Using a good vape shop POS is a fundamental component to running a legitimate and successful business. This guide will direct you to the best vape-friendly POS systems that will supercharge your shop. You must first become aware that Point of Sale Systems are in a new era of never before seen technology and features. We now see tablet-based table units and cloud-based back end management as a fundamental feature for almost all POS systems. The age of POS has never been more advanced, which means interacting with the customer has changed forever.
The Best POS Systems for Vape Shops
|Shopkeep|| Customer Marketing|
3-rd Party Payment Integrations
|call for pricing|| Cloud Based Back-End|
|NCR Silver||Inventory Management||$59.00/mo.||Cloud Based Back-End|
|Clover||Add-On Apps||$59.95/mo.||Cloud Based Back-End|
|Lightspeed||Back Office Options||$89.00/mo.||Cloud Based Back-End|
|Square||Payment Processing||Fixed 2.75%/Swipe||Cloud Based Back-End|
|Vend|| Integrating with Shopify eCommerce|
|$69.00/mo.|| Cloud Based Back-End|
What To Look For In A POS
A POS system controls all of your daily operations, such as processing payments for your customers, keeping track of your inventory, managing your staff, and handling a portion of the marketing. Below we’re going to list a few critical perks to look for in a POS System.
- Cloud-Based Tech: Cloud-based Systems are designed to allow you remote access to your POS System on any device, anytime, and anywhere you please. Cloud-based systems are ideal for fast-paced shop owners and small businesses with outsourced accounting and modern marketing integrations. NOTE: Cloud-based systems rely on an internet connection to operate. Make sure the system has an off-line feature like Clover so that your POS can still work if your internet goes down.
- Payment Processing Policy: This may be the most important thing to understand so read carefully! While a POS system helps accept the transaction at the register, Payment Processing is what happens AFTER the card is swiped – it’s the process that verifies the credit card info and debits the customer’s bank account so you get paid. In most cases, the POS company and the payment processor are NOT the same company, which brings us to the payment processing policy for your POS provider. If a POS system offers their own payment processing partner, you should be VERY aware of who that partner is and where they stand on vaping. For instance if a POS system only allows you to process payments through First Data, you should probably look elsewhere or get assurance that they are vape friendly. First Data is partnered with Wells Fargo, who is NOT vape friendly. Even if they approve you right away there are some vape shops that were shut down months later after Wells Fargo decided the retailer was too “high risk”. Some systems like ShopKeep offer the ability to integrate any third party merchant processor into your POS. We recommend this if you already have a merchant agreement or if you are worried that your current provider will suddenly drop you due to the “high risk” nature of your vape shop. If the POS provider has their on payment processing agreement that is not flexible, first verify they are vape friendly, then understand their pricing. Price per transaction is not the only factor in picking a POS system. There are a few types of credit card processing, which includes Tiered Pricing, Interchange-Plus Pricing, and Flat-Rate Processing, so we highly encourage you to do your homework as payment processing rates can greatly affect your business.
- Inventory Management: A POS System with great inventory management is essential to running a successful shop. A vape shop POS like NCR Silver that can manage bulk inventory, alert you when products are running low, track costs and profit margins, organize products by category, and offer modifiers for products with various arrangements (like multiple nicotine strengths), will be the perfect solution to help you run a tight ship.
- Customer Marketing: Many POS Systems will offer what’s called “integrated customer marketing”, which is a fancy word for a CRM (customer relationship manager). The customer marketing feature built into many of these systems can collect customer contact info, send email receipts at checkout, record purchase history and calculate the lifetime value of a single customer. While these features are helpful, we encourage that you do not strictly rely only on this marketing software as the backbone strategy to engage your customers.
- Staff Management: A good POS System will integrate staff management to make tracking the hours your employees work much easier. Employees have the ability to create a profile and clock in and out of their shifts, while you have the ability to assign levels of access for each employee and have instant access to the amount of hours they’ve worked. There’s even some staff management systems that will help you identify what your employees sold throughout their shift and the busiest hours so that you can move your best performing employees towards those times.
- Ease of Use: Let’s be honest, a POS System is supposed to eliminate stress and allow businesses to operate and function fluently, right? By choosing a vape shop POS system like Lightspeed that’s easy to use, boasts plenty of features and offers a complex management system, you can spend more time making sells and less time trying.
An Overview of The Best POS Systems
Best for: Customer Marketing & Third-Party Payment Integration
ShopKeep is a stunning cloud-based POS system for vape shops that is full of great features. It’s recognized for its inventory system, its ease of use, and its simple pricing structure. But even with all this, we feel that its customer marketing feature stands out above the rest. It allows business owners to easily grow an email list, customize email receipts with logos and trackable links to social profiles, advertise special offers for repeat business, and it integrates directly with AppCard – the most powerful rewards system out there. It is also very flexible with payment processing integrations. If you already have a payment processor that you like, or you want the flexibility to switch at any time, ShopKeep makes it really easy.
Best for: Inventory Management
NCR Silver is an outstanding cloud-based POS system that’s geared directly towards vape shops. This company knows the businesses that it wants to attract and we applaud them for recognizing such an amazing industry of new and flourishing businesses. While NCR has all the bells and whistles of any modern POS system, we feel that NCR Silver is best for its inventory management. NCR Silver features a complex yet simple system that’s great for vape shops and their abundant amount of products.
Best for: Add-On Apps
Clover is a fascinating cloud-based POS system that features the remarkable Clover Station that comes equipped with everything you need from a display, scanner, to card reader. This complete station will have you setup like a professional, but its add-on apps is the true reason why we recommend this POS system. The add-on’s will completely transform it into one of the most user-friendly POS systems for vape shops.
Best for: Back Office Options, Inventory Management
Lightspeed is an awesome cloud-based POS system for vape shops that boasts on itself as being more than just a POS System – it’s a full store management system. Users have raved about this system and praised its back office options, as it’s lavished in inventory management, data analytics, sales processing, employee management, and more. They also have one of the best blogs available for learning all about retail and marketing a small business, plus they integrate with Quickbooks.
Best for: Built-In Payment Processing
Square is an incredible Cloud Based POS system for vape shops that will work great for your startup. It features an offline mode for payments without a connection, printable sales reports, adjustable taxes and discounts, a customizable loyalty and rewards program, manage employees, syncs with QuickBooks, Xero, and StitchLabs, and has the capability of doing so much more. We feel that Square is best for its payment processing, as there is no startup cost, just a fixed rate per swipe or per keyed-in transaction.
Pricing: 2.75%/Swipe (Fixed Rate)
Best for: Multi-Store Compatibility
Vend is a popular POS system for Vape Shops because of its modern technology, sleek design and 3rd party integrations. Most notably it’s perfect for vape shops that have (or plan to have) multiple locations. It also integrates seamlessly with popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify. Don’t pass up getting a free demo from a Vend sales rep – you just may love it.
Pricing: Starts at $69/Month
A POS system should be a full retail management system that becomes a part of your business, a part of your growth, and ultimately a part of your success. As mentioned, choosing the right POS System is a prominent decision you’ll come to love or regret in the future, so we’re pleased to have taken the time to research and put in the legwork so that you choose the perfect POS System for your vape shop.
*Photo credit Lindsay Fox
Blake Brown is a vape content writer, sharing his passion and knowledge of the industry through his blog GuideToVaping.com and several publications throughout the web. Find him on Instagram here: @guidetovaping