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The retail POS industry is a promising field with plenty of POS providers dedicated to meeting the 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 to consider when choosing different POS vendors and suggest the top 5 Vend alternatives for your reference. By the end of this article, you will have a better idea of which POS system is right for you in 2024.

Let’s see what the top 5 Vend point of sale alternatives are:

  • Magestore POS: Best POS for omnichannel selling and seamless integration
  • Square POS: Simple POS for start-ups and small businesses
  • Shopify POS: Suitable POS for online retailers
  • Revel iPad POS: Ideal POS integrated with hardware for multi-location businesses
  • Rain POS: Great POS with a built-in website and marketing tools

What to know about Vend POS

Vend POS overview

Vend is a cloud-based POS provider from New Zealand, founded in 2010. And Vend POS is now known as Lightspeed POS. This is a calculated move in Lightspeed’s playbook to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific market and ascend to the summit of the global POS industry.

lightspeed-bought-vend

Speaking of the old Vend POS, this is a flexible companion tailor-made for small businesses that thrive in the versatility of different settings. Whether you’re selling at in-person events, pop-up stores, or other mobile environments, Vend POS understands the rhythm of your business. While its versatility shines in retail settings, those in the culinary or service industries might find themselves yearning for features more tailored to their specific needs.

And like any business ally, Vend POS has its nuances. It doesn’t come bundled with its own payment processing service, which could be a deal-breaker for some. The freedom to choose your payment processor is a plus for many, but it also means an additional step in setting up your financial workflows.

vend-pos

So, what do you think about the news? It may sound irrelevant to those who are new to Vend or Lightspeed point of sale. 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.

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.

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 features

The key features merchants can expect in Vend POS reviews include:

  • Inventory management

Vend POS helps manage inventory across multiple outlets with centralized product catalog management. Users can access data from POS or the 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.

vend-barcode-scanning
  • Reporting

Merchants can easily create custom reports for 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.

  • 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.

  • Mobility, customization, and scalability

Because it is cloud-based, Vend POS runs smoothly on many mobile devices such as iPads, Macs, or PCs. 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.

Vend pricing policy

Vend POS is providing 3 pricing plans (US-based pricing), flat prices change according to locations:

    • Lean plan: $89/month, or $69 if billed annually
    • Standard plan: $149/month, or $119 if billed annually
    • Advanced plan: $269/month, or $199 if billed annually
    • Enterprise plan: Custom pricing

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.

Key takeaway of 5 Vend POS alternatives

Vend POS alternatives

Key features

Pricing from

Customer reviews on GetApp

Magestore POS

  • Real-time online and offline synchronization

  • Order fulfillment

  • Order processing

  • Inventory management

  • Barcoding/RFID

  • Cash management

  • Return and refunds

  • Loyalty program

  • Multi-location

  • Real-time reporting

  • Transaction history

  • Multi-currency

  • 3rd party integrations

Quote-based for full license purchase

4.7/5 

(20 reviews)

  • “Magestore offers a reliable EPOS solution seamlessly integrating with your website and business needs.”

  • “Slick PWA frontend, fast and resilient, with offline functionality.”

  • “The solution is functional, precise, and user-friendly.”

Square POS

  • Billing & invoicing

  • Commission management

  • Cash management

  • Contact management

  • Customer management

  • Customizable reports

  • Menu builder

  • Stock management

  • Tax calculation

$0/month for limited features with transaction fees

4.5/5

(2800 reviews)

  • “Square is user-friendly for end-users”.

  • “Robust retail features include sales, inventory, gift cards, rewards, and more”.

Shopify POS

  • Merchandise management

  • Ordering automation

  • Product identification

  • Promotions management

  • Contactless NFC

  • Discount management

  • Stock management

$5/month for new Shopify users for the first 3 months.

4.6/5
(133 reviews)

  • “Shopify constantly improves without increasing costs.”

  • “The aesthetically pleasing design of the handheld card reader is noteworthy.”

Revel iPad POS

  • Cloud-native iPad POS for restaurants and retail

  • Inventory tracking

  • Delivery management

  • Employee management

  • Online ordering

  • Returns tracking

  • Accounting integration

  • Sales reports

  • Barcode/Ticket scanning

$99/month/terminal

3.7/5
(323 reviews)

  • “Excellent POS for restaurants, easy for servers to adapt and highly customizable.”

  • “Support staff is friendly and dedicated to assisting.”

Rain POS

  • Order management

  • Promotions management

  • Reorder management

  • Accounting integration

  • Manufacturing inventory  management

No public

4/5
(130 reviews)

  • “Simplifies tasks for small businesses without a dedicated IT department”

  • “User-friendly interface for easy operation by everyone in the office”

Why many retailers are looking for an alternative to Vend POS?

Nobody understands unless they’ve been in the chair. Retailers, especially those orchestrating the intricate dance of transactions, inventory, and customer interactions, often find themselves at a crossroads. Vend POS, once a stalwart in their toolkit, might now prompt a second look, and here’s why:

1. Acquisition by Lightspeed

Change is inevitable, but for retailers relying on Vend POS, the recent acquisition by Lightspeed in 2021 may raise questions. As companies align their strategies, the focus and priorities of Vend could shift, potentially impacting the familiar landscape that retailers have grown accustomed to. The echoes of corporate decisions may ripple down to the customer experience, leaving retailers pondering the future.

2. Feature limitations

Vend POS boasts robust features, but the needs of sophisticated retailers are ever-evolving. There might be gaps in functionality that leave retailers yearning for more. As the demands of the industry grow, the limitations of Vend’s feature such as barcode scanning, receipt and invoice customizations, product import, product attributes, and reporting may become more apparent, leading retailers to explore alternatives offering a more comprehensive suite of tools.

types of epos

3. Lack of own payment processing service

While flexibility is a virtue, the absence of Vend POS’s own payment processing service can be a double-edged sword. And while some appreciate the freedom to choose, others might see it as an additional layer of complexity in their financial workflows. 

This became especially evident when Vend was merged into Lightspeed, and users were mandated to adopt their payment solution for in-store purchases. Although it’s still possible to use your old payment set, doing so will result in higher transaction fees charged by Lightspeed if it’s not their designated payment set.

4. High cost and limited features

Choosing Vend POS might seem like the right decision, but there’s more to consider, such as a hidden cost waiting to surprise you. Especially if you’re running a store with multiple outlets or registers, Vend POS doesn’t come cheap. They charge you for each outlet and register, and those costs can pile up faster than expected.

As mentioned earlier, Lightspeed might compel you to use their payment system or pay extra if you prefer another. Besides, Lightspeed may not seamlessly integrate with the features you had on Vend.

You might find yourself needing to purchase new features, resulting in additional costs. As for the old Vend, it has limited features such as the inability to scan supplier barcodes, limited receipt options, a lack of quoting functionality, and tricky reporting.

5. Support concerns

In the world of retail, downtime is not an option. Vend POS does offer fast online and phone support for sales, but many users have reported long wait times for troubleshooting.

Instead of getting timely and effective help, they’re often left with a guide document and have to figure out and resolve the problems themselves. That’s why many retailers are seeking a more responsive, reliable POS system — one that keeps their operations running seamlessly.

Top 5 alternatives to Vend POS

In this part, we have shortlisted the top 5 Vend alternatives that are as powerful as Vend plus their advantages. Thus, if you’re not 100% sure to go with Vend or Lightspeed, let’s learn about these alternatives to Lightspeed before deciding.

1. Magestore POS: Best POS with robust features for multi-store management

In the intricate realm of POS solutions tailored for Magento merchants, Magestore POS has stood tall, clinching the coveted title of the world’s #1 POS for Magento for over 15 years. With a customer base spreading its wings over 10,000 in 50 countries, Magestore POS has established itself as the epitome of efficiency, customization, and seamless integration with other systems, marketplaces, eCommerce platforms, apps, and extensions through its open API capabilities.

Now, Magestore POS works smoothly with different eCommerce platforms, even with Shopify. Moreover, the software has grown to link up with various payment methods and shipping choices, just like how a business owner figures out the right moves in a tough market.

best restaurant pos systems - Magestore

For those navigating the challenging waters of Magento, seeking a POS solution that dances in harmony with their platform, puts data control at their fingertips, and guarantees scalability, Magestore POS emerges as more than a choice. It becomes a compelling narrative as one of the best Lightspeed alternatives.

Below are more reasons why it’s a top choice for Magento merchants.

Real-time data sync

Magestore POS takes the hassle out of managing online and offline stores by providing real-time data synchronization. Orders, customer stuff, and what’s in your stock move between your online and offline worlds without you having to do a thing. No mistakes, no headaches.

Customization

Magestore POS puts the power of customization in the hands of merchants. Tailoring the POS to specific needs and preferences is made easy with the assistance of Magento experts from Magestore. More so, the POS follows Magento architecture and coding standards, ensuring compatibility and reliability. Merchants can enhance their systems by adding new functions and integrations to meet evolving business requirements.

Feature-rich

Magestore POS is a one-stop solution that utilizes PWA technology for fast and stable performance. Moreover, merchants can enjoy a suite of powerful features from this system, not limited to:

  • Retail POS smoothly operates on any browser, PC, or iPad
  • Manage your inventory easily with features like barcode scanning, tracking, transfers, adjustments, forecasting, and more
  • Easily handle orders directly from the POS screen. The process breaks down fulfillment into 5 simple steps: verify, prepare, pick, pack, and deliver from a central system
  • Complete the purchasing process seamlessly through the backend with the purchase management system
  • Access loyalty program, reward points, and gift cards and store credits smoothly from online to offline platforms
  • Stay informed with real-time POS reports on sales, inventory, and employee performance, facilitating quick and informed decision-making.

When compared to Vend POS, Magestore POS exhibits several winning points:

Data ownership

Magestore POS puts data ownership in the hands of merchants by storing it on their own servers and databases. Vend POS, on the other hand, relies on its cloud server for data storage, potentially posing security and privacy risks, as well as creating dependency and lock-in concerns. 

Scalability

Magestore POS stands out in handling high-order volumes and complex business scenarios due to its robust and reliable design. Vend POS, being cloud-based and dependent on an internet connection, may encounter performance issues and limitations in certain situations.

Pricing

Magestore POS provides a tailored one-time payment model to match your business size, specific requirements, number of stores, and objectives. You can get unlimited users, registers, and locations without hidden costs, transaction fees, or limitations. 

2. Square POS: Simple POS needs of small and start-up businesses

The next credible alternative to Vend POS, especially in the case of mobile payment is the US-based Square POS. For small businesses, every penny matters. Square POS recognizes this reality and adopts a transparent and affordable pricing model. 

With one precise rate for every tap, dip, or swipe, businesses can easily understand and predict their costs. What you see is what you get, with no hidden fees or monthly charges for basic features.

square-pos-vend-alternatives

Besides, this Vend alternative goes a step further by accommodating the aspirations of businesses that aim high. Square POS steps in with custom pricing for those processing over $250,000 in sales annually. This flexibility acknowledges the growth trajectory of companies, ensuring that the POS solution evolves seamlessly as the sales figures climb.

But before deciding to enable Square POS in your store, there are two things to consider: the extra fee for additional features, locations, and users, as the free version only covers basic things. Additionally, the processing fees are relatively high.

While Square POS might be the go-to maestro for startups and small businesses aiming to cut initial costs, it may not strike the right chord for larger enterprises seeking feature-rich solutions and operational optimization. Speaking of the long term, there may be significant challenges for large businesses that require many features and manage multiple stores and warehouses.

Key features

  • Swift access to company data on desktop or mobile devices with an active internet connection
  • Process chip cards in just 4.2 seconds, faster than the 8 to 13-second average, expediting checkouts
  • Accept various payment methods: credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay
  • Personalize the checkout experience with quick-access buttons, modifiers, discounts
  • Seamless integration with Square tools and third-party apps like Square Online, Square Invoices, Square Virtual Terminal, QuickBooks, and more
  • Gain valuable insights through comprehensive reports on sales, inventory, customers

Pricing

  • Software: Free
  • Hardware: $799 or $39/month for 24 months.
  • Dedicated restaurant and retail plan: $60/month plus 2.5% + 10¢ per sale

Transaction fees:

  • Card present: 2.6% + 10¢ per tap, dip, or swipe
  • Card not present: 2.9% + 30¢ per online payment or invoice
  • Keyed in: 3.5% + 15¢ per manual entry or card on file

3. Shopify POS: Best cloud-based POS for online retailers

Shopify POS is the very first Vend alternatives, a unified selling platform that allows businesses to sell both online and in-store from a single platform. This versatility is a game-changer for modern retailers who operate across multiple channels. 

Shopify POS joins hands with your Shopify’s online store, making everything work smoothly. No more confusion between online and offline – it’s all in sync. Now, contrast that with Vend POS. We know it’s a good system for in-store operations, but it lacks its own eCommerce platform. 

Key features

  • Smooth shopping experience for customers, both in-store and online
  • Centralized control of permissions and tracking of staff performance
  • Customizable POS terminal with automatic discounts
  • Assign products to various sales channels and locations
  • Manage customer profiles and accommodate special requests for each purchase
  • Detailed inventory reports for identifying trends and planning for the future

Pricing

  • Starter: $5/month (for the first three months)
  • Retail: $89/month
  • Basic: $25/month + $89/month for each POS Pro location
  • Shopify: $65/month + $89/month for each POS Pro location
  • Advanced: $399/month + $89/month for each POS Pro location

4. Revel iPad POS: Best cloud POS for restaurants with integrated hardware 

Revel iPad POS doesn’t just cater to restaurants. It is restaurant-specific. This specialization translates into a feature set that aligns seamlessly with the unique needs of the food and beverage industry. From table and kitchen management to delivery management, Revel iPad POS is one of the top alternatives to Vend POS in these industries.

revel POS best restaurant pos systems - Magestore

Conversely, Vend POS, while robust in its own right, might lack the depth of restaurant-specific features that Revel iPad POS offers. The restaurant industry demands precision, and Revel iPad POS steps into that niche with a targeted approach, recognizing the unique requirements of the food and beverage business.

Key features

  • Streamline operations with diverse management solutions
  • Customize the setup to align with your business needs
  • Track inventory in detail, down to ingredients
  • Ensure secure transactions with point-to-point encryption
  • Understand business performance through robust reporting and analytics
  • Access various tools for back-office management
  • Use across multiple store locations

Pricing

  • Revel POS starts at $99/terminal/month (two-terminal minimum)

5. Rain POS: Great POS software with a built-in website and marketing tools

Rain POS serves as a companion for diverse retail businesses — whether they are quaint boutiques, specialized bike shops, or vibrant quilt and fabric stores. What sets this Vend POS alternative apart is its holistic approach. Beyond streamlining operations, Rain POS empowers retailers with a fully integrated website optimized for search engines. 

vend-alternatives-Magestore

Furthermore, the system equips retailers with a suite of marketing tools. They recognize that success isn’t just about transactions but also about building and sustaining customer relationships.

Key features:

  • Track stock levels, get alerts for low inventory, and reorder items effortlessly
  • Build lasting customer relationships by capturing information, tracking purchases, and sending personalized promotions
  • Provide integrated marketing tools for effective promotions
  • Manage inventory, customers, and marketing easily with an intuitive interface
  • Access a variety of reports to save time and understand your business performance.
  • Save time on data entry with vendor catalogs that include product images

Pricing: No Public

=>> Further reading: Best POS systems for small business to thrive in 2024 – Expert’s picks

5 Key factors when comparing POS providers

1. 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. 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 of a retail POS system:

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

The critical takeaway here is: that 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.

2. 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 the Vend app can put you in trouble and cost you time and extra money later.

3. 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.

5. 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.

4. 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 ensure 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.

Square POS is free to use with a basic feature set - best restaurant pos systems

Final words

Navigating through alternatives to Vend POS is akin to steering a ship through uncharted waters. 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. 

  • For merchants seeking seamless integration, the allure of Magestore POS is undeniable. It’s not an average point of sale system. It’s a lifeline, offering real-time data synchronization, a one-time payment model, and a canvas for high customization. 
  • Small businesses, akin to delicate vessels, find refuge in Square POS’s transparent pricing and user-friendly features. Yet, the currents of consideration must navigate around additional fees that may threaten the voyage.
  • Shopify POS, a companion for online and omnichannel retailers, provides a unified selling platform, though potential challenges may lurk in the unpredictable waters of omnichannel retail.
  • Revel iPad POS emerges as a beacon for restaurants. It comes equipped with specialized features, integrated hardware solutions, secure transactions, and robust reporting — essentials for those navigating the culinary industries.
  • Lastly, Rain POS is hailed for its seamless customer relations and marketing prowess. Still, some have voiced concerns about its shipping company integrations, occasional bugs, and features not living up to the hype.

In the meantime, you can read our well-prepared comparison between Magestore and other POS fellows. We hope you will find Magestore to be the best-fit solution for your business!

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  • Sell online or in your physical stores seamlessly with real-time data synchronization.
  • Sell everywhere from one platform with iPad or Android tablet, even without accessing Magento backend (PWA).
  • All data stay safely on your side, and your POS doesn’t have to rely on third-party servers to work.
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Author Julie Nguyen

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