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Clover POS allows you to pair two different software plans with four different hardware plans in order to create a POS solution that makes the most sense for your business. Generally, Clover offers a nice variety of features at a price that won’t break the bank.
Ever since the portable point of sale (POS) came onto the scene, the market seems to have flooded with different versions of this product for small business owners to choose from. So much so that wading through all of your options might feel more inconvenient than the portable point of sale promises in convenience.
In this review we are going to narrow it down for you by focusing on one of the more popular portable POS systems on the market: Clover POS. We’ve compiled a guide to Clover’s suite of POS options to help you decide whether they are the right point of sale solution for you.
One crucial thing to understand about Clover POS systems is their two-pronged nature.
When you choose a Clover POS system, you’ll be choosing from hardware options and from software plan options. This setup means you’ll be able to mix and match according to your business’s specific needs (on their website, Clover promotes solutions for restaurants, retail, and general service businesses).
Following suit with the two-pronged nature of Clover POS systems, we’re going to break this review down into two sections—one on all of the Clover POS hardware options, and one on all of the Clover POS software plan options.
Clover Go is the most portable of the Clover POS hardware options. This piece of Clover Point of Sale hardware is a bluetooth smart device attachment that allows your business to process magstripe-only card, chip card, and contactless payments.
However, unlike other Clover POS system hardware options, Clover Go requires you to come to the table with additional technology—be it a smartphone, tablet, or iPad. Clover Go will only be able to process payments if it’s attached to another device.
This Clover POS hardware is $59, making it the most affordable of the Clover POS hardware options.
Your next option for Clover POS system hardware is the Clover Flex. This handheld point of sale hardware offers a remarkable amount of capabilities for its size.
The Clover Flex can process all payments, capture customer signatures, scan barcodes, and print receipts—all in one, and all on the go. Accessing this combination of mobility and power will cost you, though—the Clover Flex retails for $449.
The first fully countertop option for Clover POS system hardware is the Clover Mini.
This hardware offers the power and speed of a countertop POS hub without the associated price—Clover Mini costs $599.
For your money you’ll be able to process all payments, scan barcodes, and print receipts—and do so with greater speed than you would with mobile Clover Point of Sale hardware options.
Finally, the most powerful of the Clover POS system hardware options is the Clover Station.
This Clover Point of Sale system allows you all the capabilities that the Clover Mini allows—but it offers them with the greatest speed and security that any Clover POS system can muster.
You’ll also have the option to access a second, customer-facing display with this Clover Point of Sale system, which can help provide a better customer experience. But beware: With this Clover POS system hardware option, you’ll need to be ready to invest—prices start a $1,149.
Open A Clover Account & Receive $100
Now that we have seen the hardware options Clover Point of Sale provides, let’s learn a bit more about the software solutions you can pair with your hardware to complete your Clover system.
The first tier of the Clover Point of Sale software is the Register Lite plan. Register Lite will cost your business $14 per month. You’ll also pay 2.7% + $0.10 per transaction for in-person transactions, and 3.5% + $0.10 for keyed-in transactions.
For that price, you’ll gain access to the following capabilities:
The more powerful software plan option for Clover Point of Sale is the Register plan. With this plan, your Clover POS system will cost your business more each month—$29 to be precise.
However, with that extra cost, your Clover system will be able to perform the following capabilities, on top of what you already get with the Register Lite plan:
Plus, if you’re running a quick-service restaurant, the Register plan will also allow you to:
Alternatively, if you’re running a retail business, the Register plan will empower your Clover POS system to:
An underrated aspect of a POS provider is the support they provide. With Clover, you’ll get 24/7 phone support in the United States. This is huge considering a problem with your POS system could affect your entire business. Merchant’s can also send email inquiries for less urgent matters. On its website, Clover has a dedicated Help Center where you can access guides and tutorials on how to use various Clover products and services.
Now that we’ve learned about Clover from both the hardware side and the software side, let’s take a step back and try and determine the benefits of using a Clover system for your business.
With the exception of the Clover Go, all other Clover POS hardware options provide an all-in-one solution. Whether you need to process a contactless payment, scan a barcode, or print a receipt, odds are that your Clover POS system can do it.
The Clover Station POS is no bargain, but both the Clover Flex POS and Clover Mini POS can be had for under $600. Compare that to other POS providers and you’ll realize what a bargain Clover is. With most businesses, you’ll need to spend upwards of $1,000 to get yourself a complete set of POS hardware. Clover’s affordability can’t be overlooked.
For all its merits, Clover isn’t a perfect product. Here’s the most notable downside to the Clover systems:
One major flaw that Clover has as a whole? They don’t offer any free hardware options. This means that, on top of payment processing fees, your business will also have to shell out a lump sum for a piece of Clover POS hardware, no matter how simple your payment processing needs are.
As such, if you’re looking for barebones, affordable payment processing, then you might want to explore other POS options that offer free hardware.
Our opinion isn’t the only one that matters. Let’s see how Clover customers have rated the business on major review websites:
The general ranking of Clover leaves some room for concern. On BBB, only one complaint levied against Clover has been closed within the last year, which is not a good sign. In negative reviews, users complain of hidden fees that end up costing them more for their system than they had realized. Others report having a very difficult time working with customer service.
In positive reviews, users tout the flexibility offered by Clover’s four different hardware options. Others say Clover’s sleek and modern design minimizes their learning curve, and allows them to perform a variety of essential business functions with ease.
If you’re on the fence about Clover POS systems—or you just want to shop your options—we suggest you check out the following options:
Square POS addresses the imperfections that Clover POS systems tend to suffer from. Not only does Square POS offer a completely free magstripe reader, it also offers a free version of Square POS software that comes complete with inventory management capabilities. It’s payment processing fees are also similar to what you’d get with the Register Lite plan, and you can add a variety of features on to your Square POS, such as payroll processing and a customer loyalty program.
Sign Up for Square for Free
If you’re an ecommerce merchant, you’re probably not interested in all of Clover’s POS hardware. What you need is a proper ecommerce POS—and when it comes to ecommerce POSs, Shopify POS is the best in class. You can get a POS already integrated into your ecommerce website when you sign up for the Shopify Basic plan ($29 per month). This will give you access to all of Shopify’s customer and inventory management software, and payment processing rates of only 2.7% per transaction. If you upgrade to one of Shopify’s more expensive software plans, you’ll get even lower payment processing rates. Plus, Shopify also sells POS hardware if you need to sell in-person as well as online.
There you have it—all the information you need to know in order to decide if Clover POS systems are right for your small business. As far as we’re concerned, despite their minor imperfections, Clover POS systems are some of the very best on the market—and they come at a price that won’t break the bank.
However, you know your small business better than anyone. So it’s up to you to evaluate Clover’s merits and make the right call.