Streamline the shopping experience for your customers with the best convenience store point of sale system (POS). The right system will offer you, the business owner, accurate sales analytics, loyalty programs, inventory management and employee scheduling.
Additionally, the ideal POS choice should enhance customer engagement, while increasing upsell in the store. When running a convenience store, your main goal is to track your daily revenue and ring up sales faster. This is why you should choose the right system carefully.
Convenience stores have their share of routine problems. Consider convenience store-specific features as spoilage and compliance reporting, safe drops, bottle deposit tracking, employee auditing, and house account tracking.
Reviewed below are five top-rated POS solutions for convenience stores.
Comparing the Best Convenience Store POS Systems
1. The Best Overall Choice for Convenience Store POS: IT Retail
The IT Retail POS system is equipped with all the tools you need to understand and run your convenience store more effectively.
In addition to being easy to learn and use, the system features powerful reporting and is backed by reliable customer support. Here are several other reasons why so many convenience store owners love the IT Retail POS system:
Easy Inventory Management
You need to ensure that the best-selling items are always in stock. This POS solution will ensure that new products are ordered at the right time. You will also find the inventory management on this system relatively easy to use. However large your store is, the system will make it easier for you to track diverse inventories.
Many businesses are having a hard time scheduling and tracking employee performance. This is particularly the case for convenience stores that open 24hrs a day. This POS system features a scanning mechanism that combines employee performance with scheduling information.
Additionally, the system offers intelligent insights on all transactions by your employees. Over the years, the solution has been proven to combat employee theft as well.
With the IT Retail system in your convenience store, you will not need to be physically available to manage the business. All business data collected by the system is securely stored in the cloud for you to retrieve anytime and from anywhere.
This being the case, you can easily view various report, such as employee performance, sales, and inventory reports in real time. Additionally, the system allows you to use any device, including phone, laptop, and tablet, to access this information over the cloud.
Support for Age-restricted Items
Convenience shops are known to sell an array of age-restricted items, such as cigarettes and alcohol. This system allows you to sell such items through the POS register. In this regard, the software will require you to enter the date of birth at the register when ringing a sell of age-restricted items.
Support for Multi-tender Payments
Offer your customers the flexibility of paying using any method they prefer. The new Payment Tech by this provider supports such payment options as Google Pay, Apple Pay, EBT, Swipe, and EMV. Again, the system allows you to process credit transactions offline.
Swift and Reliable
The system features an intuitive design that is relatively easy to use. As such, you will find it fast and reliable. With the IT Retail system, you will be checking out customers swiftly and accurately.
IT Retail Downsides
As compared to the leading convenience store POS systems, IT Retail is known to encounter software glitches every once in a while.
2. The Best POS for Flexibility: Square
Square is, without a doubt, one of the most popular retail point of sale systems. The system is renowned for enhanced reliability and flexibility.
Despite being an affordable option, Square offers you a complete POS solution, ranging from online ordering to comprehensive POS software. Some of the features and capabilities you will come to like about the Square POS system include:
Effective Customer Engagement
Turn engaged audience into regular customers with Square private, two-way communication line. With this engagement software, you’ll be able to send out custom email campaigns to potential and existing customers. To help you achieve this, the system adds customers to your business directory automatically overtime.
The customers in your directory are further categorized into casual, loyal and lapsed customer groups. It also opens up a channel for your customers to leave feedback. You’ll also get an opportunity to respond to this feedback.
Reduced Deposit Time
As compared to other POS systems, Square deposits your money really fast. As a standard feature, the system has a fast-deposit feature. This feature will ensure that you receive all payments received via Square payments processor on the same day or the next one.
If you would rather get the money faster than this, Square allows you to opt for the faster deposit option. The deposit in demand option will ensure that your money is deposited immediately or later, on the same day. However, you will be charged one percent of the deposit amount with this choice.
Most of the leading iPad Retail POS systems require users to purchase a monthly subscription plan. Well, this is not the case with Square. The basic POS software does not require any monthly payments. However, the software only offers basic restaurant POS features.
To get additional functionality, you have to integrate the system with the right POS add-ons by the provider. Unlike the software, the add-ons come at a cost. POS add-ons by this provider are billed monthly per employee and cost between $25 and $75 per month.
Square POS Downsides
The reporting capabilities offered by this system are relatively poor. Again, the system is designed to work on the iOS platform exclusively.
3. The Best Back Office Convenience Store POS System: CStorePro
CStorePro may not be one of the most popular convenience store POS systems, but is evidently one of the best. One of the best-selling points of this solution is that it allows you to manage your store remotely.
In this regard, the provider offers an all-in-one back office as well as a superior blend of features and tools. So, what exactly makes this product stand out from the rest?
Fuel and Gas Management
If you sell gasoline in your convenience store, you may as well get a POS system that is specifically meant to do this. The Fuel and Gas management feature of the CStorePro system is designed to track deliveries and manage fuel operations in your business. The system will also generate important reports automatically.
For instance, it will automatically generate SIR/Tank report logs, inventory, and profit as well as precise pool margins reports. The POS system will also allow you to change fuel prices remotely. This is to say that you can alter gas prices on the POS register as well as on the pumps from wherever you are.
The system features a powerful online back office dashboard. From this dashboard, you will be able to monitor elements you find useful to your business from almost any device. Again, the dashboard will give you an overview of business profits as well as cash flows at a glance.
CStorePro online dashboard also generates P&L reports for the shop for the various service types. It also helps you monitor what is selling by department, vendor or item. Regardless of where you are, you can also track margins and inventory in real time from this portal.
Price Book Management
With this feature, you will not need to set the initial price book from scratch or scan the entire store for that matter. Additionally, you will be able to carry out bulk updates of items using price groups. This feature will also give you ultimate control over the promotions and prices in the store.
The back office is not easy to use, especially for beginners.
4. The Best iPad POS: Shopkeep
Maximize profits and make quick sales with the Shopkeep POS tool suite for convenience shops. The Shopkeep iPad register, for instance, will speed up the checkout process in your convenience store.
This has been proven to enhance customer experience and satisfaction in convenience stores.
Other aspects you will come to like about the Shopkeep POS system include:
In addition to keeping an accurate track of the inventory, the system features reliable alerts. In this regard, it will notify you or the responsible staff whenever certain inventory levels are running low.
Get a detailed overview of how the business is faring as well as insights on how you can better it with Shopkeep Analytics. With this feature, you will be able to test new as well as existing products and services in your store. This way, you can ascertain the best-selling products and replace them in time.
The latest update to this POS incorporates the ability to set different tax rates. As you may be aware, this was not possible with the earlier version of the system. In response to user complains, the provider fixed this problem to include tax rates in the POS system.
As such, Shopkeep POS now allows you to set default tax rates for various goods and services in your convenience store. Additionally, this feature allows you to assign special tax rates to certain items in the inventory. To do this, you need to use the new Tax Groups Feature of the POS.
Saves on Time
Many business owners have expressed their satisfaction with the ease of use offered by this system. To begin with, you will find the POS system relatively easy to set up and use with minimal or no training at all. The intuitive design of the system allows for easy and fast POS operations as well.
Shopkeep POS System Downsides
The Shopkeep POS system for convenience stores does not have table mapping. You will also find the inventory feature on this POS somewhat limited.
5. The Most Affordable Convenience Store POS System: Shopify
Give your customers a shopping experience that will keep them coming back. In this regard, Shopify is the best-in-class POS system for convenience stores.
Ranging from a seamless checkout system to a range of management tools, the solution has all you will ever need. Discussed below are some of the key selling points of the Shopify POS system:
From a single dashboard, Shopify allows you to manage both online and retail stores. From this dashboard, you will be able to track retail and online sales as well as customers. This portal also features analytic and reporting capabilities. Such tools are designed to help you grow the business and manage it more effectively.
POS affordability is a key concern for small and medium-sized convenience stores. If you are looking for an affordable POS system, you should consider getting the Shopify POS system.
In this regard, the provider offers several plans to suit your budget and business needs. Some of the main Shopify Price plans you should consider include:
This is the most affordable plan by the POS provider, costing only $9 per month. While on this plan, credit card transactions will be charged at 2.7 percent. Although you will be required to use Shopify Payments as the gateway, this plan supports unlimited devices and includes 24/7 support.
Basic Shopify Plan
For this one, you will be required to pay a subscription fee of $29 per month. The plan offers an online store, two staff accounts, support for unlimited devices and products as well as social media sales channels.
This plan costs $79 per month and allows you to use an external payment gateway. However, you will be charged an additional processing fee of 1% for using an external gateway.
Downsides of the Shopify POS System
The Shopify payments processor is not that predictable. Some users fail to qualify to use the processor while others have had their accounts frozen.
Things You Need to Know Before Choosing a Convenience Store POS System
A point of sale system is basically meant to reduce transaction time, increase sales and manage the inventory. However, convenience stores and groceries tend to have more needs beyond this basic POS functionality.
For instance, you will need a system that is capable of addressing problems brought about by frequent changes in commodity prices. While there are numerous convenience store POS systems to choose from, not all of them are ideal for your business. Again, the right choice does not have to be costly.
To ensure that you get the best system, these are some of the things you should consider:
Features and Functionality
As compared to other types of businesses, convenience stores and gas stations are unique in their own ways. As such, the POS system you choose for such businesses should conform to those unique needs.
In this regard, here are some of the common convenience store features you should consider:
Convenience stores are k own to deal in perishable goods. This being the case, you will need a system that is capable of tracking the ‘sell by’ dates on the inventory items.
Such a system will monitor your inventory for spoiled goods, process the right documents and help you dispose of the items.
Pool Margin Calculation
If you have a gas station as part of your convenience store, this feature will come in handy. The pool margin calculation feature will help you calculate profitability, the pool margin as well as track costs.
To make this easier, this feature should offer such capabilities as current pool margin, current tank level, new delivery price and amount as well as the current inventory price. Again, the feature should be easy to adjust in accordance with changing delivery prices for each type of fuel.
UPC Price Catalogue
Convenience stores normally stock small amounts of various items. As you can imagine, building an inventory for one can take a long period.
Therefore, it is advisable to get a system that makes this task rather easy. In this regard, it is advisable to get a point of sale system that features UPC code functionality.
The UPC code catalog in some of the leading convenience store POS systems today has descriptions for the common items. This will save you a considerable amount of time when building your inventory from scratch.
Your preferred system should also be able to keep an accurate track of safe drops in your business. In addition to being compliant with drop policies by your employees, the system should be able to record drop amounts and automatically, track the cash-in drawer amounts.
By so doing, the system will be able to notify the responsible employees of when cash drops are needed in your business.
Bottle Deposit Tracking
As you know, beverage bottle restrictions are different in various states. Although some states still have the plans under consideration, it is advisable to get a POS system that is capable of tracking bottle sales and deposits in your business.
Additionally, the system should also be able to produce compliance reports when you need them.
Gas stations in the country are subject to compliance reporting. Some of these compliance requirements are known to apply to convenience stores as well—to a certain degree.
This being the case, you should just get a system that makes it easy for you to prepare the required compliance reports.
House Account Tracking
In some cases, gas stations are known to offer their services to corporate fleets. In such a case, such transactions are handles through house accounts.
This is why you need a system that can track such transactions separately and report them to a central office.
For many convenience stores today, inventory shrinkage is a key problem. To help mitigate inventory shrinkage problem in your store, you should invest in a system that offers employee auditing.
With up-to-date and accurate audits on store employees, such a convenience store POS system will help you prevent this problem.
Size of the Business
The size of your business will as well influence your choice of the right POS system. Depending on how large your convenience store is, here are some of the things you should consider.
Smaller Convenience Stores
As a small convenience store owner, you probably deal in a limited number of inventory items. In such a case, a simpler POS system will suffice. The POS system you go for should be capable of handling basic convenience store needs.
For instance, it should be able to manage the inventory, facilitate credit transactions and manage customer relations. Additionally, CRM and reporting capabilities will also come in handy for a small convenience store.
As opposed to smaller stores, Enterprise businesses often aim to resolve specific challenges. This being the case, such businesses often look for advanced database management and marketing capabilities in their POS systems.
Enterprise POS systems should also help with legal compliance. As you know, there are regulations that you are required to adhere to. Therefore, it is advisable to get a system that makes compliance easier for you as well.
Our Final Verdict
Customers have high expectations for your convenience store. For instance, they want to get a wide variety of goods, a good value for their money and be served in a timely manner. The right POS solution will give your customers the convenience and flexibility they need.
The convenience store POS systems reviewed in this guide are relatively easy to set up and use. These options are also known to offer seamless check-out experience and a range of tools to help manage your store more effectively.
The solutions reviewed above feature free demos, ranging from 14 days to 30 days. This free trial period allows you to experience the POS features and capabilities firsthand.
Whether you own a startup or multi-store chain business, this guide will help you choose the best convenience store POS system. SmartPOS is another great system not mentioned above.