With various POS solutions catering to different business needs and budgets, convenience store owners must evaluate their requirements to determine the best option. This article provides an in-depth look at the top POS systems for convenience stores based on core capabilities, features, and pricing. It analyzes how systems like KORONA POS, LS Retail, Square POS, and Clover can each uniquely benefit convenience store owners through custom functions around age verification, payroll, inventory management, omnichannel selling, and more.
Whether launching a new convenience store or seeking to upgrade an existing operation, this review serves as a comprehensive guide to the ideal POS solution for C-stores.
- KORONA POS is the best overall convenience store POS system with robust capabilities like age verification, integrated gift cards, and employee management.
- LS Retail excels at fuel and food service functionality for large chains.
- Square POS offers omnichannel selling ideal for new stores.
- Clover provides faster checkouts and a built-in loyalty program.
- All options offer capabilities tailored to convenience stores’ specialized needs.
1. KORONA POS By COMBASE USA: Best Overall Solution
KORONA POS, developed by COMBASE USA, stands out as a top POS system for convenience stores thanks to its robust capabilities for age verification, integrated gift card management, employee management tools, inventory management automation, customizable loss prevention features, and processing-agnostic payment solutions.
These functionalities allow convenience store owners to run their businesses efficiently while maintaining regulatory compliance and reducing fraud and shrinkage. With the flexibility to choose preferred payment processors, KORONA POS allows convenience stores to create financial solutions tailored to their needs.
Age verification features
KORONA POS stands out with its best-in-class age verification capabilities for convenience stores. It allows configuring age restriction policies on specific items, automatically blocking restricted sales based on customer age input. This ensures compliance and prevents violations, making it the ideal POS for convenience stores selling age-restricted items.
Free gift card management
Managing gift cards can be a significant expense for retailers, but not with KORONA POS. It natively integrates free gift card management, unlike systems tied to specific processors that charge per gift card used. This built-in, unlimited gift card module makes the POS highly competitive, saving convenience stores money while providing top-notch service. The flexibility and savings from KORONA’s integrated gift card features make it a top choice for a POS for convenience stores.
C- stores employee management
Employee management is another standout feature of KORONA POS. Employees can log in via the customizable keypad, with permissions tied to their login regulating what functions they can access. Owners can track employee hours and integrate time summary reports into payroll for accurate compensation.
With features like clock-in and clock-out functionalities, customizable permissions down to the function level, and easy payroll integration, KORONA POS provides convenience stores superior staff oversight and management tools compared to alternatives on the market.
Robust inventory management system
KORONA POS delivers automation, like reorder reminders, ABC analysis for tracking top-selling items, multi-store views, and stock notifications. Robust data imports and advanced features make inventory management more accessible than ever.
The system provides comprehensive tools to ensure optimal stock levels, prevent stockouts, and streamline inventory-related tasks. This robust inventory management is crucial for convenience stores with diverse product offerings and high customer traffic.
C-Store theft prevention features
Loss prevention is a significant priority for convenience store owners, and KORONA POS provides customized features to prevent theft better than any other POS system.
From blind cash drops to receipt controls, all security capabilities can be tailored to the store’s needs, reducing fraud opportunities. With shrinkage being a major problem for retail stores, the configurability and effectiveness of the loss prevention tools make KORONA POS a great option for convenience stores.
Unlike POS systems locking users into specific payment processors, KORONA POS integrates with any processor the business chooses. This flexibility allows owners to select the rates and fees that meet their needs rather than being forced into potentially higher processing costs. The processing-agnostic nature gives convenience stores unmatched freedom to create a payment solution catered to their business.
How much does KORONA POS Cost?
The KORONA POS pricing plan is divided into three categories:
KORONA POS Core: A simple plan for standard business operations costing $59/month.
KORONA POS Retail: An advanced plan with inventory management and more automation that costs $69/month.
- KORONA Food: +$10/month per terminal; adds food-specific features like recipe management and menu customization
- KORONA Invoicing: +$10/month per terminal; standalone invoicing software for businesses that don’t need full POS functionality
- KORONA Ticketing: +$50/month per gate; manage event ticketing and admissions
- KORONA Franchise: +$10/month per franchise; specialized tools for managing franchise operations
- KORONA Integration: +$10/month per token; connect with third-party apps and services
- KORONA Plus: +$20/month per terminal; for businesses that need more in-depth features and tools to save time, gain insight, and hit goals
Click on the video below to fully understand the KORONA POS pricing plan.
2. LS Retail: Best for Large Fuel & Food Operating C-stores
LS Retail is an optimal point of sale (POS) solution for large convenience store chains with fuel stations. Its robust fuel management capabilities allow owners to control pump operations, authorize transactions, and streamline fuel inventory management.
Beyond fuel, LS Retail excels in full food-service POS, offering integrated modules for self-ordering kiosks and kitchen display systems, enhancing customer service and kitchen efficiency. The system also automates product replenishment based on historical sales data, minimizing out-of-stock risks and reducing waste.
Fuel Management Functions
With robust fuel management capabilities, LS Retail is the ideal POS solution for large convenience store chains operating fuel stations. From the POS, store owners can control all pump operations, authorize and stop pumps, offer pre-pay and post-pay fueling, and easily process refunds. The system automatically reads tank gauges and logs delivery data to simplify fuel inventory management.
By centralizing fuel operations and payments at the POS, LS Retail reduces customer friction and makes running fuel stations easier for store owners.
Full Food-Service Capabilities
In addition to streamlined fuel management, LS Retail provides a full food service POS with integrated modules for self-ordering kiosks and kitchen display systems. Customers can easily order food through self-ordering kiosks for faster service, while kitchen staff benefits from the kitchen display system to replace paper tickets and better coordinate food preparation.
With LS Retail, convenience stores can sell fuel, food, coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and more from an integrated POS optimized for convenience store operations.
Automated Product Replenishment
This functionality significantly reduces out-of-stock risk while maintaining low inventory levels and minimizing waste. LS Retail excels in handling products with varying lifecycles, using automation to reorder items precisely based on historical sales data. The system allows for efficient inventory management on stationary and handheld devices, offering convenience store operators a comprehensive solution to ensure they always have the right products in stock.
From fuel to coffee creamer, store owners can leverage LS Retail’s robust reporting and forecasting to maximize sales across all product categories.
Lottery Sales Tickets
LS Retail provides a unified platform for managing diverse products, including lottery tickets, alongside other convenience store essentials. From freshly made pastries and sandwiches to coffee, health and beauty products, and snacks, this versatile software seamlessly integrates lottery sales into its platform.
Real-Time Inventory Management
This functionality lets operators view wet stock management data, including fuel sales, gauge readings, pump totals, and deliveries. What makes this feature particularly powerful is its ability to track inventory for both the convenience store and quick-service restaurant on the same system used for fuel sales.
How much does LS Retail Cost?
LS Retail prices are based on quotes. You must contact LS Retail or an authorized LS Retail partner for a quote. In addition, LS Retail software operates via Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, a cloud-based and on-premise hybrid business management solution. You can use all devices that support Microsoft Business Central, such as POS systems and self-order kiosks, including PCs and tablets. For convenience stores that run on iOS, using LS Retail might be a bit complicated.
3. Square POS: Best for New, Single-Location Stores
Square POS is ideal for new convenience stores, offering robust omnichannel selling features to establish in-store and online presence. Its integrated tools enable seamless social media selling on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google product listings for a centralized online presence. Square also stands out for its integrated support for EBT payments, allowing stores to accept SNAP, WIC, and other benefits cards.
Omnichannel Selling Features
Square POS provides powerful omnichannel selling features ideal for new convenience stores looking to establish an in-store and online presence. With Square, store owners can seamlessly make sales online through integrated tools for social media selling on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Square also makes it easy to drive customers to a centralized online store through Google product listings.
The omnichannel capabilities allow convenience stores to attract customers and grow their business across platforms.
Accept EBT Payments
A major benefit of Square POS for convenience stores is integrated support for EBT payments through a partnership with TotilPay. This allows stores to accept SNAP, WIC, and other benefits cards using their existing Square hardware and account. Square’s EBT integration enables convenience stores to process unlimited EBT transactions with robust features like customizable reporting and analytics.
This level of EBT payment acceptance and tracking is invaluable for convenience stores serving all types of communities.
Reporting and Analytics
Square POS strongly emphasizes empowering convenience store owners with valuable insights through its reporting and analytics features. The sell-through reports offer a daily snapshot of item sales, helping store owners make informed decisions about restocking, promotions, or discontinuing certain products.
The sales reports provide a comprehensive overview of inventory movement and financial performance, allowing users to gauge their store’s success in minutes.
Staff Management Tools
For new convenience store owners, Square POS provides excellent staff management tools for training, scheduling, and managing employees. Owners can set detailed permissions to limit access to sensitive functions based on staff role. The ability to track staff hours and sales performance helps optimize labor costs and incentives.
Square’s staff management tools enable new store owners to manage their teams professionally.
Free Website/Online Store Builder
One final major benefit of Square POS for convenience stores is the free website and online store builder included. Store owners can quickly set up a polished online storefront to extend their physical store’s reach at no added cost. This allows even brand-new convenience stores to establish a unified branding and sales platform across physical and digital channels.
How much does Square POS Cost?
If you accept online payments, there is a per-transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30. Choose the plan that best fits your business requirements and budget.
You should also read: What Is Square POS? How It Works, Its Limitations, and Square POS Alternatives
4. CLOVER: Best for Easiest Setup
Clover POS speeds up checkouts with streamlined menus and shortcuts, keeping lines short. Its built-in loyalty program allows customers to earn points and rewards. The open API platform enables integration with accounting, payroll, hiring, and inventory software. Clover makes employee management easy through centralized dashboards for permissions, scheduling, and sales tracking. Owners gain insights into top staff performers and training opportunities.
With robust, affordable controls for small stores, Clover is a top POS choice simplified for convenience stores.
Purpose-built for convenience stores, Clover POS checks out customers faster. Streamlined menus and customizable shortcuts help cashiers input orders rapidly. Combined with lightning-fast printers, barcode scanners, and chip/tap readers, you can have customers in and out the door in seconds. This keeps lines short even during rush hours at your C-store.
More throughput means more profit over time. The quicker your cashiers can serve each guest, the more sales opportunities you will see.
Built-in loyalty points program
Unlike other POS systems catered to restaurants, Clover goes the extra mile for convenience store owners by baking loyalty directly into its platform. Customers can sign up and earn points, redeem rewards, and track their balances all through Clover. This saves you the hassle of integrating a third-party loyalty provider. You can run an advanced, automated loyalty program that builds lasting customer relationships – leading to repeat business.
It’s a level of CRM typically only seen in higher-end POS systems. Yet Clover makes it available to bodegas straight out of the box.
Integration With Other Third-Party Platforms
A major benefit of Clover is its open API platform. This allows extensive integrations with many best-in-class third-party solutions for accounting, payroll, hiring, inventory management, etc. Clover seamlessly syncs all sales data, taxes, and other financials for accounting with top packages like QuickBooks.
This takes the pain out of bookkeeping and gives you real-time visibility into the fiscal health of your business. Likewise, built-in integration with payroll leaders such as Paychex, Gusto, and ADP simplifies paying employees and filing taxes. When hiring staff, you can optionally connect with Indeed to source qualified candidates within Clover.
Easy Employee Management
Managing staff is effortless with Clover POS. It centralizes your entire workforce under one convenient dashboard. Here, you can create user profiles, set permissions, schedule shifts, and enforce business rules unique to each employee. The updates sync across all connected terminals as managers make changes in Clover. This keeps your staff on the same page regardless of location. The dashboard also provides sales performance tracking and reporting for each cashier. So, you gain insight into who your top performers are and where additional training may help. Automated inventory tracking further simplifies reconciling stock levels.
Overall, Clover gives convenience store owners robust employee controls typically found only in tier-one POS systems – all for an affordable price.
How much does Clover Cost?
The Clover point of sale system enables merchants to accept payments rapidly using chip card technology. Customers can enter their PIN or provide a signature to verify transactions, enhancing security. Clover POS allows businesses to accept major credit and debit cards in their stores or on mobile devices. It supports contactless payments through services like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Merchants can purchase Clover hardware directly or through approved resellers.
Best POS For Convenience Store: Conclusion
Convenience store owners have several robust POS systems to consider that can provide tremendous operational efficiencies:
KORONA POS delivers best-in-class compliance capabilities around age-restricted sales and top-notch inventory control. LS Retail excels at fuel and food management for large chains, while Square POS simplifies omnichannel selling for single-store owners. Clover makes loyalty programs turnkey alongside smoother, faster transactions.
Evaluating the standout qualities of each POS relative to your business’s current growth stage and future ambitions will illuminate the highest value choice. Optimizing convenience store operations with an integrated POS platform paves the way for enhanced customer experiences, insightful reporting, simplified accounting, and revenue growth.