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Clover POS is a point of sale system that 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. Clover POS promotes solutions for restaurants, retail, and general service businesses to accept payments, run reports, manage employees, and more.
In the world of merchant services solutions for your business, technology is always evolving and growing. This is great for expanding your capabilities as a small business owner, but also presents a sometimes overwhelming number of solutions to choose from. Case in point: Ever since the portable point of sale system, or POS system, came onto the scene, the market has been flooded with different versions of this product for small business owners to decide between. So much so that wading through all of your options might feel more inconvenient than the portable point of sale promises to offer in convenience.
That’s where we come in. In this Clover POS review, we’ll focus on one of the more popular portable POS systems on the market to help you narrow down your search. We’ve compiled a guide to Clover’s suite of POS options to help you decide whether they might be the right point of sale solution for you. Additionally, we’ll dive into other reviews on the Clover POS system to see what users have to say about this POS solution.
Before we dive too deep into our Clover POS review, it’s important to understand the basics of this solution. 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 software 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 Clover POS review down into two sections. One section will focus on all of the Clover POS hardware options and one will be on all of the Clover POS software plan options. This way, you can decide which Clover POS hardware and software combination can best serve your business. Let’s get started.
Clover Go is the most portable of the Clover POS hardware options. This piece of Clover point of sale hardware is a Bluetooth-enabled 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 $69, 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 $499.
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 $749.
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 the same great capabilities as the Clover Mini—but it offers them with the greatest speed and security that any Clover POS system can muster. Additionally, the Clover Station also includes a cash drawer and receipt printer, making this a true all-in-one solution.
You’ll also have the option to access a second, customer-facing display with this Clover POS system, which can help provide a better customer experience. But beware: For this Clover POS system hardware option, you’ll need to invest—prices start a $1,349.
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Now that we have seen the hardware options Clover point of sale provides, let’s review the software solutions you can pair with your hardware to complete your Clover POS system.
The first tier of the Clover POS 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 POS is the Register plan. With this plan, your Clover POS system cost will more than double to $29 per month.
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 Clover Register plan will also allow you to:
Alternatively, if you’re running a retail business, the Clover Register plan will empower your Clover POS system to:
It’s important to keep in mind, though, not all of these software capabilities will work across all Clover POS hardware solutions. For some features, such as building your mailing list, creating a loyalty program, and reading customer feedback, you will only be able to take advantage if you have the Clover Flex, Mini, and Station solutions.
It’s worth diving deeper into this Clover POS review and taking a look at some of the features Clover offers in their POS solutions that stand out among other POS providers.
An underrated aspect of a POS provider is the support they provide. With Clover, you’ll get 24/7 phone support as long as you’re in the U.S. This is huge considering a problem with your POS system could affect your entire business operation. Merchants can also send email inquiries for less urgent matters. On their website, Clover has a dedicated “Help Center” where you can access guides and tutorials on how to use various Clover products and services.
With Clover POS you can set up both digital and physical gift cards. Digital gift cards can work on any smart mobile device, while if you opt for physical gift cards, you can choose from over 70 design templates or upload your own branded design. If you want the option to issue store credit, this solution makes it easy.
Plus, with additional gift card tools, like tracking and reporting functions, you can use gift cards to help boost your sales. After all, people using a gift card usually end up spending more than their card’s balance.
No matter which Clover POS hardware option you choose, you can also accept payments without the hardware by using your virtual terminal. To access your virtual terminal, just log into your Clover Web Dashboard from any internet-enabled device. Then, you can securely accept any credit and debit card payments, send digital receipts, and collect contact information for CRM purposes. Keep in mind, these transactions will be charged at the keyed-in rate, rather than the in-person rate—but there is no additional monthly fee.
With Clover POS you can add a number of apps to help streamline your processes and expand your capabilities. A number of POS apps are included in every Clover POS system, which can help you run loyalty programs, offer promotions and time-specific discounts, and much more. Additionally, you can sync with third-party apps like Quickbooks, Yelp, Shopify, and more to help with everything from orders and payments to inventory and back-office operations.
Now that we’ve learned about Clover from both the hardware side and the software side, let’s take a step back in our Clover POS review and try and determine the benefits of using a Clover POS 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 $750. 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 POS isn’t a perfect product, and no Clover review would be complete without looking at its drawbacks. Here’s the most notable downside to the Clover POS systems:
One major flaw that Clover POS 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 POS leaves some room for concern. On BBB, no complaints levied against Clover have been closed within the last year, which is not a good sign. They’ve had a total of five complaints against them in the last three years.
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, but it also offers a free version of Square POS software that comes complete with inventory management capabilities. Its payment processing fees are also similar to what you’d get with Clover’s Register Lite plan, and you can add a variety of features 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.
Start Free Trial With Shopify
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. Hopefully, this Clover POS review will help you understand what exactly this system can do for your business, but you should also consider your business’s specific needs before you make a final decision.