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6 Best Inventory POS Systems of March 2024

Details like product variants and ingredient tracking can have significant impact when determining which inventory point-of-sale system is best for your business.
By Olivia Chen
Last updated on August 21, 2023
Edited bySally Lauckner
Fact checked and reviewed

⏰ Estimated read time: 8 minutes

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Inventory management is a crucial part of successful business operations. It can impact everything from customer satisfaction to profit and losses. For inventory-heavy businesses like retailers or restaurants, a point-of-sale system with strong inventory management capabilities can help maximize your profits, and eventually help your business grow. Here are our top picks.

Best Inventory POS Systems

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Estimates assume an average interchange fee of 1.81% + $0.10, based on our latest available data. Estimates provided reflect online and in-person transactions, but exclude any keyed transactions. Estimates are based on the lowest monthly plan and processing fees for each provider.

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Square POS

Learn more

on Square POS's secure website

Get an estimated monthly cost for your business.
5.0/5

Best for Overall option

In-person: 2.6% + $0.10

Online: 2.9% + $0.30

$0.00

and up.

Get an estimated monthly cost for your business.
Learn more

on Square POS's secure website

Shopify Retail POS

Learn more

on Shopify POS's secure website

4.0/5

Best for Shopify e-commerce users

In-person: 2.7% + $0.00

Online: 2.9% + $0.30

$29.00

and up for e-commerce plans with POS Lite; Can upgrade to POS Pro for an extra $89.

Learn more

on Shopify POS's secure website

Lightspeed Retail POS

Learn more

on Lightspeed Retail POS's secure website

3.5/5

Best for Retailers

In-person: 2.6% + $0.10

Online: 2.9% + $0.30

$89.00

for Lean plan, $149 for Standard plan, $269 for Advanced plan.

Learn more

on Lightspeed Retail POS's secure website

Toast POS

Learn more

on Toast POS's secure website

4.0/5

Best for Small restaurants and cafes

2.99% + $0.15

If you pay for hardware as you go; 2.49% + $0.15 if you buy upfront.

$0.00

Quick Start Bundle; $69 Core plan; $165 Growth plan. Custom plan also available.

Learn more

on Toast POS's secure website

Revel Systems

Best for Well-established restaurants

N/A

$198.00

and up.

Hike POS

Best for Customizable POS system

N/A

$69.00

$69 Essential plan; $119 Plus. Custom plan available.

Our pick for

Overall option

Square POS

Learn more

on Square POS's secure website

Monthly fee
$0.00

and up.

Our pick for

Shopify e-commerce users

Shopify Retail POS

Learn more

on Shopify POS's secure website

Monthly fee
$29.00

and up for e-commerce plans with POS Lite; Can upgrade to POS Pro for an extra $89.

Our pick for

Retailers

Lightspeed Retail POS

Learn more

on Lightspeed Retail POS's secure website

Monthly fee
$89.00

for Lean plan, $149 for Standard plan, $269 for Advanced plan.

Our pick for

Small restaurants and cafes

Toast POS

Learn more

on Toast POS's secure website

Payment processing fees
2.99% + $0.15

If you pay for hardware as you go; 2.49% + $0.15 if you buy upfront.

Monthly fee
$0.00

Quick Start Bundle; $69 Core plan; $165 Growth plan. Custom plan also available.

Our pick for

Well-established restaurants

Revel Systems

Payment processing fees
N/A
Monthly fee
$198.00

and up.

Our pick for

Customizable POS system

Hike POS

Payment processing fees
N/A
Monthly fee
$69.00

$69 Essential plan; $119 Plus. Custom plan available.

Best Inventory POS Systems

Square

Our pick for: Best overall option
Monthly POS software fee:
  • $0 for Square POS, Restaurant, Retail and Appointments Free plans.
  • $29 for Square Appointments Plus plan.
  • $60 for Square Restaurant Plus plan.
  • $69 for Square Appointments Premium plan.
  • $89 for Square Retail Plus plan.
  • $192 and up for Square Restaurant Essentials Bundle.
  • Custom pricing for Square Retail Premium plan.
Hardware cost:
  • $0 for Square magstripe-only card reader ($10 for each additional reader) or if using Tap to Pay for iPhone (iPhone not included).
  • $49 and up for Square Reader contactless and chip card reader.
  • $149 for Square Stand iPad POS or Square Stand Mount (iPad not included; monthly financing available).
  • $299 for Square Terminal mobile card reader with built-in printer (monthly financing available).
  • $799 for Square Register two-screen system (monthly financing available).
Payment processing cost:
  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions.
  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions.
  • 3.3% plus 30 cents for invoices.
Why we like it: Square is one of the most recognizable and well-established POS systems for small businesses. It offers a variety of plans — including select inventory management features with the free monthly plan — making it a good all-around option for newer and established businesses as well as businesses looking to scale. If you want to reap the benefits of all the inventory management capabilities, you’ll need to upgrade to the Plus plan, which allows you to manage and transfer stock across locations, create and print custom labels, reorder items from your POS and more. One standout feature is the automation. Not only does Square alert you when items are low, it can generate purchase orders and send them to you for approval based on stock numbers and sales forecasting. Read our full Square POS review.

Lightspeed for Retail

Our pick for: Retailers
Monthly POS software fee:
  • $89 for Lean plan ($69 if billed annually).
  • $149 for Standard plan ($119 if billed annually).
  • $269 for Advanced plan ($199 if billed annually).
Hardware cost:
Pricing for Lightspeed's iPad and desktop hardware kits is quote-based. Individual hardware products are listed in Lightspeed's online store:
  • $99 for Chipper 2X BT card reader.
  • $199 for iPad stand or swivel stand.
  • $299 for WisePOS E countertop reader.
  • $429 for Lightspeed Lite Server for data backup and offline mode functionality.
Payment processing cost:
  • 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction.
  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
Why we like it: Lightspeed’s highly regarded feature is its inventory management, which is particularly clean and attuned to retailers because of its detail in tracking specific products. The system differentiates between standard product entries, product variants like candles that come in a variety of scents or shirts that come in multiple colors. There is also a category for composite products, which are purchasing options that package several different items together, like a gift basket. The system also allows you to manage inventory across locations and generate your own custom barcodes. Like Square, you can set low-stock alerts and order more products directly from your POS. Read our full Lightspeed POS review.

Hike POS

Our pick for: Customizable POS system
Monthly POS software fee: The following prices are based on a single location. You can visit the Hike website to see pricing for your custom number of locations.
  • $69/month for Essential plan ($59 if billed annually).
  • $119/month for Plus plan ($99 if billed annually).
  • Custom pricing for Enterprise plan. 
Hardware cost: Hike does not offer its own hardware, but its software is compatible with various products including iPads and PCs (via the app), all listed on the website.
Payment processing cost: Similar to the hardware, Hike lets you integrate with external payment processors, so the cost will depend on which payment processor you use. There are no built-in fees through Hike.
Why we like it: Hike offers a highly customizable POS system with strong inventory management capabilities that are comparable to Square and Lightspeed, such as bulk inventory importing and exporting and product variant availability. You can enter an unlimited number of products, as well. Its pricing is transparent, and you can integrate with hardware and payment processing that’s affordable or hardware that you already own. The downside is that you have to pay attention to how much those external hardware and payment processing expenses are — you might end up spending more than a system with an all-in-one price. With Hike, you can change or downgrade your plan at any time with no penalty, and you have access to 24/7 live customer support.

Toast

Our pick for: Small restaurants and cafes
Monthly POS software fee:
  • $0 for Quick Start Bundle.
  • $69 for Core plan.
  • $110 plus $4 per employee for Restaurant Basics plan.
  • $165 for Growth plan.
  • Custom plans available.
Hardware cost:
  • $799.20 for Handheld Starter Kit (but $0 if you agree to a higher processing fee).
  • $1,024.20 for Countertop Starter Kit (but $0 if you agree to a higher processing fee).
  • $1,339.20 for Guest Self-Service Starter Kit (but $0 if you agree to a higher processing fee).
Payment processing cost:
  • 3.09% plus 15 cents per transaction, if you choose pay-as-you-go option on hardware.
  • 2.49% plus 15 cents for card-present transactions, if you pay for hardware upfront.
  • 3.50% plus 15 cents for card-not-present transactions, if you pay for hardware upfront.
Why we like it: Toast offers a POS system that was built specifically with restaurants in mind. Toast is accessible across multiple locations, and updates inventory according to live sales data, which is helpful for restaurants keeping ingredients stocked. Toast also stands out because of its pickup and delivery options and its integrated custom hardware options, like the self-serve kiosks and kitchen display systems, all of which help a restaurant run more efficiently. Read our full Toast POS review.

Revel

Our pick for: Well-established restaurants
Monthly POS software fee: $198 a month and up. Revel advertises a software price of $99 per month per terminal, but fine print specifies a two-terminal minimum and three-year contract to receive this rate.
Hardware cost: Quote-based
Payment processing cost: Quote-based
Why we like it: Revel is a good option for well-established restaurant owners who are hands-on and managing multiple locations. It offers robust inventory management features that can be monitored through the mobile app. Revel’s multi-channel capability is also ideal for restaurants that are managing mobile orders, drive-thru and deliveries. The fact that they require a three-year contract may be a drawback for some. Read our full Revel POS review.

Shopify

Our pick for: Shopify e-commerce users
Monthly POS software fee:
Shopify e-commerce plans:
  • $29 for Shopify Basic when billed annually (or $39 when paid monthly).
  • $79 for regular Shopify when billed annually (or $105 when paid monthly).
  • $299 for Shopify Advanced when billed annually (or $399 when paid monthly).
  • Custom pricing for Shopify Plus.
  • All e-commerce plans come with POS Lite for selling in-person. Upgrading to POS Pro for brick-and-mortar businesses costs an extra $89 per location.
Shopify’s alternative solutions for mainly selling in-person:
  • $5 for Starter plan, which includes one POS Lite location.
  • $79 (when billed annually) for Retail plan, or $89 when paid monthly; includes one POS Pro location.
Hardware cost:
  • $49 for Tap & Chip card reader.
  • $219 for Tap & Chip countertop kit (iPad not included).
  • $299 for Shopify POS Go mobile device.
  • $349 for Shopify POS terminal.
  • $459 and up for POS terminal countertop kits.
Payment processing cost:
  • 2.4%, 2.6% or 2.9% plus 30 cents for online payments for Advanced, Shopify or Basic plan, respectively.
  • 2.4%, 2.5% or 2.7% for in-person payments for Advanced, Shopify or Basic plan, respectively.
Why we like it: Comparable to Square and Toast, Shopify’s inventory management features allow you to order more inventory from your POS, set low stock alerts and access live sales data. With its more advanced plans, Shopify also offers robust reporting and analytics features that allow you to pull inventory data from any time frame and also compare data to previous time frames. In addition to typical month-end or end-of-quarter snapshots, you can pull analysis by specific product, day and more. These may be ideal features for more established businesses that are looking to dive deeper into their data, especially across multiple locations. Read our full Shopify POS review.
Last updated on August 21, 2023

Methodology

NerdWallet’s point-of-sale systems provider ratings reward companies whose products and services are priced well and work in a variety of payment scenarios, among other criteria. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including cost, system capabilities, contract requirements, customer service and integrations and add-ons. Learn more about how we rate point-of-sale (POS) systems providers.
These ratings are a guide, but services, hardware and pricing can vary widely from business to business and provider to provider. We encourage you to shop around and compare several providers.
NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
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