Convenience stores have unique needs that cannot always be met by a standard retail point-of-sale (POS) system. Convenience store (c-store) POS software should be able to handle fuel and gas pump monitoring and sales, age verification, and even food orders.
We considered over a dozen POS systems for pricing and setup, sales and checkout features, back office tools, ease of use, user reviews, and the overall value each system provides.
The best convenience store POS systems are:
- Best overall: POS Nation
- Best budget option: KORONA POS
- Best for high-traffic stores: LS Forecourt
- Best POS for convenience stores that sell gas: NCR
- Best for self-checkout options: IT Retail
Best Convenience Store POS Systems Compared
Lottery Ticket Sales
✓ (Bundled w/ Software)
$59–$89, or custom
✓ (Bundled w/ Software)
*All prices are per terminal.
POS Nation: Best Overall Convenience Store POS System
POS Nation is a locally installed POS with a cloud backup option, giving this system excellent offline functionality. It has a highly customizable interface, with hotkeys and different register layouts for various parts of your c-store.
POS Nation was one of the few convenience store systems we looked at that included fuel management, cigarette, liquor, and lottery sales, and food service functions at a reasonable price. Its age verification includes the ability to ID scan, part of why it is one of our top liquor POS systems. It has strong inventory features, including tracking for individual items or cases, plus programmable discounts and deli management tools.
In addition, POS Nation has customer relationship management (CRM) tools to track buying patterns and create targeted promotions. Its bundle price includes hardware, and users give it high marks for ease of use.
POS Nation scored 4.87 out of 5. It maxed out every category except ease of use, losing points there because it charges for customer support. Overall, however, it’s an excellent and affordable system.
- Flexible Payment Processing: POS Nation partners with multiple payment processors and accepts EBT. The bundled plans require POS Nation payment processing, however. It’s the most flexible on our list.
- Cash Discounting: Offering discounts for cash can save you money spent on merchant fees for credit card processing. On this list, only POS Nation offers a built-in cash discounting module. Though with other systems, you could build a workaround using their general discounting functions.
- Lottery and Fuel Support: POS Nation accepts payments at the gas pump and supports lottery and Lotto ticket sales. LS Forecourt and NCR also have both these features; KORONA has some lottery sales and payout functions.
- Liquor Management Features: Along with KORONA and IT Retail, POS Nation offers great features for selling alcohol—ID scan, alcohol-regulation-specific reports, and product variants.
- Free Web Store: Customers are increasingly interested in ordering ahead or online to pick up; offering this feature can increase your local traffic. POS Nation offers a free web store
KORONA POS: Best Budget Option
KORONA is the most affordable software option on our list. Its flat-rate pricing includes service and installation, making it a great choice for small businesses on a tight budget. Additionally, with its unlimited free trial option, you can set up a demo account and test the software for as long as you need. You can’t integrate a payment processor, however, and daily transactions are severely limited. None of the other providers on our list offer a free trial.
KORONA offers strong inventory features, including product sales tracking, demand forecasting, and purchase order functions. It’s also on our list of best POS systems, along with IT Retail.
The KORONA “accounts” setting lets you track lottery payouts directly in the POS. KORONA, like LS Forecourt, includes gift card functions for no additional charge.
Its cash tracking includes a “blind drop” setting so employees cannot see their tendered cash drop before counting the money in their drawer, which can help prevent employee theft. Customer service is excellent, and users praise the interface and support.
In our evaluation, KORONA scored 4.68 out of 5. It earned perfect scores for back-office tools and ease of use but lost points for not having integrated fuel management.
Otherwise, it’s a highly versatile system, not only in its many c-store features but also in that you can choose your payment processor and may even be able to use the hardware you already own; a KORONA representative can tell you if your equipment is compatible.
It also has a theft prevention module and robust inventory tracking tools that corner store owners will love.
- Anti-theft Features: Granular employee permissions and detailed reporting are the cornerstones of KORONA’s anti-theft features. You can set the system to restrict any actions while the cash drawer is open and eliminate the ability to pop the cash drawer using a “no sale” function, for example. KORONA includes the option to require cashiers to blind drop their cash drawers at the end of their shift.
- Sales History: Not only does KORONA track sales history, but it automatically takes the sales history and promotional sales into account when determining when a product needs to be reordered. Other apps like IT Retail can do comparisons in reports, but you need to set the parameters manually.
- Customizability: Like POS Nation, KORONA has a lot of customizability, from the size of the buttons to the layout of the register. It also lets you customize workflows. You can set up quick keys and group hierarchies. It has 100 customizable reports, which is more than POS Nation.
- Excellent Customer Service: Real-world users rate Korona highly. The system earns a 4.69 averaged over multiple review sites. Only POS Nation did better with 4.78 out of 5. Excellent customer service is a common theme. KORONA has 24/7 free customer support.
LS Forecourt: Best for High-traffic Convenience Stores
LS Retail’s Forecourt POS offers fantastic inventory tools, both for fuel and for stock, including foodstuffs. The cashiers have complete control of the pumps as needed, and can easily process discounts, gift cards, and loyalty programs. It has lottery, alcohol sales, loyalty, and other tools to manage transactions quickly and build your local customer base. In addition, it has food service capabilities for your snack bar, deli, or small restaurant.
We recommend LS for busy convenience stores because it lets you have full control of pumps from the register. If your fuel prices change for certain days or hours of the day, you can automate them. You can also automate wet stock replenishment based on stock levels and sales history.
Its retail tools are strong, too. You can create an online store, track inventory and set up low-stock alerts, and monitor sales. Like KORONA, it can help predict stock levels based on historical sales and business goals. You can pull up sales history by customer, too.
LS scored highly for its features, earning a 4.67 out of 5 in our convenience store POS evaluation. Plus, LS offers 24/7 customer support.
It mainly lost points in the pricing category. Pricing isn’t readily available—you have to get a custom quote, though minimum rates start at $99 per month with an annual contract.
- Central Pump Control: Cashiers can authorize, pause, stop, and lock/unlock pumps. You can log drive-aways and refund money if a customer doesn’t use their full prepay.
- Fuel Inventory Control: Get automatic readings of tank gauges and manually add data that is not automated, such as tank dip readings or delivery notes. LS Forecourt can automatically replenish wet stock based on sales history and stock levels.
- Full Food Service: Fuel your customers as well. LS Forecourt includes food service tools for managing the kitchen, creating meal deals, and tracking food to the ingredient level.
- Sales Analytics and Inventory: Use LS Forecourt’s sales history and forecasting tools to predict optimum stock levels throughout the year. LS Retail says it can decrease stock-outs by up to 85%.
- Loyalty Management: You can set up in-store, online, and mobile loyalty schemes and offers with a click of a button.
NCR: Best for Convenience Stores That Sell Gas
With NCR you can create a complete end-to-end POS, payment, and technology solution that includes fuel sales, foodservice, and retail. It offers self-checkout, pay-at-the-pump, and in-store payments. NCR also lets you apply customer rewards points at the POS terminal or at the pump. It has customizable video functions that can promote loyalty programs and even let customers order food at the pump. For these reasons, it is our best overall gas station POS.
It also offers an open application programming interface (API), so you can build customized solutions with your preferred third-party apps.
NCR earned a 4.34 out of 5 on our scoring criteria. It earned points for its fuel management tools, self-checkout options, and range of supported payment processors. It lost some ground when it came to price. Like IT Retail, NCR POS requires a custom quote to determine your overall cost. It also uses a reseller system to sell its POS. Price and contract terms can vary by reseller, so it is hard to tell if you’re getting the best deal.
If transparent pricing is a must for you, check out POS Nation or KORONA instead.
- Tamper-evident Pay-at-the-Pump: NCR’s OPTIC payment terminal processes payments at the fuel pump. It syncs with your loyalty program and features a dynamic touch screen to display discounts and promotions. The OPTIC terminal is tamper-evident with a real-time remote tamper alert and supports E2EE data encryption to secure customer payment information. The terminals are weatherproof and waterproof to withstand the harshest weather and come in two different sizes—12” and 5”—to fit most major pumps.
- FastLane SelfServ Checkout: Like IT Retail, NCR supports multiple self-checkout configurations. You can choose self-checkout stands with small or large footprints to fit any type of convenience store layout.
- AI- supported Theft Detection: NCR’s SmartAssist module combines smart cameras with artificial intelligence to detect intentionally missed scans at self-checkout kiosks and other types of consumer fraud. It can alert you before the customer has completed their transaction and left the store, decreasing shrinkage due to theft at the checkout counter. NCR is currently the only option on this list with such an advanced anti-theft solution.
- Online ordering: Like IT Retail, NCR offers mobile shopper solutions and integration to online stores so your customers can order ahead or at the pump.
IT Retail: Best for Self-checkout
While, like KORONA, it lacks fuel management tools, IT Retail nonetheless is a very complete convenience store POS. Because it was designed for grocery stores, it has expiration-date inventory as well as ID verification for alcohol sales and lottery ticket sales. It tracks cashier performance like KORONA, too, and offers a strong loyalty program.
The touch screen is customizable to speed sales transactions, and users praise the program for its ease of use. IT Retail also has the most comprehensive options for self-checkout terminals of any system on this list.
It has solid scores in every category of our c-store POS evaluation, earning it a 4.32 out of 5 overall. IT Retail scored well for its anti-theft features, strong inventory tools, and extensive checkout options. Lack of fuel monitoring is a downside, though. This system is also pretty pricey; the hardware starts at $2,000 per lane, and the software prices went up since our last review. However, the system operates on a lot of popular third-party hardware—like Epson receipt printers—so you may be able to reuse some of your existing hardware.
- Grocery-strength Inventory: IT Retail has a lot of special functions for produce and other types of food items. For example, it has shrink inventory for tracking food used in-store or that expires and bottle deposit functions. It is our best grocery POS system (POS Nation is also on the list).
- Dynamic Ecommerce Integrations: Like POS Nation, IT Retail can provide an online store, plus, it integrates with several grocery-related ecommerce solutions such as Mercato, Freshop, My Cloud Grocer, and Instacart. You can get discounts on some of these. (KORONA integrates with WooCommerce only.)
- Line-free Checkout and Order Ahead: IT Retail has partnered with FutureProof to provide special apps that let customers order ahead and check out through their mobile devices. No other software on our list offers this. Even more, you can get the line-free mobile checkout program free. It also has a self-checkout register if you prefer.
How We Evaluated C-store POS Systems
We examined a dozen of the leading retail and convenience POS systems in detail. To make the cut, we looked for fuel sales, lottery ticket sales management, age verification (for tobacco and liquor sales), and robust cash management tools. POS systems need at least two of the four to compete in our evaluation. Next, we examined the checkout, inventory, and employee management features.
Overall, POS Nation proved to be the best POS system for convenience stores. With a score of 4.87 out of 5, it excelled in every category. It offers age-verification tools, anti-theft protection, and robust inventory functions such as tracking for perishables, case breaks, and carton packs. Plus, the system has employee management functions designed for high-volume businesses like blind and forced cash drawer counts.
Click through the tabs below for our full evaluation criteria:
10% of Overall Score
In addition to overall affordability, we looked at features like setting up discounts, integrated payment processing, and the number of allowed transactions for the plan. POS Nation scored highest here with a perfect score.
35% of Overall Score
The ability to take contactless payments was a must. Here, we also looked for fuel and lotto sales, age verification, and online ordering. POS Nation took a strong lead with 5 out of 5.
20% of Overall Score
We looked at how well the system could track cash, inventory, and employee activity, with features from time tracking to automatic reordering. Every product earned 5 out of 5 in this category!
15% of Overall Score
POS systems are bound to break at the oddest times, so we favored 24/7 live support. This is especially important for c-stores, which often operate extended hours if not 24/7. We also looked for offline modes. KORONA, LS Forecourt, and IT Retail earned perfect scores here.
20% of Overall Score
In addition to our expert evaluation of the features, we looked at the experts in the field—people who use the software—by reading reviews from reputable sites like Capterra, G2, and Software Advice, as well as our own readers’ reviews. Everyone scored high, but POS Nation earned a perfect score.
Convenience Store POS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A convenience store POS system is a POS system that can handle the ring-ups of the average c-store. This usually means food and non-food products, fuel sales, restricted products like alcohol and tobacco, and sometimes even self-service stations or snack bars.
The best POS systems for convenience stores offer a combination of retail, food sales, and fuel. They are easy to use and have strong security features, plus they offer strong inventory tools including expiration date tracking and wet inventory for gas or diesel.
Our evaluation determined that POS Nation is the best POS System for most convenience stores—though stores that sell gas will be better served by NCR Silver or LS Forecourt.
Convenience store POS systems can be pricey compared to other types of POS. Expect to spend at least $60-$150 per month per terminal. You will also need to pay upfront for hardware and budget for credit card processing fees which average 2%-3% of your sales.
POS Nation is the best POS for all types of convenience stores. Whether you own a grab-and-go corner store in a city center or a suburban fuel stop, POS Nation has the tools you need. With the ability to purchase the software month-to-month or with one upfront payment, this system fits any budget. To see if POS Nation is a fit for your c-store, contact them for a demo.