Grocery point-of-sale (POS) systems have all the features of a standard POS system, plus industry-specific features such as scale integrations, product expiration tracking, and detailed bar code management. These extra features typically come at a higher cost. We looked at dozens of POS systems to determine the best grocery store POS.
Top 6 Grocery Store POS Systems 2019
|Grocery Store POS System||Best for|
|IT Retail||(Best overall) Markets that want affordable full-featured grocery POS with scale support|
|Polar POS||Small grocers that want low-cost industry-specific POS|
|ShopKeep||Grocery stores with cafes or prepared foods that want ingredient-level inventory tracking|
|Square||Pop-up & temporary food markets that want free POS & offline payment processing|
|Shopify||Grocers & supermarkets that also want to sell online or offer delivery|
|eHopper||Small grocers that want free POS & ability to sell items by various units of measurement|
How We Evaluated Grocery Store POS Systems
Grocery stores specifically need a POS system that can handle large volumes of perishable inventory, multiple employee user accounts, permission levels, and easy-to-use coupon and loyalty features. Since grocery stores are low-margin businesses, it’s also important that grocery store POS systems are affordable and provide great value for their price.
We used the following criteria to evaluate grocery store POS systems:
- Price: We considered monthly software fees, hardware fees―including scales―setup fees, and any necessary add-one when evaluating each POS system.
- Grocery-specific features: We prioritized retail POS systems that are specifically designed for grocers and include features like scale integrations.
- Inventory management: Grocery stores have tens of thousands of products, so we looked at systems that have robust inventory management tools and can account for variables such as expiration dates.
- Customer relationship management (CRM): We looked at what CRM features such as loyalty programs, custom coupons, and marketing tools are included with each system
- Employee management: We looked at what employee management functions are included in each POS such as shift schedules, permission levels, and productivity reports.
- Sales reports and analytics: We looked at what types of reports and insights each POS provides, including customization tools, data export features, and accounting integrations.
- Ease of use: We looked at how intuitive each system is to set up and use for employees.
Based on the above criteria, IT Retail is our top choice for small-business grocery POS. It is one of the few grocery-specific POS solutions available on the market for small businesses that is feature-rich, easy to use, and comes at a relatively affordable price.
IT Retail’s Market POS: Best Grocery Store POS System for Small Business
IT Retail’s Market POS is one of the few POS for grocery stores available that is specifically designed for small, independent grocers. It has all of the grocery-specific features most other retail POS systems lack, like rugged hardware, multiple scale integration, bottle deposit, and robust loyalty and marketing features built into the base price.
IT Retail Pricing
IT Retail starts at $89 per month, per checkout, which is slightly more expensive than the base price of most of the other solutions on our list. However, this includes features like scale support, gift cards, product labeling, employee management, and QuickBooks integration, which many POS systems charge extra for.
IT Retail Upfront Costs
IT Retail creates a custom package for each market, which includes software and hardware. Unlike other systems on our list that run on iPads, IT Retail runs on proprietary hardware, which costs about $2,000 per checkout lane. Grocers need something a little more rugged than a traditional iPad, and IT Retail has both scanner scales and hand scanners and a customer display for a complete grocery-specific checkout setup.
IT Retail Payment Processing
IT Retail partners with WorldPay for integrated payment processing, although you can use just about any payment processor or merchant services account with its POS. WorldPay does not have the best reviews. However, according to IT Retail, its partnership includes exclusive rates, better contract terms, and its customers work with separate account representatives.
IT Retail Features
IT Retail’s Market POS checks off all the boxes a grocer could have on their POS wish list, including full scanner and scale support for ringing up products, such as loose produce, by weight. This feature is hard to find in small business POS systems.
IT Retail’s Market POS includes all of the following features:
- Grocery-optimized checkout experience
- Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV), eWallet, gift cards, and electronic benefit transfer (EBT) payments
- Scanner/scale support
- Full cloud-based back-office reporting
- Inventory management
- Employee management & time tracking with unlimited users
- Cash management/end-of-day reports
- Support for multiple taxes and bottle deposits
- Customer display
- QuickBooks integration
- Create, print & scan product labels
- Wholesale and SUPERVALU import
- 24/7 emergency phone support
- Email support
- Knowledgebase access
IT Retail Inventory Management
IT Retail includes a powerful inventory management system that organizes items reaching a low inventory threshold into a printable report sorted by the vendor. Most POS systems with a sophisticated inventory management system have custom low stock alerts, but this report takes actionable information to the next level. IT Retail also has features to upload inventory in bulk, create custom product labels, and manage bottle returns.
IT Retail Customer Relationship Management
IT Retail has built-in customer relationship management features that are ideal for grocery stores. The system can store and track customers’ spending and visits. Customers can even be issued membership cards that can be scanned in. IT Retail doesn’t have a specific loyalty program built in but can easily connect with third-party rewards or loyalty programs also using the customer membership cards.
IT Retail Employee Management
IT Retail has a built-in time clock for tracking employee punches, and features can be restricted or permitted by individual employee or job level. These features are fairly standard in a sophisticated small business POS system. But IT Retail Market POS tracks employee performance at the POS automatically, including the number of transactions, cancellations, and so on, and compares them to the store average automatically. This makes it super easy to detect top-performing employees as well as training or security opportunities.
IT Retail Sales Reports & Analytics
IT Retail has a full back-office application that can be accessed from any desktop. From there, businesses can manage inventory, employees, customers, and view reports. Reports include end-of-day analysis, alerts to suspicious transactions, profitability reports, and more, all powered by machine-learning algorithms to provide specific insights.
What’s Missing From IT Retail
IT Retail is on the pricier side, especially for upfront hardware costs. So, if you are opening a traditional brick-and-mortar grocery store, IT Retail is a great investment. However, if you are opening a mobile food business, prepared food stores, or specialty food/cafe hybrids, IT Retail may not be the best fit.
IT Retail Reviews
There aren’t too many reviews available for IT Retail or their Market POS. However, the few we found on Capterra are extremely positive. Their website is also full of testimonials from small business owners. Grocers love that the system is specially designed to fit their specific needs. Some reviewers report occasional software glitches and high hardware costs, but even those reviewers rated IT Retail very highly. Visit our IT Retail Market POS review page for more details.
Polar POS: Best Budget Grocery Store POS System
Polar POS is a grocery store POS system by North American Solutions that offers scale integration, signage design, loyalty programs, and more, at an affordable price. Although not as sleek as IT Retail, Polar POS includes many similar features and has different pricing tiers, making it a good fit for grocers needing a budget POS.
Polar POS Pricing
Polar POS is a relatively inexpensive POS system. Monthly software fees range from $24.99 to $99.99. If you are a small grocery store with fewer products, Polar POS offers an industry-specific management system at a low price. Businesses can use different hardware components from different manufacturers with Polar POS, so specific hardware pricing will be based on your individual business needs. Merchant services and payment processing rates are also quoted individually for each business.
Polar POS Pricing Tiers
|Number of Registers|
|Number of Users|
|Number of Products|
Polar POS Features
Polar POS includes basic grocery POS features like inventory management, employee management, and customer loyalty that are most important for grocery businesses. Polar also offers multiple types of scale integration, which is hard to find for small businesses. Polar POS is also the only POS on our list that has built-in features for creating not just product labels but shelf talkers, shelf tags, product tags, and other signage. Polar also integrates with WooCommerce and the Amazon seller platform for online grocery sales.
Polar POS Inventory Management
Polar POS has a standard inventory system with tools for ordering and receiving products. Like most other POS systems on our list, Polar offers inventory analytics. However, what’s unique about Polar is that it can support product expiration and shelf life and track these data points through the POS so that businesses can easily keep track of expiring products.
Polar POS Customer Relationship Management
Polar POS has a free customer rewards program built into the POS. IT Retail does not have one available, and most other POS systems charge extra for their loyalty programs.
Polar POS also has a Promotion Manager feature, which helps grocery businesses create, run, and track custom promotions like buy one, get one free or buy two and get the third half off.
Polar POS Employee Management
Polar POS includes employee accounts, logins, and time tracking, which is pretty standard for POS systems that have a monthly fee. However, Polar also has a free built-in payroll management system, which is something that most POS systems like Square charge extra for.
Polar POS Sales Reports & Analytics
Polar POS provides standard sales reports as well as big data analytics. Although there are not too many details available about the other types of reporting included, we know that Polar offers detailed insights on inventory, including expiring products. Polar also has detailed reporting associated with its customer loyalty and promotions features.
What’s Missing From Polar POS
The biggest drawback to Polar POS is the number of products included with the lower-priced tiers. If you have a super-small product selection, Polar offers a great value. However, most grocery stores have tons of stock keeping units (SKUs)[, which is why IT Retail is our top choice for traditional grocery stores.
Polar POS Reviews
There are not many reviews available online for Polar POS or the parent company, North American Solutions POS. But the solution is certified by some third-party organizations, such as the National Conference on Weights and Measures for accurate scale measurements.
ShopKeep: Best POS for Grocery Stores With Cafes
ShopKeep is a top-rated iPad POS offering advanced features at an affordable price. ShopKeep has grocery features like the ability to ring up items by weight, and also cafe features like tipping and recipe-level ingredient tracking, which makes ShopKeep an ideal solution for grocery and specialty food retailers that also have a cafe or eatery.
ShopKeep pricing is quoted individually for each business, which means there is room to negotiate, unlike other POS systems, which have a hard and flat fee. Before removing specific pricing from their website, ShopKeep advertised starting at $69 per month, which places ShopKeep firmly in the mid-range price point for small business POS.
Like Square and Lightspeed, ShopKeep also has built-in payment processing. ShopKeep guarantees your business the lowest integrated payment processing rate, customized to match your transaction volume. Hardware such as cash drawers, iPad stands, receipt printers, and more is also available through ShopKeep at a custom price.
ShopKeep has a suite of built-in grocery management features, including bulk inventory management, employee logins and permissions, reporting, and more all tied together with award-winning customer service.
ShopKeep Inventory Management
Even though ShopKeep isn’t specifically designed for grocery, its inventory management features fit the bill perfectly. ShopKeep includes the ability to manage thousands of SKUs in bulk with comma-separated values (CSV) files, create low stock triggers custom to each product, calculate profit margins―ideal for cafe and prepared foods―and tell you your best sellers. For cafes, eateries, and bakeries, ShopKeep can also manage ingredient-level inventory tracking. ShopKeep’s inventory features are a great match for independent grocers.
ShopKeep Customer Relationship Management
ShopKeep has plenty of CRM features built in, which is important for including the ability to track individual customer sales history, capture customer information at checkout, send customized email receipts, and import customer information into contact lists. ShopKeep also has a Mailchimp integration for customized email promotions.
ShopKeep Employee Management
ShopKeep is similar to Lightspeed in that you can track employee hours using a built-in time clock feature, customize permission levels, and generate employee productivity reports. There are no employee scheduling features or deeper employee management capabilities. But ShopKeep has the tools you need for basic time tracking, transaction tracking, and reporting.
ShopKeep Sales Reports & Analytics
ShopKeep has standard reporting features, including sales reports by category, item, discount, and register. Grocers can also view inventory reporting such as on-hand quantities and cost of goods. There are also reports that track sales per customer, trends, top spending customers, sales by employee, and more. ShopKeep also has an iPhone app for viewing reports on the go.
What’s Missing From ShopKeep
ShopKeep has just about all of the features a brick-and-mortar grocer or specialty food store would need. The main weaknesses of ShopKeep are that it can’t accept offline payments and that its reporting features, while good, are not as thorough or customizable as Lightspeed. Unlike our cloud-based POS systems that can be customized and updated from whatever device you are using, ShopKeep has to be managed from a desktop using ShopKeep Back Office.
ShopKeep has good reviews for both their product and their customer service. Users are very happy with the high level of customer service ShopKeep provides and the features included in ShopKeep’s base price. Visit our ShopKeep review page for details.
Square: Best Grocery POS for Temporary Food Markets
Square is a popular iPad POS system that is super easy to set up, free to use, and has built-in payment processing with pay-as-you-go features. Square is an ideal fit for pop-up and temporary food markets or vendors because it can process payments offline, has no monthly fee, and no commitment.
Square POS is free to use. There are no startup, monthly, or cancellation fees. Square also comes with built-in payment processing that has no monthly minimums and offers pay-as-you-go pricing. Square also comes with a free magstripe reader. Additional hardware is available for purchase. Although the basic Square POS is free, there are additional features you can add-on for a monthly fee.
Square Software Fees
Available Square add-ons include:
- Square POS: Free
- Employee management: From $5/month
- Payroll: From $5/month
- Email marketing: From $15/month
- Loyalty program: From $45/month
Square Payment Processing Fees:
Square payment processing fees include:
- In-person payments: 2.75%
- Online payments: 2.9% + 30 cents/transaction
Note: Square has recently changed its flat-rate fee of 2.75% to 2.6% + 10 cents per transaction. We will update the pricing and our ranking of providers in the next update of this article.
Square is a great fit for small, temporary, and traveling food vendors. In fact, it’s our top pick for food truck POS systems. If you are operating any kind of retail business where you don’t have a ton of products and your average sale is less than $20, especially if you move locations or only sell occasionally, Square is a great choice. It offers a free POS app with pay-as-you-go payments processing and offline payments.
Square Inventory Management
Square’s free POS system includes basic inventory management, which includes the ability to bulk upload products, set low stock alerts, add pictures, and adjust pricing from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. The free Square POS does not include more advanced features like profit projection or purchase orders but, for $60 per month, these are available through Square Retail.
Square Customer Relationship Management
Square’s intuitive and automated customer directory features are one of its strongest assets, especially for busy food marts and market vendors because it automatically tracks customers by their payment method, saving receipt preferences and email addresses for gathering feedback. Extra features like points-based loyalty programs and email marketing are available for an extra monthly fee of $45 and $15, respectively.
Square Employee Management
Square includes the ability to create unlimited employee logins. However, anything above that, such as timecards, defining roles and permission levels, and viewing sales reports broken down by the employee are available for a price of $5 per month for each employee. Payroll features including automated tax reporting and direct deposits are available for another monthly fee of $29 plus $5 for each employee.
Square Sales Reports & Analytics
Square has a Dashboard app and management features available through the website. This includes real-time sales reports, customer insights, information on best-selling products and product categories, average customer spend, hourly sales, and more.
What’s Missing From Square
Square is not designed for traditional grocery stores. So, it doesn’t have features like scale integrations, ingredient-level inventory tracking, and features necessary for grocers like loyalty programs and email marketing, which come with an additional monthly fee. However, Square is a perfect fit for small, pop-up, temporary, or traveling food and grocery vendors because of its low-cost, ease of use, and offline payment processing.
Square POS has positive reviews. Users like that it’s easy to use, quick to set up, and there are very minimal upfront costs. Users also like that they can pick and choose different features as needed with no contract. Most of the negative reviews are related to Square’s limited customer support hours and that you need a customer code number to receive phone support. Visit our Square review page for details.
Shopify: Best POS for Grocery Stores With Online Sales
Shopify is a POS and payments platform for ecommerce businesses that is growing in popularity for brick-and-mortar businesses. Shopify is unique because it offers solutions for in-store, online, and social media sales, which all manage your inventory from one place, making Shopify a great POS for grocers that also want to sell online.
Shopify offers three tiers for their POS platform: Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. All include a POS app, online store, unlimited products, and the ability to process payments with Shopify Payments. New customers can test any Shopify plan with a 14-day trial.
No specific hardware is required other than an iPad or Android tablet for the POS app, but you can purchase the following optional hardware through Shopify:
- Chip and swipe card readers: $29
- iPad stands: $119
- Receipt printers: ~$300
- Cash drawers: $119
- A complete POS kit: $399, $579 with bar code scanner
Shopify POS Pricing and Features
|Online Credit Card Processing|
|In-store Credit Card Processing|
|Sell on Facebook|
|Advanced Report Builder|
Shopify is a sleek and sophisticated touchscreen POS system that syncs data from online, offline, and social media sales such as inventory counts and customer interactions all in one dashboard. Like Square and Lightspeed, Shopify doesn’t have a scale integration or ability to sort products by expiration dates. Otherwise, it has all the trappings of a sophisticated retail management system.
Shopify Inventory Management
Unlike some of the other solutions on our list like Polar POS, all Shopify plans include unlimited products and unlimited SKUs, which is ideal for grocery stores, especially those selling online. Shopify also can import and export products in bulk, list variations like different sizes or flavors, and assign existing bar codes or create new ones.
Shopify Customer Relationship Management
Like Square, Shopify automatically creates customer profiles with each new order and tracks customer transactions across offline and online sales. Shopify does not have all the CRM functions of Lightspeed, such as a VIP customer classification. However, Shopify does have a built-in email marketing feature, which most other POS systems, like Square, charge extra for.
Shopify Employee Management
Shopify and Shopify Advanced plans give businesses the ability to create multiple staff PINs, each with a secure pin code. All orders and register activity are tracked by staff PIN. Shopify also has a feature called Timeline that helps staff communicate by allowing them to leave notes on different transactions and timestamps.
Shopify Sales Reports & Analytics
Shopify has an analytics dashboard with data on sales, orders, and online store traffic. Grocers can also see which products are selling and which ones aren’t, and view sales by employee, category, or time of day. Shopify also has a separate mobile app to view all of the analytics on the go. Shopify’s analytics aren’t nearly as advanced or as customizable as Lightspeed but still provides valuable insights.
What’s Missing From Shopify
Shopify doesn’t have any grocery-specific features like scale integration and managing inventory by shelf life or expiration dates. Shopify also cannot accept credit cards offline.
Shopify has great reviews. Users love that it’s easy to use and is a great tool to grow your business. Shopify’s in-store POS, ecommerce site builder, flat-rate payment processing, and social media sales tools make it truly an all-in-one system Visit our Shopify review page for more details.
eHopper: Best Free Grocery POS for Produce Sales
eHopper is a cloud-based specialty retail POS system that can operate on many different hardware and computer systems. It’s a good fit for grocers because there are detailed inventory management features, including the ability to sell produce and bulk grocery items by weight. eHopper is also affordable and has a free POS option.
eHopper has several pricing tiers. The base model is free but is still a full-featured grocery POS with sales features, inventory management, customer management, and more. Paid plans have advanced features like loyalty programs, bar code managers, and QuickBooks integration. The biggest flaw with eHopper’s free plan is that there is no merchant services or payment processing integration.
eHopper Pricing and Features
|Works on Android tablets, Windows and iPad|
|Works on Poynt|
|Integrated Merchant Services|
|Supports EBT Payments|
|Set & Charge Custom Taxes on Products|
|Employee Time Management|
|Purchase Order Management|
|Cash Discount Settings|
|Phone & Chat Support|
eHopper Payment Processing
One of the biggest drawbacks with eHopper is that there are no options for integrated payment processing with the free version. Businesses with paid plans operating on Windows PCs or tablets can choose to use First Data, TSYS, or PAX EMV. Grocers using Poynt can integrate with additional processors including Chase Merchant Services, PayPal, Elavon, Vantiv, and more. Grocers can also choose to use another nonintegrated payment processor.
eHopper has all of the essential grocery POS features available in their free plan, including inventory management, ability to set tax rates for products, and to sell items by weight. However, some businesses will want eHopper’s loyalty program, purchase order management, and EBT payment support that comes with the paid plans. eHopper is also available in multiple languages, including Spanish.
eHopper Inventory Management
eHopper has pretty sophisticated inventory management. Businesses can track inventory down to ingredient-level details for prepared foods. eHopper also lets grocers create custom low stock alerts for items and manage all vendor and purchase order information right within the POS. eHopper’s paid plans also have bar code creation, management, and printing features.
eHopper Customer Relationship Management
Businesses on any eHopper plan can create and manage customer profiles with eHopper either through the POS register or on any Internet browser with eHopper Back Office. In addition to standard contact information, eHopper supports adding the date of birth and driver’s license information for age verification. Through customer profiles, grocers can track customer purchase history, segment customers, and export contact information for marketing campaigns.
eHopper Employee Management
eHopper has tools to assign specific roles and permissions to each employee and even set the software language for each employee. eHopper also tracks sales by employee and can be configured to track inventory-related actions, such as stock adjustments, by employee. Paid versions of eHopper also have a time clock to track employee hours.
eHopper Sales Reports & Analytics
eHopper comes with reports for sales, inventory, orders, taxes, time clocks, and more. Grocers can view category sales reports and break them down by specific time periods, view all transactions for specific shifts or time periods, see sales by customer, and view data on outstanding purchase orders. Most reports can be exported to a CSV file.
What’s Missing From eHopper
eHopper has tools to sell products by weight, but like many of the grocery POS systems on our list, there is no direct scale integration. The reporting features are also somewhat limited, with not much opportunity to customize reports. However, the biggest drawback of eHopper is the lack of integrated payment processing on the free plan. Businesses should also note that live phone and chat support is only included with paid plans.
eHopper reviews are generally positive. It is a user-friendly system, and business owners are happy with how robust the features are, particularly for a free system. Some negative reviews say that the reporting tools are not advanced enough and that the software has issues syncing or integrating with other programs.
POS for grocery stores need unique features like rugged hardware, scale integrations, time-sensitive inventory tracking, and sophisticated loyalty and promotion tools that aren’t part of a typical retail POS. There are many great small business POS systems on the market, but very few that are a perfect fit for grocers.
Grocery stores are notoriously low-margin businesses, so they also need a POS and management software that can do this on a dime. IT Retail’s Market POS has all of these grocery-specific features and more for a base price that is less than $100 per month. IT Retail is an easy to use, intelligent system that’s designed by grocers. Visit IT Retail to get started.