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7 Best POS Systems For Liquor Stores In 2023 & How To Choose The POS System That Works For Your Business

These liquor store-focused POS systems not only meet your point of sale needs but also provide the tools to help you take your business to the next level.

    Nicolette Kier
  • UPDATED

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.
winery pos systems

POS systems for liquor stores allow liquor store business owners to take sales, manage bottle inventory, and have age verification tools at the register. The best liquor store POS systems also offer online ordering, a loyalty program, loss prevention tools, and tools to bring in more revenue, like a bottle subscription club and event ticket sales.

We reviewed 15 retail POS systems based on pricing, inventory management tools, and liquor store-specific features to help you find the best POS system for your liquor store.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext StepsSummary
Lightspeed Retail POS

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  • Built-in loyalty program, B2B customer sales, event management for catering/event rentals
  • $89+/month ($69+/month with annual billing)
  • Free 14-day trial
  • Built-in loyalty program, B2B customer sales, event management for catering/event rentals
  • $89+/month ($69+/month with annual billing)
  • Free 14-day trial

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Square For Retail

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  • Free POS system, free online ordering website, affordable POS hardware
  • $0/month-$60/month/location
  • Free plan; 30-day free trial on paid plans
  • Free POS system, free online ordering website, affordable POS hardware
  • $0/month-$60/month/location
  • Free plan; 30-day free trial on paid plans

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Revel POS Systems

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  • Retail and food service capabilities, excellent multilocation management, completely customizable software
  • $198+/month
  • Standard three-year contract
  • Retail and food service capabilities, excellent multilocation management, completely customizable software
  • $198+/month
  • Standard three-year contract

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KORONA POS

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  • Unlimited free trial, good employee user restrictions and reports, automated purchase ordering
  • $59+/month
  • Monthly and annual agreements
  • Unlimited free trial, good employee user restrictions and reports, automated purchase ordering
  • $59+/month
  • Monthly and annual agreements

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Shopify POS

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  • Best for fulfilling online orders
  • $29+/month
  • Payment processing at 2.4%-2.9%
  • Best for fulfilling online orders
  • $29+/month
  • Payment processing at 2.4%-2.9%

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IT Retail

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  • Built-in ID verification, EBT/WIC certified POS, weighted item and fresh food sales
  • $149+/terminal/month
  • Custom contracts
  • Built-in ID verification, EBT/WIC certified POS, weighted item and fresh food sales
  • $149+/terminal/month
  • Custom contracts

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POS Nation

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  • Lottery sales, cigarette/vape sales, integrated ID scanners and security camera
  • $99+/terminal/month
  • Custom hardware and software contracts
  • Lottery sales, cigarette/vape sales, integrated ID scanners and security camera
  • $99+/terminal/month
  • Custom hardware and software contracts

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Show Fewer Options

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Table of Contents

7 Best POS Systems For Liquor Stores

The best liquor store POS systems have great stock, vendor, and purchase order management features. They help you reduce shrinkage, have good payment processing options, and allow online liquor sales. Lightspeed, Square, Revel, IT Retail, Korona, Shopify, and POS Nation are all great options.

1. Lightspeed Retail: Best For High-End Liquor Stores

Lightspeed Retail POS


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Pricing

Starts at $89/month ($69/month billed annually)

Contract

None

Equipment Cost

Contact Lightspeed for a quote

Pros

  • Highly customizable loyalty program available
  • Appointment booking for tastings and catering
  • B2B customer accounts, quotes, and invoices
  • Excellent inventory management

Cons

  • Add-ons are pricey
  • Must use Lightspeed payment processor
  • Early termination fee

Lightspeed Retail liquor store POS system

Lightspeed Retail liquor bottle purchase order captured on 3/13/2023.

Why We Chose Lightspeed Retail POS System For Liquor Stores

We appreciate how customizable Lightspeed’s inventory and vendor management system is, as well as the numerous add-ons to give liquor stores the extra revenue sources that high-end liquor stores can offer.

With Lightspeed Retail, it’s easy to automatically track large amounts of inventory, set automated purchase ordering rules such as reordering points and desired inventory levels, and generate inventory matrices to manage multiple bottles that come from a single brand. It’s also easy to offer quotes for special catering orders, create liquor bottle catalogs and customer accounts for B2B clients, and offer bottle shipping and local delivery.

Lightspeed works especially well for high-end liquor stores that want to hold in-store events, start a wine subscription club, host private parties and tastings, start a custom loyalty program, offer custom ordering and drink pairings, and more. This system is elegantly designed for liquor stores at a relatively affordable price.

Note: Lightspeed Retail offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card required.

Lightspeed Retail Pricing

Lightspeed Retail POS Plans Price  When To Use
Lightspeed Retail POS Lean $89/month ($69/month billed annually) For mid- to large-sized businesses that want a POS with retail-specific features
Lightspeed Retail POS Standard $149/month ($119/month billed annually) For businesses that want a POS with retail-specific features plus accounting integration & eCommerce
Lightspeed Retail POS Advanced $269/month ($199/month billed annually) For businesses that want a POS with retail-specific features, accounting integration, eCommerce, & loyalty

The above plans only include one POS register. Extra POS register software costs $59/register/month.

Many of Lightspeed’s best features, such as Lightspeed Subscriptions and appointment booking, cost an extra monthly fee.

Lightspeed Retail Liquor Store POS System Features

Lightspeed Retail POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling Standard plan & up
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty Advanced plan
Marketing Tools Standard plan & up
Online Ordering Standard plan & up
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Lightspeed Retail’s excellent bottle inventory management features include the ability to:

  • Quickly add and edit item catalogs from vendors
  • Create master purchase orders to mass order from different brands all at once
  • Set automated reordering points, using inventory reports to create a par level and designate ideal reordering quantities
  • Allow customers to backorder items and get alerts when favorited items are back in stock
  • Integrate your Lightspeed Retail bottle inventory with a bottle deposit integration to get refunds on empty bottles

High-end liquor stores that sell limited edition bottles, want to sell to B2B customers such as restaurants or event venues, or want to get into catering themselves will appreciate Lightspeed’s special ordering and appointment booking features.

You can create B2B catalogs, allow customers to log into accounts to get special bulk pricing, generate quotes that convert to order invoices, and allow customers to book appointments.

Lightspeed Retail POS systems for liquor stores

Lightspeed Retail wine order quote for B2B restaurant customer captured on 3/13/2023.

Appointments can be used to schedule private tastings, discuss catering plans, and even rent out your location as a tasting or party venue. In fact, Lightspeed’s appointment and event management capabilities is what makes Lightspeed one of the best wine POS systems on the market.

Last, we must mention Lightspeed’s online ordering capabilities. You can build custom bottle club subscriptions using Lightspeed Subscriptions, and sell online using Lightspeed eCommerce. Allow people to order for in-store pickup, ship items with custom shipping methods, and integrate your POS system with Drizly, one of the best third-party delivery services, to get more online exposure in your local area.

Hardware Cost & Options

Lightspeed Retail POS hardware

Lightspeed Retail POS register, Bluetooth barcode scanner, and online storefront.

You can use Lightspeed Retail software on an iPad that runs iOS 14.5 or higher and with a Windows computer. If you use Lightspeed Payments, Lightspeed will provide you with a card reader. Otherwise, you can source one on your own from a Lightspeed-compatible payment processor.

To get pricing for a Lightspeed hardware kit, you need to reach out to Lightspeed for a custom quote.

Note: Lightspeed Retail now requires all new and existing qualified merchants using Lightspeed Retail in the US and Canada to sign up for Lightspeed Payments, Lightspeed’s payment processor. If you currently use a card reader from a third-party payment processor, you can’t use it anymore. Since you can’t use any existing payment terminals (card readers) with Lightspeed Payments, Lightspeed is currently running a free terminal replacement promotion for eligible merchants that includes two free Lightspeed POS terminals (card readers) per qualified merchant.

Eligible merchants include business owners that process a minimum of $100/day in credit card payments, as measured by a monthly average. Apple products are not included in this promotion, so you’ll still need to source an iPad to take sales.

Payment Processing Costs

All new and existing merchant have to use Lightspeed’s built-in payment processor, Lightspeed Payments, which charges a flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 for in-person transactions and 2.9% + $0.30 for online transactions.

Note: Lightspeed will buy out payment processing contracts, paying off merchants’ early cancellation fees if you process a minimum of $25,000 in card sales and then submit documentation of your previous payment processing contract that states your early termination fee within six months of meeting this minimum processing amount.

It’s important to note that the “paying off” comes in the form of discounted payment processing fees, not a chunk of cash that goes towards your termination fees when you decide to switch to Lightspeed Payments.

If you are a current Lightspeed user and don’t apply for Lightspeed Payments within 30 days of receiving a notification email, you’ll be charged a fee between $200 and $1,120 per month until you do sign up for Lightspeed Payments.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Lightspeed offers month-to-month contracts and annual contracts.

We always recommend starting with monthly plans until you decide you’re completely satisfied with your purchase since many POS providers (including Lightspeed) charge an early termination fee if you cancel your plan early. Lightspeed’s early termination fees can get pretty substantial depending on the length of your subscription.

Like many other software providers, Lightspeed will automatically charge you for another subscription term unless you inform a Lightspeed representative within 90 days (for those with a longer contract) or 30 days (for those who signed up for a monthly plan) of your renewal date.

To qualify for Lightspeed’s 30-day hardware warranty (14 days for Apple products), you must verify that you have received your Lightspeed hardware purchase within five business days of receiving it.

Get Started With Lightspeed Retail POS

Read our in-depth review

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2. Square For Retail: Best Free Liquor Store POS

Square For Retail


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Pricing

$0-$60/month

Contract

None

Equipment Cost

$0-$799/month

Get a free card swiper from Square at no cost when you create a free account. Claim your card reader.

Pros

  • Free in-person selling on unlimited POS devices
  • Free online ordering website
  • Pickup and delivery options are available
  • Free subscription membership setup

Cons

  • No built-in ID scanning
  • Inventory limitations

Square POS system for liquor stores

Square Online free liquor store online ordering website captured on 3/13/2023.

Why We Chose Square For Retail POS System For Liquor Stores

We love how accessible the Square for Retail app is in terms of price and user experience. Small liquor store owners can start selling their products online and in person with almost no upfront investment. Customers can pick up their online orders in-store at a designated time, or you can offer delivery (even if you don’t have the staff for in-house delivery.)

All kinds of revenue-generating ideas, from hosting paint and sip painting classes to starting a wine club to offering catering options, can become a reality with Square. You can do it all without spending a penny.

You also have customer engagement options on the free plan, including sales, discounts, gift card offers, and social media advertising through Square’s numerous social media integrations.

Square’s free plan may not work for the level of inventory or the number of vendors you work with. At some point, you may need to upgrade to Square For Retail Plus, which is also very affordable.

Note: Square for Retail is free to sign up for. There is a free 30-day trial available on Square for Retail Plus plans.

Square For Retail Pricing

Square For Retail Plans Price  When To Use
Free Plan $0/month (2.6% + $0.10 processing fees) You have a retail store with basic inventory and reporting needs
Pro Plan $60/month (2.5% + $0.10 processing fees) You have a small to mid-sized retail establishment with advanced back-end needs
Premium Plan Custom pricing (2.5% + $0.10 processing fees) You sell more than $250,000 a year

Square’s free plan is only available (and only advisable) for retailers with one location. You may use an unlimited number of POS devices in any one location.

Most of the features that liquor stores with a substantial amount of stock need, such as bulk importing items and vendor management, are only available on the Square for Retail Plus plan.

Square also offers add-ons such as:

  • Square Loyalty: $45+/month; offer a points-based reward program to your repeat customers
  • Square Marketing: $15+/month; send automated email and text campaigns about upcoming specials, member opportunities, new releases, and more

Square For Retail Liquor Store POS System Features

Square For Retail Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards Add-on
Customer Loyalty Add-on
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Square For Retail’s most unique feature is it’s completely free online ordering site builder, which allows you to:

  • Create your own branded website using an intuitive website builder
  • Set up an age verification popup on your website
  • Offer online ordering for pickup, local delivery, and shipping
  • Place request forms to take catering orders, get details about a special event customers want alcohol for, or just request a special bottle to your store
  • Offer wine club memberships with varying tiers and payment terms
  • Create events and sell tickets online

Square liquor store POS system

Square POS catering request form on liquor store online ordering website captured on 3/13/2023.

If you don’t have the staffing to deliver alcohol, Square integrates with DoorDash, so you can always offer delivery on demand.

Prospective customers will be able to find your product listings when they search for local liquor store listings with the Google Local Product Listings integration, which will drive more traffic to your store without you having to spend any money on advertising.

Hardware Cost & Options

Square POS hardware

Square POS register and customer-facing display.

The only hardware you absolutely need to use Square for Retail is an iPad or iPhone and a $49 Square contactless card reader. However, most liquor store businesses will want a countertop setup that includes a Square Register or Square Stand and peripheral equipment, such as a barcode scanner and cash register.

Square hardware kits start at $659 for Square Stand kits, which include a Square iPad stand with an integrated card reader, a cash drawer, a receipt printer, and printer paper.

You may also purchase a Square Register kit, which includes Square’s proprietary register device with a second screen that acts as a customer-facing display, cash drawer, receipt printer, and printer paper, for $1,479.

Payment Processing Costs

You cannot use an outside payment processor with Square for Retail.

On the free version of Square for Retail, Square Payments charges a flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 for in-person transactions. On the paid version, Square charges 2.5% + $0.10.

Square charges a payment processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 for online orders, no matter which subscription plan you enroll in.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Square for Retail contracts are month-to-month, and you can cancel at any time without consequences.

The only caveat is that since Square is a payment service provider (PSP) rather than a dedicated merchant account provider, the security algorithm is more sensitive; large or suspicious purchases can sometimes trigger a flag on your account (warranted or not). However, most merchants do not experience this problem with Square.

Get Started With Square For Retail

Read our in-depth review

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3. Revel Systems: Best For Multilocation Stores & Franchises

Revel POS Systems


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Pricing

$99/month

Contract

Three-year commitment for lowest rate

Equipment Cost

$20-$1,500

Pros

  • Retail and restaurant features
  • Strong offline mode
  • Highly customizable system
  • Great multilocation inventory management

Cons

  • Long-term contract
  • Early termination fee
  • No built-in ID scanner

Revel Systems stock transfer between locations.

Revel Systems stock transfer between store locations captured on 3/13/2023.

Why We Chose Revel Systems POS System For Liquor Stores

We love how liquor store owners can do almost anything with Revel Systems software. Whether you want to operate multiple locations, franchise your existing liquor store, become an alcohol caterer or consultant, become a featured vendor at a special event in your city, start your own subscription program, or even turn part of your retail store into a restaurant, you can do it with Revel.

Revel has limitless potential but doesn’t make the day-to-day operations too complicated. The POS register interface is easy for employees to use, and the online ordering page is easy to navigate. You can restrict inventory changes so that only certain employees can update stock levels and vendor information.

This system is not a light investment, but it may just be the right investment for many liquor store owners to take their business to the next level.

Note: Revel does not offer a free trial, but you can sign up for a free guided demo. Ask lots of questions during the demo to get a sense of the system.

Revel Systems Pricing

Revel POS Systems Plans Price  When To Use
Revel plan $99/month with three-year commitment Use if you are committed to the product and have a need for high-end features.

The advertised pricing has a two-terminal minimum, meaning that the lowest you can pay for this system is $198/month. This price is also only available for business owners who agree to Revel’s standard three-year contract and use of Revel’s in-house payment processor.

However, many of Revel’s best features, including its online ordering features and delivery management, require an extra monthly subscription.

There’s also a mandatory one-time $674 implementation fee, which covers your Revel software setup and personalized training.

Revel Systems Liquor Store POS System Features

Revel POS Systems Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Revel has a retail and a restaurant POS system rolled into one software package, so you can sell anything from fresh snacks to entire made-to-order meals along with alcohol. Revel also has a built-in online ordering and delivery system, a catering management system, and a strong offline mode, so you can cater events or sell on-location at vendor events.

Revel has made handling inventory at multiple locations as smooth as possible by including stock transfers between locations, price adjustments based on locations, different low-stock alerts for items in different locations, and preferred vendors depending on each store’s location. You can also change the percentage markup for an individual item or a group of items if you want as a simple way to update your profit margins.

Plus, Revel has created a unique establishment hierarchy tree for franchise owners to manage different locations, accept royalty payments from franchisees, and restrict franchise manager settings so that they can manipulate the POS at their individual location but not on a company-wide level.

Revel Systems POS system for liquor store

Revel Systems multilocation management settings captured on 3/13/2023.

There are great security features available within the Revel ecosystem, including blind stock takes and till counts so that you can see discrepancies, extensive employee permission settings, and even security camera integrations, so you can have an eye on all locations from one centralized area.

Hardware Cost & Options

Revel Systems POS register

Revel Systems POS register, customer-facing display, receipt printer, and card reader.

All prospective Revel users must get a hardware quote from a Revel representative. You may then purchase hardware directly from Revel or get permission from Revel in writing to purchase specific hardware on your own.

All Revel software, including POS systems, self-serve kiosks, and kitchen display systems, run on iPads or proprietary hardware from providers like Epson.

Payment Processing Costs

Revel offers its own in-house payment processor, Revel Advantage. Revel will ask for information related to your time in business, average transaction size, and sales volumes and then give you a custom quote.

You may also work with a third-party payment processor, such as Tyro, Moneris, or Adyen, although Revel may charge an added monthly fee if you do.

Again, an added recurring fee may be worth it if a third-party payment processor can offer a much lower rate than Revel (and Revel doesn’t agree to match a better offer).

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Revel’s standard contract length is three years, but we always recommend negotiating a month-to-month contract to start with whenever possible.

This is especially true when it comes to Revel Systems, which has an early termination fee of twice the monthly amount you would have paid over the rest of your contract term, or $15,000, whichever is greater.

Contracts are automatically renewed yearly after your initial contract, but you can cancel it by giving a Revel representative at least a 30-day notice.

Revel is a great POS system, but you should be really sure about this software before committing to it long-term.

Get Started With Revel POS Systems

Read our in-depth review

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4. Korona POS: Best Loss Prevention Features

KORONA POS


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Pros

  • Automated inventory audits and reordering
  • Low price point
  • Several theft prevention measures
  • Choice of payment processor and hardware

Cons

  • No integrated security camera
  • Important features missing from lower-tier packages

KORONA POS system for liquor stores

KORONA POS liquor store employee user role captured on 3/13/2023.

Why We Chose KORONA POS System For Liquor Stores

We like that KORONA offers several liquor store-specific inventory functions and third-party integrations, but its real selling point is the loss prevention features available.

Liquor store owners won’t have to worry about theft because they’ll be able to quickly weed out any employees that are stealing at the register or from the shelves. They also won’t have to worry about loss in terms of overstock or spoilage since KORONA provides inventory alerts and inventory level optimization recommendations. You can also automatically generate reports on inventory performance so that you know what to order (and what to cut from your automated reordering cycle).

KORONA also offers a lot of freedom in terms of payment processors and hardware compatibility, which is rare among the liquor store and convenience store-specific POS options on this list.

Note: KORONA offers an unlimited free trial for you to explore all KORONA has to offer at your own pace before committing to a paid subscription.

KORONA Pricing

KORONA offers plans ranging from $59/month to $89/month and a quote-based enterprise plan for large businesses. This pricing is month-to-month, but you’ll get one free month if you choose annual billing.

Liquor store owners will need to sign up for at least the $69/month Advanced plan to get necessary inventory management features and the $89/month Plus plan for franchising capabilities.

Note: You get one month free if you pay for a year in advance.

KORONA Liquor Store POS System Features

KORONA is a versatile POS system with excellent retail features. It’s best for businesses that may experience an excess of theft and businesses that are interested in franchising since KORONA has franchising capabilities on its higher-tier plans.

Register features include ID scanner prompts, an integrated ID scanner, the ability to pause transactions, transaction monitoring, and detailed cashier reports. You can integrate KORONA with a liquor store-specific loyalty program, and customers can redeem them at checkout.

You can reduce theft at the register with loss prevention measures, such as forced drawer closing, price change restrictions, blind till counts, manager override requirements, and easy inventory audits.

KORONA POS system for liquor stores

KORONA POS liquor store register manager functions captured on 3/13/2023.

KORONA offers a smartphone-based inventory scanner app to perform physical inventory counts without purchasing additional hardware. You’ll get overstock, low-stock, and slow-moving stock alerts so that you can optimize your ordering practices. Set ideal stock levels for automated reordering and even monitor where shipments are in the delivery process. Employees can receive orders in the back office dashboard, at the register, or on the smartphone-based app.

An eCommerce store builder is available on all KORONA plans. Your website includes an online age verification function, preordering capabilities, custom shipping settings, and multistore support.

Hardware Cost & Options

korona liquor pos

KORONA POS register, barcode scanner, and receipt printer.

KORONA doesn’t list hardware pricing on its website but mentions that its software works on most desktops and tablets.

You can integrate your POS with card readers from Verifone, PAX, Genius, and Econduit. Epson and ESC/POS are common receipt printers that integrate with KORONA. You can add just about any cash drawer or barcode scanner to your setup.

KORONA states that it offers hardware leases and financing, but you can make your own setup if it costs less.

Payment Processing Costs

KORONA doesn’t include in-house processing, but it integrates with several processors, including Merchant Warehouse and Merchant Payment Systems, as well as various others using Genius and PAX payment terminals.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

KORONA contracts are month-to-month, with the option to pay for a year in advance to get a month for free. However, if you agree to a hardware lease through KORONA, make sure you read the fine print since leases can cost you a lot of money over the years (and we generally don’t recommend them).

Get Started With KORONA POS

Read our in-depth review

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5. Shopify POS: Best For Online Sales

Shopify POS


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Pricing

Starts at $29/month

Contract

None

Equipment Cost

$0-$500+

Pros

  • National order shipping (where legal)
  • ID scanner integration
  • Several inventory software integrations
  • Transparent pricing structure

Cons

  • Weak offline mode
  • Add-ons can get pricey
  • No third-party delivery app integrations

Shopify wine & liquor pos

Shopify POS liquor store inventory.

Why We Chose Shopify POS System For Liquor Stores

We’re big fans of the fact that Shopify seamlessly connects your online and offline sales and how advanced Shopify’s shipping features are. With easy inventory management, shipping functionalities, multichannel sales options, and the ability to buy online for local pickup or delivery, Shopify is a strong choice for liquor stores that have created specialty products and want to sell nationwide (where legal, that is).

Plus, Shopify’s POS works on mobile devices, which means you can sell bottles at local events, and your inventory will automatically sync across sales channels.

Features not built into the Shopify platform, such as ID verification (online and in-person) or third-party delivery services, can be found via an app on the Shopify app store. You can even integrate your Shopify eCommerce store with another POS software if you decide on a different in-person sales solution.

Note: Shopify offers a free 14-day trial; no credit card is required.

Shopify Pricing

Shopify POS Plans Price  When To Use
Basic $39/month ($29/month billed annually) If you have a growing eCommerce business with occasional in-person sales
Shopify $105/month ($79/month billed annually) If you want additional reporting and reduced payment processing fees
Advanced $399/month ($299/month billed annually) If you want advanced reporting and additional discounts on processing fees
Shopify Plus $2,000+/month If your high-volume or large business needs an enterprise-level solution

You can choose to upgrade to the Shopify Pro POS plan, priced at $89/month/location. Shopify Pro offers more thorough inventory management, more employee permissions at the register, and an unlimited number of staff.

Shopify Liquor Store POS System Features

Shopify POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support Supports multiple inventory locations
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Shopify is a company primarily known for its stellar eCommerce sales software but has built an in-person sales app into its core product offering. Businesses that are interested in starting a nationwide wine and spirits club, selling specialty items around the country, distributing alcohol online to restaurants and bars, or performing any other online sales (where legal) can benefit from Shopify’s multichannel selling features.

Shopify’s online selling features start with a great website builder that has lots of themes for small catalogs, large catalogs, and wholesale, plus an age verification popup, customer accounts, and promotions. Shopify’s admin dashboard includes a shipping suite full of tools to make shipping locally and nationwide (where legal) simple, automatically synced inventory, so you never sell what you don’t have, the ability to print shipping labels, and shipping discounts with major postal carriers.

Shopify POS system for liquor stores

Shopify online liquor store template updated on 3/13/2023.

Offline sales features include several ID verification scanner apps available, employee permissions, a mobile smartphone-enabled POS app, and the ability to build custom inventory management flows. Local shoppers can buy online and pick up in-store or buy in-store for local delivery.

Many important inventory management features for liquor store owners are not built into the Shopify platform. However, you can get almost any specific feature you need in the form of an app from the Shopify app store. There are apps for purchase ordering, B2B sales, managing alcohol taxes, and building retail catalogs (including a wine-specific catalog-building app), among the thousands of apps available for all sorts of functions.

Hardware Cost & Options

Shopify POS hardware

Shopify POS register stand with card reader.

Shopify can run on iOS or Android POS hardware, but iPad is recommended for the best experience (some features are missing from the Android version of the app). Shopify sells card readers, POS components, and all-in-one hardware kits on its website, with pricing starting at $49 for a Shopify contactless card reader.

Read our Shopify POS hardware guide for specifics on different hardware features and pricing (there are too many options to fit them all here!).

Payment Processing Costs

Shopify payment processing ranges from 2.4% to 2.7% for in-person transactions, depending on which monthly plan you subscribe to. Online payments range from 2.4% to 2.9% (plus a $0.30 flat fee) per transaction.

You can also integrate an outside payment processor, though Shopify will charge a transaction fee ranging from 0.5% to 2%. That extra transaction fee may be worth it if you can get a good payment processing rate with a merchant services provider.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Shopify plans are month-to-month, with no hidden fees or obligations. However, Shopify does offer a 25% discount on annual plans.

One thing to be aware of is that, like Square, Shopify Payments (powered by Stripe) is a payment service provider, not a merchant services provider, so you won’t get a dedicated merchant account. This type of payment processing model can lead to account stability problems for some merchants.

Get Started With Shopify POS

Read our in-depth review

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6. IT Retail: Best For Grocery Stores & Markets

IT Retail


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Pros

  • Extensive inventory management
  • Built-in ID scanner
  • Excellent security at register and receiving areas
  • EBT, WIC, weighted item, fresh food sales capable

Cons

  • Pricing is not transparent
  • Must purchase proprietary hardware

IT Retail POS system for liquor stores

IT Retail beer bottle inventory management captured on 3/13/2023.

Why We Chose IT Retail POS System For Liquor Stores

Many grocery stores and markets start with their retail offering and possibly a small café and may not have considered adding a liquor store component. Other prospective liquor store owners see themselves selling an entire line of retail items or selling food in addition to liquor.

We love IT Retail’s focus on providing all the software features and sturdy hardware that a hybrid business needs to organize inventory, create a fast checkout experience, monitor employee activity, and even start a little prepared foods area all under one roof. It’s also a scalable option, so if you open more locations or checkout lanes, you won’t need to switch to a new system or make any major back-end modifications.

IT Retail also allows you to build a custom loyalty points program and associate customers to their loyalty accounts with a loyalty card and phone number. Before customers complete their payment, cashiers are prompted to ask customers if they want to use their points, so customers won’t forget their points exist.

Note: IT Retail does not offer a free trial. You may sign up for a free demo.

IT Retail Pricing

IT Retail has a “build and price” page that allows you to get a free quote on a hardware/software plan (for one market) based on the number of lanes you want to put in your store and the kind of hardware you want to add onto your basic IT Retail proprietary hardware setup. You don’t have to contact anyone for a quote — quotes are automatically generated and emailed to you.

The company also offers the following prebuilt packages (only available for businesses with one location):

  • Flex Monthly: $149/month/terminal (pay monthly for your POS software and hardware)
  • Freedom Standard: $1,499/terminal (one-time hardware fee) plus $99/month (software fees)
  • Freedom Premium: $1,999/terminal (one-time hardware fee) plus monthly software fee

The above packages require you to use IT Retail’s in-house payment processor.

IT Retail Liquor Store POS System Features

IT Retail is one of the best grocery store POS systems that has also been adapted for general retail and foodservice establishments. This is why, in addition to liquor sales, you can sell EBT/WIC-eligible items, weighted items such as produce or fresh salad from a salad bar, and made-to-order meals.

IT retail liquor store POS system

IT Retail grocery and liquor store cash register user interface captured on 3/13/2023.

IT Retail will require ID verification when they scan an age-restricted item such as a bottle of wine or six-pack of beer, which allows them to scan a mix of products in one order while maintaining ID verification laws. If a customer doesn’t have their ID on them, cashiers can suspend orders and take other patrons while waiting on the ID.

There are thorough inventory management features, including case breakdowns, automated purchase ordering, expected versus actually received stock, and blind stock counts. It’s easy to create preplanned price changes, use one-click percentage markup adjustments, make pricing adjustments by vendors (handy for when vendors change prices on multiple items), and use shrinkage management features. Stores that offer multiple types of items can specify which items require an ID when creating or updating an item.

This system also has great security features. The POS itself scans through every transaction and flags any suspicious activity. There’s also an electronic diary of all customer transactions, so it’s easy to monitor employee and customer activity. Plus, IT Retail integrates with Remote Eyes, a security system that can monitor the register, receiving areas, and more.

Hardware Cost & Options

IT Retail POS hardware

IT Retail POS register with integrated weight scale, receipt printer, and card reader.

You may pay for your hardware on a monthly basis or all at once. You can use IT Retail’s build and price tool to get a fast, no-contact quote on how much you can expect to pay for your exact system setup.

IT Retail’s base hardware offering includes a touch PC, barcode scanner, receipt printer, cash drawer, pin pad, and customer display. You may add things such as additional barcode scanners or register scales to your hardware package.

Payment Processing Costs

IT Retail offers its own in-house payment processor with flat-rate and interchange-plus pricing. You must get a quote from IT Retail for your specific payment processing rate.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

IT Retail is a highly customizable system, so you must read your contract thoroughly to make sure you’re getting the best terms.

There are no returns on hardware, so make sure IT Retail is the right POS for you before buying your hardware upfront.

IT Retail also advertises that it provides the lowest payment processing rates, so shop around with other payment processors for a lower rate, then approach IT Retail and ask them to match the lowest rate.

Get Started With IT Retail

Jump back to comparison chart

7. POS Nation: Best For Convenience Stores

POS Nation


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Pros

  • Alcohol, tobacco, and lottery inventory management
  • Integrated security cameras
  • Built-in ID scanner
  • Automated purchase ordering

Cons

  • Pricing is not transparent
  • Must buy proprietary hardware
  • Dated interface

POS nation convenience store POS ID scanner.

POS Nation integrated ID scanner at checkout.

Why We Chose POS Nation POS System For Liquor Stores

POS Nation tops our list of the best POS systems for convenience stores because of the software’s intense focus on everything a convenience store would need to sell and report on. We appreciate that it was built to easily handle convenience food, cigarette, vape, liquor, and lottery ticket sales.

Inventory management is designed for breaking down cases of alcohol and tobacco, easy reordering of items that are low in stock, and mix-and-match sales. You can get reports on inventory performance, employee activity, lottery sales, and more to assess the overall health of your convenience store business. Lots of security features help reduce shrinkage, which is unfortunately common in this industry.

Plus, POS Nation has a solid loyalty program for attracting the neighborhood locals to your shop over and over.

Note: POS Nation does not offer a free trial. You may sign up for a free demo.

POS Nation Pricing

POS Nation has a “build and price” page that you can use to get an idea of how much you may pay per month for POS hardware and software.

The company also advertises the following prebuilt packages:

  • Flex Monthly: $99/terminal/month (pay monthly for your hardware and software)
  • Freedom: $999/terminal (one-time hardware fee) plus monthly software fee

POS Nation Liquor Store POS System Features

Like IT Retail, POS Nation is a POS system meant for businesses selling various everyday items. However, POS Nation puts a strong focus on lottery, cigarette/cigar, and vape sales in addition to retail food and drink sales.

POS Nation has an age verification prompt at the register, an integrated ID scanner, case breaking for liquor and tobacco products, and state-specific sales reporting to comply with your state’s liquor/tobacco laws. You can also start a cash discount program at the register to avoid payment processing fees.

The system also includes automated purchase ordering, label printing, and the ability to group related items in an inventory matrix for easy reordering and price adjustments. You can easily set up mix-and-match bottle sales, food and drink specials, and scheduled discounts.

POS Nation liquor store POS system

POS Nation liquor inventory updated on 3/13/2023.

POS Nation combines POS transaction and order-receiving monitoring, employee permissions, blind and forced till counts, and integrated in-store security footage to help minimize shrinkage, which is a huge problem in the convenience store industry.

There’s also a limited eCommerce sales functionality built into POS Nation, with local pickup and delivery options available.

Hardware Cost & Options

POS Nation hardware

POS Nation register, card reader, receipt printer, barcode scanner, and customer-facing order display pole.

Your entire hardware package, including an ID scanner, will come with custom pricing. You’ll have to contact POS Nation to get detailed hardware pricing.

Payment Processing Costs

POS Nation has partnered with merchant service providers, such as Worldpay, Heartland, and North American Bancard, to offer payment processing services. POS Nation advertises that it will provide a payment processing rate comparison among its processor partners and help you fill out your own merchant account application.

However, do your own independent research (i.e., get quotes from merchant services providers) to ensure you get the best payment processing rates possible for your business.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

You can’t return your upfront hardware purchases, so make sure POS Nation is right for you before sinking money into proprietary hardware investments.

You can cancel a monthly plan with no early termination fees, so consider signing up for a plan that allows you to pay for the hardware and software on a monthly basis before committing to a long-term subscription.

Get Started With POS Nation

Jump back to comparison chart

Our Methodology For Choosing The Best POS Systems For Liquor Stores

To find the best POS systems for liquor stores, we researched 15 retail POS systems based on pricing, ease of use, POS hardware options, large inventory management capabilities, loss prevention tools, and liquor store-specific features like ID verification and wine club subscription capabilities. We considered revenue-generating opportunities for liquor stores such as online ordering, wholesale/B2B liquor sales, fresh food sales, and event catering, then looked for POS systems that business owners could use to generate revenue from these sources.

When possible, we signed up for a free trial and tested out the software for ourselves. We also read non-incentivized reviews from software review sites such as G2, Capterra, and Software Advice to get real customer input on user experience.

Read more about how Merchant Maverick rates POS systems.

How To Choose The Best POS System For Your Liquor Store

There are vast differences between the liquor store POS offerings on this list, but the best POS systems for small businesses always have a few things in common. Here are some universal questions to ask yourself to help narrow down your choices.

Do You Want To Sell Anything Besides Liquor At Your Store?

Some liquor store owners want to focus solely on bottle sales, and most of the best retail POS systems have inventory management capabilities for stores like this.

However, if you plan on building a little cafe or adding a liquor section to a full-scale market, you’ll need a POS system with perishable inventory management capabilities, the ability to tag ID-required items, and possibly some basic quick-store restaurant ordering features.

If you plan on opening a convenience store, you may want to offer standard convenience store items, such as lottery tickets and tobacco products. Your POS should have integrated lottery payout and cigarette case breakdown functions.

Do You Want To Sell Liquor Outside Your Storefront?

If you’re planning on catering, attending local vendor events, selling to restaurants or bars, selling at farmers markets or popup events, or hosting your own events at locations other than your main storefront, you should ideally find POS software that has a strong offline mode. The best mobile POS systems allow you to sell from just about anywhere.

This will ensure that you can always take orders no matter where you are. You’ll most likely use an iPad, smartphone mobile POS, or a provider-specific mobile device to complete orders on the go. There are many iPad POS systems available if you’re loyal to the Apple brand.

Of course, if you plan on selling liquor online, you’ll need a strong eCommerce website or ordering platform. Liquor stores with specialty products may consider a POS provider with nationwide shipping settings and local delivery capabilities. Look into eCommerce POS integrations for more information.

If you’re selling at multiple locations, make sure you’re handling your accounting accordingly as keeping up with multi-store inventory can be tricky. There are many POS systems that integrate with QuickBooks that still provide the functionality a liquor store owner needs.

Do You Plan On Expanding Your Storefront Locations?

Some POS options are better suited for expansion than others. If you’re interested in having multiple locations or franchising your business, choose one with strong multilocation POS inventory management and individual store performance reports. POS reporting can be very basic, but there are advanced POS reports you can use as well.

Try to pick a POS that’s easy to use so that multiple employees can quickly get trained on checkout and stock takes. Also, choose a system that has several employee user permissions to reduce the chances of theft or careless mistakes on the back end of your business.

What Payment Processing Options Are Available?

No matter what kind of store you decide to run, you want the best payment processors available. For smaller stores, it may be best to work with a payment services provider instead of getting a merchant account.

However, if you have a substantial number of sales and your business is stable enough to be considered “low risk,” then it’s time to consider getting a dedicated merchant account with the lowest payment processing rates (but with reasonable monthly merchant account fees) possible.

If you expect your sales to grow quickly (or you already have a substantial sales volume), you should pick a POS that has several payment processor options available or one where you have the ability to renegotiate your current payment processor rates.

How Much Are You Willing To Pay For Your System?

Business owners, especially those with a tight budget, always have to consider a software’s price above all. The cost of POS can vary from provider to provider, but there are good free POS systems.

If you have very little funding to invest in your POS system, find a system that has the features you absolutely need but not a lot of advanced features. Once you pull in more revenue (and have more inventory and sales channel needs), consider switching to more expensive but more feature-heavy software.

Which Liquor Store POS System Is Right For Your Business?

A POS system for liquor stores can help you with many pain points. For example, a liquor POS can help you manage your large inventory, easily updating your prices and discounts. A good liquor store POS may even send a purchase order for you when stocks fall below a certain threshold. There are also many instances of theft in the industry, and a liquor store POS system can help improve your business’s security.

As you decide which POS system to choose, read up on how to read and negotiate a good merchant agreement, and check on your liquor liability insurance!

FAQs: POS Systems For Liquor Stores

What is a POS for a liquor store?

A POS for a liquor store is software that allows you to take cards and digital payment methods in addition to cash. Good liquor store POS systems also have in-depth inventory and employee management, customer engagement, and online ordering functions.

How much does a Liquor POS system cost?

A liquor store POS costs between $0 and $300/month (or more), depending on the POS provider, number of terminals and locations, and advanced features.

For example, Square’s free plan covers everything you need to make a sale. However, if you need grocery store functions and hardware that lasts, IT Retail provides a custom quote (and it isn’t cheap).

What is the best POS system for a liquor store?

The best POS system for a liquor store depends on the store’s inventory volume, whether the store wants to sell anything besides liquor, whether the store wants to sell off-premises or online, and (of course) the price.

Lightspeed Retail, Revel Systems, and IT Retail are the best POS systems for a large liquor store.

We recommend Square For Retail, KORONA, or POS Nation for small liquor stores.

For eCommerce-focused liquor stores, we recommend Shopify.

What's the best POS system for a bar?

The best POS system for a bar has bottle inventory and perishable inventory management, quick order-taking, employee management, and customer loyalty features.

Read our post on the best bar POS systems to find the best POS system for your bar or pub.

What is the simplest POS system for a liquor store?

The simplest POS system for a liquor store is easy for cashiers to complete customer orders and for stockers to receive and take stock counts.

Square For Retail, Lightspeed Retail, KORONA, and POS Nation are all simple liquor store POS systems.

How do you log liquor store inventory using a POS system?

You log liquor store inventory using your POS system’s built-in bottle inventory and vendor management functions or by integrating your POS with alcohol-specific inventory software.

The best liquor store POS systems have case and bottle breakdown, mix-and-match discount settings, and easy purchase ordering capabilities.

Is there free POS software for liquor stores?

There is free POS software for liquor stores. Square for Retail offers the best free POS software.

Is it legal for liquor stores to sell online?

It is legal for liquor stores to sell online in certain states. Be sure to check your state’s liquor eCommerce sales requirements before creating an online store.

In Summary: 7 Best POS Systems For Liquor Stores

  1. Lightspeed Retail POS:
    • Built-in loyalty program, B2B customer sales, event management for catering/event rentals
    • $89+/month ($69+/month with annual billing)
    • Free 14-day trial
  2. Square For Retail:
    • Free POS system, free online ordering website, affordable POS hardware
    • $0/month-$60/month/location
    • Free plan; 30-day free trial on paid plans
  3. Revel POS Systems:
    • Retail and food service capabilities, excellent multilocation management, completely customizable software
    • $198+/month
    • Standard three-year contract
  4. KORONA POS:
    • Unlimited free trial, good employee user restrictions and reports, automated purchase ordering
    • $59+/month
    • Monthly and annual agreements
  5. Shopify POS:
    • Best for fulfilling online orders
    • $29+/month
    • Payment processing at 2.4%-2.9%
  6. IT Retail:
    • Built-in ID verification, EBT/WIC certified POS, weighted item and fresh food sales
    • $149+/terminal/month
    • Custom contracts
  7. POS Nation:
    • Lottery sales, cigarette/vape sales, integrated ID scanners and security camera
    • $99+/terminal/month
    • Custom hardware and software contracts
Nicolette Kier

Nicolette Kier

Expert Analyst & Reviewer
Nicolette began writing on small business topics in 2020. After hundreds of hours researching, testing, and assisting small business owners with web building and point of sale software, she is now an expert on all things eCommerce and point of sale. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh and resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Nicolette Kier
View Nicolette Kier's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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The vendors that appear on this list were chosen by subject matter experts on the basis of product quality, wide usage and availability, and positive reputation.

Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

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