Written by Dan Barraclough Reviewed by Ruairi Shirlow Updated on 25 August 2021 On this page The Best Retail POS Systems: An Overview Lightspeed Retail: Best overall Square: Best for pop-up Stores Hike: Best for shops with an online presence Quetzal: Best for footwear and fashion stores Epos Now: Best for convenience stores Expert verdict How We Test POS Systems Expand Which retail POS system would suit your business best? Read on to find out…The latest retail POS systems do more than just take payments. They can help you manage staff hours, send marketing emails to encourage repeat purchases, and create detailed sales reports. In short, these systems can streamline the way you work.The thing is, there are so many retail POS systems on the market. How do you know which is right for your business?Well, we’ve got the solution. We’ve used our 10+ years of experience researching and comparing POS systems to whittle down the best retail POS systems in Australia to just five options, and we’ll review their pricing and benefits in this article.Check out our table below for a quick snapshot of what’s coming up… The Best Retail POS Systems: An OverviewPOS systemBest forStarting priceLightspeed RetailBest overallAUD $100/monthSquarePop-up storesAUD $0/monthHikeShops with an online presenceAUD $79/monthQuetzalFootwear and fashion storesUSD $75/monthEpos NowConvenience storesAUD $49/monthReady to get your new retail POS system? We can put you in touch with trusted POS companies that best suit your exact requirements. All you need to do is use our free comparison tool and tell us what you need (it only takes a minute).You’ll then hear from suitable POS companies who’ll offer more information on how their systems can help your retail business, along with no-obligation quotes for you to compare. Our service is quick, easy, and totally free.If you’d like to know more about the retail POS systems that we mentioned above, then read on for individual reviews and comparisons. 1. Lightspeed Retail Best overall retail POS system We rated Lightspeed as the number one retail POS system because it ticks all the boxes, and then some.Our favourite feature is the Google local inventory ads tool, which lets you sync your inventory with your Google Ads campaign. This allows nearby Google users searching for your type of products to find your store at the top of the results page – and it’s all managed from the Lightspeed software.Aside from that, you can also offer gift cards, design marketing emails with the built-in drag-and-drop builder, and provide contactless payment.Lightspeed Retail isn’t the cheapest option out there, but you certainly get bang for your buck, making it one of the top POS systems in Australia. Pros Australia’s leading retail POS system 24/7 customer support Superb range of features to help you gain and retain customers Cons The most expensive software on this list Detailed analytics reports only available on the most expensive price plan Lightspeed’s pricingEach Lightspeed plan comes with a single cash register, but you’ll need to pay an extra $45 per month for any additional registers.PlanCostWhat you’ll getBasicAUD $100/monthRetail POSStarterAUD $130/monthRetail POSConnect your accounting softwareStandard (most popular)AUD $170/monthRetail POSConnect your accounting softwareEcommerce synchronisationProAUD $230/monthRetail POSConnect your accounting softwareEcommerce synchronisationAnalytics Save by Comparing Retail POS System Quotes Do you already have a POS system? Yes No 2. Square Best for pop-up stores Square’s the best retail POS system for pop-up stores because it’s so quick and easy to set up, with a handy smartphone-connected card reader that you can use anywhere. In fact, we found it to be one of the best overall in Australia. Also, Square's reader is so intuitive and practical, it's one of the best EFTPOS machines we've tested.It’s not as sophisticated as Lightspeed, and takes a relatively high 2.2% of every non-card transaction, but it’s more than suitable for small or pop-up retailers. Oh, and the software is totally free, which is an unrivalled plus.Square can also be used in the hospitality industry, making it a great restaurant point of sale system, as well as smaller, mobile businesses like food trucks or market stalls. Pros Software is free to install Wide range of app integrations available Quick and easy to set up, ideal for pop-up stores on-the-go Cons Software isn’t as sophisticated as Lightspeed’s Relatively high fee of 2.2% per manually entered transaction Square’s pricingOn all Square pricing plans, you’ll pay 1.9% per tap or insert on Square Reader and Square Stand, and 1.6% per tap or insert on Square Terminal and Square Register. Non-card transaction fees are 2.2%.Custom pricing is available if your business processes more than $250k per year. The one-off hardware costs are as follows: Square Stand ($299, iPad not included) and Square Register ($1,099).PlanSoftware costWhat you’ll getFreeAUD $0/monthUnlimited itemsLow stock alertsCreate item categoriesSell on InstagramOffer discountsSales reportsPlusAUD $109/month/locationEverything on Free, and:Automatic purchase ordersBarcode printingExchangesProfit margin reportsPremiumCustom pricingEverything on Plus, and:Square Loyalty included ($9/month on other plans)Physical gift cards included ($1.30/card on other plans) 3. Hike Best for shops with an online presence Hike’s our favourite retail POS system for businesses that have an online store.Why? Because it offers integrations with the industry’s leading ecommerce software products, including Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Amazon Marketplace. This makes it really easy for you to sync your physical and online inventories.The pricing may seem a little complicated – it’s based on how many locations and registers you need, so monthly costs can rise quickly if you’re not careful. However, it’s still easily affordable. Pros Customisable software 24/7 live chat support Integrations with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Magento Cons Limited till licenses on each plan Monthly costs can add up when adding registers or store locations Hike’s pricingThe pricing table below shows how much each plan costs if you’re using one register. Extra tills cost $39 per month each.PlanCostWhat you’ll getEssentialAUD $79/monthSell unlimited products0% transaction feesAccounting integrationsProduct variantsGift receipts24/7 email and chat supportPlusAUD $79/monthEverything on Essential, and:Ecommerce integrationsAmazon MarketplaceMailchimp integrationLoyalty schemesCustom reportsEnterpriseCustom pricingEverything on Plus, and:Premium API accessDedicated account managerCustomised onboarding Save Money by Comparing Free Retail POS System Quotes Do you already have a POS system? Yes No 4. Quetzal Best for footwear and fashion stores Quetzal offers fashion-focussed features, including excellent gift card and loyalty programs, and simple pricing ($75 per month per location), making it our top retail POS system for footwear and fashion stores.It’s not the most sophisticated system out there, making it unsuitable for large retailers, but it’s really easy to use and doesn’t require regular software updates like many other systems do. Pros Niche focus on independent fashion retailers Simple pricing Cons Not suitable for large retail stores Quetzal’s pricingPlease note that prices are charged in USD.PlanCostWhat you’ll getPOS System (unlimited users)USD $75/monthUnlimited registers and users 5. Epos Now Best for convenience stores Epos Now offers an awesome range of features to benefit you and your convenience store, such as automated and real-time stock counts, automated purchase orders, and simple software that your staff can learn in just 15 minutes.That, along with affordable price plans ($49 per month), is why we’ve chosen Epos Now as our top retail POS system for convenience stores. One quick note, though: you’ll need to pay extra for maintenance fees should anything go wrong with your POS system. Pros iPad and fixed hardware options Excellent offline capabilities Only takes 15 minutes to set up and learn Cons Extra maintenance costs to consider Epos Now pricingEpos Now offers one price plan for its convenience store POS system.PlanCostWhat you’ll getConvenience store POS$49/monthTouch screen POS terminalCash drawerPrinterAutomated purchases and stock counts Expert verdictNow that we’ve shown you our favourite retail POS software in Australia, you should feel comfortable choosing the best option for your own business.Whether you need online store synchronisation or a smartphone friendly card reader, you can trust our recommendations because they’re backed by extensive research and a decade’s worth of experience in the POS space. Let’s recap what we discussed…The best retail POS systems are:Lightspeed Retail – best overallSquare – best for pop-up storesHike – best for shops with an online presenceQuetzal – best for footwear and fashion retailersEpos Now – best for convenience storesDon’t forget, we can match you with retail POS system suppliers that best suit your business. All you need to do is use our free comparison tool to tell us what you need, and we’ll do the rest.You’ll then hear from trusted retail POS software companies who’ll offer more information and no-obligation quotes for you to compare. Our service is quick, easy, and totally free. How We Test POS Systems for BusinessesWe tested 16 market-leading POS systems to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, price, features, and more so we can make the most useful recommendations to Australian businesses.Our rigorous testing process means these products have been scored and rated in eight main categories of investigation and 45 subcategories – in fact, we covered 61 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting' to ensure the product's final score perfectly reflects the needs and requirements of Expert Market readers – and that's our product testing algorithm in a nutshell!Our main testing categories for POS systems are:Till: the core functionality of the POS system, which includes the processing of sales transactions. It involves features such as item scanning, item look-up, and price calculation.Business Management: the features and tools provided by the POS system to support various aspects of running a business, such as employee management, shift scheduling, and customer management.Stock Management: the POS system's capabilities to manage inventory and track stock levels, including inventory tracking, stock alerts and transfers, and purchase order management.Business Development: the features and tools provided by the POS system to help businesses grow and improve their operations, e.g. customer relationship management, marketing integrations, and sales forecasting.Usability: how easily and intuitively the POS system can be used by the staff, including the user interface design, navigation, ease of training, and overall user experience during setup.Price: the cost associated with acquiring and using the POS system, such as the initial purchase cost, licensing fees, subscription plans, and any additional charges or ongoing costs.Help and Support: the assistance and resources available to users when they encounter issues or need guidance while using the POS system, including documentation, tutorials, or knowledge bases.Features: the functionalities and capabilities provided by the POS product. This can include dedicated restaurant and retail functionality including KDS, loyalty management, and multi employee login. Written by: Dan Barraclough Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics. Reviewed by: Ruairi Shirlow Business Services Researcher Ruairi uses his 3+ years of research experience to uncover insights which can help Expert Market provide the best business solutions for their users. He has done this by meeting with business owners to find out what is important to them and what challenges they face on a daily basis. Ruairi specialises in tools that can be used to grow your business and has done research for a wide range of categories on Expert Market, such as EPOS, Website Builders, and Merchant Accounts.