Aussies love a bargain, and who doesn’t? Retailers have been quick to meet this trend, offering savvy shoppers plenty of ways to save money in their stores throughout the year. In this article, we highlight five free Point Of Sale (POS) software systems that retailers can use to prepare for seasonal sales.
Even with reports that consumer spending has dwindled, it’s expected that online shopping will reignite in the run-up to Christmas. News.com.au estimates that Australians spend 30 per cent more on retail purchases in December. For those in the mood for holiday cheer, it’s the perfect time for an annual shopping spree.
Despite originating in America, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have also become popular in Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reinforced this trend in its Retail Trade Report; which revealed the year-on-year turnover for Australian retailers hit a record high in November 2018.
To help retailers prepare ahead of the peak shopping periods, we’ve selected five free POS software platforms. The platforms chosen were selected on the basis that they had:
- At least 40 reviews with 4+ stars
- An established market in Australia
- A free product offering available to retailers.
Forever free POS software
What is it: Loyverse enables retailers to manage their stores within one account. Users have the option to access it through iOS and Android devices, as well as desktops. Loyverse accepts different payment types; including cash, credit cards and cheques.
Retailers can create discount codes or price modifiers and apply them to items or product lines. This is particularly helpful during the ‘silly season’ where prices are likely to change regularly.
Pricing: Loyverse is free and includes the option to manage multiple stores. It also offers sales analytics, POS and inventory system.
What users liked: Capterra reviewers say that the customisable sales screen helps staff to work quickly and efficiently. The built-in Loyverse POS loyalty program aims to convert one-off, bargain-driven consumers to repeat customers.
User recommended improvements: User reviews suggested that Loyverse requires a little more time to get used to because there are a lot of tools and features to navigate. Subscribers also advised that Loyverse would benefit from a more streamlined system for updating stock.
What is it: While eHopper mostly caters to the hospitality industry, this particular POS serves small retail businesses. It allows retailers to organise inventory, manage customers, and drive profits.
Pricing: The Essential package is free. The OmniChannel Package, which includes all features, costs AUD$79.99 per month.
What users liked: Reviewers said that eHopper features, such as customer notes, help staff improve customer experience through a more tailored service. Customer information can also be pulled up instantly.
User recommended improvements: Some eHopper users have reported teething issues, such as integration and syncing challenges, during the setup period. However, customer service is quick to respond to problems so that stores can run at full-speed again.
What is it: You may already have heard of Kounta through your friends in hospitality, but it also offers a free POS system to food retailers.
Retailers can set up multiple sites and registers, add products and variations, set prices, manage taxes and surcharges, as well as link up printers and payment systems.
Pricing: Kounta offers three pricing options: Lite, Sell, Manage and Extend. The Lite plan is free forever, capped at ten sales per day. It includes all features so retailers can test out what they need.
Once you’ve exceeded the capped daily sales, the Sell plan costs AUD$60 per site, the Manage plan is AUD$120 and Extend is AUD$180 per month. With each price plan, retailers get access to more features.
Each plan comes with an additional registration cost of AUD$40 per site. If you want to register more than five, it’s worth speaking to Kounta’s sales team about Enterprise pricing.
What users liked: Users report that Kounta has an intuitive design, which helps with setup, and the product also offers deep customisation. If you do run into problems, the platform has a customer service team that is available 24/7. They assist with onboarding and setup and provide ongoing support.
User recommended improvements: Kounta users say reporting in close detail can be a little cumbersome. However, users also noted that Kounta regularly launches updates to the product, to improve usability and functionality.
POS Platforms that offer free trials:
Following the same methodology listed above, we’ve selected two POS systems that offer a free trial before purchase.
4. Vend POS
What is it: Vend enables single and multi-store retailers to sell, track, and grow their business.
Pricing: Free for 14 days, then AUD$139 per month thereafter.
What users liked: Retailers praise Vend for its ease-of-use and comprehensive reporting abilities. It also functions with or without Internet access, which allows retailers to function as normal if they experience an outage. Those expanding into new locations can achieve this through the multi-store functionality.
User recommended improvements: Some reviewers find its integration with hardware and third-parties tricky. However, they also said that the customer support team are quick to respond.
What is it: Lightspeed POS automates day-to-day tasks for retailers. It combines apparel management, catalogue management, retail management, and multi-channel eCommerce with a POS and inventory system.
Pricing: Lightspeed POS offers a free 14-day trial. After this, the most popular plan (Retail POS) starts at AUD$139 per month.
What users liked: Lightspeed POS allows for multiple store management in one system. Capterra users also say its simplicity makes it quick and easy to train new staff, which is especially useful for onboarding temporary hires over the Christmas season.
User recommended improvements: Reviewers said that businesses that aren’t looking to scale up might not need all the features offered.