If so, Vend POS might be the perfect solution for you. After all, 20,000 other sellers seem to be satisfied with their service! Throughout this review, we'll tell you everything you need to know about this software so you can make an informed decision as to whether it'll complement your business.
Let's dive in!
Almost two decades ago, Vend first launched in 2010- back then it was nothing short of groundbreaking. They were one of the first companies offering business owners a robust POS system operating entirely via the cloud.
This was preferable for entrepreneurs because it meant many of the days to day running of the company could function even without an internet connection.
Since then, Vend's continued to offer top-notch service to its users. They're continuously updating their products and filling any holes that appear in their POS solution.
Since Vend's official launch, they've introduced a plethora of fresh features including:
- An extensive inventory management system,
- The option of using and syncing several online sales channels
- Tons of integrations with third-party apps and software
How Does Vend POS Work?
It doesn't matter whether you have one brick and mortar store or 20. You can use Vend's POS system to take payments from in-person customers, all from the convenience of your iPad, Mac or PC.
You can access this solution anytime, from anywhere because as we've already said, it runs using a cloud- even offline!
‘How's that possible?!' we hear you cry.
Well, Vend's program works within an HTML5 compatible web browser (or the HTML5 iPad app depending on the device you're using). So, if you can't connect to the internet, the cache takes over and does the job offline. Not to worry, all your sales data will automatically re-sync when you eventually re-establish an internet connection.
The Benefits of Using Vend POS
One of the things we love about Vend is that you can choose from a long list of integrated payment gateways. Unlike other POS systems, you're not forced into using their preferred payment gateway. This helps to ensure you always have the option of enjoying the best market rates.
Vend provides a whole host of payment partners you can connect with. They pride themselves on the relationships they've developed with various payment gateways. As such, Vend's customers can be confident they'll enjoy seamless integrations.
Not to mention, the setup process is incredibly quick and relatively easy. Plus, if you run into trouble getting up and running, you can refer to some of the resources Vend's published online. These are amazing for guiding you through the setup process.
Alternatively, you can register Vend's POS system directly to your bank- which you should note, is a very popular option amongst Vend's users.
You can also sync your card reader with Vend. This is an absolute godsend. When you do this, the margin for human error massively decreases because there's no longer a need for manual entries!
A Few Other Advantages
For your ease, I've taken the liberty of bullet-pointing the rest of Vend's benefits so that you can scan through them quickly:
- Get swiftly paid: You can expect to receive payments from your customers in as little as two working days.
- Accept any payment type: Business owners can accept all major credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express), cash, gift cards, layby, split payments, store credit, and account payments. When it comes to taking card payments it doesn't matter whether your customers prefer to swipe, use contactless, or traditionally punch their PIN- shoppers can pay however they most feel comfortable. This even extends to using other contactless technologies, like Android Pay, NFC, and Apple Pay. In addition to all that, you can also offer a ‘buy now pay later' option to your customers.
- You don't need any hardware (to get going): There's no need to worry about purchasing equipment, (to begin with). First things first, sign yourself up to one of Vend's payment partners. From there, they’ll send you all the hardware you need.
- They integrate online and offline payments: It doesn't matter whether you want to take in-person payments or take a transaction over the web- either way, Vend provides a system that integrates both.
- Enjoy business and productivity apps: Whether you need help scheduling your employee's shifts or keeping up with your accounts, there's an app on Vend's marketplace that's bound to help. Vend's continually expanding the plugins available to you. So if they don't have what you want yet, they probably will in the future.
- Keep on top of your accounts: You can sync your store with accounting software like Xero or QuickBooks Online. If you already have accounts with either of these pieces of software, these integrations are really handy. Both programs are intuitive, and with just a few clicks, you can automatically sync your daily sales totals, account sales, and payment totals- how awesome is that?!
- Search quickly for products and customers: If you're looking for a specific product, use the search bar or the barcode scanner, and you'll find it with ease. Similarly, you can quickly locate your customer's details by searching for their name and/or telephone number.
- Customize customers receipts: You can give customers personalized receipts including instructions on how to care for the product(s), a coupon code, your logo, your website URL, etc. You can also choose whether to email or print your receipt (emailing receipts is a wonderful way to build your e-mail list)
- Free trial: Customers can enjoy a free trial before handing over their hard-earned cash. This includes a nifty self-guided tour which walks you through the process of adding products, creating customer profiles, setting tax rates, customizing the register's quick keys, etc. On the whole, the system's pretty self-explanatory, and the trial serves to highlight this fact.
- User accounts: If you're starting to build a team of staff, you'll be pleased to hear you can create different user accounts where you can list the different permissions each worker's entitled to. This works wonders for keeping your customer's sensitive info safe. It also serves to monitor the performance of your employees and provides a simple way of boosting the accountability of your staff.
Vend's Best Apps
With the help of MailSync, you can automatically sync your Vend customer database with your e-mail list. This is one of the simplest ways for a business owner to keep in contact with their following and to build a rapport with potential customers.
This same plugin also enables entrepreneurs to store and monitor customer data, such as:
- Email address,
- Purchasing history,
- Loyalty credit balance,
MailSync is incredibly easy to set up and to connect with the following tools:
- Schedule shifts
- Assign group and individual tasks, send announcements, messages, and set task lists
- Monitor the performance of your employees
- Track the hours worked by staff (when they clocked in and out) by creating and using timesheets
- Monitor the performance of your business on a day by day basis
Effectively, Deputy's excellent for helping business owners manage their staff.
Most online sellers use several sales channels. This is where Stitch Labs comes into its own. You can sync your Vend profile to connect with all of the following:
Just to name a few!
With this third-party integration, you'll get a better feel for which of your products are most popular. Stitch Labs also provides one central place where you can manage the entirety of your inventory. From monitoring stock levels to handling orders, Switch Labs does it all!
Rest assured, everything is synced between your Vend and Stitch Labs accounts in real-time- so there shouldn't be any confusion.
You can also get all of the following reports:
If you need further help managing your stock, the ‘Unleashed' app's worth using. This is especially handy for smaller to medium-sized businesses who need access to sophisticated warehouse and supply chain management features.
What Do Customers Love Most About Vend?
Customers love that they can access their POS solution, anywhere, and at any time. The beauty of any cloud-based software is that you're not restricted by location. It doesn't matter where you go; you have everything you need to manage and monitor your business.
Also, if you have any coding or web development skills, you'll be pleased to hear you can use Vend's API to create your own custom extensions. That way you can craft a POS system that works exactly how you need it to (or you can hire a web developer to do it for you!)
Moreover, if you get stuck, Vend's customer service is literally award-winning. They're proud to say they've won the Customer Service prize at the Stevie Awards as many as four times! They've deliberately compiled a support team of workers with retail backgrounds.
This is one of the many reasons why their staff can understand and tackle the challenges you're facing with clarity and professionalism. With over 200 support staff, there are professionals dotted all over the world, in several different time zones- just ready and waiting to handle your query.
Their primary support hubs are located in:
So, you can be sure someone's on hand to help you out!
More Info on the Hardware
With the correct hardware, you can enjoy their flashy customer facing display. This is fabulous for building brand loyalty.
All you have to do is pair the Vend Display and the Vend Register iPad app together, and voila- you can handle customers at the point of check out with greater transparency.
They'll see preciscely what you're processing, which not only fills customers with confidence, it also provides a fabulous talking point!
Plus, when you combine customer profiles with Quick Keys, you can create and use personalized buttons to process your customer's favorite products. This works wonders for speeding up the checkout process and for making the consumer feel special- win-win!
Alongside standalone equipment, Vend offers three all-in-one POS bundles:
- The Mac Bundle
- The PC Bundle
- The iPad Bundle
That way they can opt for a package that best suits the equipment you have to hand.
The Disadvantages to Using Vend
As with any other POS system on the market, Vend could benefit from a few improvements. One of the re-occurring complaints on review forums is that Vend suffers from minor glitches and slow servers. Some other users have also said they'd like to see a sturdier set of features.
A classic example of this is the request for customer display that's compatible with other hardware other than just an iPad. Who knows, perhaps in time Vend will implement this update?
How Much Does Vend Set You Back?
Vend POS has three pricing packages, so hopefully, there's one to suit your budget.
The Lite Package
The Lite bundle's best for smaller, more basic retail operations. This is the cheapest package, coming in at $99 per month (when you pay annually). Alternatively, you can pay $119 a month.
This will entitle you to a POS system for one outlet, working alongside one cash register. However, there is a turnover limit of $20,000 per month; if you exceed this amount three times in the space of a year, you'll have to upgrade your payment plan.
You'll also enjoy all of the following features:
- Basic store management tools
- An easy-to-use point of sale system
- An inventory management feature that works in real time.
- Outstanding around the clock customer support (both over the telephone and online).
- Small business reporting
- The Xero accounting add-on
The Pro Bundle
Alternatively, the Pro bundle is best suited to stores looking to expand and shops selling from more than one location. As you may well have expected, the Pro bundle falls under the next price bracket.
This will set you back $129 per month when you pay annually. Alternatively, you'll be billed $159 each month.
The Pro package entitles you to everything listed in the Lite package in addition to:
- No caps on your turnover!
- Access to the entire platform
- Advanced reporting
- Advanced analytics
- More sophisticated promotions and gift cards
- Access to all plugins
- Access and integration with all E-commerce channels
- API Access
- Retail management for handling numerous channels.
The Enterprise Package
If you're managing large stores in numerous locations, you'll need the enterprise package. However, you'll have to contact Vend directly and get a quote. This requires a tailor-made package to suit your business needs.
However, you will be able to run and manage the POS solution from six or more outlets, use one cash register, and enjoy an unlimited turnover- that's in addition to everything offered in the pro plan, plus, a dedicated accounts manager.
Who Should Use Vend POS?
If you're running a store in one or more of the following niches, you'll be able to make good use of Vend POS:
- Fashion, Shoes, and Apparel
- Homeware and Gift
- Sports and Outdoors
- Health and Beauty
- Toys and Hobbies
As you can see, the benefits of Vend can be harnessed by almost any industry, and as we've already alluded to, businesses of all shapes and sizes. There aren't any limits as to how many stores you can register with your company. This makes it just as appropriate for boutique stores as it is for larger corporations. You can also scale your brand using Vend, so it doesn't matter what stage your business is at, you can make use of this POS system.
However, this might not ring true if you're managing a cafe or restaurant. Vend doesn't provide a feature for inserting item modifiers, table management, or tipping.
You should note: If you want to use Vend, you'll need access to Google Chrome in addition to hardware that runs on at least Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.5- that's all you need to hit the ground running!
Last but not least, Vend's excellent for brand's yearning to grow. This software is relatively cost-effective and quick to scale. You can set up, begin selling, and add all the following in just a matter of clicks:
- New staff members,
- Cash registers,
- Digital sales channels
- Physical locations in just one click.
Have you got any experience using Vend POS? If so, we want to hear all about it in the comments box below- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let's kickstart this convo!