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One of the first movers in cloud-based POS software, Vend continues to be an affordable, but effective, sales solution
Vend is a cloud-based POS software and retail management platform designed for retailers of all sizes. Established in 2010, Vend was one of the first providers to offer a cloud-based POS solution.
Since then, Vend has gained some serious fans. It has grown to support over 20,000 retailers, including well-known brands like Disney, Sennheiser and Ecco. It’s also recommended by the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira). So, when Vend claims that retailers love their platform, they mean it.
As a cloud-based platform, Vend can be used to manage your shop from anywhere in the world; whether that’s in-store, online or from your phone on the beach! What’s more, as it’s on the cloud, Vend’s software is continually updated to add features and support for additional devices.
Vend’s core functionality is their flexible point of sale feature. Their solution runs on your existing hardware, supporting iPads, PCs, Macs and any device with a web browser. It also includes wide support for retail hardware, such as cash drawers, receipt printers and barcode scanners.
In addition to their POS functionality, you’ll find support for inventory management, customer loyalty schemes, eCommerce and much more – all at an affordable price, whether you’re a small retail business or a larger chain.
With all these features, you’ll need customer support to help you get the most from Vend. It’s clear they take this seriously – Vend boasts four Stevie Awards and has over 200 customer success experts based in Auckland, Toronto, London and Melbourne.
Vend offers businesses three pricing tiers, based on average monthly turnover
Vend POS software has three subscription options: Lite, Pro and Enterprise. All plans include 24/7 Phone & Online Support.
So which of these pricing structures is most suited to your retail business? Let’s break them down in detail…
Outlets and Registers
(or £59 billed monthly)
Less than £15k turnover per month
Additional registers for £39 p/month
(or £89 billed monthly)
Additional registers for £39 p/month
Additional registers on request
*Prices do not include hardware costs and payment fees.
Of course, sometimes a business will enjoy unprecedented success by exceeding average monthly turnover – and isn’t it great when you do?! With Vend, a store can smash its targets three months over a 12 month period, before having to upgrade to a Pro subscription.
Sounds good, but it’s worth trying before you buy – often Vend runs free full feature trials, so check for current promotions on their website before you put down your first payment.
This POS system operates entirely from a secure cloud infrastructure – so you can have multiple outlets, with mobile access from anywhere in the world
Vend is entirely cloud-based. All data is stored in the cloud, then accessed by a web browser or iPad application.
Plus, if your internet goes offline, the application will continue to work temporarily from a cache. Once the internet connection is recovered, Vend will automatically sync sales and inventory changes.
Vend is a POS system dedicated to retail businesses
In their words, Vend is “built for inventory-based retailers”. And this is true for retailers of any size; with support for unlimited inventory, unlimited revenue and an unlimited number of stores. With 20,000+ other retail customers – including household names such as Disney, Sennheiser and Ecco, as already mentioned – you can be assured that Vend will scale with your ambitions.
But service and other business should look elsewhere; you won’t find features such as table management here.
Are you a PC or Mac user? Either way, Vend is easy to integrate
Vend offers several packages with all the hardware required to run a retail outlet. They offer various bundles which work with your existing Mac, PC or iPad:
Vend also works with a wide range of standard POS hardware and might be compatible with what you already have. To check compatibility, see their list here.
Thanks to intuitive software – and a number of helpful ‘how to’ tutorials – Vend is simple to set up for new businesses. For the slightly trickier task of onboarding existing stores, Vend offers dedicated support staff worldwide
The complexity of setting up Vend depends upon whether your business is new or already established. For a new business:
For an established retail business with a large inventory or multiple outlets, you will need to create an export of your inventory and your customer database that Vend can import. This requires data processing and transformation, which can be quite complicated for advanced multi-variant inventories.
But help is at hand. To assist with this, Vend offer paid onboarding services either through their support team or through thousands of Vend experts located worldwide.
And if you need further reassurance, you can take some from Sennheiser who praised the speed of setup and efficiencies of using Vend as a master inventory system.
Vend’s easy payment experience, quick syncing online and effective, real-time inventory management capabilities result in stress-free daily use
In your shop, their cloud-based POS is fast, intuitive and works on iPads, Mac or PC. Installation takes a few minutes without the need for tech support or complicated training, then staff can login with permission restricted user accounts. Their POS software works great for your customers too, with an easy payment experience, digital receipts and support for a wide range of payment methods.
If you sell products online, Vend connects to leading eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento or BigCommerce. Just set and forget – Vend keeps everything in sync and orders fulfilled.
Shopify users should note that Vend can have issues when handling large amounts of inventory changes, as Shopify imposes a rate limit on how many changes can be made automatically in a short time period. Sadly, this is an issue for all retailers using external solutions to manage Shopify inventory.
In the back-office, you’ll find flexible reporting features in the ‘Retail Dashboard’. This has the ability to build custom reports and filter data by virtually any criteria, including sales by a staff member, by location or even by product across all your outlets.
Inventory management is also simple, provided your inventory is organised appropriately, with variants with unique SKUs. Once configured, Vend automatically manages your inventory across multiple locations and channels in real-time, keeping orders and inventory amounts in sync.
Vend’s wide range of features are designed to provide everything you need to run a retail store
Note: these features are not available on the ‘Lite’ plan, they require the ‘Pro’ plan or above
If you’re looking for extra support in your retail business, Vend has a menu of integrations and add-ons, from finances to customer insight and staff scheduling
Balancing the books is a necessary part of running a business – but it’s also the job that many entrepreneurs dislike the most! So Vend helps automate accountancy reporting, saving hours of data collection and processing. It connects to Xero and QuickBooks Online, with spreadsheet exports being available for other platforms.
Once Xero is connected, Vend will automatically update daily sales, account sales, payment totals, and stock orders. This allows retailers and accountants to reconcile deposits in a bank account with sales totals from Vend. You can also match stock orders against bank withdrawals.
For QuickBooks, Vend automatically sends end-of-day register closures to QuickBooks Online.
Great businesses know their customers. And Vend can be used to automatically capture customer data at the point of sale, to create customer profiles. These can be exported to platforms such as MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, GetResponse, iContact, or AWeber.
You don’t need to change your current eCommerce provider, to start using Vend. Vend connects to all leading eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento or BigCommerce.
Vend connects to iZettle, Stripe, Square and PayPal instantly and can work with your existing payment processors. The POS solution also works with NFC payments, such as Apple Pay. Thanks to its custom payment option, you can also complete sales manually and take a card payments externally with your existing system.
For the bravest geeks among us, Vend can be connected with other software via a well-documented API.
Vend has overwhelmingly positive reviews (4.5/5) on independent review website Capterra.
James D, a retail shop owner focused on their offline feature and ease of training, saying “[we] love using Vend. Its simplicity allows for quick training of new employees of all technological experience. However, the best feature is the ability to use it during an internet outage. We had this happen a few times where the internet went out.”
Over on Trustpilot, the majority of reviewers credit Vend for its impressive customer service. As Keith M says: “The software is easy to use and the support second to none.”
But, of course, no POS system is perfect; some Vend users highlight issues with data entry and inventory management. For example: Tony D, a retail operations manager, praised Vend for its extensive feature set but criticised the inventory management and limited export functionality. Similarly, Jeff P said his business’s inventory migration had proved to be “nothing but a disaster.”
The bottom line?
Every POS solution will have its advantages and limitations. At least Vend offers around-the-clock customer service to troubleshoot any issues you may encounter…
Vend offers a wide range of impressive free resources to answer the most common questions, including an online knowledgebase, video tutorials and a training programme called Vend University.
On top of this, phone calls and email support is included with all plans, with priority phone support available for an additional fee. Note, though, that phone calls on non-priority plans must be scheduled due to high volume.
For more advanced help, such as training, data importing and setup assistance, Vend offers paid assistance and has a global network of independent Vend experts.
Vend’s overall rating: 9/10
If you are a retailer with a single outlet, Vend is a feature-rich platform for modern retail. It includes inventory, staff and customer management tools and does not have any limits on products, users or support.
Vend truly excels when you are a brick-and-mortar retailer with multiple outlets or an eCommerce presence. Their reporting, inventory synchronisation and customer management tools reduce the complexity of running multiple channels considerably, allowing you to focus on growing your business.
If you are not a retail business or have service components in your retail business, we’d recommend looking elsewhere. Vend is specialised and focused on retail, with no features for service businesses.
But if you’re a retailer with multiple locations or online ambitions, Vend is a must-have.