There’s no shortage of electronic point of sale (EPOS) systems for retail in the UK, but which ones are best suited for a small business? How do the POS features differ?

To find out, we have to look at their pricing, hardware compatibility and payment integrations alongside inventory features, staff management and more. Your brick and mortar shop may prioritise certain functions above others, so the little differences are important to identify before committing to a till system.

In the end, you get the best understanding of an EPOS system by trying it out first-hand with a free trial.

But first, let us compare the key aspects of the leading cloud-based POS systems for retailers in 2021.

Vend
Vend
Lightspeed
Lightspeed Retail
Square
Square for Retail
Epos Now
Epos Now Retail
Shopify
Shopify POS
Our rating
Software iPad, Mac, PC iPad, Mac, PC iPad, iPhone iPad, Android tablets, Mac, PC iPad, iPhone
Suitable for Small-large retailers Small-medium retailers Small retail shops Small-large retailers Small-medium retailers
Plans* Licence/mo. for 1 till
Lite:
£49-£59
Pro: £69-£89
Cost/mo. per extra till
£39-£49
Licence/mo. for 1 till
Basic:
£69-£79
Standard: £99-£109
Advanced: £129-£139
Pro: £119-£219
Cost/mo. per extra till
£29
Licence/mo. for 1 location
Free:
£0
Plus: £49
Licence/mo. for 1 till
Standard:
£25
Premium: £50
Cost/mo. per extra till
£15-£30
Licence/mo. for 1 location
POS Lite:
US$0
POS Pro: US$89
+ ecommerce subscription
Billing Monthly or annual Monthly or annual Monthly Monthly or one-time payment for software,
up to 5 years’ lease for hardware
Monthly
Customer support 24/7 helpline & email support 24/7 helpline & email support Weekday 9am-5pm helpline & email support Email-only on Standard, 24/7 helpline on Premium 24/7 helpline, email & chat support
Trial

*Costs not including VAT.

Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
4.5/5 rating
4/5 rating
4/5 rating
4/5 rating
4/5 rating
Software
iPad, Mac, PC iPad, Mac, PC iPad, iPhone iPad, Android tablets, Mac, PC iPad, iPhone
Suitable for
Small-large retailers Small-medium retailers Small retail shops Small-large retailers  Small-medium retailers
Plans*
Licence/mo. for 1 till
Lite: £49-£59
Pro: £69-£89
Cost/mo. per extra till
£39-£49
Licence/mo. for 1 till
Basic: £69-£79
Standard: £99-£109
Advanced: £129-£139
Pro: £119-£219
Cost/mo. per extra till
£29
Licence/mo. for 1 location
Free: £0
Plus: £49
Licence/mo. for 1 till
Standard: £25
Premium: £50
Cost/mo. per extra till
£15-£30
Licence/mo. for 1 location
POS Lite: US$0
POS Pro: US$89
+ ecommerce subscription
Billing
Monthly or annual Monthly or annual Monthly or annual Monthly or one-time payment for software,
up to 5 years’ lease for hardware
Monthly
Customer support
24/7 helpline & email support 24/7 helpline & email support Weekday 9am-5pm helpline & email support Email-only on Standard, 24/7 helpline on Premium 24/7 helpline, email & chat support
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now logo Shopify

*Costs not including VAT.

Payments

Payments Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
Payment methods
  • Cards
  • Cash
  • Vouchers
  • Gift cards
  • Cheques
  • Store credit
  • Cards
  • Cash
  • Cheques
  • Gift cards
  • Store credit
  • Cards
  • Cash
  • Cheques
  • Gift cards
  • Card on file
  • Invoice
  • Cards
  • Cash
  • Gift cards
  • Store credit
  • Invoice
  • Cards
  • Cash
  • Vouchers
  • Cheques
  • Store credit
  • Gift cards
Refunds
Exchanges Yes, on Plus Yes, on POS Pro
Card machine integrations Zettle, Paymentsense, Square, SumUp, Windcave, Worldpay Barclaycard, Zettle Square Card Cutters, RMS, Paymentsense, Takepayments, Worldpay Shopify card reader
Click & collect integration
Ecommerce integrations BigCommerce, Ecwid, Shopify, WooCommerce Lightspeed eCom, others BigCommerce, Ecwid, GoDaddy, Magento, Square Online, Wix, WooCommerce, more BigCommerce, Epos Now Online, Shopify Shopify
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
Payment methods
Cards
Cash
Vouchers
Gift cards
Cheques
Store credit
Cards
Cash
Cheques
Gift cards
Store credit
Cards
Cash
Cheques
Gift cards
Card on file
Invoice
Cards
Cash
Gift cards
Store credit
Invoice
Cards
Cash
Vouchers
Cheques
Store credit
Gift cards
Refunds
Exchanges
Card machine integrations
Zettle, Payment-
sense
, Square, SumUp, Windcave, Worldpay
Barclaycard, Zettle Square Card Cutters, RMS, Payment-
sense, Take-
payments
, Worldpay
Shopify card reader
Click & collect integration
Ecommerce integrations
Big-
Commerce, Ecwid, Shopify, Woo-
Commerce
Lightspeed eCom, others Big-
Commerce, Ecwid, GoDaddy, Magento, Square Online, Wix, Woo-
Commerce, more
Big-
Commerce, Epos Now Online, Shopify
Shopify
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify

Checkout

Checkout Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
Product grid
Product search
Custom sale
Layaways
No sale
Saved carts Yes, on POS Pro
Custom receipts Yes, on POS Pro
Barcode scanning
Offline mode Partial Requires specific setup Partial
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
Product grid
Product search
Custom sale
Layaways
No sale
Saved carts
Yes, on POS Pro
Custom receipts
Yes, on POS Pro
Barcode scanning
Offline mode
Partial Requires specific setup Partial
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify

Inventory management

Inventory
management
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
Unlimited products
Bulk-import items Only with add-on
Categories & variants
Stock levels
Stock alerts Yes, on POS Pro
Purchase orders Yes, on Plus Yes, on POS Pro
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
Unlimited products
Bulk-import items
Only with add-on
Categories & variants
Stock levels
Stock alerts
Yes, on POS Pro
Purchase orders
Yes, on Plus Yes, on POS Pro
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify

Customer loyalty

Customer
loyalty
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
Customer profiles
Gift cards Yes, on Pro
Discounts
Timed promotions Yes, on Pro
Loyalty points Yes, on Pro Yes, on Advanced & Pro Only with integration
Email marketing Only with integration Yes, on Advanced & Pro Only with integration Only with integration
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
Customer profiles
Gift cards
Yes, on Pro
Discounts
Timed promotions
Yes, on Pro
Loyalty points
Yes, on Pro Yes, on Advanced & Pro Only with integration
Email marketing
Only with integration Yes, on Advanced & Pro Only with integration Only with integration
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify

Reports and analytics

Reports &
analytics
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
Daily reports Yes, on POS Pro
Close of day report Only with Shopify or higher ecommerce plan
Export reports Yes, to CSV Yes, to CSV or PDF Yes, to CSV Yes, to CSV Yes, to CSV
Sales analytics Detailed Detailed Standard on Free, Advanced on Plus Detailed Detailed
Custom reports Yes, on Pro Yes, on Pro May require add-on Only with Advanced Shopify ecommerce
Taxes/VAT
Accounting integrations AccountsPortal, MYOB, QuickBooks, Xero QuickBooks, others with connector tool Enterpryze, Kashoo, KashFlow, Xero, Zoho Books, more QuickBooks, Sage One, Xero, more (only integrates on Premium) QuickBooks
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
Daily reports
Yes, on POS Pro
Close of day report
Only with Shopify or higher ecommerce plan
Export reports
Yes, to CSV Yes, to CSV or PDF Yes, to CSV Yes, to CSV Yes, to CSV
Sales analytics
Detailed Detailed Standard on Free, Advanced on Plus Detailed Detailed
Custom reports
Yes, on Pro Yes, on Pro May require add-on Only with Advanced Shopify ecommerce
Taxes/VAT
Accounting integrations
Accounts-
Portal, MYOB, QuickBooks, Xero
QuickBooks, others with connector tool Enterpryze, Kashoo, KashFlow, Xero, Zoho Books, more QuickBooks, Sage One, Xero, more (only integrates on Premium) QuickBooks
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify

Employee and store management

Employees &
locations
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
User logins
User permissions Yes, on POS Pro
Staff analytics
Shift reports Only with integration Only with integration Only with integration
Close/open till
Multi-location support Yes, on Pro
Stock transfers Yes, on Pro Yes, on Plus Yes, on POS Pro
Location analytics Yes, on Pro Yes, on POS Pro
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify
User logins
User permissions
Yes, on POS Pro
Staff analytics
Shift reports
Only with integration Only with integration Only with integration
Close/open till
Multi-location support
Yes, on Pro
Stock transfers
Yes, on Pro Yes, on Plus Yes, on POS Pro
Location analytics
Yes, on Pro Yes, on POS Pro
Vend Lightspeed Square Epos Now Shopify

Conclusion

No POS system is perfect, but Vend and Lightspeed Retail have the best inventory features for the price. Vend’s interface is more intuitive and tends to be more popular among independent shops in the UK. Some shops prefer Lightspeed, crediting its in-depth inventory features, but it is a pricier system on the whole.

Square for Retail is best for its payments integration with Square, including free tools like click and collect. The downside is that you can’t pick another payment system, so you’ll need to be happy with its fees and somewhat simpler retail features (it is not as advanced as other retail EPOS).

Epos Now is a popular till system for any device, but it’s a longer-term commitment when you lease their till equipment too. Many features – that are usually included as standard in other software – require paid add-ons, so the final Epos Now cost can easily adds up.

Shopify POS is the only one that requires a paid ecommerce subscription in addition to the free or paid POS plan. Consequently, it is only worth going for Shopify POS if you run an online shop with Shopify – in which case, Shopify POS Pro is the best ecommerce-POS integration around.