A Guide to POS Apps for Small Businesses

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship Startup Advice / May 3, 2023
point of sale POS apps

Modern POS systems offer more than traditional cash register functionalities. They have an array of features ranging from inventory management to customer analytics. When running a business, you must ensure your customers get the best solutions. Payment processing is one area that demands caution and if you want to be prepared, you should do your research. Customers should be able to pay smoothly, which depends heavily on the equipment used, including POS apps. If your business is to have a competitive edge, it must invest in quality point-of-sale systems that not only meet business goals but also serve the customer effectively.

How Do POS Apps Work?

A point-of-sale app is a program that operates with compatible equipment to provide various functions. Although POS systems are designed to process payments, they do a lot more. Today, point-of-sale platforms handle business tasks such as managing employees, tracking inventory, and running reports. You must configure your preferred transaction methods in the app to accept payments. This process involves setting up your merchant account, pairing the software with terminal devices, and displaying the payment alternatives on the POS screen. POS apps come in standard and mobile options. You also have to decide whether to get on-premise or cloud POS software.

Which are The Best POS Apps for 2023?

The type of software you get for your business determines how efficiently you serve customers. POS apps are not built the same, and finding the best one takes effort. A quick look at several of the top point-of-sale apps gives you an idea of what to expect. Here are our top choices:

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Clover

If you are searching for an all-purpose POS app, then Clover is one of the best. It offers small and medium size businesses an impressive choice of features, including inventory management, barcode scanning, and on-screen signature capture. Clover gives you access to its app market, thus allowing you to customize your POS system to meet specific needs.

Square

The POS app is one of the most popular because it is free, easy to use, and simple to set up. If your small business wants to get more from the platform, it has an affordable plan. The biggest selling point of this software is its mobile capabilities. If most of your operations are mobile-based, then you can install the app on Android and iOS devices.

Lavu

For food and beverage point-of-sale software, Lavu is the leading choice. The iOS app makes work easy for restaurant staff with a color screen and images of menu items, table ordering, and cheque splitting. Even though Lavu has its own payment processing solution, it allows pairing with other processors.

Hike

Big-ticket stores and other businesses that require layaway payment functionalities will find Hike more than suitable. The app allows you to track customers as they pay with a deposit first and subsequent installments. Hike offers excellent customization features and is compatible with a host of hardware.

Toast

Another restaurant POS platform with flexible delivery tools is Toast. You can get the app for free and the hardware on a pay-as-you-go plan. This platform is suitable for a growing business because it is highly scalable. However, you will have to pay to enjoy advanced software features.

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Must-Have POS App Features

When comparing POS systems, you have to consider the features carefully. Some apps offer basic functionalities, while others have advanced ones. The following are must-have features.

Payment processing is the principal function of POS software. Every app accepts credit cards, cash sales, and other transactions. The hardware required depends on the types of payments you take. For instance, a cheque reader is necessary if you accept cheques.

Inventory is basic in modern POS systems. Almost every platform allows you to enter and track items. However, comprehensive inventory management varies from one solution to another.

Reporting is another function you can expect on every POS platform in some form or other. Standard functions include reports for individual transactions, card totals, and daily sales. Some apps allow you to filter reports by date or category.

How Much Does a POS App Cost?

The pricing of POS systems depends on several factors. Some providers have free POS apps with basic features that a small business will find useful. However, you might have to pay for the hardware or premium packages, depending on your payment needs. You can pay as much as $400 for software fees. Most vendors offer monthly plans, but you can find annual pricing, which is usually cheaper. When comparing POS app costs, factor in the processing fees. Whether the processor is part of the platform or a third-party provider determines how much you pay.

Does Your Business Need a POS App?

Running a small business means being careful about every expenditure. So, you must decide how critical of an investment a point-of-sale app is for your enterprise. If you accept payments, then you need a POS platform. Your customers should be able to pay without any problems. The good thing is that you don’t require a huge budget to find a decent POS tool. You can start with a mobile app before moving on to a full-suite countertop solution. Additionally, free platforms are available if you wish to see how efficiently a POS tool serves your enterprise before spending money.

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Conclusion

POS systems have come a long way, although some business owners still refuse to take advantage of the benefits they provide. The age of conventional cash registers and Excel worksheets is ending as SMEs discover what they can achieve with POS apps. A good point-of-sale tool is more than just a way to accept payments. Depending on the features, it can help you manage your employees, customers, and inventory, among other tasks. Therefore, it’s worth learning how POS apps work and their benefits.

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