4 Best Open Source POS Software for Small Businesses

Cody Cromwell
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How We Evaluated Open Source POS Systems

Most small business owners are self-employed or prefer working alone to minimize overhead.

Many small business owners choose to run their business out of their home, which raises important questions for any business owner: What programs will I need on my computer? What licenses will I need to operate my business?

For small business owners’ sensitive data and day-to-day operations, we set out to evaluate open source POS software for small businesses.

After analyzing a multitude of open source POS solutions, we selected four that we believe best meet the needs of small businesses.

We also evaluated the following key factors in determining the best software for small businesses:

  • Application Software (software needed for selling);
  • Integration with Hardware and Accounting Software;
  • Customer Features (POS and other features); and

Prioritized Support.

10% of Overall Score

Open source software is software developed and released in an accessible format so that users can modify, enhance, and extend it. The software is usually released as source code, rather than a binary by-product.

Open source software is free to download, use, copy, and modify. More importantly, it’s free to extend, add to and reconfigure. You don’t have to go through an application appraiser to meet working and safety conditions before using the software.

Open source software is written in an interpreted or compiled programming language. Different programming languages are used by various open source software. Since the language is interpreted or compiled, users can understand what the source code does. The source code is translated into machine code which may be proprietary. The program is often assembled either statically or dynamically.

Benefits of Open Source Software

Since open source software is free and programmer’s are actively managing and developing it, your program up-dates and improves quickly. The code is also reviewed by programmers in the community as the open source software is community based.

20% of Overall Score

Pros: Good looking interface, very intuitive, and well organized. Great corporate support and learning process for getting to know the software.

Cons: Not user friendly in terms of having add-ons installation and configuration.

This software is relatively new on the market. OpenERP is a family of business software, so its user interface resembles an open source version of Microsoft Office. The main benefits of the OpenERP platform are that it is affordable (it is free) and it is very intuitive.

As a small business owner, you have the option to choose whether you want to install the system or you can let the OpenERP system be installed by OpenERP. There are various add-ons that can be installed.

This software has a very well-organized menu bar and easy-to-find buttons.

30% of Overall Score

How well does it support Open Source projects and standards?

We were unable to find any information on the official website of the software itself. But based on user reviews and open source code contributions, the code does seem to be fairly well documented (see next question for more details).

We were unable to find any info on official website or developer’s website about their stance on open source issues or contributions. We tried to contact and reached out to the development team. However, we couldn’t get a response from them.

It’s further worsened when it comes to the open source code community. There’s only one active contributor (according to GitHub). That’s bad to hear. We’d like to see more developers getting involved to make an even better product.

However, there’s an active open source community that provides a wider range of services such as paid support or training. Their goal is to make it easy for other developers to contribute to the code base. The company also runs a community forum where users can ask questions or submit issues that have come up. The community also supports the code base by transferring their user ideas across.

20% of Overall Score

Pros: Good looking interface, very intuitive, and well organized. Great corporate support and learning process for getting to know the software.

Cons: Not user friendly in terms of having add-ons installation and configuration.

This software is relatively new on the market. OpenERP is a family of business software, so its user interface resembles an open source version of Microsoft Office. The main benefits of the OpenERP platform are that it is affordable (it is free) and it is very intuitive.

As a small business owner, you have the option to choose whether you want to install the system or you can let the OpenERP system be installed by OpenERP. There are various add-ons that can be installed.

This software has a very well-organized menu bar and easy-to-find buttons.

20% of Overall Score

Pros: Good looking interface, very intuitive, and well organized. Great corporate support and learning process for getting to know the software.

Cons: Not user friendly in terms of having add-ons installation and configuration.

This software is relatively new on the market. OpenERP is a family of business software, so its user interface resembles an open source version of Microsoft Office. The main benefits of the OpenERP platform are that it is affordable (it is free) and it is very intuitive.

As a small business owner, you have the option to choose whether you want to install the system or you can let the OpenERP system be installed by OpenERP. There are various add-ons that can be installed.

This software has a very well-organized menu bar and easy-to-find buttons.

Odoo

The Odoo Enterprise Open Source POS (Point of sale) system is an open source enterprise point of sale software and vendor management system, designed to be user-friendly and scalable for small-medium businesses, tailored to suit the needs of the merchants, distributors and distributors.

The Odoo POS system handles everything from shipment tracking, inventory management, customer relations management to point of sale services. All the steps mentioned above are performed within the ODOO point of sale system.

With more than 5000 open source integrations, the Odoo POS comes with a feature-rich module that allows linking to the various popular technical applications and web services. Other important features include shop management, e-commerce system, e-mailing, SMS marketing, payment gateway, social networks management, reviews, and online shops.

The Odoo POS system can also be integrated into mobile devices like tablets and smart phones.

Furthermore, the Odoo POS system is integrated with several merchant payment service providers, such as: Paypal, Payza, Cashila, Stripe, and multiple banks.

When compared with the other POS systems, the Odoo POS provides the most customizable options for businesses with multiple locations.

Odoo is designed from the ground and built for businesses. This means that business owners can set up new locations, add a variety of items to sell, and learn how to manage these items with ease.

PROS

If you’re looking for the best open source open source POS software for small businesses Nixpos and Maplepos are 2 open-source POS solutions you’ll hear mentioned.

And all this because they’re maintained by the same team.

CONS

POS systems generally run under Windows or MacOS and to install it you need to purchase the license. Having a POS software installed on your company’s computer requires you to pay a one time fee plus annual fee.

Odoo Pricing

Odoo’s pricing uses the per feature model. Each features has a price assigned to it, a classification is performed to identify the type of feature (non-optional, optional or not available) and, eventually, a price is associated to each type.

It’s quite complex to perform price calculation on a large scale of products with price variations and discounts applied on them.

More information can be found on the Odoo Forum.

Odoo Features

Odoo is an Open Source Open ERP Solution. Odoo is a complete and affordable Business Management system that includes all major components of the processes that a business is involved in such as Inventory, Order, Product, General Ledger, Business Planning, Time, etc. It can be used on one server or across multiple servers as required. The applications being developed for Odoo is in various domains such as Printing, Publishing, Manufacturing, Marketing, Accounting, etc.

Odoo has many features open source with advanced features that comes with paid versions which can be customized and configured according to the business requirements.

Odoo also allows users to create new applications by customizing and developing applications for small, medium and large enterprises.

Odoo has been developed as open source which enables it to be modified and extended without having restrictions that come with the purchase of a single software.

With Odoo, anything can be built upon, meaning enhancements can be made with very little time. All upgrades are free.

Major Features

  • Resource Planning
  • Materials Management
  • International
  • Revenue Accounting
  • Product Cataloging
  • Stock Control
  • Accounting Ledger
  • Applications

What Odoo is Missing

What I’m missing?

It is friendly, easy to use and clean UI and responsive design. Red pos needs to go and it should be replaced with an old school Green minimum.

Sellbar should be open source as a separate bar program in Odoo. Open source modules won’t have to wait to add support for barcode scanner, and developers will not have to pay for it.

It should be easy to install if you have a local server.

POS software must be able to look good at the size of a 2-size double A4 page. I’ve done a lookup on the 2-size paper size, it is quite similar to Averaging paper size.

There must be cell phone feature in POS system for vendors.

Tablet screen support in POS system is must: you should be able to make quick changes in the inventory in the queue by swiping the tablet.

POS system must have an integrated time clock. I am sure there is no way to make a time clock with no administrator in Odoo, for now at least.

Calculate costs of the order in the POS system at the time of completion.

Inventory management in the POS system should support the management of multiple currencies.

ORO POS

POS systems have made big strides in the last decade, but if you’re looking for a software solution that’s free and highly functional, you may have a hard time finding what you’re looking for. Enter Oro, a simple-to-use open source POS.

As with most open source software, Oro is free of charge. This means you can create and customize your own frontend without spending a dime, even if you decide to go freelance. Be aware, however, that you may want to hire a designer to make your store even more eye-catching.

The Oro platform uses a combination of operations and workflows to speed your operations and keep your staff comfortable. In addition, you can connect your existing frontend to the Oro backoffice in seven steps.

One of Oro’s best qualities is its security. Its POS features an anti-theft security system that’s ideal for small businesses that need to keep track of their valuable inventory. This system is more technical than others, so make sure you’re comfortable with it before you put it to use.

PROS

If you’re looking for the best open source open source POS software for small businesses Nixpos and Maplepos are 2 open-source POS solutions you’ll hear mentioned.

And all this because they’re maintained by the same team.

CONS

POS systems generally run under Windows or MacOS and to install it you need to purchase the license. Having a POS software installed on your company’s computer requires you to pay a one time fee plus annual fee.

ORO POS Pricing

How Much is Projected to Grow?

Oro Projected Growth Rate: Global : Small Business : POS : Market Prediction

The Analysis graphs are represented in PPP-based values so that any internal currency transactions can be converted.

CROWDSPRAYER

Crowdsprayer is a freeware that you can upload your business logo and storefront design online to sell products through Facebook, Twitter and Google+. It is an online shopping software that enables its users to manage an online business like a store virtually. Due to the fact that it is body and soul together, there is little chance that one is influenced by its predecessor. Although competitor might raise its price, you are not going to be restrained from making changes to it. It consumes a lot of space on your computer, but managing an online business can be made simple by this software. Therefore , it enhances its effectiveness.

ORO POS Features

Torcello ORO is a free and open source Point Of Sale (POS) system with features specifically tailored for small businesses. Torcello is built with simplicity and ease of use in mind, so you can focus on expanding and growing your business instead of getting bogged down in technical details. This means that if/when your business starts to grow you won’t have to switch software to keep up. Instead, Torcello’s flexibility will allow you to customize it to keep pace with your business needs.

The Open Source/Free and Open Source aspects of Torcello are what set it apart from competitors, so it’s important to understand the differences between the two.

Open Source projects are developed by a community. This means the core code itself is open for anyone to read and/or help to improve (as long as you adhere to the associated licensing). The rest of the software (the user interface, the look, etc.) defines the finished product, and this is open source too. Environments like Linux distribution can be considered Open Source because the code base that it is built upon is Open Source.

What ORO POS is Missing

The purpose of this chart is to place the various POS or Point of Sale solutions in a single picture. It does not compare features yet. This chart does not cover small businesses or startups as a lot of the POS systems are not yet available as an open source solution. Open source is a positive trend for the small business, but at this time there are still too many functions that you need to pay extra for. This chart will evolve as the individual technology gets better. Some of the options listed here are just hacking of the Larger companies commerical offerings so this chart is not a ranking of best POS systems. You'll find that some of the best POS solutions are in fact open source.

Loyverse

POS – Loyverse POS is a free and open source point of sale (POS) software that supports Bitcoin ecommerce transactions. Show your customers the Bitcoin value of their purchases in a user-friendly interface.

Payment does not need to come directly from a Bitcoin wallet or Bitcoin exchange. Both types of transactions are supported in this POS application.

Loyverse POS is a multi-currency point of sale solution. With this POS, you can setup your business to accept Bitcoin, Altcoins, USD and EUR.

Install the Application to the Server and Configure the Settings

It supports the following payment methods: Credit Cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, JCB Gift Cards

Using the Bitcoin Payment System

The above is only a part of a ecosystem of Open Source POS. You can vote up the POS DEV. Or donate to the DEVs passion.

Also you can use our promotional code (BZT) for 10% discount on your software.

PROS

If you’re looking for the best open source open source POS software for small businesses Nixpos and Maplepos are 2 open-source POS solutions you’ll hear mentioned.

And all this because they’re maintained by the same team.

CONS

POS systems generally run under Windows or MacOS and to install it you need to purchase the license. Having a POS software installed on your company’s computer requires you to pay a one time fee plus annual fee.

Loyverse Pricing

Loyverse is a Free Open Source Point of Sale Software which supports multiple currencies and has a touch of a price book as you can setup discounts during checkout process to attract customers. It has an App integration feature which comes with an iPhone app and a IOS app as well. Loyverse is available for Windows and Linux only.

In addition the App supports offline mode which stores the data on the device itself and you only need to connect it to the internet to sync the data to your webpage.

Loyverse has some other features like hot printing, inventory management, editing and adding sales invoices, managing the tax and accounting related stuff, various payment service options, integrating support plugin for PayPal business, support for VISA, Master Card, SOFORT online payment system, discounts, coupons and more.

Another feature I like about this software is that both backend and frontend is written in PHP therefore you can customize it to suit your business needs with no need for additional web designer.

Those are a few Free and Open Source Point of Sale Software you can use for your small business.

Loyverse Features

It has PDQ scan which is a nice feature for the small business owners. The users can get the full description of the product if the product is not in its database itself. This makes the PDQ very good for the small businesses. * It has several collections and it is up for sale under the CREATED tab. * The user can display various collection discounts under the collection discounts tab, this tab provides better look to the user as compared to the generic preview mode. * It has the product prices tab which gives a snapshot of the product price which is a nice variation with the Amazon. * It has the simple mode under the settings of the software which is a nice feature to go for if you surfers. * It is a nice software for the dealers but this software doesn’t seem to be good for the sellers. The sellers can’t use inventory splitting feature under Loyverse. The inventory splitting is the best feature of the online retailers to give discounts to the buyers at certain time.

Aditi Enterprise Solutions

Aditi Enterprise Solutions is a software company which is responsible for promoting and improving the presence of its customers in the market place by means of Application Software Development and other related services. We are committed to provide best and value added products and services with in the shortest time frames possible. Our clients are mostly Small Medium Businesses

What Loyverse is Missing

I got a call from a pizza place owner for his POS software. It seems that his restaurant has huge in influx in business and they need something fast and good for their business with great support.

His restaurant only has 4 tables, but business is really really good. The business has increased recently and he needs more accounting management.

Four tables might not sound like much, but I think we all know how a restaurant owner feels out of business. The entire business staff is working round the clock and the wait time for the customers is having a strain on the restaurant’s supply chain management.

The owner of the pizza restaurant is on the phone with a small business accountants to get advice on how to manage the restaurant’s business better.

POS software is a kind of ERP software that can help run a retail or service business like a very simple and easy to use PC operating system. POS is short for Point of Sale.

Let’s take a quick look at their POS requirements:

✓ POS Software for Pizza Shop While there provides a complex system package for restaurant, it is a bit large to put into a small bakery or restaurant. The system is also not designed to improve a new business and grow.

uniCenta

UnCenta’s Free cloud-based POS software gets the highest rating of any other POS system, with a 4.6 out of 5 star average rating. The customized unCenta software is designed to work on any hardware or laptop that suits your business, whether a small boutique shop, a mom and pop corner convenience store, or a corner grocery or deli.

UnCenta is available for free and includes the following:

Features of unCenta Free Cloud-Based POS Software

The products and services that you sell and the opportunity to accept credit and debit card payments have never been so easy. With unCenta Free retails over 3 million products and the support of over 40,000 POS systems, unCenta Free will help you offer your customers the same convenience through an attractive, point of sale system.

Being cloud-based POS allows you to access your system from any device, anywhere, anytime.

Features of a Free unCenta Cloud Based POS Software

Using traditional POS allows you to manage pricing and inventory levels, and you can do so with ease and speed. With unCenta Free, you can access your system from any device, anywhere, anytime. In addition, unCenta POS is free!

Accounts

Removing the cost of dedicated hardware and training personnel allowed unCenta to offer free service to its customers.

PROS

If you’re looking for the best open source open source POS software for small businesses Nixpos and Maplepos are 2 open-source POS solutions you’ll hear mentioned.

And all this because they’re maintained by the same team.

CONS

POS systems generally run under Windows or MacOS and to install it you need to purchase the license. Having a POS software installed on your company’s computer requires you to pay a one time fee plus annual fee.

uniCenta Pricing

What is uniCenta pricing?

UniCenta is a POS system with multiple options for pricing depending on the type of business you run. The base uniCenta is intended to be a match for many small businesses and features an unlimited number of user-created a la carte items, a 24/7 sales and service window, and an SMS/email communication system with a pull-tilt-release ("pTR") messaging system. The sales and service window is also interactive for salespeople and provides a smooth flow of sales transactions. Pricing for the uniCenta system varies based on the needs of the user and is customizable for different types of business.

Customers have the freedom to shop on the web, web-enabled Smart Phone (Android, iPhone, etc.), or from a proprietary POS Systems Application. uniCenta provides unique POS Solutions for small businesses.

UniCenta Pricing:

uniCenta Features

Additionally, uniCenta is a web-enabled POS system and supports a wide variety of mobile devices, providing you the ability to manage your business from virtually anywhere. uniCenta also has the ability to offer SMS and email notification to let you know when a transaction has been made, order data can be emailed to you, and the order can be placed online to your e-tailer or website.

uniCenta Features:

UniCenta is a service oriented, modular, open source POS system that is available on demand as a hosted service or as a pay-as-you-go solution. You can order online and receive POS software with receipt printer, sales commissions, employee time clock software and time clock.

The back-end benefits of the service are that your software is always up-to-date and critical systems are managed in-house.

UniCenta is built with a modular approach which means you can manage the system just as you want it. You don’t have to make any initial sacrifices when it comes to functionality.

With the system, you can store and display all of your data yourself, or you can choose from over a dozen i5800 or d5400 receipt printers and choose a roll printer just as you select the initial look.

The system has all of the features you need to process credit cards and quick-serve checks, handles store accounts and simple QPE. The solution supports standard POS programs from well-known manufacturers.

There are various modules available for the subject areas such as payroll, customer database, inventory, order and customer tracking and single order processing. You can simply select the modules you need.

The cloud-following system offers support for mobile payments, which means you can accept credit cards from mobile devices on the shop floor.

What uniCenta is Missing

From Being Python-Only and Which Features Would You Like to See (And Which Features Are there?)

I think that an important thing to keep in mind is the size of what uniCenta is trying to achieve. UniCenta has an amazing feature set for an open source system. For the most part, the current release is a very stable platform which has been used in production in my own business. We have been incredibly happy with the overall stability and flexibility. For some readers this might sound like a claim of greatness, but I feel it's important to assess something's strengths.

I have used a lot of other systems and nothing has come close to providing the level of integration that uniCenta provides. So what is lacking? There are some features which we hope to see developed or upgraded. Some of these things would make a great uniCenta 2.0. For example, integrating a spreadsheet and paginating thru 500 items at a time would be huge.

Here is a list of the main feature requests and some of the add-ons.

Favorite Feature/Change – Adding a database relational model to uniCenta's table ORM.

Groups – Currently there is a user group, but that's it. Other systems have done this with great potential. It would be great to have this.

Bottom Line

So which is the best Open Source POS software for Small Businesses?

So at the end of the day, the answer to the question "Which Open Source POS software is the best for small business?" is all of them.

One of the best things about Open Source POS software is that there are many options and you can easily change the hardware and software to meet your business’s needs, just as an IT department would. The whole POS industry is moving towards cloud-based platforms, so you can also switch to a cloud-based POS as well.

But which of the options listed above is THE best open source POS? The answer to that is simple… I think the best combination is MINT 16 and Zoho POS.

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