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. But choosing the right system can be a challenge. That’s why we analysed leading providers across metrics to bring you this list of the best POS systems for small business in 2023.
Who is Forbes Advisor Small Business?
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.
How does a POS system work?
A point-of-sale system guides customers through a series of steps that end with a successful purchase. In most cases, it works in the following way:
- A customer selects item(s) to buy. The buyer either physically presents the products at the checkout kiosk in the store or views their digital shopping cart with the intent to finalise their payment
- The POS system prices the item(s). The business’s POS tool tallies the total cost of the customer’s item(s), including applicable tips and sales taxes. Often, businesses use POS software that provides discount management tools. These allow companies to keep track of how customers apply coupons and promo codes
- The customer pays. Customers typically pay using credit cards, cash or checks. Therefore, POS systems often include corresponding hardware such as cash drawers, card or check readers and receipt printers. While online stores lack the need for hardware components, their point-of-sale systems usually include plugins or apps that make it possible for customers to pay using credit cards, PayPal or even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin
- The POS system completes the transaction. The software runs calculations that determine what the customer owes and the exact change that may be due. At this point, a cashier or the automated machine itself manually returns any change. Internet shoppers get taken to a post-purchase page with their relevant purchase and shipping information. In most cases, customers receive a confirmation email.