The United States has three major grocery/convenience store POS companies. IBM, Retalix (purchased by IBM), and NCR. Convenience and grocery stores have thousands of different SKUs to track, varying and complex tax laws, loyalty cards, and manufacturer’s coupons.
These more complex requirements take specialized functions in a POS system software package.
Until a few years ago, the only place to get this type of software was through these big-name companies. Today the smaller convenience and grocery stores have more choices with lesser known, and smaller POS providers or ones that started in other retail venues are now offering specialized functions for these stores.
Revel Systems: Our Top Pick for Best Convenience Store POS System
Revel is a top provider of grocery and convenience store POS systems with their reputation for reliable service and more than 25,000 terminals actively used. Some of Revel’s heavy-hitter clients include Cinnabon, Smoothie King, and Goodwill.
What makes Revel Systems so appealing to us is the features they continually expand, their integrations with third party software programs, and their long list of services. With things like offline functionality with their “always on” mode, remote support intelligent reporting, and a QuickBooks integration partnership, Revel makes our top pick for best convenience store POS system.
Our Convenience Store POS Software Comparison: Revel Systems Vs. ShopKeep Vs. Shopify
Revel Systems: Our Pick for Best Convenience Store Full-Featured POS System
Revel Systems is an entrepreneur based system, built by entrepreneurs and focuses on the three top requirements of small businesses:
The Revel System integrates with any retail business and one of our top reasons for choosing them as top POS system for convenience stores. With the high-speed order processing capable through Revel, orders get processed faster allowing high-volume sales processing minus the usual system slowdown. The omnichannel platform of the Revel System connects all points in your business from the store, to warehouse, to mobile, and an e-commerce site. Their integrated e-commerce system lets you sell in-store and online with ease.
The Revel system offers software packages, that are industry-specific, on a monthly subscription basis and a software license included in the monthly price. Revel has flexible pricing, broken down by each terminal, depending on the industry.
The RaaS pricing plan, or Revel as a Service, includes little costs upfront. Customers using RaaS have a monthly fee that includes hosting and defective hardware replacement at no extra cost.
All Revel subscription plans include live product support, 24/7, unlimited security and data storage, all software updates, and QuickBooks integration.
Revel Systems offer two type of operation platforms; Hybrid and Always On.
Hybrid: With Hybrid, Revel POS runs locally on an Apple iPad while syncing your data to their cloud service.
Always On: This mode allows your POS service to function even when you have slow or a lost internet connection. Even though your POS continues working without a connection, you can’t get credit card payment authorization. The Revel website gives you more information about Always On mode.
The Revel system and their add-on products are designed for working with quick service and restaurant business models. But, recently, they’ve expanded their software platform to include grocery and convenience stores, retail businesses, and mobile businesses, to name a few. Currently, Revel’s software platform fits most types of sales based businesses.
Specific to Business Size
Revel can easily handle large multi-location businesses and a total of 500,000 SKUs. But with their modular software and a long list of applications, even mid-size businesses find workable POS solutions with a system, customizable to suit your needs.
While the Revel POS platform can work for smaller businesses, but with such a highly customizable system, it takes a lot of time and work to set up smaller convenience and grocery stores. Some smaller companies might not use the more advanced features with the Revel System package, so we recommend diligent research before committing.
Using the Software
After setup, Revel Systems software has an intuitive desktop that’s easy to use and navigate. While back-end operations carry more of a learning curve, there are training videos to help through the process.
Front end user operations require employees logging in with pin numbers before using their permissions and user settings. The product matrix and descriptions display through touchscreen functionality on one side of the screen while displaying order totals on the other side. Easily add additional discount and payment options and product modifications and quantities to the system. Revel POS also has the versatility of kiosk for customer-facing displays.
Back-end user operations give technical support people easy operational navigation like employee and inventory management. But, there’s a learning curve before you can enjoy the back-end ease of use. Learning the basic and advanced functions of the system takes a lot of training and time and takes much longer than a day to set up. Once you get the software up and running, basic functions are relatively easy to use and navigate with simple data export, item addition and modification, and employee permissions accessed directly from the dashboard.
Operating System and Hardware
Revel systems only work on devices using Apple iOS, including iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3 and iPad Mini 4. The POS platform has hardware bundles available and works with all standard barcode scanners. You have the option to purchase hardware from other vendors, but you need to check Revel’s list of preconfigured hardware before buying to ensure you’re getting hardware that is compatible.
- Fully Functioning POS – Revel’s System is a fully functioning POS and operates with hotkey functions that are easy to use by tapping on a menu category for a drop-down list of items. The system is versatile enough for entering barcodes for scanner use and manual addition of discounts, surcharges, and service fees or automatic addition capability. The easy to use item editing screen lets cashiers add quantities, enter special requests, add to-go orders and delivery orders, remove or repeat items, and enter discounts. Additional cashier items include payment void, split billing, print, reprint, or email receipts, and reward card options.
- Inventory in Real-Time – Inventory is simple with Revel’s easy inventory management which only needs the item and the price, but has SKU and cost capabilities as well. Revel has inventory items mass entry through a style matrix for similar items with different styles, colors, or sizes, and the inventory page displays low item stock listed in red.
- Purchase Order Management – Manage incoming stock items and partial order notations when only receiving partial orders, then order finalization once all order items arrive.
- Integrating with QuickBooks – The QuickBooks integration module in Revel has automatic data transferring from the POS to QuickBooks for syncing sales, purchase orders, and inventory for streamlined bookkeeping. With daily transfers of sales information into QuickBooks, total sales, refunds, and discounts, users have access at any time. The QuickBooks integration can transfer inventory adjustments, purchase orders, payroll, and employee schedules.
- Cash Management – You can find cash management applications in the manager’s settings tab for things like time management, items sold, total cash receipts for the day, and printable reports.
- Customer Management – The Revel System tracks customer information like name, email address, phone number, street address, and customer purchase history. Users can export any collected information for use in cross-selling items and marketing campaigns.
- Employee Management – Revel System stores secure and unique pin number activated login ids or swipe cards for tracking employee work time, performance, and any activity in the system. Get printable employee reports based on criteria like productivity and sales volume, discounts given, and voided transactions.
- Reporting Suite – Extensive reports that are easy to read and include, transactions detail, sales summary, used gift cards and number available, credit transaction totals, void totals, items exchanged or refunded, and labor to sales percentage.
- Security – PCI-DSS compliant network, software, and hardware with encrypted card information that’s never stored. Revel is SAS 70 Type II certified and has PCI compliant data centers.
Revel has a variety of customer support options available 24/7, including telephone, email, web support, remote support, online support, and social media. Besides these support methods, Revel has a comprehensive video knowledge and tutorial base.
ShopKeep: Best Convenience Store POS System
ShopKeep is a comprehensive retail POS system, available with iPad. The business features of ShopKeep has a simple flat fee pricing of $69 per register each month, compared to other POS systems that charge on a tiered, feature-based price structure with added charges for customer support. ShopKeep’s monthly price includes their full line of capabilities with on service or maintenance fees, and telephone and email support, 24/7.
With their reasonably priced hardware bundles, you can save money, while other POS systems charge over $2,000 for their basic setup. ShopKeep offers an $800 starter kit that gives you everything you need including iPad holder, Bluetooth card reader, cash drawer, and printer. You’re not locked into using ShopKeeps hardware and can save money by using an existing setup or shopping around for better pricing.
ShopKeep has a long list of features that do more than process sales with many tools for business growth and less complicated back-end processes. The POS system lets you directly manage inventory, gather customer information, manage employees, and generate reports. Other great features include:
- Processing Credit Cards – ShopKeep has its own processor which eliminates searching for and applying to a credit card company and setting up your own. You’re not locked into using ShopKeep’s processing and can use any merchant you choose. ShopKeep gives custom processing rate quotes and guarantees they are the lowest available.
- Easy and Quick Checkout – ShopKeep makes processing transactions quick and easy so you have quickly moving, short lines. The cashier module lets you tap the product picture, scan the barcode, or search for the product. ShopKeep includes other time savers like preset item modifiers, custom layouts, color coding, and automatic discounts.
- Inventory Management – A top issue for a retailer is inventory management. ShopKeep has a powerful, iPad POS inventory management tool with a bunch of features. You get a custom layout that’s intuitive for easy adding, editing, and removing inventory. There’s no manual product updates and adjustments with the uploading and editing product information through spreadsheets. Low inventory alerts let you know when product amounts get below a certain level and the software allows for automatic supplier reorders.
- Customer Management – Boost sales and nurture existing customer relationships with automatic customer information data capturing from every sale for adding to email campaigns. Reporting for customer loyalty includes data showing the amount spent, purchasing trends, and top customer identification.
- Employee Management – Measure employee performance directly from the ShopKeep POS system. ShopKeep has a time clock built in that lets you track hours for easy shift and payroll management. Track employee performance like top sales, daily transactions and times of those transactions.
- Reporting – ShopKeep includes analytic tools that give you sales data analysis in real-time for making the best business decisions. Get specific detailed sales reports for a chosen day and time of sales or product specific sales, sales summaries and daily comparisons, and top selling items and items that have the biggest profit margin.
- Working Offline – When internet outages happen, keep running your business offline. ShopKeep’s offline mode keeps you going, unlike most cloud-based systems. The offline mode lets you save transactions locally then upload once you reconnect to the internet.
- Integrations – ShopKeep connects to several third-party apps, with QuickBooks and MailChimp being the most common for retail use. Send daily sales information to QuickBooks or sync new and updated information with MailChimp for automatic changes in email marketing campaigns.
With one of the best customer support packages on the market, ShopKeep has it all with live support and a massive knowledge base, all included in their monthly subscription price, and available 24/7.
- Telephone and email support
- Chat support
- Social media support
- Video support
- Support center with knowledge base and video library
- Frequently asked question section
- Community forum support
- Blog support
- POS University video tutorials and articles
- Small Business 101 guide
Shopify: Best Convenience Store POS System
Shopify has an iPad POS that’s best-in-class with a customer checkout experience that seamless and quick. Shopify users select products by simply tapping the screen and turning the stand to the customer for swiping their card then choosing a receipt by email or in their bag.
End users find the wireless point of sale system easy to use for selling items on or offline from a single dashboard. Manage customer information, orders, and inventory with instantaneous synchronization.
Shopify is a month-to-month subscription plan, based on your business needs. There’s no contract, and if you purchase a full year subscription up front, they offer a 10% discount based on total plan price. Two years paid up front saves you 20% off the price of the plan you choose.
Advanced Shopify for $299 each month plus transaction fees and Shopify Plus with negotiable fees based on business needs and both have online and offline credit card processing capabilities.
Single Dashboard – A single dashboard lets you track customer information and sales for both online and retail locations.
Payment Options – Setup customized payment options like debit payments, partial payments, and split tenders.
Third Party Payment – Works with your current payment providers.
Hardware – Works with the credit card readers you currently use and accepts Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Hardware package includes cash drawer and stand, printer, and scanner.
Reporting – Detailed reporting and analytics.
Shopify offers a variety of customer support options including live chat, phone, email, knowledge base, forum, and blog, all available 24/7. They have contact information that’s easy to find and low wait or hold times before being connected to a support agent.
Shopify’s telephone support has different support centers with phone numbers according to the country. Phone centers include USA, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Shopify support comes with a downside in their ability to handle more technical problems, like coding. The Shopify forum has developers that may better answer your questions.
What We Think About the Best Convenience Store POS System
When looking for a convenience store POS system, Revel System, with its cloud-based POS platform comes in as one of the best. This system gives good functionality to any user willing to learn the system. Once you take the time to learn how to use it, Revel System has an intuitive user desktop that’s easy to navigate, making it a solid choice for retail shops.
Revel’s abilities are scalable to almost any size business so it can grow with your company. But as your revenue grows, so does the subscription rates, which some may find it coming at too high a cost. But if you project quick growth and don’t want to spend the time or money to move from a smaller POS like ShopKeep to one that can handle a larger operation, then Revel is a good choice.