Best Retail POS Systems of 2023 (2023)

Best Retail POS Systems of 2023 (1)

Nicole Fallon Staff Writer

From small boutiques to large department stores, retailers worldwide rely on point-of-sale (POS) systems to streamline operations, enhance customer experience and keep sales data organized. A feature-rich POS system designed specifically for retailers can have a huge impact on your business's overall efficiency and shopping experience.

To help you understand the options on the market and find the best fit for your retail business, we conducted extensive research, examining dozens of POS systems on the market. Our top picks are curated based on the criteria that matter most to retailers, such as pricing, ease of use, hardware options, software compatibility, mobile capabilities, and more.

Best Retail POS System

  • Clover: Best for all-in-one retail operations
  • Shopify: Best for Online Retailers
  • Lightspeed: Best for Retail Inventory Management
  • Square: Best for New and Growing Retailers
  • Helcim: Best for brick-and-mortar retailers

Compare our top picks

Best Retail POS Systems of 2023 (2)

Our top picks for 2023

Clover Retail POS

Best Retail POS Systems of 2023 (3)

Shopify Retail POS

Best Retail POS Systems of 2023 (4)

Lightspeed Retail POS

Best Retail POS Systems of 2023 (5)

Square Retail POS

Best Retail POS Systems of 2023 (6)

Helcim Retail POS

Best Retail POS Systems of 2023 (7)

Rating (out of 10)
Use Cases

Integrated Retail Operations

online retailer

Retail Inventory Management

New and Growing Retailers

physical retailer

starting price






free trial

30 days

Yes (varies in length)

14 days

30 days


Contract period

monthly or yearly

monthly or yearly

monthly, yearly or multi-year

per month

per month

POS hardware

Clover Station Solo、Clover Station Duo、Clover Flex、Clover Mini、Clover Go

Card Readers, Retail Kits, Barcode Scanners, Printers, Cash Drawers

iPad, LAN receipt printer, cash drawer, bluetooth scanner, Lightspeed iPad stand

Cash registers, terminals, kiosks, card readers

card reader







Customer Support

Phone, Email, Web Chat

Telephone, web chat, web ticket

phone, email

Phone, email, web chat, social media

phone, email

comment link
Read the Clover Retail POS Review
Read the Shopify retail POS review
Read the Lightspeed Retail POS review
Read Square Retail POS Review
Read Helcim Retail POS Review

rolling table


Clover: Best POS for All-in-One Retail Operations


Best Retail POS Systems of 2023 (8)

  • Clover's ability to accept online pickup orders enhances retailers' offerings to meet consumer demand.
  • End-to-end encryption, integrated EMV chip sensor, and fingerprint login make Clover a secure choice for businesses.
  • Clover's reliance on in-house payment processing can be a hindrance for businesses with established third-party relationships.

Editorial evaluation:9.8/10

We believe Clover's software is the best all-in-one choice for retail businesses because it has comprehensive POS functionality tailored to optimize operations. The platform provides automatic inventory synchronization, ensures real-time inventory updates, facilitates efficient supply management, and supports pick-up and delivery orders, enhancing retailers' customer service options.

Clover also enables retailers to better engage with customers by collecting contact information and marketing preferences and providing options to increase customer loyalty through rewards and promotional features, all of which enrich the customer experience.

The software also simplifies administrative tasks with workforce management and sales trend tracking capabilities, which help increase the efficiency of retailers of any size. Seamless integration options with leading platforms such as BigCommerce, QuickBooks and Gusto allow retailers to grow with their preferred software, improving business efficiency and scalability. The versatility and comprehensiveness of Clover software make it an essential tool for retail businesses to achieve sustainable growth.

Shopify: Best POS for Online Retailers


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  • Shopify's customer support provides prompt assistance via phone, web chat, and web tickets, ensuring issues are resolved quickly.
  • Shopify's diverse POS plans offer flexible customization, allowing businesses to adapt and scale as their needs change.
  • ​​While Shopify offers cheaper starting prices than many competitors, additional costs like third-party transactions, domain names, and currency conversion fees can be heavy.

Editorial evaluation:9.5/10

Shopify's wide-ranging reputation as a reliable ecommerce platform helps it stand out as the ultimate choice for online retailers. Shopify provides seamless payment acceptance and efficient inventory management, ensuring a smooth and secure checkout process for customers, reducing cart abandonment and increasing conversion rates. Its efficient inventory management features enable retailers to easily track inventory levels, prevent oversold and stock-outs, and improve customer satisfaction.

With a range of POS service plans, retailers can tailor plans as their business grows, allowing them to quickly adapt to market fluctuations and higher demand while ensuring uninterrupted business growth. With Shopify's user-friendly interface and extensive app ecosystem, retailers can easily customize their online store, enhance their brand image, and improve user experience (UX). The platform's built-in SEO features increase online visibility, drive organic traffic through website optimization, and ultimately increase sales opportunities.

Lightspeed: Best POS for Retail Inventory Management

speed of light

Best Retail POS Systems of 2023 (10)

  • Lightspeed's retail-specific programs enhance operations by delivering personalized home dashboards and mobile-responsive templates.
  • Lightspeed offers a variety of payment options, seamlessly supporting debit and credit cards, mobile payments, and gift cards.
  • Lightspeed's high-end pricing of $69 per month and limited customer support options (available only by phone and email) may deter potential users.

Editorial evaluation:9.4/10

Lightspeed's superior inventory management features make it the ideal solution for retail inventory management. With industry-specific POS plans designed specifically for retailers, Lightspeed's inventory management tools provide a comprehensive and intuitive interface that enables retailers to manage inventory easily and efficiently. With the software, retailers can upload thousands of SKUs while saving time and effort while allowing them to focus on other key aspects of their business. Access to a vast catalog of over 8 million items ensures retailers can source and offer a wide range of products to meet different customer needs.

Additionally, inventory alerts ensure businesses stay on top of inventory levels, preventing stock-outs and maximizing sales opportunities. With Lightspeed's comprehensive inventory management tools, retail businesses can be more successful by streamlining operations, optimizing inventory, and improving overall efficiency.

Square: Best POS for Emerging and Growing Retailers


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  • Square's services, such as Square for Retail and Square Appointments, centralize business processes on a single device.
  • Square's contactless payment capabilities enable retailers to keep abreast of the payment preferences of the modern consumer without the need for additional hardware.
  • Square requires all payments to be processed through its system, which can limit the choice of multiple payment methods.

Editorial evaluation:9.2/10

We believe Square POS software, with its zero-fee model, is the best option for emerging and growing retailers. It charges no royalty, making it a cost-effective option for startups looking to save costs, and its comprehensive customization options allow retailers to integrate services such as marketing, invoicing, online sales, loyalty programs, team management, Gift cards and payroll. This adaptability enables retailers to shape a POS system to reflect the unique needs and scale of their business as it grows, ensuring they are fully equipped to manage future growth.

The contactless payments feature of Square's mobile POS app requires no additional hardware, helping the startup adapt to modern consumer preferences. The app is compatible with iOS and Android devices, and the option to pair the software with an iPad or purchase POS hardware increases the accessibility of the system and frees businesses from having to commit to one type of operating system or hardware.

Helcim: The Best POS for Brick-and-mortar Retailers


Best Retail POS Systems of 2023 (12)

  • Helcim charges low interchange plus rates, enabling retailers to streamline operations while managing costs.
  • Helcim's ability to operate across multiple channels makes it a comprehensive solution for diversified retail business operations.
  • Helcim's lack of a free trial could prevent retailers from testing the system's functionality and compatibility with their specific business needs before committing to it.

Editorial evaluation:8.8/10

Taking a simple approach, we believe Helcim is the best solution for face-to-face retail businesses (other than high-risk ones) due to its multifunctional functionality as a payment processor and POS system.

What makes Helcim unique is its universal compatibility. Its free POS app is available on multiple devices including computers, tablets and smartphones, allowing retailers to seamlessly process transactions and manage sales from virtually any platform. This unique feature surpasses many competitors, who often limit their POS systems to specific devices, and streamlines the transaction process, increasing efficiency and enhancing the retailer's overall customer experience.

Helcim's continual updates to its tools and functionality reflect its commitment to customer satisfaction, ensuring retailers always have the latest solutions.

Pricing for retail POS systems

The POS systems market has changed dramatically in recent years due to technological advancements and an overall drop in prices. POS hardware that used to come in the form of expensive, bulky devices can now be as simple as a tablet or smartphone dongle attachment, making these systems more accessible and affordable for small businesses and multi-location retailers.

The total cost of a POS system depends on the software and hardware options offered by the provider you choose. For cloud-based systems, monthly software fees can range from as little as $0 to as high as $200 or more. Depending on the needs of a retail operation, the POS hardware cost for a comprehensive POS register system can cost as much as $1,200, including card readers, barcode scanners, signature capture devices, terminals, tablets or computers, cash drawers, and receipt printers. Alternatively, you can choose to just buy a card reader that connects to your existing mobile device and run the POS software from there, meaning your hardware costs are kept to a minimum.

whenChoosing the Best Retail POS System, it is important to weigh total cost versus return on investment. The right system for your business may cost a little more upfront, but ultimately it will simplify operations and improve the customer experience, potentially boosting sales.

Features of Retail POS Systems

While most POS systems offer similar core features, each of the top contenders on the market offers a unique combination of features and benefits. Knowing what features your retail business needs will help you find the right POS solution.

Here are five essentialPOS system featuresConsider it in your research.

inventory management

Retail businesses need to track a wide variety of products, sometimes across multiple locations, such as between a storefront and a warehouse. A POS system with powerful inventory management tools can update product stock levels in real-time and track item popularity so you can avoid overstocking or running out of certain items.

mobile application

POS mobile apps allow you and your employees to transact from anywhere, whether you're walking through a brick-and-mortar retail store or selling products at an event. This speeds up the checkout process and reduces queues at individual registers, enhancing the overall customer experience.


If you choose a POS system for its mobile app, make sure it's compatible with the device you plan to use it on, whether it's Android or iOS.


Your POS system should offer robust reporting capabilities that give you insight into sales trends, inventory levels, and employee performance. ThesePOS reportHelp make data-driven decisions and improve profitability.


Your retail business probably uses accounting software,Top Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solutionsand marketing platform. The right POS system communicates seamlessly with the rest of your technology stack. These integration and data sharing capabilities help simplify business operations and provide a more unified view of the business.


Retail POS hardware varies greatly depending on your store setup. Before investing in a POS provider, make sure it offers all the hardware you want to include in your configuration. At the very least, you'll likely need a card reader and mobile device, but you may find yourself investing in other hardware such ascashier, receipt printer, signature capture device and display screen.

How to Choose a Retail POS

If you're not sure where to start when choosing the right system for your retail business, here's a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed choice.

1. Assess the hardware and software needs of your retail business.

Begin your search by evaluating the specific needs of your retail business. Small single-store retailers may only need relatively simple, cost-effective solutions, but larger retailers with multiple physical locations or businesses looking to expand their e-commerce operations may need more complex integrated systems. Consider factors such as your average number of sales transactions, inventory management needs, CRM goals, and whether you need multi-site integration or online integration.

2. Research the best POS system for the retailer.

To start narrowing down your options, research retail POS systems by checking online reviews, like these on, to get a comprehensive overview of each system that interests you. A direct side-by-side comparison of different POS systems can also help you make an informed decision. An example might be to look atHow Shopify stacks up against Square

for reference

In addition to these picks for the best retail POS systems, offers a comprehensive listBest POS SystemSuitable for any type of business, with personal reviews to help with your research.

3. Sign up for free trials and product demos.

Once you have a shortlist of potential POS systems, see if you can give it a test run. Many vendors offer free trials or product demonstrations that allow you to directly test the functionality of the system. This is a critical step in helping you determine which system combines the right functionality with a good user experience.

4. Talk directly to the supplier.

Contacting vendors directly can provide additional insight into each platform that may not be apparent in marketing materials. Ask questions about the specific POS needs of your retail business so you can understand how the system will work in your specific retail environment. You'll also want to ask about pricing and contract terms, and clarify any features you don't fully understand.

5. Compare your best options.

With information from your research, product demos and supplier conversations, you can compare your best options and make a final decision. Consider pricing tiers or service plans, including any additional costs, such as transaction fees, and their scalability to accommodate future growth. We recommend that you choose a POS system that fits your current retail needs and can grow with your business so you don't have to start the research process all over again.

Advantages of Retail POS Systems

Investing in a POS system specially designed for retailers can help you realize the following advantages that can greatly boost your business.

Simplify Inventory Management

A retail POS system can help simplify inventory management by tracking product sales, stock levels and deliveries and providing you with real-time stock updates. This reduces the risk of human error when ordering inventory and enables retailers to make better inventory decisions based on product performance.

did you know?

if you find yourselfexcess inventory, you may be able to profit by offering bulk deals to other business owners, donating to tax breaks, or hosting customer giveaways that ultimately lead to new business.

Improve customer experience

Retail POS systems can create a more efficient checkout process, improving your customer experience. For example, withMobile POS System, you can enter thein-store tabletOr mobile devices in place to avoid long lines at the checkout. Modern POS systems can also incorporate CRM features such as customized promotions and rewards to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Enhanced sales reporting and analysis

Many retail POS systems offer comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities that can provide useful insights into your business performance. The data your system collects can help you understand sales trends and customer buying habits so you can make better business decisions in the long run.

Improve operational efficiency

A POS system can help your retail business eliminate manual tasks like counting end-of-day cash and calculating sales tax, and simplify data entry into integrated business tools like CRM and accounting software. These automated features free up your time to focus more on customer service and drive business growth.

Retail POS FAQs

A POS system can significantly speed up your checkout process. Because POS systems rely on a centralized database of products, pricing, and even customers, you can quickly and easily find products, add new customers to your loyalty program, and apply discounts when you make sales.

In a retail environment, a POS system aggregates customer purchases (including any sales tax) and processes their purchases, whether they use a debit card, credit card, gift card, or other payment method. It also tracks when sales occur and issues paper or digital receipts, depending on your POS hardware. The system also aids in inventory management by subtracting sold items from store inventory. It can even add a customer's details to your store's rewards program.

At its most basic, a POS system might just be a mobile device or tablet combined with a card scanner. If you're looking for a setup with a more classic retail feel, you can integrate hardware like paper receipt issuers, cash storage units, and barcode scanners. POS software typically has the functionality to process payments, maintain product inventory, and generate reports based on sales data.

The POS system can automatically collect information during the customer payment process, including the date, time and location of the sale and the specific product purchased. If your business hasloyalty programBy linking to a customer's email or phone number, your POS can also collect specific information about shoppers and their buying patterns.

Best Retail POS Systems of 2023 (13)

Nicole Fallon Staff Writer

Nicole Fallon has written hundreds of B2B-focused articles on marketing, business technology, leadership, and HR/organizational management, among others. In addition to covering small business trends and software reviews, Nicole runs a digital marketing agency where she and her team create high-quality content for a variety of B2B and B2C brands.


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