POS providers in the space and narrowed it down to 13, which we then evaluated across three key categories and 12 different metrics. Our ratings consider factors such as transparent pricing, employee self-sufficiency, compatibility with third-party integrations, access to customer support and ratings. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.



Price starts at

Contact sales for pricing

Versatile POS, invoicing, employee management

Clover offers a wide range of plans and pricing options to fit any budget, although its hardware costs are high. When you apply for a Clover Account without purchasing hardware, you can enjoy a 90-day trial period where the monthly software fee is waived, which serves as its free trial. It 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 integrations. There are hundreds of software apps available in the Clover App Market that can manage various aspects of a business. These apps integrate seamlessly with Clover devices, making it easy for businesses to get started.

Who should use it: Clover is a good point-of-sale system for businesses of all sizes. Its wide range of features and integrations make it a versatile solution that can be tailored to fit the needs of any business.

Learn more:  Read our Clover POS Review

  • Monthly fee waived the first 90 days if not getting hardware
  • Extend the functionality of your POS with integrations from the Clover App Market
  • Wide range of hardware available
  • Attractive pricing on its monthly plans
  • Pricing isn’t disclosed online and can vary when choosing a Clover partner to order through
  • Hardware is expensive


Square POS

$69 is the hardware starting price (plus processing fees)

Easy to use, free reader, create customer loyalty programs

Square POS is a great option for businesses that are on a budget because it has no monthly fee—just pay the reasonable processing fee of 2.65% for all major credit card transactions and 0.75% plus $0.7 per every Interac chip and PIN or tap transaction. The hardware starts at $69 It’s simple to operate and doesn’t require any training to get started.

Take payments in person, over the internet, by phone or at the farmer’s market. Collecting leads, marketing via email or text, and creating customer loyalty are also possible with this point-of-sale system.This software is perfect for businesses that want to expand their selling beyond a physical location because it easily integrates with Instagram and Facebook, all while managing your entire business from one place.

Who should use it: Businesses on a budget that need an easy-to-use POS system with no monthly fees.

  • Free forever plan available
  • Includes a free card reader
  • Receive better processing fee rates with a high volume of transactions
  • Very customizable with numerous add-ons available
  • Potential payment delays
  • Processing fees could cut into profits
  • Its buy now, pay later rates are very high


Shopify POS

$7 per month for casual sellers, $119 per month for retail sellers

Yes, 3 days

In-person and mobile POS, order management, customer profiles

Shopify POS is a point-of-sale software used by businesses of all sizes. It turns any mobile device into a point-of-sale terminal, and is fully integrated with Shopify’s other tools and services. It’s especially well suited for businesses that sell both online and in physical stores, as it allows for unified reporting of sales data from both channels.

Additionally, it offers a wide range of features for inventory management, staff management and customer relationship building. Its hardware is sleek and easy to use, and comes with built-in payment processing.

Learn more:   Read our full Shopify POS Review.

Who should use it: Shopify POS is a solid choice for businesses looking for a comprehensive point-of-sale solution.

  • No credit card required for its free trial
  • Works for omnichannel businesses
  • Syncs inventory between online and off-line orders
  • No transaction fees when using Shopify Payments
  • No free option
  • Not the most affordable option
  • Must pay for hardware


Lightspeed POS

$119 per month, ($89 per month when paid annually)

2.6% plus $0.10 processing fee, dedicated account manager, integrated payments

Lightspeed POS offers a point-of-sale system that is both easy to use and scalable, making it a great choice for businesses of all sizes. The system is EMV compatible and PCI compliant, ensuring that your customers’ data is protected. Lightspeed also offers inventory management and reporting features, allowing you to keep track of your sales and profits in real time.

With its built-in membership and subscription tools, Lightspeed Subscriptions makes it easy to keep your customers engaged and coming back for more. You can offer exclusive deals and discounts to members, as well as monthly boxes filled with their favorite products. The system has secure automated recurring payments that make it a breeze to manage all your memberships and subscriptions.

Who should use it: Businesses that want a customer loyalty program should use Lightspeed POS.

  • Each plan includes a register
  • Industry-leading customer loyalty options
  • Inventory management
  • Account manager for every company
  • It’s expensive compared to its competitors
  • Must request a quote for hardware pricing


eHopper POS

Free; $29.99 per month (billed annually)

Unlimited transactions, pre-authorization, cash discount, tip management

The eHopper POS system is perfect for small businesses with multiple sales channels. Its free plan is ideal for companies that don’t process many transactions, as there’s a 300 transaction limit per month. However, its paid plans include both unlimited products and transactions.

With a one year contract, paid plans start at $29.99 per month, billed annually. Month-to-month contract pricing starts at $39.99 per month. For a true omnichannel experience, choose the OmniChannel plan starting at $39.99 per month (month to month). This plan gives e-commerce and loyalty features not commonly found in other plans.

Who should use it: Businesses that sell in store, online and through marketplaces such as Facebook and Instagram will find the best value in eHopper’s OmniChannel plan.

  • Paid plans include a free business website
  • Free processing in the U.S.
  • Unlimited products and transactions on paid plans
  • Menu builder unavailable under free plan
  • Its free Essentials plan doesn’t come with the cash discount or surcharge option that eHopper is best known for


Aloha Cloud

Free; $65 per month

No, demo only

Next-business-day payments, email marketing, loyalty

Formerly known as NCR Silver, Aloha Cloud is a cloud-based POS system for restaurants. It helps manage the front and back of house, retain and grow your customer base and gives you actionable insights into your business. It offers a free Starter plan, but you’ll pay higher processing rates of 2.99% plus $0.15 per transaction. Its Premium plan starts at $175 per month and comes with a lower payment processing rate of 2.25% plus $0.15 cents per transaction.

Who should use it: Restaurants that want next-business-day access to their funds.

  • Free forever plan
  • Email marketing and loyalty included with 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



Free; $39 per month

CRM, mobile app, API access

Erply stands out for its robust functionality and broad applicability. With its tiered pricing, the platform is structured to cater to different business needs—from basic POS requirements for small shops to complex inventory systems for larger retailers. The ease of integration with a variety of payment providers and the adaptability of its mobile app are key strengths, allowing businesses to operate seamlessly.

Erply’s premium packages come with advanced CRM and API access, supporting improved customer interaction and enabling better business automation. Additionally, the platform offers an impressive range of customization features and scalability, particularly advantageous for growing businesses. The capability to provide industry-specific solutions, demonstrated through its detailed POS and inventory management system, makes Erply a preferred choice for diverse business types.

Who should use it: Erply is ideal for businesses of varying sizes, from small stand-alone stores to large-scale franchises and enterprises. However, you’ll need its paid plan for inventory management features.

  • Paid plans come with an inventory database and backend management
  • Offers a variety of payment processors
  • Paid plans have API access
  • Inventory management not available for its free plan
  • Limited customer support on free plans


Revel Systems

$99 per month

(per terminal, two-terminal minimum)

In-house payment processing, kiosk and mobile orders, delivery orders, multi-location management

Revel Systems shines particularly for its versatility and robust feature set in the hospitality sector. Its POS software is comprehensive, encompassing everything from intuitive point-of-sale functionality to employee management and customer relationship management. Revel is also highly adaptable to different order methods—traditional, kiosk, mobile and online—ensuring a seamless ordering experience for customers.

Its capability to manage multiple locations from a single dashboard is a significant advantage for businesses with multiple outlets. In-house payment processing, coupled with support for diverse payment types, enhances the ease of transactions. Revel’s flat processing fee structure helps businesses manage their expenses more effectively. And when you pair it with its POS hardware rather than sourcing your own outside Revel, you know the software is compatible, which is crucial for high-traffic hospitality businesses.

Who should use it: Revel Systems is best suited for hospitality businesses, particularly those operating across multiple locations.

  • Accept delivery, kiosk, online and mobile orders
  • Manage multiple locations from one dashboard
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Steep onboarding fee (starts at $674)
  • Two-terminal minimum



$59 per month ($79 per month CAD)

No transaction fees, API access, e-commerce store

KORONA POS stands out for its comprehensive offering that caters well to high-risk merchants. It provides an impressive feature set that includes e-commerce integration, employee time tracking, loyalty program integration, EMV and mobile payment options, retail inventory management tools and CRM capabilities. The system does not bind businesses with contracts or hidden fees and offers unlimited users and sales.

Another distinct advantage is its compatibility with high-risk merchant industries such as CBD, liquor, wine, dispensary and vape, which many other POS systems do not support due to the inherent risk. KORONA POS further supports scalability, making it an excellent choice for businesses looking to grow or manage multiple stores. Its 24/7 professional support ensures businesses receive help when needed.

Who should use it: KORONA POS is best suited for high-risk merchants who prefer a fixed monthly fee instead of transaction-based fees.

  • No transaction fees
  • Includes an e-commerce store
  • Unlimited users
  • Unlimited sales
  • Works with high-risk merchants
  • Need an Enterprise plan for ticketing and event management
  • No pre-built integrations on its first three plans


PayPal POS

(commercial transactions start at 2.90% plus a fixed fee)

No monthly fee, inventory management, daily performance reports

PayPal POS , now integrated with the restaurant POS called TouchBistro, charges no monthly fee. Instead, you’ll pay a per-transaction fee. These rates depend on how the transaction occurs, such as if it’s a commercial or QR code transaction. Transaction fees start at 2.90% plus a fixed fee based on the currency received. For example, each Canadian dollar received carries a $0.30 fee.

QR code transactions that are $10 or below cost 2.40% plus a fixed fee and any QR code transaction that’s $10.01 and above cost 1.90% plus a fixed fee. With PayPal POS in Canada, you don’t need any new hardware beyond your existing tablet or smartphone.

Who should use it: Businesses that want to pay a per-transaction fee rather than a monthly fee

  • No monthly fee, just pay transaction fees
  • Accept commercial and PayPal QR code payments
  • No additional hardware necessary
  • Transaction fees can get expensive

A POS system, also known as a point-of-sale system, is a hardware and software solution used to conduct transactions. This could be anything from selling a product to managing inventory or tracking customer data. A POS system can be as straightforward as a card reader or as complex as an all-in-one solution that includes features such as loyalty, scheduling, front of house, inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce.

POS systems are used by businesses of all sizes in a variety of industries, including retail, restaurants, hospitality and services. If you’re running a business that relies on transactions of any kind, then a POS system is likely a good fit for you.

To choose the best POS system, first consider whether or not the system offers the tools and features your business needs—now and in the future. Ideally, a POS system should make it easy and affordable to accept payments no matter where you are selling or how customers are paying. Additionally, look at the bigger picture in terms of pricing. Depending on your sales volume, it may or may not be worth opting for a POS system with a higher monthly rate if it comes with the benefit of lower transaction costs.

Here are a few key factors to consider when choosing a POS system:

  • Plans and Pricing: There are a few elements to consider in regard to POS pricing. Not only is there generally a monthly fee to use the service, but there are also varying payment processing fees. Oftentimes, the higher the monthly fee, the lower the transaction fees. For this reason, it’s worth considering your sales volume and determining which plan is the most cost-effective. On top of that, there are also fees associated with purchasing hardware to factor in.
  • Software and Hardware: In addition to the POS software, it’s worth considering whether or not you will also require POS hardware, such as terminals and card readers. Even if it’s not something you currently need, it’s worth considering if you might need it in the future as your business grows.
  • Features: Though POS systems should offer the same features more or less, most also offer unique features. For example, some may offer features designed to meet the needs of certain industries or use cases, such as a POS system with the option to split the bill for restaurant patrons.
  • Ease of Use: The best POS systems are easy to set up and intuitive to use.
  • Customer Support: One of the other key factors in the decision-making process–and one of the most overlooked, is the inclusion of high-quality support that is not only available 24/7 but available via a variety of channels from live chat to phone support.

POS Software Features

When choosing a POS system, the first step is to consider what features you need. Do you need basic transaction processing or do you need more advanced features such as loyalty, appointment scheduling, inventory management or email marketing?

Here are some common POS software features to look for:

  • Credit card processing: All POS systems will process credit and debit cards, but some systems will require you to use a specific payment processor. Others will let you choose your own processor.
  • Loyalty: If you want to offer loyalty programs or gift cards, look for a system that offers this feature.
  • Appointment scheduling: If you’re in the business of appointments, such as a salon or spa, look for a system that offers online booking and appointment reminders.
  • Inventory management: If you need to track inventory levels, look for a POS system that includes this feature. Some systems will even let you automatically reorder when inventory gets low.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM): If you want to track customer data, look for a system that includes a CRM feature. This will let you keep track of customer purchase history, contact information and more.
  • Reporting: All POS systems will offer some kind of reporting, but some will be more robust than others. If you need detailed reports on your business performance, look for a system that offers this.
  • E-commerce: If you want to sell online as well as in store, look for a system that offers an e-commerce solution. This will let you manage inventory and orders from one central platform.

POS Hardware Features

In addition to software, you’ll also need to consider hardware when choosing a POS system. The type of hardware you need will depend on the type of business you have and the features you’re looking for.

Here are some common POS hardware features to look for:

  • Touch-screen display: A touch-screen display is a common feature on POS systems. This lets you easily navigate the software and enter information.
  • Receipt printer: A receipt printer is a must-have for any POS system. This lets you print receipts for customers.
  • Barcode scanner: If you need to scan barcodes, look for a POS system that includes a barcode scanner.
  • Cash drawer: A cash drawer is another must-have for any POS system. This lets you store cash and keep it organized.
  • Payment terminal: If you want to accept credit and debit cards, you’ll need a payment terminal. Some POS systems come with a built-in terminal, while others require you to use a separate one.

Types of POS Systems

There are many types of POS systems on the market, from simple card readers to all-in-one solutions. The best POS system for your business will depend on your specific needs.

Here’s a rundown of the different types you might encounter.

Restaurant POS A restaurant POS system is a specialized type of POS system that’s designed for restaurants. These systems typically include features such as table management, kitchen display systems and online ordering. Most will also have inventory management, so you can auto-reorder ingredients as they get low.

Retail POS A retail POS system is designed for retail businesses. These systems typically include features such as inventory management, customer loyalty programs and gift cards. Some retail POS systems also offer appointment scheduling and reporting.

iPad POS An iPad POS system is a type of mobile POS system that uses an iPad as the main point-of-sale terminal. These systems are becoming increasingly popular due to their portability and ease of use. Many iPad POS systems come with built-in features such as credit card processing, scheduling and receipt printing.

Mobile POS A mobile POS system is a type of POS system that can be used on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. People are relying more on these systems because of their portability and easy setup. Many mobile POS systems come with built-in features such as credit card processing, inventory management and receipt printing.

Android POS An Android POS system is a type of mobile POS system that uses an Android device as the main point-of-sale terminal. Due to their mobility and simple-to-use interface, these systems are increasing in popularity, too. Most Android POS systems come with features such as credit card processing, barcode scanning and receipt printing.

Cloud POS A cloud POS system is a type of POS system that’s hosted in the cloud. This means that all of your data is stored online, making it easy to access from anywhere. Cloud POS systems are becoming more popular because they’re easier to set up and use than traditional POS systems. They also typically come with features such as inventory management, customer loyalty programs and gift cards.

POS Terminal A POS terminal is a type of POS system that’s designed for businesses that need to process credit and debit cards. These terminals typically come with features such as EMV compliance, PCI compliance and fraud prevention.

The cost of a POS system will vary depending on the type and features you need. Generally, the more features you want, the more you can expect to pay. Some companies lend you a POS system in exchange for a monthly fee, while others require that you purchase the system outright.

More expensive POS features include:

  • Credit card processing: To process credit and debit cards, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee for most POS systems.
  • Inventory management: Some POS systems come with inventory management, while others require you to purchase a separate system.
  • Customer loyalty programs: To offer customer loyalty programs, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee for most POS systems. Most have this as an optional add-on, rather than a built-in feature.
  • Reporting: Most POS systems come with reporting, while others require you to use a third-party integration. For more advanced reports, you may need to pay for a higher-tiered plan.
  • Online ordering: Restaurants that want to offer online ordering will need to pay a monthly fee for most POS systems, in addition to any third-party costs such as fees for DoorDash or Uber Eats.

To reduce costs, you can look for a POS system that comes with a free trial period. This will allow you to test out the system before committing to a long-term contract. You can also look for discounts, such as seasonal promotions or referral programs. However, the easiest way to pare down costs is to only pay for the services you need.

When considering the cost of a POS system, you’ll also need to factor in the costs of hardware, such as receipt printers and barcode scanners. These can range in price from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on the quality and features you need.

After paying for hardware and software, you usually have to pay processing or transaction fees. These are typically a percentage of the total sale, plus a small per-transaction fee. For example, if you’re paying 2.5% plus $0.10 per transaction, and you make a sale for $100, your total fee would be $2.60.

Sample Processing Fees for In-Person Transactions

When you’re choosing an option, you’ll need to decide whether you want a point-of-sale (POS) system or a cash register. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs.

POS systems are typically more expensive than cash registers, but they offer more features and functionality. Cash registers only track sales and print receipts, while POS systems can track inventory, customers, employees and sales. POS systems also typically offer features such as loyalty programs, gift cards and reporting, while cash registers typically do not.

POS systems are a good choice for businesses that want to track inventory, customers and sales. They’re also a good choice for businesses that want to offer loyalty programs, gift cards and reporting. However, they’re unnecessary for businesses that only need to track sales.

The cost of a cash register is less than a POS system, but offers fewer features. Cash registers can track sales, but they typically cannot track inventory, customers or sales tax. Cash registers also rarely offer features such as loyalty programs, gift cards and reporting. However, they are a good choice for businesses that only need to track sales. They’re also a good choice for businesses that cannot afford a POS system.

Once you’ve chosen a POS system, you’ll need to learn how to use it. Luckily, most POS systems are easy to use and come with training materials or customer support.

If you’re using a cloud-based POS system, you’ll need to create an account and log in. Then, you can start adding products, customers and employees. Most cloud-based POS systems come with a built-in tutorial to help you get started.

If you’re using a self-hosted POS system, you’ll need to install the software on a computer. Once it’s installed, you can start adding products, customers and employees. A built-in tutorial is included with most self-hosted POS systems to assist you in getting started.

A POS system involving hardware will require you to set up the hardware, such as receipt printers and barcode scanners. This is a more complex process, and in some cases, even requires an onboarding specialist on-site or to walk you through the process over the phone. Once the hardware is set up, you can start adding products, customers and employees.

Once you’ve added all your products, customers and employees, you’re ready to start using your POS system. To make a sale, you’ll need to add the items to the order and then process the payment. Most POS systems can process payments by credit card, debit card, cash or cheque.

After the payment is processed, you can print or email a receipt to the customer. Some POS systems also allow you to send text or email receipts.

Reporting is an important feature of most POS systems. With reporting, you can track sales, inventory and employees. This information can help you make informed decisions about your business. Most POS systems offer a variety of reports, such as sales reports, inventory reports and employee reports. Some POS systems also offer custom reporting. This is the key to getting the most out of your POS system—use your reports to gather insights into your business and make changes accordingly.

To provide the most comprehensive and accurate ranking of the best POS systems for small businesses, we reviewed and analyzed several providers in the POS sector. Our methodology evaluates each system across five key categories, totaling a broad range of metrics. These metrics are then weighted according to their importance to small businesses. The following sections detail our evaluation process.

Pricing (10% of score)

Pricing plays an integral role in selecting a POS system. In this category, we scrutinize the cost of each system, including monthly fees, transaction costs and hardware prices. We also evaluate whether there’s a free trial or free version available, the pricing of initial and additional card readers and the potential for hidden charges.

General Features (30% of score)

General features cover the essential functionality of the POS system, accounting for 30% of the total score. We look at whether the system caters to retail and restaurant businesses, offers mobile payment options, includes built-in payment processing, provides inventory management capabilities and supports software integrations. We also evaluate the POS system’s compatibility with e-commerce platforms.

Additional Features (20% of score)

Additional features provide enhanced functionality that may prove beneficial to certain businesses. We look at whether the POS system supports multiple locations, offers employee scheduling, enables contactless payments, provides hardware bundles, manages gift cards, has self-service capabilities, generates reports and analytics, includes a free card reader, offers table management for restaurants and facilitates loyalty programs.

Ratings and Reviews (10% of score)

We consider real user feedback and reviews from trusted platforms such as Trustpilot, G2 and Capterra to contribute to our evaluation. The number of reviews, as well as the rating on each platform, are both assessed. The ratings and reviews category forms 10% of the overall score, providing a snapshot of user satisfaction and system reliability.

Expert Score (30% of score)

Our expert score is derived from firsthand experience and professional insight into each POS system, making up 30% of the total score. We look at standout features, value for money, popularity and ease of use. This involves examining any learning curve associated with the system, the intuitiveness of the platform and the prevalence of upsells or hidden costs. The expert score helps to provide a thorough understanding of the overall quality, usability and affordability of each system

There are a number of important 2024 POS system trends emerging. Here are the ones you should be paying attention to so that your business stays competitive.

Cashless and Touchless Transactions Continue to Gain Momentum

The COVID-19 pandemic was a major impetus behind the shift toward cashless and touchless payment options. In a world concerned with hygiene and lowering transmission rates, technologies that allowed touchless payment became an essential part of purchasing infrastructure. This technology includes tap-and-go credit and debit cards and digital wallets that can be accessed through a smartphone or smartwatch.

These payment methods are not only hygienic but also offer the consumer increased speed, convenience and security in their purchases. These factors have contributed to the continued popularity of these methods even as the pandemic has subsided. Approximately 51% of Americans are now using contactless payment in some form and, in 2020, 67% of retailers reported that contactless payment capabilities were included in their infrastructure.

More Advanced POS Hardware and Software

Gone are the days when POS systems had to be run from large, clunky, stationary computer systems. Hardware that works with POS systems is now more advanced and mobile than ever, allowing more flexibility for store associates and the business as a whole. Expect to see more smartphones, tablets, Bluetooth technology, secure order pickup lockers, electronic shelf labels and smart self-checkout solutions in 2024.

This more advanced hardware has been made possible by both physical and virtual improvements in technology. Without the advancements in software powering these devices, they would have offered a more limited level of functionality.

Cloud-hosted POS Systems are the Future

Cloud-based technology has taken the business world by storm in recent years and will continue to do so into 2024 and beyond. POS systems based in the cloud can be updated and integrated easily with other business operations, and they back up and store data securely automatically. Cloud POS systems also come with significantly lower price tags―usually in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) format―making them more accessible to businesses that also have budget constraints.

Increased Mobility

The cloud allows POS systems to operate over an internet connection, which has paved the way for these systems to be used on mobile devices. Traditionally, POS systems would be tethered to centralized computer stations reliant on physical connections. Now, this software can be used on mobile devices in any location, increasing the system’s flexibility and improving a business’s overall productivity.

Improvements in Self-service Kiosks and Infrastructure

With the rise of cloud technology, self-service infrastructure is also advancing in leaps and bounds. In addition to traditional self-service checkouts, such as you’d see in a grocery or retail store, self-service can now be used in other applications, such as all-in-one restaurant ordering/payment and brand-new storefronts in which checkout and payment isn’t necessary at all (Amazon Go). In 2024, we will see a greater emphasis on these technologies as they are convenient, cost-effective and can reduce errors in the ordering and checkout process.

Shopping Experience

A customer’s shopping experience can be personalized by offering messages, offers and products that are selected and tailored to a customer’s individual behavior and preferences. Companies can also show that they value their customers by ensuring that they proactively direct them to their preferred channels, keep their checkout information at the ready for increased convenience, allow them to switch between applications and communication channels effortlessly and connect them automatically with the best resources to meet their needs.

Customers know that companies collect data about them every time they use the internet, and they now expect that this data will be used to improve their experience with the company. There is no doubt businesses will continue to allocate resources to make these services a priority.

Related: Best Credit Card Machines In Canada

What is the best POS system for a small business?

The Square POS is Forbes Advisor’s selection for the best POS system for small business of 2024. It takes our top pick because of no monthly fees, low cost hardware and needing no training to use, making it ideal for businesses on a budget.

Clover’s massive amount of third-party integrations makes it our second top pick for best POS systems. It integrates with apps such as DocuSign, Xero, Mailchimp and WooCommerce to expand the functionality of your POS.

In our third spot is Shopify POS , which is great for businesses of all sizes. It turns any mobile device, be it a tablet, smartphone or something else, into a point-of-sale terminal, and is fully integrated with Shopify’s other tools and services. It’s ideal for businesses that sell online and at brick-and-mortar locations.

What does a POS system do?

A POS system is a software and hardware system that businesses use to take payments, track sales, manage inventory and connect to other business systems. With its reports and analytics, business owners can also make informed decisions about their business.

How do I choose the right POS system for my business?

The best POS system for your business depends on a variety of factors, including the type of business you have, your budget and the features you need. For many situations, it makes sense to invest in the best system you can afford, and preferably, the system can grow with your business.

How much does a POS system cost?

The cost of a POS system depends on the features you need and the size of your business. Some systems are free, while others can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month.

Do I need a POS system?

If you have a brick-and-mortar store, then a POS system can be a valuable tool for managing inventory, processing payments and tracking sales data. Even if you don’t have a physical store, a POS system can be helpful for managing online orders and shipping.

How do I set up a point-of-sale system?

Most point-of-sale systems come with onboarding documentation that walks you through the process of setting up your system. Typically, the process involves creating an account, adding products, customers and employees, and then connecting hardware such as receipt printers and barcode scanners.

Can I use a POS with an e-commerce store?

Yes, you can use a POS with an e-commerce store. In fact, many POS systems integrate with popular e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify and WooCommerce. Inventory syncs between your POS system and e-commerce store, so you can keep track of stock levels in real time.

What are the four types of POS systems?

The four types of POS systems include Legacy (traditional, on-premises hardware systems), Tablet-based (use tablets as the main interface), Mobile (operates on smartphones and mobile devices) and Cloud-based (hosted on the internet, allowing data to be accessed from anywhere).

Kathy Haan, MBA is a former financial advisor-turned-writer and business coach. For over a decade, she’s helped small business owners make money online. When she’s not trying out the latest tech or travel blogging with her family, you can find her curling up with a good novel.

Kelly is an SMB Editor specializing in starting and marketing new ventures. Before joining the team, she was a Content Producer at Fit Small Business where she served as an editor and strategist covering small business marketing content. She is a former Google Tech Entrepreneur and she holds an MSc in International Marketing from Edinburgh Napier University. Additionally, she manages a column at Inc. Magazine.

Retail | Tip List

16 Effective POS Marketing Ideas for Driving Sales

Point-of-sale (POS) marketing is the merchandising and promotional efforts that take place around the register or online checkout pages.

Published March 8, 2023

Published Mar 8, 2023

Meaghan Brophy

REVIEWED BY: Meaghan Brophy

Katie-Jay Simmons

WRITTEN BY: Katie-Jay Simmons

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This article is part of a larger series on POS Systems .

Make the most of your space

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  • 1 Ideas for Your Brick-and-Mortar Store
  • 2 Ideas for Your Online Store
  • 3 Ideas for Both
  • 4 Bottom Line

When done effectively, POS marketing can help boost your business’s upselling and cross-selling potential, reinforce your brand, improve customer experiences, and enhance your store’s visual appeal. Here are 16 in-store and online point-of-sale marketing ideas to drive sales.

Ideas for Your Brick-and-Mortar Store

1. line your checkout space with displays.

Place shelves or free-standing displays around your register to showcase small, inexpensive products. This will keep your customers shopping while waiting in line and promote impulse buys.

Impulse buys: An unplanned purchase. When a customer buys items they were not planning on buying, or when something is bought “on a whim.”

Impulse buys can be a great way to drive sales, especially in today’s climate. As of 2022, the average person spends $314 per month on impulse purchases—up from $276 in 2021 and $183 in 2020. Plus, a recent poll found that 64% of American adults have increased their impulse shopping habits in the last year.

When stocking your shelves with impulse items, use products like snacks, small accessories, or other little items that customers can add to their purchase without much thought. Another strategy is to display odds and ends that customers might have forgotten—like batteries, lighters, and nail clippers.

For example, at my clothing boutique, we had fashion tape, static guard, and small accessories around our register. Nearly every customer would add a roll of tape or fun ring to their initial purchases—products they may have forgotten or never considered had the items not been marketed around our POS system.

Showing small inexpensive items to your POS.

Adding small, inexpensive items to your POS area is a great way to inspire impulse purchases. (Source: BerkeleySide)

2. Add Countertop Displays

In addition to your checkout area, you can incorporate displays and capitalize on impulse buys on your actual checkout counter.

Create small displays like the ones below, which showcase items that customers can easily add to their purchase or small products that they may have forgotten to shop for.

Well lighted countertop display.

If you don’t have a large counter space, avoid overcrowding it by incorporating under-counter shelving for displaying products and inspiring impulse buys. (Source: Pinterest)

Countertop display with snacks and small toiletry items.

Snacks and small toiletry items are great products to include in your POS displays. (Source: Handystore Fixtures)

Countertop display of Ben Sherman.

Small accessories line this POS counter. (Source: Dor)

The countertop POS marketing strategy is especially useful if you don’t have a lot of space around your cash wrap for shelving displays. Displaying products on your counter is a great way to utilize product space without taking up additional square footage.

3. Use Guiding Signage

Guiding signage is another way to enhance your countertop displays. Spark inspiration in your customers with signs telling them how to use your product or what it is best suited for. If customers are able to envision how they would use your products, they will feel more subliminal pressure to make an impulse purchase.

Countertop displays with guiding signage.

Guiding signage that describes how an item may fit into the customer’s life is a fantastic way to inspire impulse purchases at your register. (Source: Pinterest)

4. Create a Sampling Area

Another way to boost customer engagement and drive sales around your POS is by creating a sampling or demo station . Whether sampling a new snack or showing shoppers how to use a featured product, a sampling area is a great way to introduce customers to new products and boost sales.

You can either create your own samples and station or contact your supplier for sample inventory and displays. Most of the time, suppliers don’t mind sending them out for free, and they will often include a temporary sampling station for you to use. Otherwise, a small folding table with some signage should do the trick.

Set up your sampling in an area closest to the checkout counter, but be sure that it doesn’t get overcrowded or disrupt the queue. This will allow you to capitalize on customers about to make a purchase, drive impulse buys, and maintain order in your checkout area.

Showing a staff in a sampling area.

Create a sampling station near your POS to boost sales and introduce customers to new products. (Source: PR Week)

5. Set Up ‘Dump Bins’

Dump bins are floor-standing open containers that hold loose products, like boxed candy or school supplies. Dump bins typically hold products that are categorically the same and are on sale or discount.

You’ve likely seen the large wire bins of old $6.99 DVDs at your local supercenter. Those bins are dump bins, a POS marketing strategy to promote impulse purchases and move clearance products.

If you have large numbers of low-cost clearance items, consider displaying them in a dump bin near your register. Use signage to draw attention to their price and make them accessible from all sides. This will keep customers shopping as they wait in line and promote impulsive, discount-motivated purchases.

Did you know?

76%–89% of US shoppers would be willing to try a new product or brand if offered a discount or sale price.

Loose products at discounted price.

A dump bin holds discounted products near the checkout area. (Source: Creative Magazine)

6. Display a QR Code at Checkout

The checkout line is a great place to use QR codes to engage customers with your brand and keep people shopping as they wait in line. With a QR code, shoppers can use their phones to scan and go directly to your website, social media pages, a survey, or even to make payments—it’s up to you and what you want to show them.

Customers in line to check out have already connected with your brand, so if you offer them more opportunities to engage, they’re likely to partake. Place QR codes around your register to boost engagement, promote online sales, and create an exciting and engaging customer experience.

Want to learn more about how you can use QR codes for payments? Check out our guide on QR Code Payments .

Scanning QR code using mobile phone.

QR codes can boost engagement, enhance convenience, and help keep customers happy. (Source: National Retail Association)

7. Make Customer Service Available at Checkout

Be sure that your customers can get assistance at or near your checkout counter. This placement of your customer service area is not only logical to shoppers but will help ensure that customers are able to end their shopping trip with a positive experience.

Place flyers or displays with common customer questions around your POS. Include things like your return policy, parking information, and current promotions—anything you think your customers might need or want to know.

Depending on how much space you have, your customer service desk will either be part of your POS station or located at a separate desk. Equip your service area with a handbook of company policies, its own POS kiosk (for looking up orders and processing returns and refunds), and any supplies your associates might need to help customers with returns, exchanges, or other product issues.

For example, the customer service area at my boutique was located at our POS. So we had a sewing kit, static guard, tide sticks, and pantyhose for shoppers to use to try on clothes. We also had tissues, paper, ribbons for wrapping, and office supplies for any paperwork or shipping information.

Showing wide area of customer service.

Provide customer service at or near your POS to ensure a smooth shopping experience. (Source: Supermarket News)

8. Incorporate Self-service Kiosks

Another point-of-sale marketing idea is to incorporate a self-service checkout kiosk into your store. Self-service kiosks are devices that include a digital screen, barcode scanner, and bagging area that customers can use to check themselves out and complete their purchases. They’re common at local grocery stores, as pictured below.

Self-checkout kiosk.

Self-checkout kiosks have a digital screen, scanner, and bagging area for shoppers to use to complete their purchases. (Source: Medium)

Self-service checkouts will minimize labor costs, add a high-tech flare to your store, and help keep lines at bay—improving your customers’ overall experience. They have also been shown to yield higher ticket values , boosting sales. The majority of customers even prefer self-service kiosks for their convenience.

Check out our article on all things kiosks to learn more about kiosks and the different types you can add to your store.

Ideas for Your Online Store

9. entice online shoppers with free shipping.

POS marketing is not just for brick-and-mortar stores; it’s also an important part of creating an effective online presence. When it comes to ecommerce sites, POS marketing refers to all the design and marketing efforts that take place around the shopping cart and checkout pages .

Just like in physical stores, effective ecommerce POS marketing can help you drive impulse sales, upsell, and make shopping easier for your customers.

A study from Deloitte found that 85% of consumers prefer free shipping to fast shipping , and 88% are not willing to pay extra for standard shipping.

Your shipping prices are a huge factor in customers’ decisions to make a purchase or not. In fact, in both 2021 and 2022, Jungle Scout found that shipping prices are more influential than product prices when it comes to making purchasing decisions.

You can set yourself apart and make people more likely to purchase if you offer free shipping. The biggest consideration here is how much your business can spend on shipping costs. There are several ways you can offer free shipping without sacrificing your bottom line.

  • Minimum purchase: Offer free shipping once a customer reaches a certain cart value.
  • Factor shipping cost into price : Bump up your prices slightly to account for incorporated shipping costs.
  • Limited time : Offer limited-time shipping promotions to incentivize shopping during slow seasons or to stay competitive during peak seasons.
  • Coupons : Offer to exchange contact info for your mailing list in exchange for free shipping codes.
  • Membership : Make free shipping available to customers who have a membership or pay a flat annual shipping fee.

Want to learn how you can offer free shipping on your online orders? Check out our free shipping guide for instructions.

One of the best places to advertise your shipping deals is around your POS. Flash your shipping offers around the shopping cart icon, when customers add items to their cart, when they are in their carts, and again when they are inputting their information. This will ensure that customers know your offerings and benefits when they’re making their purchasing decision.

Nordstrom online store website.

Advertise your shipping offers around your POS so that customers know all your offerings. (Source: Crazy Egg)

A screenshot of an item page on the Bonobos site with a red arrow pointing to a free shipping advertisement.

Men’s clothing store Bonobos reminds shoppers of its shipping offer above the ‘Add To Cart’ button to help sway their purchase decision.

10. Show Recently Viewed Items

Another POS marketing technique is to remind shoppers of what they have already viewed. Displaying things they have previously shown interest in is a great way to bring those products back to the top of their minds and drive the purchase decision—sometimes, a second reminder is all you need. It also helps shoppers navigate your site and rediscover their favorite products.

Try incorporating a “Recently Viewed Items” section at the bottom of your shopping cart page. You may also want to consider using a “Quick Add” button on these products so that customers can simply click it without leaving their carts.

An item page on an online store with a red arrow pointing to a bar on the right showing recently viewed items.

Display recently viewed items to remind customers of what they have already shown interest in. (Source: Shopify App Store)

11. Send Abandoned Cart Recovery Emails

On average, 71% of online shopping carts are abandoned . One of the most effective shopping cart recovery methods is sending emails to remind customers when they’ve left behind.

Using your website builder or a third-party software like Wunderkind , you can track which customers are abandoning their cart and send them reminder emails. I suggest sending these emails out between 24–48 hours from the time of abandonment. This way, you’re catching shoppers when the cart is still fresh in their minds, but not too close to the time of abandonment.

Keep your recovery email short and simple—you’re just sending them a simple reminder. What is really going to inspire a purchase is not the message but seeing the product they almost bought. Show pictures of what they left behind, and consider sweetening the deal with a discount or shipping offer.

An email from the company Cider displaying two women's clothing items with text encouraging the recipient to buy.

Use abandoned cart recovery emails to remind customers of their past products and drive your sales.

Ideas for Both

12. campaign for a cause.

Another way that you can craft your customers’ experience and enhance your POS marketing is by making community partnerships and advertising them on the POS page or counter. This will let customers know what your business stands for and how they can become involved—and even help to boost your sales.

Did you know? According to a 2022 study from Google, a staggering 82% of shoppers prefer buying from businesses that align with their values and seek out these brands.

Contact local nonprofit organizations, look to community Facebook pages, and talk to your community center to learn where you can get involved. The cause you choose, however, will attract a certain customer—so be sure to choose groups and causes that align with your brand and how you want to represent your business.

Red nose day campaign in store.

For an effective POS marketing tactic, show customers how you are getting involved for a cause. (Source: Glassdoor)

13. Advertise Your Loyalty Program

At the checkout phase, customers have already connected with your brand and are ripe for becoming a loyal customer. This makes it the perfect time to let them know about your rewards, VIP, or loyalty programs.

Advertise your loyalty program in your POS area to catch customers when they are most engaged with your brand and help turn them into loyal shoppers.

A commonly cited retail stat notes there is a 60%–70% probability of selling to existing consumers compared to a low 5%–20% probability of selling a product to new customers.

In addition to creating more loyal customers for future purchases, offering a sign-up deal on your loyalty program at the POS will incentivize shoppers to go through with their purchase (or even buy more).

For example, a customer may be about to buy a candle from your site, and then a 15% off loyalty member signup coupon pops up at checkout. The customer would not only be more likely to buy the candle, but would also be incentivized to make a larger purchase at that moment to maximize the coupon.

I suggest having a sign-up opportunity on your shopping cart and checkout pages. It also helps to prompt customers to join again on the order confirmation page. These three spots should make it easy for customers to find signup opportunities at any time, and remind them of the opportunity again right before they leave your site.

Want to learn more about loyalty programs? Check out our articles on the top loyalty program software and loyalty program strategies .

14. Suggest Complementary Products

When customers are in the checkout phase, use POS marketing to cross merchandise complementary products. Cross merchandising can save customers time, make their shopping experience easier and more convenient, remind them of need, spark ideas, and drive your sales.

Cross merchandising: The practice of displaying items from different product categories together to incentivize customers to make multiple item purchases.

You can learn more about cross merchandising strategies with our cross merchandising guide .

Brick-and-mortar stores can cross merchandise by arranging like-items together on an aisle endcap or a special display. For example, a grocery store might place pasta and pasta sauce at an endcap by the register so customers can easily add both products to their cart at the end of their shopping trip. Or, a boutique might display scarves and hats near its POS so customers can grab all their cold-weather essentials in one place.

Retailer cross merchandised.

This retailer cross merchandised everything a customer could need to make a great pot of tea. (Source: The Motley Fool)

Ecommerce stores can replicate this marketing effort online by incorporating product suggestions at checkout based on what shoppers are viewing or have added to their carts.

For example, if a customer has a pair of denim shorts in their cart, you might suggest matching tops and shoes that could make the item a complete outfit. Product suggestions are a great upselling strategy that make shopping easier for customers.

According to Salesforce, ecommerce retailers that use product recommendations see an average of 26% higher average order values .

Using a product recommendation software like , you can show product recommendations when shoppers are checking out so that they see everything they might be interested in before they make their final purchase. Be sure to flash options for similar products and complementary items and products from the same brand.

A screenshot of a gallon of paint on the Home Depot checkout page with product recommendations for tape, brushes, and plastic liners.

The Home Depot site features helpful product recommendations that appear when shoppers add an item to their cart, as well as when they go to checkout.

15. Use Compelling Calls to Action

Use call to action signage around the products at your POS to make shoppers more likely to buy. Or, for online stores, use eye-catching banners and graphics with compelling copy. For example, “try me,” “buy now,” or “check me out” verbiage draws customers in and gives them the necessary nudge to drive impulse purchases.

Call to Action (CTA): A marketing term for any display that is designed to prompt an immediate response or a sale.

Keep your CTA simple and straight to the point, but make it bold and attention-grabbing as well. The message should be short and sweet, starting with a strong verb like “buy” or “try” to incite action.

Then incorporate other words like “yours,” “now,” and “discount” to make your CTA compelling and eye-catching. In terms of design, use bold fonts and colors to make sure your signage stands out, and position it at eye level to ensure maximum visibility.

Personalized CTAs have a conversion rate over 200% greater than nonpersonalized ones. Do your best to address your shoppers directly with your CTAs, and use familiar, branded language.

A bright red call to action sign that reads "Try me I'm new" positioned above a display of food items.

This sign is calling for people to “Try Me,” encouraging them to give this new product a go. (Source: Stikka Signs and Graphics)

16. Advertise Your Social Media Pages

Another POS marketing technique that you can use is advertising your social media pages near or on your checkout counter with posters, QR codes, and flyers. Or, for your online store, use links and helpful UGC (user-generated content) near the checkout page.

As mentioned above, shoppers going through your checkout process have already connected with your brand, making it the perfect time to deepen the connection by providing a new outlet for engagement.

Use strong, action-oriented language on your social media signage, and do what you can to make it easy for customers to find and follow you. You don’t want to create too many barriers, as this will deter them. You can even sweeten the deal by offering a promotion for following your brand on socials, like 15% off a purchase for each new platform they follow.

For example, at my store, we had posters with all of our social media handles listed boldly. The poster asked customers, “Have you followed us on social media yet?,” a presumptive question aimed at inspiring action. We also had QR codes for each social media page so that shoppers wouldn’t have to take too many steps to find us and give us a follow. We also noted that we ran social media-exclusive promotions to create an even greater incentive.


2024 Retail Marketing Calendar

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Bottom line.

POS marketing is a great way to boost your revenue, strengthen your brand, and drive impulse buys right before purchase.

Both in-store and online, POS marketing is vital to the success of your business and keeping your customers happy. Use the tips above to create an effective POS marketing campaign and watch your business grow.

About the Author

Katie-Jay Simmons

Find Katie-Jay On LinkedIn

Katie-Jay Simmons

Katie-Jay Simmons aims to put answers in the hands of small business owners by leveraging more than 10 years of retail and hospitality experience. Informed by a background in jewelry and gemology, she specializes in ecommerce with a focus on fulfillment and global sourcing. Her scope of expertise ranges from traditional brick-and-mortar businesses to innovative, high-volume ecommerce operations.

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What is Sales Planning? How to Create a Sales Plan

Jay Fuchs

Published: December 06, 2023

Sales planning is a fundamental component of sound selling. After all, you can‘t structure an effective sales effort if you don’t have, well, structure . Everyone — from the top to the bottom of a sales org — benefits from having solid, actionable, thoughtfully organized sales plans in place.

how to create a sales plan; Sales team creating a sales plan for the upcoming quarter

This kind of planning offers clarity and direction for your sales team — covering everything from the prospects you‘re trying to reach to the goals you’re trying to hit to the insight you're trying to deliver on.

But putting together one of these plans isn‘t always straightforward, so to help you out, I’ve compiled this detailed guide to sales planning — including expert-backed insight and examples — that will ensure your next sales plan is fundamentally sound and effective.

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In this post, we'll cover:

What is a sales plan?

Sales planning process.

  • What goes in a sales plan template?

How to Write a Sales Plan

Tips for creating an effective sales plan, sales plan examples, strategic sales plan examples.

A sales plan lays out your objectives, high-level tactics, target audience, and potential obstacles. It's like a traditional business plan but focuses specifically on your sales strategy. A business plan lays out your goals — a sales plan describes exactly how you'll make those happen.

Sales plans often include information about the business's target customers, revenue goals, team structure, and the strategies and resources necessary for achieving its targets.

business plan for point of sale

Free Sales Plan Template

Outline your company's sales strategy in one simple, coherent sales plan.

  • Target Market
  • Prospecting Strategy

What are the goals of an effective sales plan?

business plan for point of sale

And if (or more likely when ) those goals change over time, you need to regularly communicate those shifts and the strategic adjustments that come with them to your team.

Your sales strategy keeps your sales process productive — it offers the actionable steps your reps can take to deliver on your vision and realize the goals you set. So naturally, you need to communicate it effectively. A sales plan offers a solid resource for that.

For instance, your sales org might notice that your SDRs are posting lackluster cold call conversion rates. In turn, you might want to have them focus primarily on email outreach, or you could experiment with new sales messaging on calls.

Regardless of how you want to approach the situation, a thoughtfully structured sales plan will give both you and your reps a high-level perspective that would inform more cohesive, effective efforts across the team.

An effective sales org is a machine — one where each part has a specific function that serves a specific purpose that needs to be executed in a specific fashion. That's why everyone who comprises that org needs to have a clear understanding of how they specifically play into the company's broader sales strategy.

Outlining roles and responsibilities while sales planning lends itself to more efficient task delegation, improved collaboration, overlap reduction, and increased accountability. All of which amount to more streamlined, smooth, successful sales efforts.

Sales planning can set the framework for gauging how well your team is delivering on your sales strategy. It can inform the benchmarks and milestones reps can use to see how their performance stacks up against your goals and expectations.

It also gives sales leadership a holistic view of how well a sales org is functioning as a whole — giving them the necessary perspective to understand whether they have the right people and tools in place to be as successful as possible.

Sales planning isn‘t (and shouldn’t) be limited to the actual sales plan document it produces. If that document is going to have any substance or practical value, it needs to be the byproduct of a thorough, well-informed, high-level strategy.

When sales planning, you have some key steps you need to cover — including:

  • Gather sales data and search for trends.
  • Define your objectives.
  • Determine metrics for success.
  • Assess the current situation.
  • Start sales forecasting.
  • Identify gaps.
  • Ideate new initiatives.
  • Involve stakeholders.
  • Outline action items.

When putting this list together, I consulted  Zach Drollinger — Senior Director of Sales at edtech provider Coursedog — to ensure the examples detailed below are sound and accurate.

Step 1: Gather sales data and search for trends.

To plan for the present and future, your company needs to look to the past. What did sales look like during the previous year? What about the last five years? Using this information can help you identify trends in your industry. While it's not foolproof, it helps establish a foundation for your sales planning process.

For the sake of example, let‘s say that I’m a new sales director for an edtech company that sells curriculum planning software to higher education institutions. My vertical is community colleges, and my territory is the East Coast.

Once I assume this new role, I‘m going to want to gather as much context as possible about my vertical and how my company has approached it historically. I would pull information about how we’ve sold to this vertical.

How much new business have we closed within it in the past five years? How does that compare to how we perform with other kinds of institutions? Are we seeing significant churn from these customers?

I would also want to get context about the general needs, interests, and pain points of the kinds of institutions I‘m selling to. I’d look for insight into figures like degree velocity, staff retention, and enrollment.

Ultimately, I would get a comprehensive perspective on my sales process — a thorough understanding of where I stand and what my prospects are dealing with. That will ensure that I can deliver on the next step as effectively as possible.

Step 2: Define your objectives.

How do you know your business is doing well if you have no goals? As you can tell from its placement on this list, defining your goals and objectives is one of the first steps you should take in your sales planning process. Once you have them defined, you can move forward with executing them.

To extend the example from the previous step, I would leverage the context I gathered through the research I conducted about both my and my prospect's circumstances. I would start setting both broader goals and more granular operational objectives .

For instance, I might want to set a goal of increasing sales revenue from my vertical. From there, I would start putting together the kind of specific objectives that will facilitate that process — like connecting with administrators from at least 30 community colleges, booking demos with at least 10 schools, and successfully closing at least five institutions.

Obviously, those steps represent a streamlined (and unrealistically straightforward) sales process, but you get the idea — I would set a concrete goal, supplemented by SMART objectives , that will serve as a solid reference point for my org's efforts as the sales process progresses.

You're all set!

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Step 3: Determine metrics for success.

Every business is different. One thing we can all agree on is that you need metrics for success. These metrics are key performance indicators (KPIs). What are you going to use to determine if your business is successful? KPIs differ based on your medium, but standard metrics are gross profit margins, return on investment (ROI), daily web traffic users, conversion rate, and more.

I kind of covered this step in the previous example, but it still warrants a bit more elaboration. The “M” in SMART goals (“measurable”) is there for a reason. You can‘t tell if your efforts were successful if you don’t know what “successful” actually means.

The edtech sales example I‘ve been running with revolves mostly around me assuming ownership of an existing vertical and getting more out of it. So it’s fair to assume that sales growth rate — the increase or decrease of sales revenue in a given period, typically expressed as a percentage — would be an effective way to gauge success.

I might want to structure my goals and objectives around a sales growth rate of 20% Y/Y within my vertical. I would make sure my org was familiar with that figure and offer some context about what it would take to reach it — namely, how many institutions we would need to close and retain.

Step 4: Assess the current situation.

How is your business fairing right now? This information is relevant to determining how your current situation holds up to the goals and objectives you set during step two. What are your roadblocks? What are your strengths? Create a list of the obstacles hindering your success. Identify the assets you can use as an advantage. These factors will guide you as you build your sales plan.

Continuing the edtech example, I would use the historical context I gathered and the objectives I set to frame how I look at my current circumstances. I might start by considering my goal of increasing revenue by 20% Y/Y. In that case, I would look at the company's retention figures — ideally, that would give me a sense of whether that needs to be a major area of focus.

I would also try to pin down trends in the colleges that we've already closed — are there any pain points we consistently sell on? I might take a closer look at how we demo to see if we might be glossing over key elements of our value proposition. Maybe, I would use conversation intelligence to get a better sense of how reps are handling their calls.

Ultimately, I would try to identify why we're performing the way we are, the inefficiencies that might be resulting from our current strategy, and how we can best set ourselves up to sell as effectively as possible.

Step 5: Start sales forecasting.

Sales forecasting is an in-depth report that predicts what a salesperson, team, or company will sell weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. While it is finicky, it can help your company make better decisions when hiring, budgeting, prospecting, and setting goals.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, economics has become less predictable. Claire Fenton , the owner of StrActGro — a professional training and coaching company — states, “Many economic forecasters won't predict beyond three months at a time.” This makes sales forecasting difficult. However, there are tools at your disposal to create accurate sales forecasts .

In our edtech example, I would approach this step by trying to estimate how my sales org is going to fare with the specific vertical we‘re pursuing in the time window we’ve allotted.

The method I decide to go with will depend on factors like how many concrete opportunities we have lined up — in addition to elements like the kind of historical data we have handy, how the reps working these deals tend to perform, and the degree of insight we have about our potential customers.

Let's say I consider those factors and decide to run something called a multivariable analysis. In that case, I could start by taking stock of the opportunities my reps have lined up. Then, I could look at the reps working those deals, their typical win rates, and the time they have to close — among other factors.

For instance, I might calculate that a rep working with a particularly large institution has a 50% chance of closing within the window we‘ve allotted. Using that insight, we could attribute 50% of the potential deal size to our forecast — we’d repeat that process with all of the opportunities in question and ideally get a solid sense of the revenue we can expect to generate in this window.

Step 6: Identify gaps.

When identifying gaps in your business, consider what your company needs now and what you might need in the future. First, identify the skills you feel your employees need to reach your goal. Second, evaluate the skills of your current employees. Once you have this information, you can train employees or hire new ones to fill the gaps.

Continuing the edtech example, let‘s say my forecast turned up results that weren’t in keeping with what we need to reach our goals. If that were the case, I would take a holistic look at our process, operations, and resources to pin down inefficiencies or areas for improvement.

In my search, I find that our sales content and marketing collateral are dated — with case studies that don‘t cover our product’s newest and most relevant features. I also might see that our reps don‘t seem to have too much trouble booking demos, but the demos themselves aren’t converting due to a lack of training and inconsistent messaging.

And finally, I find that a lack of alignment with marketing has prospects focusing on unrealistic outcomes our sales team can‘t deliver on. Once I’ve identified those gaps, I would start to hone in on ways to remedy those issues and improve those elements.

Step 7: Ideate new initiatives.

Many industry trends are cyclical. They phase in and out of “style.” As you build your sales plan, ideate new initiatives based on opportunities you may have passed on in previous years.

If your business exclusively focused on word-of-mouth and social media marketing in the past, consider adding webinars or special promotions to your plan.

In the edtech example we've been running with, I would likely ideate initiatives based on the gaps I identified in the previous step. I would start a push to ensure that our sales content and marketing collateral are up-to-date and impressive.

I would also consider new training programs to ensure that our coaching infrastructure is prioritizing how to conduct effective demos. Finally, I would start to work on a plan with marketing to ensure our messaging is aligned with theirs — so we can make sure prospects' expectations are realistic and effective.

One way or another, I would take the gaps I found and find concrete, actionable ways to fill them. I would make sure that these initiatives aren't abstract. Just saying, " We're going to be better at demos," isn‘t a plan — it’s a sentiment, and sentiments don't translate to hard sales.

Step 8: Involve stakeholders.

Stakeholders are individuals, groups, or organizations with a vested interest in your company. They are typically investors, employees, or customers and often have deciding power in your business. Towards the end of your sales planning process, involve stakeholders from departments that affect your outcomes, such as marketing and product. It leads to an efficient and actionable sales planning process.

This step is sort of an extension of the previous two — once I‘ve identified the key issues and roadblocks obstructing my edtech startup’s sales org, I would start identifying the right people to fulfill the necessary initiatives I've put together.

In this example, I would tap some stakeholders in charge of our sales content and marketing collateral to produce newer, more relevant case studies and whitepapers we can pass along to the institutions we're working with.

I would also go to middle management and either offer more direction for coaching on demos or bring in a third-party training service to offer more focused, professional insight on the issue.

Finally, I would connect with marketing leadership to align on the benefits and outcomes we generally stress when pitching the schools we sell to. That way, we can ensure that the institutions we're connecting with have realistic expectations of our product or service that we can speak to more clearly and effectively.

Step 9: Outline action items.

Once you have implemented this strategy to create your sales planning process, the final step is outlining your action items. Using your company's capacity and quota numbers, build a list of steps that take you through the sales process. Examples of action items are writing a sales call script, identifying industry competitors, or strategizing new incentives or perks.

In our edtech example, some key action items might be:

  • Revamp our prospecting strategy via more involved coaching and re-tooled sales messaging.
  • Revamp administrator and college dean buyer personas.
  • Conduct new trainings on demoing our software.
  • See our new prospecting strategy from ideation to execution.
  • Align with our sales enablement stakeholders for new, more relevant case studies and whitepapers.

Obviously, that list isn‘t exhaustive — but those are still the kinds of steps we would need to clarify and take to structure a more effective high-level strategy to produce different (ideally much better) results than we’ve been seeing.

One thing to keep in mind is that sales planning shouldn't end with creating the document.

You‘ll want to reiterate this process every year to maintain your organization's sales excellence.

Now that you‘re committed to the sales planning process, let's dive into the written execution component of sales planning.

Featured Resource: Sales Plan Template

HubSpot's Sales Plan Template: 10 Section Prompts for Outlining Your Sales Plan

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Outline your company's sales strategy in one simple, coherent plan.

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Point of Sale(POS) Financial Business Plan and Projections

business plan for point of sale

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Overview of POS Business in Nigeria

The POS business also referred to as Mobile Banking or Agency Bank Business, began in the year 2013. This came after the CBN launched particular guidelines on the management and operations of the business. Instantly hereafter, POS has been among the retail channel a number of financial institutions use as a tool to make their banking services available to a lot people.

If you are aiming to begin the POS business, get a POS machine for your business, it is therefore suggested to think about locations that are unbanked or underbanked. By doing this you are most likely to have an enormous influx of clients.

POS business is a thriving business in Nigeria at the moment. If you have actually been to banks and stayed for hours all for performing transaction, after that you will understand that POS is a really positive strategy. Asides from providing conveniences to people, it has additionally provided jobs for lots of young business owners in Nigeria.

Potentials of POS Business in Nigeria

POS or agency banking services are becoming Nigeria's pillar of financial transactions. The reasons the business is profitable for countless Nigerians are that; the insufficient number of functional ATMs which brings about long queues. Bad network service at ATM points and banking halls has pushed lots of customers to discover alternative means of carrying out their transactions, and for the business operators, the low barrier entry demands in beginning POS business offer the much-needed job opportunity amidst high unemployment rates. Apart from this, it also assists customers easily withdraw money when the nearest ATMs are far away.

How to Startup a POS Business in Nigeria

The following criteria must be fulfilled in order to start a POS business in Nigeria: Have an Existing Business

  • The POS business pertains to money. Consequently, the CBN is really specific regarding people that qualify to be an agent. For that reason, commercial banks take extra care before they can authorise anybody as an agent. To be qualified for a POS machine or to be an agent, you need to have an existing business. This business should have been in existence for a minimum of 12 months. Asides from this, you need to have a store or place of business. Additionally, you need to have your business name registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
  • Approach the Bank of Your Choice The next thing is, choosing your financial institution of choice. After you have done this, you can approach the bank to understand their requirements. Nearly all banks in Nigeria accept agency banking services. As a matter of fact, you can be an agent for several banks as you can serve. You will be given forms to fill. This form is an agreement between you and the financial institution. It includes the terms and conditions of your application. Asides from this, they will ask for your: valid means of identification. This can be your National Identification Number, Utility Bills, Bank Verification Number, 2 passport photographs, 2 current account referees, Proof of your business registration, A minimum working capital of N50,000, and Tax Identification Number.
  • Obtain the Necessary Tools As soon as the bank takes into consideration your application, the next action is to supply you with the tools and the equipment you need for the business. This will just be possible if your application succeeds.
  • Get a Busy Location After you must have got the POS and other important devices you require from the bank, the next thing is to choose the location of your business. It is recommended that you take into consideration locations where there are limited banks and less ATMs. Asides from this, you can think about Bus Stops, event centers, and so on. If you pick an amazing location, your business will certainly flourish.

Overview of The Template

The Template gives concrete financial plan and projections for setting up a Point of Sale shop. Real business insights are included in this financial template to attract investors, grants and loans to make the business concern a reality.

The excel template is easy to use and modify. Current Real life prices were used in drafting this template by our team of seasoned accountants and financial analysts. The template is suitable for small and emerging businesses who see themselves giants in the various industries in 5 years time.

  • Comprehensive Income Statement (Trading, Profit & Loss Account)
  • Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet)
  • Cashflow Statements

Use Scenarios

This excel template is most suitable for the following:

  • Promoters of existing and New Start-up Businesses that need funding in form of grants,loans,partnerships etc. from governement agencies and venture capitalists.
  • Business and Financial Analysts working on viability and feasibility of a Point of Sale business in Nigeria.
  • Business Administration and Entrepreneurship students who need a comprehensive financial plan for a Business Plan.
  • Investors and Venture Capitalist who need financial analysis of the Point of Sale business for informed decision making.
  • Entrepreneurs who need expansion ideas for their businesses.

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Financial Model, Business Plan and Dashboard Templates - FinModelsLab

How To Sell Point Of Sale Business in 9 Steps: Checklist

By alex ryzhkov, resources on point of sale.

  • Financial Model
  • Business Plan
  • Value Proposition
  • One-Page Business Plan
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Business Model
  • Marketing Plan

Are you considering selling your Point of Sale (POS) business but not sure where to start? Look no further! In this blog post, we will guide you through a 9-step checklist on how to successfully sell your POS business. But first, let's take a look at the current state of the industry and its tremendous growth.

The Point of Sale industry is experiencing unprecedented growth in recent years. According to [Insert source] , the global POS software market is projected to reach a value of $XX billion by 2025, indicating a CAGR of XX% from 2020 to 2025. This thriving market presents a lucrative opportunity for business owners looking to capitalize on their POS business.

Now that you understand the immense potential of the industry, let's dive into the 9 steps that will ensure a seamless and successful sale of your POS business.

  • Conduct a thorough evaluation of the current market conditions and competitive landscape.
  • Assess the financial performance and profitability of the Point of Sale (POS) business.
  • Review and update the business plan to incorporate recent market trends and future growth projections.
  • Develop a comprehensive financial model to demonstrate the business's potential for profitability and ROI.
  • Identify and analyze potential buyers who may be interested in acquiring the POS business.
  • Prepare all necessary financial and legal documentation required for the sale process.
  • Engage with a qualified business broker or intermediary to market the POS business to potential buyers.
  • Negotiate sale terms and conditions with interested buyers, ensuring a fair valuation of the business.
  • Execute a transition plan to ensure a seamless transfer of ownership and smooth operation of the POS business after the sale is complete.

Now that you have a comprehensive overview of the steps involved, you can confidently embark on the journey of selling your POS business. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts where we will delve deeper into each step and provide valuable insights to assist you throughout the process.

Conduct A Thorough Evaluation Of The Current Market Conditions And Competitive Landscape.

When selling a Point of Sale (POS) business, it is crucial to conduct a thorough evaluation of the current market conditions and competitive landscape. This assessment provides valuable insights that can help you position your business effectively and attract potential buyers.

Understanding the current market conditions is essential to determine the demand for POS systems and identify any emerging trends or market shifts. Research industry reports, market studies, and consumer surveys to gain a comprehensive understanding of the market dynamics. This information will enable you to highlight the unique selling points and competitive advantages of your POS business.

Analyzing the competitive landscape is equally important to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Identify key players in the industry, their market share, pricing strategies, and customer base. Evaluate their product offerings, customer satisfaction levels, and marketing efforts. This analysis will help you identify opportunities for differentiation and position your POS business as a standout option.

  • Stay updated on industry news and trends through trade publications and online forums.
  • Gather customer feedback to understand their pain points and expectations from a POS system.
  • Consider conducting a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of your business to identify areas for improvement.

Assess The Financial Performance And Profitability Of The Point Of Sale (POS) Business

When considering selling your Point of Sale (POS) business, it is crucial to assess its financial performance and profitability. This will provide potential buyers with a clear understanding of the business's value and future potential. Here are some key steps to assess the financial performance and profitability of your POS business:

  • Review the company's financial statements, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, for the past few years. This will help you identify any trends or patterns in revenue, expenses, and overall profitability.
  • Analyze key financial ratios to determine the business's financial health and performance. This includes metrics such as gross profit margin, net profit margin, return on investment, and liquidity ratios.
  • Compare your POS business's financial performance to industry benchmarks and similar businesses in the market. This will give you a sense of how your business is performing relative to its peers and help identify areas for improvement.
  • Consider the overall growth potential of the POS industry and how your business is positioned within that market. Are there any emerging trends or technologies that could impact the future profitability of your business?
  • Evaluate the revenue streams and customer base of your POS business. Are there any long-term contracts or recurring revenue sources that provide stability and predictability?
  • Assess the scalability and operational efficiency of your POS business. Are there any inefficiencies or bottlenecks that could hinder future growth?
  • Consider hiring a professional accountant or financial analyst to conduct a thorough financial assessment of your POS business. Their expertise can provide valuable insights and ensure accuracy in your evaluation.
  • Prepare a clear and concise summary of the financial performance and profitability of your POS business to share with potential buyers. This document should highlight key financial metrics, industry comparisons, and growth potential.
  • Be prepared to address any potential concerns or questions that may arise during the financial assessment process. Transparency and open communication will help build trust with potential buyers.

Assessing the financial performance and profitability of your POS business is a critical step in the selling process. It not only provides key information to potential buyers but also helps you understand the value and strengths of your business. By conducting a thorough assessment, you can position your POS business for a successful sale and ensure a fair valuation.

Review And Update The Business Plan To Incorporate Recent Market Trends And Future Growth Projections

As with any business, it is crucial to regularly review and update your business plan to stay informed about the latest market trends and project future growth. This step is especially important when preparing to sell your Point of Sale (POS) business, as potential buyers will want to see a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the market and the business's potential.

To begin, conduct thorough research and analysis of the current market conditions and competitive landscape in the POS industry. This will allow you to gain insights into emerging trends, consumer preferences, and potential market challenges. Stay up to date with industry publications, attend trade shows, and connect with industry professionals to gather the most relevant information.

Assessing the impact of recent market trends is essential for updating your business plan. Consider how advancements in technology, shifts in consumer behavior, and regulatory changes may affect the future of the POS industry. Identify the opportunities and challenges that arise from these trends and outline strategies to capitalize on the opportunities and mitigate the challenges.

Additionally, as you incorporate future growth projections into your business plan, ensure they are realistic and based on solid evidence. Consider factors like market demand, competition, potential customer base, and your business's unique value proposition.

Tips for reviewing and updating your business plan:

  • Clearly define your target market and outline strategies to reach and attract them.
  • Identify any gaps in your product or service offerings and develop plans to address them.
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  • Analyze your financial projections, ensuring they align with market trends and growth expectations.
  • Consider seeking input from industry experts, consultants, or advisors to validate your market analysis and growth projections.

By reviewing and updating your business plan to incorporate recent market trends and future growth projections, you demonstrate to potential buyers that you have a clear understanding of the industry's dynamics and the potential for future success. This step will not only attract more interested buyers but also strengthen your position in negotiations and increase the likelihood of a successful sale.

Develop A Comprehensive Financial Model To Demonstrate The Business's Potential For Profitability And ROI

Developing a comprehensive financial model is a crucial step in selling a Point of Sale (POS) business. This model will showcase the business's potential for profitability and return on investment (ROI) to potential buyers. It provides them with a clear understanding of the business's financial performance and forecasts its future success.

The financial model should include detailed projections that cover at least the next three to five years. It should account for factors such as revenue growth, operating expenses, and capital expenditures. A thorough analysis of historical financial data, market trends, and industry benchmarks is necessary to ensure accurate and reliable projections.

Tips for developing a comprehensive financial model:

  • Utilize industry-specific metrics: Use key performance indicators (KPIs) and financial ratios specific to the Point of Sale industry to provide meaningful insights into the business's financial health.
  • Incorporate multiple scenarios: Consider different scenarios, such as best-case, worst-case, and most likely, to demonstrate the business's resilience and flexibility to potential buyers.
  • Include sensitivity analysis: Assess the financial impact of changing variables and assumptions on the business's profitability and ROI. This will provide a realistic view of the risks and opportunities associated with the POS business.
  • Showcase growth potential: Highlight opportunities for revenue growth and margin improvement, such as expanding into new markets, developing new products or services, or implementing cost-saving strategies.

A comprehensive financial model will instill confidence in potential buyers, demonstrating that the POS business has a solid foundation and the potential to generate a favorable return on investment. It serves as a valuable tool during negotiations, allowing the seller to justify the asking price and attract serious, qualified buyers.

Identify And Analyze Potential Buyers Who May Be Interested In Acquiring The POS Business

When it comes to selling a Point of Sale (POS) business, identifying and analyzing potential buyers is a crucial step in the process. Finding the right buyer who values the business and has the financial capability to make the acquisition is essential for a successful sale. Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Industry peers and competitors: Look for businesses that operate in a similar industry or offer complementary products or services. These potential buyers may see value in acquiring the POS business to expand their market share or enhance their existing offerings.
  • Investors and private equity firms: Consider reaching out to investors and private equity firms who specialize in the technology or retail sectors. These entities often seek investment opportunities in the Point of Sale industry and may be interested in acquiring a successful POS business.
  • Strategic buyers: Identify companies that have a strategic interest in acquiring a POS business. This could include large retailers or hospitality chains looking to streamline their operations or enhance their customer experience through an integrated POS system.
  • Online marketplaces and industry networks: Utilize online marketplaces and industry-specific networks to connect with potential buyers. These platforms attract individuals or companies actively seeking acquisition opportunities within the Point of Sale industry.
  • Existing customers: Explore the possibility of selling the POS business to an existing customer who may be interested in acquiring the system to maintain continuity and further customize it to their specific needs.
  • Thoroughly research and evaluate the credibility and reputation of potential buyers before engaging in negotiations.
  • Prepare a compelling pitch highlighting the unique selling points and growth potential of the POS business to attract potential buyers.
  • Consider engaging the services of a professional business broker or intermediary who can assist in connecting with potential buyers and navigating the sale process.

Once you have identified potential buyers, it is crucial to conduct a detailed analysis of their financial standing, acquisition history, and strategic fit. This analysis will help ensure that you select a buyer who aligns with your business goals and can successfully take over the POS business after the sale. Keep in mind that confidentiality is key during this process, so make sure to have appropriate non-disclosure agreements in place to protect sensitive business information.

Prepare All Necessary Financial And Legal Documentation Required For The Sale Process.

When selling a Point of Sale (POS) business, it is crucial to have all financial and legal documentation prepared to ensure a smooth and efficient sale process. This documentation serves as proof of the business's value, financial performance, and legal compliance, providing potential buyers with the necessary information to make informed decisions.

To prepare for the sale process, start by gathering and organizing all relevant financial documents, such as financial statements, tax returns , and profit and loss statements . These records should cover a period of at least three years to demonstrate the business's financial stability and growth potential.

Additionally, legal documentation plays a vital role in reassuring potential buyers that the POS business is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. Ensure that you have all necessary licenses, permits, and certifications in order and up to date.

Here is a checklist of important financial and legal documents you should include:

  • Business licenses and permits: Provide copies of all necessary licenses and permits required to operate the business, such as a business license, occupancy permit, or liquor license.
  • Contracts and agreements: Compile all contracts and agreements relevant to the POS business, including lease agreements, supplier contracts, partnership agreements, and any existing customer contracts.
  • Intellectual property documentation: Include any patents, trademarks, or copyrights associated with the business.
  • Employee and HR documentation: Provide employee contracts, job descriptions, and any relevant HR policies and procedures.
  • Insurance policies: Include copies of all insurance policies, such as general liability insurance, property insurance, and workers' compensation.

In addition to these documents, it is essential to have a comprehensive confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement in place to protect sensitive information during the sale process. This agreement ensures that potential buyers maintain confidentiality and do not disclose any proprietary or confidential information to third parties.

By preparing all necessary financial and legal documentation upfront, you ensure transparency and build trust with potential buyers. It also expedites the due diligence process, saving time and avoiding any unnecessary delays in completing the sale of your POS business.

Engage With A Qualified Business Broker Or Intermediary To Market The POS Business To Potential Buyers.

When it comes to selling your Point of Sale (POS) business, engaging with a qualified business broker or intermediary is crucial. These professionals have the expertise and experience necessary to effectively market your business to potential buyers and maximize its value. Here are a few important reasons why you should consider working with a business broker or intermediary:

  • Industry Knowledge: A qualified broker or intermediary will have a deep understanding of the POS industry and its market dynamics. They can leverage this knowledge to position your business in the best possible light and attract the right buyers.
  • Extensive Network: Brokers and intermediaries have an extensive network of potential buyers, including individuals, private equity firms, and strategic investors. This network allows them to reach a wide audience and find the most suitable buyer for your POS business.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy: Selling a business requires utmost confidentiality and discretion. A broker or intermediary can ensure that sensitive information about your business is handled with utmost care and only shared with qualified and serious buyers.
  • Marketing Expertise: Business brokers and intermediaries are skilled at crafting compelling marketing materials and creating effective strategies to attract potential buyers. They know how to highlight the unique selling points of your POS business and present it in the best possible way.
  • Negotiation Skills: Selling a business involves complex negotiations. A qualified broker or intermediary can act as a mediator and negotiate on your behalf, ensuring that your interests are protected and that a fair valuation is achieved.
  • Do thorough research to find a reputable and experienced business broker or intermediary who specializes in selling POS businesses.
  • Ask for referrals from trusted colleagues or industry associations to find the right professional for your needs.
  • Ensure clear communication and establish a strong working relationship with your chosen broker or intermediary.
  • Provide the broker or intermediary with all the necessary information about your POS business to facilitate the marketing process.
  • Be open to their suggestions and guidance throughout the sale process, as they have valuable expertise in selling businesses.

By engaging with a qualified business broker or intermediary, you can significantly increase the chances of selling your POS business successfully and achieving a favorable outcome. Their expertise and industry knowledge will help you navigate the complex process of finding and negotiating with potential buyers, allowing you to focus on running your business while they handle the sale process.

Negotiate Sale Terms and Conditions with Interested Buyers, Ensuring a Fair Valuation of the Business

Once you have identified potential buyers for your Point of Sale (POS) business, the next crucial step is to negotiate the sale terms and conditions. This process ensures that both parties agree on the valuation of the business and the terms of the sale. Here are some important considerations and tips to keep in mind during this phase:

  • 1. Establish a fair valuation: It is essential to determine a realistic and fair valuation of your POS business. This can be done by analyzing various factors such as financial performance, market conditions, customer base, and growth potential. Consider seeking the assistance of a professional business valuation expert to ensure an objective assessment.
  • 2. Prioritize your deal objectives: Before entering into negotiations, define your primary deal objectives. These could include the purchase price, payment terms, potential earn-outs, non-compete agreements, or other conditions that are important to you. By clearly understanding your goals and priorities, you will be better positioned to negotiate effectively.
  • 3. Conduct due diligence: Buyers will likely conduct a thorough due diligence process to assess the risks and opportunities associated with the acquisition. As a seller, it is crucial to be prepared with all necessary documentation and information that potential buyers might require. This includes financial records, contracts, customer data, and any other relevant details that can help support the valuation and address buyer concerns.
  • 4. Be open to compromises: Negotiations involve a give and take from both parties. While it is essential to stand firm on your deal objectives, be open to reasonable compromises that can help bridge the gap between buyer and seller expectations. This flexibility can foster a more productive negotiation process and improve the chances of reaching an agreement.
  • 5. Seek professional advice: Engaging a skilled business broker or intermediary with experience in negotiating deals can be highly beneficial. They can provide valuable guidance, navigate complex negotiations, and ensure that your interests are protected during the process. Their expertise can help you achieve a fair valuation and secure favorable terms for the sale of your POS business.
  • Be well-prepared for negotiations by thoroughly understanding your business's strengths, weaknesses, and potential growth opportunities.
  • Consider setting a walk-away point, which signifies the lowest acceptable offer and conditions you are willing to accept.
  • Maintain clear and open communication with potential buyers throughout the negotiation process to build trust and foster a constructive environment.
  • Document all agreed-upon terms and conditions in a comprehensive purchase agreement to avoid misunderstandings and future disputes.
  • Consider seeking legal advice to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations during the negotiation and sale process.

Negotiating the sale terms and conditions is a critical stage in the process of selling your POS business. By approaching these negotiations with a clear understanding of your business's value and objectives, and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can ensure a fair valuation and achieve a successful sale.

Execute A Transition Plan To Ensure A Seamless Transfer Of Ownership And Smooth Operation Of The POS Business After The Sale Is Complete.

Once the sale of your Point of Sale (POS) business is complete, it is crucial to execute a comprehensive transition plan to ensure a seamless transfer of ownership and the smooth operation of the business. This transition is essential to maintain customer satisfaction, minimize disruption, and protect the reputation of your POS business. Here are some key steps to consider when executing a transition plan:

  • Communicate with key stakeholders: From employees to suppliers and customers, ensure clear communication about the change in ownership and any potential operational changes. This will help manage expectations and prevent any misunderstandings.
  • Train the new owner: Provide thorough training and knowledge transfer to the new owner or their designated team. This should include an overview of business operations, customer support procedures, and any specific nuances related to your POS system.
  • Transfer licenses and contracts: Identify and address any licenses, subscriptions, or contracts that need to be transferred to the new owner. This could include software licenses, maintenance agreements, or support contracts.
  • Update documentation: Prepare updated documentation that reflects the new owner's contact information, banking details, and other relevant details for suppliers, customers, and partners.
  • Support during the transition: Offer post-sale support to the new owner, whether in a consulting capacity or through a transitional employment agreement. This can help ensure a smooth transition and address any questions or challenges that may arise.
  • Develop a detailed transition timeline and checklist to keep track of all necessary tasks and ensure nothing is overlooked.
  • Establish open lines of communication with the new owner to address any concerns or questions promptly.
  • Consider conducting a follow-up review of the transition progress to assess any adjustments or additional support required.

By executing a well-planned transition plan, you can facilitate a smooth transfer of ownership and ensure the continued success of your POS business under its new leadership. This will not only benefit the new owner but also preserve the relationships and trust you have built with your customers and partners over time.

In conclusion, selling a point of sale (POS) business requires careful evaluation, planning, and execution. By following the nine steps outlined in this checklist, business owners can navigate the complex process of selling their POS business successfully.

Conducting a thorough evaluation of the market conditions and the financial performance of the business is essential for determining its value and attracting potential buyers. Updating the business plan and developing a comprehensive financial model helps showcase the business's potential for profitability and return on investment.

Identifying and analyzing potential buyers, preparing necessary documentation, and engaging with a qualified business broker or intermediary are crucial for marketing the POS business effectively. Furthermore, negotiating fair terms and executing a seamless transition plan ensure a successful sale and maintain the business's operational continuity.

Overall, selling a POS business requires strategic thinking, attention to detail, and a thorough understanding of the market. By following these steps, business owners can maximize the value of their business and achieve a successful sale.

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