After assessing the variety of options available, we found that Austin-based SalesVu does a lot for the money -- and in some cases, very, very little money. You can check it out by creating your free account to see if it's the right system for you.

If you only need a POS product with a few features (software, a check-in function, purchase invoicing, a waitlist feature and gift cards, for example), the product is totally and completely free. You and your iPad are good to go!

If you need reporting, accounting, and remote access, there's SalesVu Cloud Basic, for a monthly fee of $79 per location. Need to add inventory management and a web and Facebook store? Want to track customer purchasing and direct mail campaigns targeted to particular groups of customers? SalesVu Cloud Advanced at $150 per location, per month gets you where you need to go.

Want to further tailor your POS system? The Basic and Advanced bundles have most of the popular modules bundled together already -- if you try them and you don't find that you need quite as much software, you can scale back at no cost. One thing customers find useful about SalesVu is the product's ability to measure in both whole units and partial units -- the feature makes charging for half a pound of chocolate-covered pretzels or 45 minutes of a therapist's time easier than on other systems.

Another feature we really like about SalesVu is that you can try the Cloud Basic or Cloud Advanced services free for 15 days. But, even if you sign up for ongoing service, SalesVu doesn't force your company into an extended contract. The company's transparency in pricing is pretty refreshing.

SalesVu is also supremely mobile, and you can make it work with your iPad as a stand-alone POS system if you don't want or need a register. The company doesn't target a particular market, and its products can be used across industries, mostly for small- to medium-sized businesses. There's no built-in payment processor, so customers have a choice among several -- be aware you still may be on the hook for per-swipe charges depending on the processor you choose.

One of the concerns about SalesVu's free trial is that the company doesn't disclose the exact cost of all the bundled software and options until you're ready to sign on the dotted line -- you may end up with a wish list that exceeds your budget. At some point, if your inventory or equipment needs grow, SalesVu (as it is now) may not be able to grow comfortably with your company. We spent time breaking out the hefty list of the benefits of Square in the review of Best POS for Small Business, where we discuss the company's decade-long hold on all things tablet and smartphone. While it's true that Square works well for a lot of commerce on a tablet or phone, SalesVu gives retailers on iPads an extra level of reporting and analytics without forcing them into an expensive hardware system. ​

See our complete list of Best POS Systems

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Published on: Aug 13, 2018