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Best POS System for Boutique Owners

May 13, 2021 08:07

Best POS System for Boutique Owners

Best POS System for Boutique Owners


Running and owning your own boutique isn’t exactly easy… but that doesn’t mean it has to be a TOTAL pain. Nowadays, there are so many tools out there that can help you run day-to-day operations, stay organized, and grow your business.


And when it comes to making sure you get paid? Well, you need to make sure that particular operation runs SUPER smoothly! (So you can get that money, honey!)


A good POS system can help you securely process payments and take care of tedious administrative tasks more efficiently and all in one place.


Many POS systems are available for different types of businesses.


For example, a small cafe may want a POS system that makes tipping easy... while a retail clothing and accessories shop owner may be more interested in finding a system that manages inventory and coordinates with their online shop.


So what’s the best POS system for boutique owners?


To determine the best POS system for your boutique, you’ll need to consider cost, security, convenience, and user-friendliness.


Learn what a POS system is and what to look for so you can choose the best POS system for your business and your goals. 


What Is a POS System?

POS stands for “point of sale.” (Just a heads up, if you ask Urban Dictionary what POS stands for… well, let’s just say you’ll get a very different answer that’s not very relevant to this article.)


A POS system or point of sale system is the place where a customer makes a payment for products or services at your store. Today, most POS systems have gone digital. It’s usually a combination of hardware and software that lets you ring up sales and accept payments.


Here’s how a POS system works:

  1. A customer decides to buy, whether by asking a sales associate to ring them up in person or by clicking the checkout button online.
  2. The POS system calculates the total price, including sales tax and shipping. The POS system also updates the inventory count to show an item has sold.
  3. The customer pays for the product or service, using a credit card, mobile payment, loyalty points, gift cards, or another method.
  4. The POS system finalizes the transaction – meaning the sale is made, the payment is accepted, a receipt is created, and the items are ready to be shipped or given to the customer.


In the old days, “point of sale” used to refer to the cash register at a store. Now, most POS systems are much smarter than that. Rather than just accepting payments, POS systems sync with your store, managing inventory, keeping track of how many items you have in stock, applying coupons or sales, and more. Some even come with marketing software to help you find new customers as well as check out existing ones.


POS systems are usually made up of three components:


  • Hardware: POS hardware allows you to accept in-person payments, including cash, credit cards (both chip and contactless), debit cards, and mobile payments. Additional POS hardware might allow you to print receipts, store cash, and scan bar codes. Depending on your store and your system, it might include a register, a connected device like an iPad, a credit card reader, a cash drawer, a receipt printer, and/or a barcode scanner. Not all POS systems involve hardware. While hardware is often necessary to accept in-person payments, if your boutique is strictly online you may only need POS software.


  • Software: POS software virtually keeps track of inventory and sales. It makes it easy to find specific items in your library of inventory, ring up sales, keep track of items that are running low on stock, report sales, manage inventory, and more. All POS systems involve some type of software, though specific features vary.


  • Payment processing: You don’t just need to accept payments – you need to make sure that money ends up in the right place. POS payment processors accept various types of payment and route funds to your bank account after each sale. Most POS systems charge a small payment processing fee for each transaction.


women on laptop sitting on a bench

Does My Business Need a POS System?

You might be thinking… “My business is still small, and I do a pretty good job of keeping track of sales on my own. Do I really need a POS system?”


Sure, a POS system can make things way easier on you, helping you run operations more efficiently and keep track of transactions. But you’re not the only one a POS system is good for – it can also make a huge difference for your customers.


Having a sophisticated POS system helps you look more legitimate and professional, even if your business is just starting out. It also helps you appear trustworthy – and when customers are sharing something as sensitive as payment details, they want to KNOW their information will be kept secure. Essentially, letting your customers tap their contactless credit card looks a whole lot better than manually inputting their card details on your phone, or only accepting cash and exact change.


It doesn’t really matter whether you have 10 customers or 10,000 customers – implementing a POS system is all about making payment processing easy and keeping everything organized. 


A POS system can also help you collect data about your business, including what you’re selling, when you’re selling it, what’s selling well, and what’s driving the most profit. This information can help you make better, more strategic decisions about what sort of inventory to order and how to price your products.


If you want to accept credit/debit card payments and track sales, a POS system is probably a good idea.


Benefits of Using a POS System

Implementing a POS system into your online or in-person boutique can make life as a boutique owner a lot easier. Here are just a few key benefits of using a good POS system:


  • Tracking: a good POS system will track and record data from each sale in the system. This is key for inventory management – it’ll help you see how much inventory you have in stock at a glance, without having to count out individual pieces or sizes. Some POS software even sends you a notification when you’re running low on a particular item.
  • Sales reporting: great POS systems record comprehensive sale analytics and data. That’s a must if you’re interested in scaling your business or earning more $$ from it (and who isn’t, right?!) Your software will help you keep track of what, where, and when you’re selling the most – and then use that information to decide what inventory to purchase and how to market it.
  • Payments: We’ve all been there – you walk up to a store, find something you want to buy, make your way up to the cash register… and see that “cash only” sign when all you have in your wallet is your credit card. A POS system makes it fast, easy, and secure to accept payments however your customers prefer to pay.
  • Monitor different locations: a POS system can help you track inventory and sales across all of your physical and online locations. (Only have one location? Hey, that may not be the case for long!)


girls hands on laptop

What to Look For in the Best POS System for Retail


Not all POS systems are the same. Some POS systems are designed with restaurants or service providers in mind – if you’re looking for a POS system for your boutique, you need the best POS system for retail.


Here are a few factors you’ll want to keep an eye out for as you shop around for a good POS system:


  • Inventory management features: make sure your POS system is built to help you keep track of inventory and items you have in stock, so you don’t have to manually update your numbers every time you make a sale.
  • Sales analytics: even minimal data and records can teach you a lot about how business is going and what sort of products and audiences to focus on going forward.
  • Hardware needed: if you sell in-person, make sure your POS system can connect to a barcode scanner and receipt printer. Identify what sort of credit card scanners you might need and whether you’ll have to purchase a compatible device, like an iPad. If you mainly sell online, you may not need any hardware at all, but it still might be a good idea to choose a POS system that does offer that functionality in case you decide to open a physical location in the future.
  • Initial setup costs: POS system costs vary widely. Some require you to purchase the hardware outright, others offer their software at a one-time cost, while still others only charge as you sell products. Be aware of the initial setup costs and make sure you have the budget for them.
  • Ongoing costs: be aware of monthly, annual, or per-transaction payments, including payment processing fees, equipment rental costs, and software fees.
  • Payments supported: most POS systems support a wide variety of payments, including cash, credit cards, mobile payments, gift cards, and more, but it varies from company to company.


Best POS Systems for Boutique Owners

While there are many retail POS systems available for boutique owners, two of the best and most popular ones are Shopify and Square.


Shopify started as an online shop and POS system. In 2013, it started offering POS for brick-and-mortar retail.


Shopify POS is a reliable point of sale system. By downloading an app on your smart device, it allows you to sell all the merchandise you usually sell on your online Shopify store in person. It includes unlimited products.


Shopify POS has 24/7 customer service support and over 2000 integrations. It’s flexible, user-friendly, easy to add discounts, and a very popular POS option. (Many Supplied customers use it and love it!)


Shopify POS Lite is included with all Shopify plans. That means if you already use Shopify for your online store, you can get free access to this POS system. If you don’t have a Shopify plan, Shopify POS Lite is $9/month. Credit card rates start at 2.9% + $0.30 online, or 2.7% in person.


Shopify POS Lite includes order and product management, payment processing, and customer profiles. Shopify offers hardware, with its basic retail kit starting at a one-time price of $229.

Shopify POS Pro costs an additional $89/month per location. It includes unlimited store staff, unlimited registers, smart inventory management, selling features, staff roles and permissions, in-store analytics, and more. Compare both plans here – though generally, Shopify Lite will probably be sufficient for you if you’re just starting out. 



Square offers a fully integrated POS system with software that’s completely free to use. Square users get access to a free drag-and-drop online store. Though the free online store offers limited features, its excellent Instagram and Facebook integration and killer price tag make it a great option whether you sell in-person or online.


Square’s POS software is free, with no initial or monthly fees. Square plans also come with a free card reader. However, additional Square hardware does come at a cost. Square’s complete point-of-sale hardware package starts at $799, with the option to pay $39/month over 24 months instead. If you already have an iPad or another compatible device, you can also purchase the Square Stand at $169. Square also charges transaction fees of 2.9% + $0.30 online and 2.6% + $0.10 in person.


Square POS offers secure payments, customizable checkout, compatible hardware, sales reporting, and inventory management with its free plan.


Learn more about Square here. 


little shopping cart with moeny in it next to laptop

What Is the #1 Best POS System for Boutique Owners?


When it comes to choosing a POS system for your boutique, you can’t go wrong with Square or Shopify. But ultimately, the best POS system for you will depend on your budget, where you sell your products, and the size of your business.


If most of your sales occur online and you have the budget for it, Shopify may be a better POS option. Shopify powers hundreds of thousands of businesses, with powerful features and competitive pricing. With its many integrations and excellent customer support, Shopify may also be a better option for larger merchants.


If you sell your boutique items in-person and you’re just starting out, Square might be a better POS option for you. No subscription fees, free multi-location support, and excellent reporting will help you get on your feet and scale quickly. 


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