Top 7 Free and Open Source POS Software Tools
The point-of-sale is the most important point-of-contact between the customer and the enterprise. This involves all the economics and management of the business as a whole. An enterprise needs point-of-sale services to differentiate orders and SKUs, calculate costs incurred, and manage your inventory and to print receipts and invoices. On the customer end, point-of-sale services are important for time management, order confirmation and to receive detailed invoices. Point-of-sale services came into the picture in the late 1800s. Punch cards and coupons were the first point-of-sale tools. Then we saw the cash registers which segregated the cash. Then came the electronic cash registers from the brilliant minds at IBM, which introduced the receipt or invoice to the customer and businesses alike. It did not take long for graphical cash registers or the first POS software tools to arrive from there on. At the turn of the century, the POS software tools were omnipresent as ever.
In the last decade or so, we have seen point-of-sale now arrive in our hands from our computers. Mobile phones and tablets are the new hubs for POS software. AI and biometrics are to take over in the coming decade to revolutionize POS even further. Amazon has taken over the point-of-sale arena from the past decade or so. From ruling the E-commerce globally, now they have entered into automated retail stores, which is what the future looks like being. Amazon is the flag-bearer of point-of-sale in today’s world as it aims to better customer-business contact every passing day. If you won a sales business, these are fascinating times.
What is a POS Software Tool?
A POS Software tool is an electronic and graphical cash register that keeps track of your sales and manages your inventory. It’s mostly used by brick-and-mortar stores and E-commerce businesses to make the sales and purchase cycle efficient and accountable. A POS software tool takes care of everything from managing tabs on tables in a restaurant, to keep track of stock and inventory and even scanning barcodes and printing receipts and invoices. If you own a sales business or enterprise, it’s a no-brainer to have a great POS software tool to run your business efficiently and make the optimum utilization of resources.
Features of a POS Software Tool
- Stock and Inventory Management: This is one of the essential elements of a POS software tool which helps keep in track the amount of inventory being used by the enterprise as well as the stock in hand for future use. This maintains accountability and enables optimum utilization of resources. Some of the POS software tools help in purchase orders as well. This saves a lot of time and clutter for the employees and the enterprise as a whole
- Sales Reporting and Analytics: This feature enables you to plan and strategize your business. All the data involving the sales, the cost incurred by the enterprise are analyzed and stacked by the POS software tool. This increases efficiency and helps in making marketing and sales strategies for products in the future. Analytics always play an essential part in any business and, a POS software tool makes analysis simple.
- Customer Management: Customer Service is a vital part of running any business. POS software helps you to manage your customers effectively. You can quickly go through the purchase history of any customer and provide them with attractive offers and rewards. The software also picks out the valued customers which helps is discount application and maintaining customer satisfaction.
- Employee Management: Employee management is another vital function of a POS software tool. To keep a check on the efficiency and competency of the business, the employees need to be managed and guided correctly. POS software will help you review an employee’s performance, whether it is daily or quarterly. This will help you monitor their progress and help them achieve better targets.
- Multi-platform and Mobile Accessibility: A great POS software tool will be available across various platforms and most importantly have mobile access. Businesses like Shops and Restaurants have quite a mobile environment when you take orders and even inventory purchases. Phones and tablets are slowly replacing menu cards in bars and restaurants and, they have to be integrated with your POS for seamless order placing for the customer.
- Tax and Sales Management: A POS software tool will help you keep track of your sales reports and statistics. Along with keeping the sales in check, you can also manage your taxes. The software automatically syncs taxes such as VAT on a purchase and, you can also add further taxes if any are implemented. The amount of tax you need to pay on stock and inventory is also calculated and compiled accordingly.
A Brief History of POS systems:
Although you can utilize any of the 7 best free and open source POS software discussed in this article below, NetSuite SuiteCommerce deserves a special mention. A global leader in providing POS management solutions and services, NetSuite's tailored functionalities and POS capabilities are noteworthy. Let us discuss its enterprise-grade features in detail:
NetSuite SuiteCommerce’s POS module provides retailers with high-performance, full-featured Point of sale solutions to unify online and in-store buying experience. As a cloud-based commerce platform, NetSuite SuiteCommerce enables businesses to perform, manage and record Point of sale transactions without hassles. It puts all customer data gathered from different buying channels into the in-store POS, thereby converting POS into a point of commerce. NetSuite POS makes unearthing, upselling, and cross-selling opportunities super easy by providing personalized services to their customers with relevant recommendations and product suggestions. The software is a full-featured POS solution that assists businesses in managing orders, financials, inventory, customers, and payments. POS-generated data provides accurate sales forecasting and keeping inventory levels in line.
Source: NetSuite SuiteCommerce
- Access customer purchase history, products added in the ecommerce carts, and preferences
- Real-time accessibility of product information and multi-location stock levels
- Provide various order fulfillment services such as cash and carry, pickup from a nearby store, ship-to-home
- Reporting statistics, KPIs, and insightful data
- Customizable interface for sales transactions,
- Compliance with payment application data security standards
- Intuitive Touch-screen interface
- Multiple security levels, encryptions, and protocols to protect customer data
- Mobile POS for an omnichannel shopping experience
The Top 7 Free and Open Source POS Software tools are the following:
- Chromis POS
- Floreant POS
- Odoo POS
- Loyverse POS
- Pangea POS
- Wallace POS
Let us look into these POS Software Tools in further detail.
- Multi-sales mode
- Barcode support
- User customization
- Remote Kitchen printing
- Customer database
- Built-in reporting system
Chromis POS is a simplistic POS software tool but with an array of advanced features. The UI is very minimalist and can be used by almost anyone. This makes it very popular among common brick and mortar stores. Features such as multi-sales and mode and barcode support are significant for retail stores and supermarkets. That is why Chromis POS has a vast customer and user base in such establishments. It also has a kitchen and table management system which enables its use in restaurants and eateries as well. All in all Chromis POS is one of the most convenient POS software tools out there hence has massive popularity in various kinds of establishments.
- Works offline
- Table service
- Manager’s facilities
- Kitchen control
- Cash terminals
- Tax management
- Bar Tab function
Floreant POS is a prevalent POS software tool among eateries, restaurants, and bars. It has a very efficient table and kitchen management system which helps in seamless service to the customer. With Floreant POS, you could create various cash terminals so that orders can be placed and transactions can be completed in more than one place in your establishment. There is a manager’s function as well, where the manager can monitor all operations carried out by employees in different locations and terminals. One of the best features of Floreant POS is that it works offline and does not necessarily need an internet or LAN connection to work with. Tax Management is another popular feature of Floreant POS which can process taxes such as VAT at the time of purchase along with taxes inculcated during stock/inventory purchase and management.
- Barcode scanning
- Customizable display and GUI
- Stock and inventory management
- Account management
- In-built reporting system
- Multiple payment methods
- Mobile friendly
Unicenta is one of the most advanced POS software tools in the market. It’s perfectly made for retail stores and supermarkets. Even if you have a small business, Unicenta is the ideal option. It’s incredibly customizable display, and UI are very convenient as you can construct it according to the needs of your establishment or enterprise. It has a very advanced inventory and stock management as well which places and schedules orders by tracking the inventory being rolled out of the system. This is done through an in-built reporting system which keeps you informed of the most significant developments and updates regarding sales and purchase processes. Adding to this array of excellent features, Unicenta is most importantly mobile-friendly, which enables users to use it on the go on their tablets and mobile phones.
- Smart interface
- Multi-platform supportability
- Exclusive versions for shops and restaurants
- Integrated inventory management
- Customer tracking and reward system
- Kitchen and Bar printing
- Easy splitting of bills
Odoo POS is an advanced POS software tool made especially for shops and restaurants. Odoo POS has two different versions of POS, one for shops and the other for restaurants. Its wide range of features includes an excellent inventory management system, a customer tracking, and reward system. Odoo POS is very versatile as it is supported across multiple platforms. It also has a kitchen and bar receipt printing function which is very efficient. The bill and tab splitting feature is a great add-on as well in its wide range of features. Odoo is one of the most versatile and efficient POS software tools on the internet.
- Mobile application based
- Printed and electronic receipts
- Multiple payment methods
- Cash management
- Reward system
- Tax reports
- Track inventory
- Purchase and transfer orders
- Inventory history
- Smart management
- Track sales by employees
Loyverse POS is one of the first entirely mobile-based POS software tools. Even being mobile-based is one of the most advanced POS software tools in the market. It has both electronic and printed receipt creating feature. It has great cash and inventory management systems. Loyverse POS is most famous for its incredibly fluent reward and discount system for the loyal customer base. As the name suggests, Loyverse is very reliant on Loyalty. You can also order and transfer stock orders for a couple of times, and then Loyverse does it by itself. This is its smart management feature. It’s handy in managing your employees, by keeping track of their sales and customer satisfaction.
- Multiple accounts
- Multiple skins and printers
- Table management
- Reward and point system
- Stock management
- Tax reports
- Reports scheduler
Pangea POS is a very simplistic POS software tool. Its UI is very simple to use with graphical indicators. The dashboard has multiple skins so you can differentiate between accounts. Pangea POS has a great stock management system which tracks and schedules purchase orders. The Reward and Point system is another great feature of Pangea POS. Pangea POS also provides you with frequent tax reports to make transactions simple. It has its own table and kitchen management system for an eatery establishment. Pangea POS should be your go-to POS software if you have a simplistic taste.
(Source: Wallace POS)
- Completely web-based
- Receipt printing
- Barcode scanning
- Customer management
- Stock and inventory management
Wallace POS is a completely web-based POS software tool that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. The dashboard and skins are completely customizable which makes it quite versatile. Wallace POS can print receipts very efficiently and has the barcode scanning option as well. It has a great customer management system to create a database and keep customers within the loop of the enterprise. Stock and inventory can be managed perfectly with Wallace POS, including tracking and scheduling of purchase orders.
We have included one more popular POS software-Shopify POS for discussion.
Shopify POS is a renowned Point of Sale software that lets retailers manage their payment terminal and offers various other features like product organization, inventory management, barcode support, analytics, and retail reports. It is an e-commerce platform itself, and it seamlessly provides services to retail customers doing online business.
- Shopify lets users have their own credit or debit terminal
- Track credit or debit card payments
- Retailers can accept two or more payment in a single transaction
- Sell gift cards that can be redeemed in-store or online
- Accept orders while offline
- Instead of refunding retailers can offer store credit using Shopify
- Customized payment options
- Keep note of special requests from customers by attaching notes to the order
- Works with tablets, mobile phones, or laptops
- Customize receipts to include your store’s policies, terms and conditions, and promotions.
- Custom taxes options to calculate taxes
- Set up discount rules and monitor the same
- Generate discount reports
- Synchronize online and retail customer
- View and filter order history of customers
- Accounting integration with external accounting software
Point-of-sale is one of the most vital cogs of running your business in today’s world. The speed with which purchases and orders are made today, especially on E-Commerce platforms is remarkable. To make up with the speed of the customers, the businesses now have POS software tools with them to cope up with the requirements of the customer. POS software tools have made businesses efficient, accountable and simplified. Sales and purchase of inventory are now all under one roof and even is automated. Mobile phones and tablets have made it even easier, for now, the customer can directly place orders from his/her device. POS software tools are adapting and modernizing each passing day to make it easier and easier to run any business. Tech and Sales giants such as Amazon, Google, and Apple have completely taken over POS and are adding to its strength each day. These are inspiring times as almost every day something arrives in the POS ecosystem. We have reached the stage where we finally have automated retail stores, which minimal need for human interaction at the point of purchase. This is a stepping stone to something even more comprehensive in the world of sales.
POS software tools are necessary if you want to run a business in the modern world. The mentioned POS software tools are one of the best available on the internet, with an added advantage of being free and open-source. If you run a small to a medium enterprise, they are perfect, some of them even efficient for large businesses as well. You also have a range of premium and paid POS software tools available on the internet as well. The will provide an array of features, some even more than the free options. It’s crucial to compare and analyze what your business needs.
To know more about POS software tools and view even more options than the mentioned list, you can click here.