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The retail POS industry is a promising land with plenty of POS providers dedicated to meet fast-changing business demands. You may have heard of one of the popular names — Vend POS — but still are not sure whether to go with it or others. 

If you want to look beyond Vend, let’s spend some time reading this article before making your decision. We’ll discuss the key factors when considering different POS vendors and suggest you the top 5 Vend alternatives for your reference.

What to know about Vend POS

Hot news: Lightspeed bought Vend in March 2021 

Lightspeed acquired Vend this March, aiming at setting its footprint in the Asia-Pacific market and going global.

What do you think about the news? It may sound irrelevant to those who are new to Vend or Lightspeed. Even those familiar with these two POS providers may think it’s too early for them to worry. However, Lightspeed’s recent moves will have an impact on the whole POS industry.

Vend is Lightspeed’s 11th acquisition at $350. Before Vend, the Montreal-based company spent a huge amount of money acquiring Upserve and Shopkeep in 2020. Both were also Lightspeed’s direct POS competitors. It’s clear that Lightspeed’s ambition is to dominate the POS industry or even to become a POS monopoly.

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Lightspeed bought Vend in March 2021 – Image from Lightspeed

Company acquisitions and mergers occur daily, and these acquisitions affect customer experience and branding. The challenge to the buying company is to ensure that “any integration will keep the values inherent in the brand image and the overall experience intact”. Thus, customers will feel that nothing changes as these acquisitions often promise.

Vend’s focus and priorities might change after the acquisition, so merchants using Vend can expect a different experience with their product and service.

Vend POS overview & its features

Vend is a cloud-based POS provider from New Zealand, founded in 2010. It is a robust POS solution that makes it easy for merchants to sell in person. The key features merchants can expect in Vend POS include:

Robust inventory management

Vend POS helps manage inventory across multiple outlets with a centralized product catalog management. Users can access data from POS or back office. Merchants can add diverse product attributes like colors, materials, sizes and edit products in bulk. Besides uploading products directly to the system, merchants can import and export products using CSV files.

Inventory control becomes quicker and easier as Vend allows merchants to scan barcodes for tracking products.

Its inventory count and transfer features sync data and adjust the inventory levels automatically and ensure retailers won’t run out of stock. When stocks are going low, admins will receive low stock alerts from the system. Moreover, the stock orders can be generated automatically to reorder when it falls below the preset levels.

When searching for Vend alternatives, we should always pay attention to how they compare against Vend’s inventory management features.

vend-barcode-scanning

Comprehensive reporting

Merchants can easily create custom reports to products, brands, suppliers, employees, etc. By looking at the overview and comprehensive reporting of their retail business metrics and performance, merchants can quickly explore trends and make more data-driven decisions.

When looking for a Vend POS alternative, merchants should never ignore this feature.

Reliable customer management

Vend allows users to store customer data in one location, access customer history, import customer information lists, and offer discounts. Furthermore, admins can create different customer groups to manage the customer base properly. For example, they can provide loyalty programs to promote and re-engage repeat customers.

High mobility, customization, and scalability

Because it is cloud-based, Vend POS runs smoothly on many mobile devices such as iPad, Mac, or PC. The POS can operate even when the internet connection is lost. Your data will be synced automatically when you’re back online to avoid any data loss.

When contactless purchase is more than a trend during Covid-19, Vend also offers a timely feature — click and collect, also called curbside pickup or drive-through. It greatly helps merchants respond quickly to customer changes and thrive in the pandemic.

The ability to customize and scale up makes Vend become a good choice for any business. As your business grows, the POS system can grow big with you.

Vend pricing policy

Vend is providing 3 pricing plans with Lite, Pro, and Enterprise. Users can pay monthly or annually. 

The Lite plan starts at $99 per month billed annually or $119 billed monthly and applies to one retail outlet. The Pro plan costs $129 per month billed annually or $159 billed monthly. For the Enterprise plan, you need to contact Vend to get the quote.

One important thing to note is that Vend charges on the number of retail outlets you have. The more outlets you run the more money you have to pay.

vend-pricing

Key factors when comparing POS providers

There are various POS providers in the market, and choosing the right vendor will surely take you time and effort. The more options you have, the longer time you need to consider all of them. To ease the selection process, we’d like to share with you the top criteria when reviewing different POS vendors.

Features

This is the first and foremost factor when comparing Vend POS with its alternatives. Merchants need to define which features they want to run their business. As needs for POS features vary from business to business and mainly depend on business type, scale, and purposes. Here are some of the most popular features in a retail POS system:

  • Inventory control and tracking
  • Procurement
  • Sales management 
  • Order management
  • Employee management
  • Customer loyalty programs (eg: store credits, reward points)
  • Marketing activities (eg: gift cards)
  • Reporting & analytics

The key takeaway here is: you don’t need to buy all features at one time to avoid overspending. Let’s go with a highly customizable and scalable POS system. When your business expands, you’ll know what features are needed at a specific time.

Integration

Software and hardware are the must-have components to set up a complete POS system. The POS software you choose must be easily compatible with your existing hardware, software, and 3rd-party addons. Failing to consider this while comparing different POS options to Vend can put you in trouble and cost you time and extra money later.

Ease of use

A simple POS system will save you hours on staff training. Moreover, you can enjoy a comfortable experience with your POS in daily operations. Using a complex system every day may cause stress for you and your staff. 

The retail industry witnesses aggressive competition between companies to serve their customers quickly. Simplicity is vital in keeping your checkout fast and efficient.

You should know that Vend is one of the easiest POS to use and needs little training. Never miss out on this point when considering different alternatives to Vend POS.

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Pricing

Different POS providers offer different pricing plans such as monthly subscriptions, annual subscriptions, or one-time payments

As the total cost of ownership is an inseparable part of POS system cost, you should ask your POS providers relevant questions to make sure you’re aware of all potential costs. Some of these questions are: 

  • Is support included in the price?
  • Are there any fees associated with the system update?
  • What are the pricing plans and packages suitable to my business?

Some POS providers may give you an attractive starting price. But you shouldn’t trade off quality for the price. Choose quality and good fit POS first and then scale it up gradually.

Provider policies & support

Even if your POS system runs smoothly in the beginning and you’re tech-savvy, you shouldn’t neglect the policies and support from your POS providers.

Thoroughly check the support, update, upgrade, and refund policies with the POS providers. How responsive are they to your questions or requests? How do they consult the solution to solve your business problems? A trusted partner will support you actively and grow with you in the long run.

Top 5 alternatives to Vend POS

Vend is a strong POS system as you can’t expect its outstanding features in an average POS solution. In this part, we have shortlisted the top 5 Vend alternatives which are as powerful as Vend plus their advantages. Thus, if you’re not 100% sure to go with Vend, let’s learn about these names before deciding.

Magestore POS

Similar to Vend POS, Magestore POS also possesses various robust features dedicated to helping retailers operate and manage their business with ease. If you’re running a business on Magento platform, this Magento-native Magestore POS is the #1 Vend alternative. Excellent features of Magestore point of sale include:

  • Ability to run on any browser, on both PC and tablet (iPad, Android), in both online and offline mode.
  • Powerful inventory management includes barcode, inventory tracking, inventory transfer, inventory movement, inventory adjustment, inventory forecast, and more. Noticeably, Magestore charges no fees for the number of stores you run.
  • Real-time and accurate POS reports for sales, inventory, and employees help merchants make quick and right decisions.
  • High customization and scalability to grow with your business: Magestore POS integrates well with many hardware, software, 3rd-party extensions. This POS also supports contactless purchases with the click-and-collect feature.
  • Well-organized customer management: admins can create customer accounts in POS or backend. All customer data will be centralized in the system backend. Merchants can use the database to run promotion campaigns (reward points and gift cards) that work both online and offline.
  • Employee management becomes much simpler as Magestore POS allows creating various roles and granting different permissions for users. Staff can log into the system separately so that store managers can track and review their performance.
  • POS performance is a new feature of Magestore POS. This allows merchants to fully monitor their POS health and save time on system audits.
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Checking POS performance on Magestore POS

Square POS

The next credible alternative to Vend POS, especially in the case of mobile payment is the US-based Square POS. This point of sale provides the following remarkable advantages to users:

  • Effective customer management: Square customer database helps track customer behavior with their sales and visits. Merchants can use the data to learn about their target audience, segment customers based on their visit frequency or favorite items.
  • Smart payment processing: Square POS accepts all kinds of payments including contactless. This is a big strength of the company as they are a leading company in mobile payment.
  • Customized reports: merchants can create tailor-made transaction reports based on time range or specific item categories. You can export these reports into CSV files for thorough analysis.
  • Easy to integrate with other addons such as team management, marketing, and payroll to build a complete system.
  • Square POS also works well on phones, iPad, or Android devices. It can support payments even when the internet gets disrupted.

Square offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, meaning that the bigger your business gets, the more money you need to pay for the system.

square-pos-vend-alternatives

QuickBooks POS

If you’d like to manage and maintain a complete POS system (both hardware and software), QuickBooks is a leading Vend alternative in that case. You can buy hardware and software from the company and set up your own retail POS system for your business. You can find these remarkable POS features in QuickBooks:

  • Real-time inventory management: QuickBooks POS keeps track of all inventory changes and always keeps you updated. You can easily manage your stock with necessary information like color, size, cost, description, provider info, quantity, reorder point, etc. When your stock runs low the system will notify you immediately.
  • Easy customer management: the POS allows you to record customer name, address, phone, email, business, birthdays, shoe size, favorite choices. You’ll know who’s buying the most and their preference. Then, you can set up special marketing campaigns, promotions (like discounts, coupons, or reward points) for specific customers.
  • Employee management: in the Pro version, you can track your employee working hours and commissions and send logged hours to other QuickBooks software for easy payroll management.
  • Detailed reports: you have access to many reports: sales over time, payment method summary, outperforming and underperforming sellers, the employee working hours/sales/commissions, or frequent return items.

Shopify POS

Shopify is the very first Vend alternative in the Shopify eCommerce platform. The Canada-based point of sale is a great choice for SMBs in any industry. Let us summarize the notable features of Shopify POS:

  • Merchants can manage their retail business using a unified solution (Shopify POS and Shopify website) as it’s native to the Shopify platform.
  • Exclusively designed for iPads and iPhones makes Shopify POS an ideal option for merchants who utilize Apple devices.
  • Managing inventory across all channels: this POS helps merchants track stock counts accurately. It can automatically stop selling items when inventory runs out. Shopify also offers different product variants such as colors, sizes, materials, etc. Merchants can add SKU, price, weight, and stock information to each variation.
  • Properly managing customer database: Shopify POS allows admins to record customer profiles to learn about their shopping habits. Users can find customer contact information, and their order history at a glance. Plus, users can group customers based on location, purchase history and use the data for later promotions.
  • Insightful reports help make rational decisions. Store managers can read, analyze and gain insight into your store’s growth with product reports. You’ll know which products are selling well and which aren’t. You can also export these reports for deeper analysis.
  • Merchants can easily integrate POS to other apps like appointment scheduling or door-counting to foster the POS system.
  • Curbside pickup and local delivery options help merchants ensure social distancing during Covid 19 pandemic.
Shopify-pos-alternative-to-vend

Revel iPad POS

This pioneering cloud-based iPad POS system is a great choice for restaurant and F&B businesses. Therefore, the Revel iPad POS is one of the top alternatives to Vend POS in these industries. It’s an outstanding tool to help merchants deliver a better customer experience and streamline their business operations.

  • Revel offers various features to create enjoyable customer experiences. Their customer relationship management helps capture customer information from your POS. Merchants can use online ordering, self-service kiosks, drive-thru, loyalty programs, gift cards, etc. These factors will help design delightful experiences for customers.
  • Flexible payment methods: Revel supports different kinds of payment like split bills, bar tabs, or store credits.
  • Managing tasks become more well-organized and time-efficient:
    • Exclusive features for restaurant and F&B businesses: delivery management, kitchen management, table management, product management, and menu building
    • Employee management streamlines administrative work and helps merchants manage all aspects of labor performance.
    • Cash management brings a big picture of cash flow with comprehensive settings and reports.
  • Merchants can still run businesses when the internet goes down.

Further reading: check out our other article: Best retail POS software of 2021 to learn more about top POS providers.

Final words

Choosing a proper POS provider is the very first step to bring your business to the physical world. As there’s no one-size-fits-all POS solution and the retail industry often grows at a rapid pace, a fit solution today can become unfit tomorrow. Thus, a highly customizable and scalable system will help you adapt faster to the changes. We hope that our article on alternatives to Vend POS has given you a deeper look at the retail POS industry.

If we miss any of the POS providers you’re concerned about, please let us know in the comments. We’ll bring you an objective review to support your decision. In the meantime, you can read our well-prepared comparison between Magestore and other POS fellows.

Irene Luong

Author Irene Luong

More posts by Irene Luong

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