Odoo Review: Best Open Source POS for Small Businesses
This article is part of a larger series on POS Systems.
In our review of the best open source POS software for small businesses, Odoo came in first with a score of 3.91 out of 5, based on our evaluation of 23 data points including pricing, checkout and management features, ease of use, and our test of the software. The POS is best for warehouse and dropshipping operations and any small or medium business with complex operational needs that want the technical flexibility of open source software.
What We Like
- Free POS, Invoice, and Inventory
- Modules for stores, restaurants
- Double-entry inventory system
- Stock replenishment automation
- No available third-party integrations
- Paid Odoo integrations—these can add up fast when adding modules
- Implementation and customization are unintuitive
- Ecommerce excluded
When to Use Odoo:
- Small businesses needing a customizable all-in-one business software: Odoo’s well-reviewed POS comes packaged with its excellent free inventory management, material planning, sales forecasting, and CRM solutions to name a few.
- Warehouse management and dropshipping businesses: Odoo’s automatic stock replenishment and inventory forecasting are advantages for dropshipping businesses with high-volume orders. Tracing stock is also easier for suppliers—given its double-entry inventory system.
When to Use an Alternative
- Regulated industries: Odoo doesn’t have features to manage unique industry regulations, such as those for liquor and tobacco. Check out our recommended vape shop, liquor store, and convenience store POS systems for a better fit.
- Large retail stores needing multichannel sales tools, CRM features, and thorough business analytics: Odoo’s reporting tools are basic and may not be enough for multichannel retailers or businesses with extensive inventories.
Odoo is a free open source suite of business tools that includes POS, inventory, accounting, CRM, and ecommerce. Odoo’s POS app (which this review focuses on), our top-recommended open-source POS system, is bundled with Odoo’s inventory and invoicing apps—making sales and stock tracking and accounting easy.
The Odoo POS, inventory, and invoicing app bundle is its biggest advantage because it allows for an efficient workflow across sales tracking, bookkeeping, inventory management, warehouse locations, and product monitoring. Dropshipping businesses can benefit from this app bundle.
However, Odoo’s reporting tools are rudimentary. Multichannel retailers or those that manage extensive inventories may benefit more from POS systems like Shopify POS or Lightspeed Retail.
Looking for something different?
- Read our guide to the best POS systems for small businesses to find a solution that matches your needs.
- If you are on a budget but do not want the complexities of an open source product, then there are several free commercial POS systems available.
Odoo Deciding Factors
Supported Business Types
Businesses utilizing warehouse locations and those involved in dropshipping
Monthly Software Fees
Free, but fees add up when you integrate with other Odoo modules (monthly integration fees usually start at $42.50 per user)
Setup and Installation Fees
No vendor lock-in
Payment Processing Options
PayPal, AliPay, and Authorize.net, among others
Payment Processing Fees
Depends on payment provider
24x5 live chat and email
Monthly Fee From
Those requiring an all-purpose, free, and mobile POS
$0 with payment processing; some features add on
Grocery stores and high-volume sales
$69 plus $500 installation fee
See how Odoo compares with our top POS systems.
Odoo’s POS app is free to use as a package with Invoicing and Inventory apps. However, there is a monthly fee to integrate it with other Odoo apps, usually starting at $42.50 per user. When you sign up, you get unlimited users, locations, products, and transactions.
Most apps that require payments are listed on Odoo’s pricing page. Some are also offered for free (such as Survey, Discuss, Notes, Chat, and Employees). However, note that some apps are bundled within others (like Blog, Forum, Live Chat, and Slides are within the Website App).
Signing up for Odoo gives you access to its platform—including hosting, daily backups, email integration, 24/7 monitoring and security, and a control center.
Payments & Hardware
In the News:
- Version 16 of Odoo’s software is scheduled for release in October 2022. This includes an update for payment methods, including Stripe.
To accept credit card payments in Odoo POS with an integrated card reader, there are limited payment providers you can work with, but popular platforms such as PayPal, AliPay, and Authorize.net are among its accredited providers.
For those that have payment providers not on Odoo’s list, Odoo provides a workaround solution: Businesses work with a standalone card reader, copy the transaction total from the Odoo POS screen into the card reader, and then record the transaction in Odoo POS. An IoT box (an added charge, which will be discussed shortly) can also provide integration with third-party providers and payment terminals.
For hardware equipment, these can be purchased separately. However, the system is compatible with most commercial POS systems, tablets, and computers.
An IoT Box ($20.00/month/box) is a cross-platform hardware solution that lets you use the same USB POS peripherals (input/output) on every device. It is required for some devices, such as weighing scales and a customer display.
- Barcode Scanners: Odoo POS will work with most USB Barcode Scanners, connected directly to your computer. It recommends the Honeywell product line.
- Weighing Scales: The IoT Box can provide support for the Mettler Toledo Ariva product family and Adam Equipment scales product family (AZExtra Series).
- Cash Registers: Odoo POS can operate any EPSON compatible cash register. It recommends the Metapace K-2.
- Receipt Printers: Odoo POS can print on any web browser-compatible printer (inkjet, laser, and thermal).
- Payment Terminal:
- No IoT Box Required: Adyen (supported countries) – swipe, EMV, contactless; SIX (Europe) with a Yomani terminal
- IoT Box Required: Worldpay / FIS (USA, Canada) – swipe-only
Do you want to learn more about how POS hardware works? Read our POS hardware guide to know what to consider when purchasing equipment.
Overall, Odoo has essential register and checkout features for your retail business needs. It can handle tipping management and cash tracking, as well as implement loyalty programs and gift card promotions. Note, though, that online ordering functionality needs to have a module integration, which would require an added fee.
- Checkout interface allows serving multiple customers at the same time
- Barcode scanning to apply discounts, identify loyalty cards, and scan item prices
- Cloud-based with offline mode (for open tickets)
- Split tenders, currency rounding, and tipping
- Customized receipts
- Electronic scale integration is available
- Compatible with iPad and Android tablets (mobile POS)
- Parallel orders (put orders aside and process multiple orders at the same time)
- Built-in search features
Since our last update:
- Odoo has released version 15 of its platform, which includes the following improvement to its POS:
- Assign several people responsible to a task
- Manage task dependencies
- Share the kanban list view of projects with portal users
- Get an order upsell activity when a prepaid service is close to being fully consumed
And as we mentioned earlier, version 16 is coming soon.
Odoo makes handling sales, stock management, and accounting easy with its POS/Inventory/Accounting package. Its built-in double-inventory system gives it an advantage over other open source POS platforms because it lets you track every stock move from purchase to warehouse bin to sales order. With such a system, your items are moved along the pipeline rather than removed from the system, allowing for easy traceability.
- Monitor cash register adjustments at the end of day
- Cashier account assignment with badges or pin codes
- Order history by customer, product, cashier, or date
- Franchise management
- Split bills, kitchen order notes, send orders to bar and kitchen printers
- Floor plans, table mapping, guest tracking for table availability
- Delayed orders (take orders for different courses at once and send them to the kitchen printer at separate times)
- Double-entry, immediate updates across all stores, programmable reorder points and automated purchase orders
- Dropshipping, multiple warehouses, and inventory reports
- Refund claims, schedule delivery, warranty tracking
- Categories, search, measuring units, product variants
- Support for large product counts—over 100,000 products
- Invoicing—quotes-to-invoices and sales analysis reports
- Payments are directly integrated into Odoo Accounting for efficient bookkeeping
- Tutorials and documentation
- Community forum
- Partner agencies for development
- Customer support is by email or live chat; Monday to Friday, 24/5, in English and French
Since Odoo is developed on an open source platform, expect a more extensive setup that might require a developer if you are not tech-savvy. However, its knowledge base and community forum are comprehensive if you know how to navigate your way through the setup guide. It doesn’t provide phone support, and the user reviews I have read online lament its poor customer service.
Odoo Setup & Installation
While setting up an open source POS such as Odoo can be more challenging than downloading a cloud-based POS app, Odoo provides a detailed step-by-step guide with illustrations on its website. There are plenty of how-to videos to help you, but as an overview, here are the steps:
- Connect peripheral devices
- Power the POSBox
- Set up the Point of Sale
- Configure the Wi-Fi
- Install POS app
- Add products
- Configure payment method and points of sales
Once you have set up Odoo, you can simulate a new order by clicking on New Session.
Learn more: Read our guide on how to set up a POS system.
Here, we considered any unique or standout features, the overall value the POS provides, user reviews, and feedback based on our experience testing the system.
Odoo is the most popular of all the open source POS systems we have evaluated, and its popularity is strengthened by the majority of user feedback. Having tested dozens of POS systems (open source and standalone software), we find Odoo’s feature tool set enough to meet a small business’ POS needs.
Odoo User Reviews
Most Odoo reviews we have read online are positive, with a majority of users saying that Odoo is a complete system for their business—ecommerce, accounting, POS, HR, and ERP. They particularly like Odoo’s inventory and accounting features, remarking that these provide the most value.
However, Odoo’s open source platform is a double-edged sword. While there are some that like the flexibility it gives, many still left feedback that it is not easy to set up and the user interface is unintuitive. Many also complained that its customer support team takes a long time to respond to requests.
At the time of publication, Odoo reviews earned the following scores on popular user review sites:
- Capterra: 4.1 out of 5 based on almost 500 reviews
- G2: 4.3 out of 5 based on more than 10 reviews
When reading through Odoo user reviews, I noticed some of these trends:
|Strong inventory, warehouse, and ecommerce features||Customer support isn’t as helpful and takes a while to respond|
|Open source gives more flexibility for customization||Difficult to set up for the not-so-tech-savvy|
|Built-in apps/modules cover almost everything you need or want to do||User interface is not intuitive|
Methodology: How We Evaluated Odoo
We evaluated Odoo by testing the system ourselves and grading it against the criteria we use to evaluate the best open source POS software. We considered features that business owners expect from any POS software and considered the advantages of open source platforms—adaptability, community support, and compatibility with different operating systems. We also looked for a modern interface, active updates, and depth of features.
Click through the tabs below for a more detailed breakdown of evaluation criteria:
30% of Overall Score
We looked for essential POS features such as inventory, customer relations, and employee management (including logins and clock-in/out), as well as the number and value of reports—whether they were customizable or offer template versions. Bonus points were given to those that provide email marketing as well. Odoo got docked points for needing paid add-ons to unlock features such as CRM, email marketing, and employee management.
20% of Overall Score
We evaluated features such as tipping management—an essential feature for retail and restaurant businesses—giving priority to cash tracking and the ability to reconcile registers at the day’s end. Loyalty programs, gift cards, contactless payments, and online ordering were also features we looked into. Odoo would have earned a perfect score if it had features for online ordering and contactless payments.
20% of Overall Score
We looked at the platform interface but also looked for user comments and complaints about features and backend issues. Since point-of-sale systems are used round-the-clock in business operations, they must be intuitive and easy to troubleshoot. We also paid attention to the software’s customer service hours and whether the program can run offline or is cloud-based. Odoo would have gotten a perfect score if not for its limited weekday customer support.
20% of Overall Score
This category is a holistic evaluation of features vs cost, customer support, and popularity in terms of the number of users. We also considered online user reviews, including those of our competitors—with the standard of having an average of 4+ rating considered ideal. Odoo got the highest score among all the open source POS systems we evaluated.
10% of Overall Score
- Nearly all open source software is free, but the ones that ranked well charged a small fee or offered paid add-ons or upgrades. Aside from the free versions, we also considered the maximum number of users, devices, inventory, and transactions a platform can support. Integrated payment processing options were considered as well. Based on these criteria, Odoo got a perfect score.
Odoo Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Odoo totally free?
Yes, Odoo’s POS app is free to use as a package with Invoicing and Inventory. But if you need additional business features like a CRM system, it can only integrate with other Odoo apps and these come with monthly integration fees, usually starting at $42.50 per user.
What are the disadvantages of Odoo?
Odoo works exclusively with apps within its ecosystem. Therefore, you are limited to working with its other apps if you need more business features. Most of its apps also come with separate monthly fees, which add up in business costs.
Odoo’s free POS provides all the basic features most small businesses need for running a retail shop or restaurant. If you are in need of a specific feature, such as ecommerce, it is most likely available as a paid add-on. Odoo’s add-on apps can be pricey when stacked up and Odoo has limited payment processing integrations; however, there is definitely enough of everything for most businesses to start with (and eventually scale). Join others who have made Odoo their POS system.
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