Can Free Liquor Store POS Software Run Your Store? [+ Top Providers]

Liquor store owners know the daily challenges of running a business, and how a point of sale (POS) system can simplify tasks. From tracking inventory to managing customer loyalty programs, POS systems have grown from simple payment processors to a driving force for most businesses.

But as prices for POS systems have gone up, there’s a growing demand for cost-effective point of sale software, particularly in liquor stores. And while not as feature-heavy as stronger POS setups, free liquor store POS software options can often be good enough to get the job done for some smaller businesses just starting out (though they may not be the best option for every business). 

In this blog, we’ll weigh some advantages of free liquor store POS software, plus whether it aligns with the needs of the average liquor store owner.

Advantages of Using Free Liquor Store POS Software

Free liquor store point of sale software can be valuable to certain businesses since they provide the basics. Let’s break down these advantages.

It’s Free

The biggest advantage that free point of sale software has over its paid counterpart is, well, that it’s free. Point of sale systems can get expensive, depending on what features you need — and not having to pay a monthly fee or worry about large upfront costs has a lot of appeal. This is ideal for small businesses that don’t yet have the budget to invest in a robust system.

Easy To Use

Most POS systems should be easy and simple to use. That means you can train employees on the system in minutes. Free POS systems are also very accessible and are usually cloud-based, meaning you can access it from anywhere. Several providers even have mobile apps that allow you to take payment or scan barcodes/items. 

Basic Features

There are several features that every point of sale system will have, like payment processing and basic inventory management features. While paid POS options will certainly have more to work with, free software has the core features you need to get started.

Disadvantages of Using Free Liquor Store Pos Software

Free point of sale software can only take your business so far. Most liquor stores need more than it can provide  — and here’s why.

Jack Of Few Trades, Master Of None

The hardest pill to swallow when considering free liquor store POS software is the lack of features for liquor stores in particular. While paid options give you inventory management features, marketing tools, and e-commerce integrations, free software isn’t built for much more than handling transactions.

Some free POS software providers allow you to add on certain features at a cost — but you could end up paying more money for less intuitive features than the package deal you’d be getting from a paid provider.

Long-Term Cost and Reliability

While you might save some cash upfront by choosing a free software provider, you may end up spending more money in the long run. Between inventory management features, sales reporting and analytics, and customer loyalty options, your business may be better off with a more sophisticated option. 

Common paid POS features that could have long-term savings for your business include:

  • Automated inventory management
  • Customer loyalty programs
  • Marketing integrations
  • Shrinkage reduction
  • Automated ranking & in-depth reporting features

We’ve established the software is better with paid POS providers — but so is the hardware. Free liquor store POS options can stop working after some time, while rugged hardware from paid providers are often built to last.

Lack Of Security and Support

Customer support can also be limited or nonexistent from free providers, leaving your business unable to function for extended periods of time. 24/7 tech support is one of the most important features of choosing a paid provider, ensuring your liquor store can be functional at all times.

You also never want to compromise security for your store or your customers, as free POS systems are not as secure as paid providers. Many free providers are open source, and because of this, it’s easier to find vulnerabilities in the code, putting your data at more risk than with a paid, secure provider. 

Can Free Liquor Store POS Software Run Your Store?

Free liquor store POS software is capable of running your store, yes. But you should consider the advantages and disadvantages before making the decision to pass on paid point of sale providers. 

While upfront costs are lower, free POS software has its costs — you miss out on essential features. Features such as liquor inventory management and reporting features could save time and money, all while helping you make decisions about stocking. You also take on more risk in the form of limited (or nonexistent) tech support and poor security reliability.

Free POS systems have their place in the liquor industry, but it’s not for everyone. Family-run operations and small liquor stores that are just starting out could see benefits from having a free POS provider. Most stores, though, should strongly consider paid options as the money saved in the long run greatly outweighs the upfront investment.

What Are the Best Free Liquor Store POS Software Providers?

In today's competitive landscape, you will find several free point of sale providers that could be viable choices for your store. They all have limitations, but could be valuable for smaller liquor stores or businesses.

1. Square

Square offers a free and easy-to-use platform that allows you to add features as you need them. You can accept payments from your phone or add simple hardware, and it offers all of the basic features you need to get started, but is more scalable as your business grows. That said, you can access more features with one of their paid options.

2. Helcim

Helcim is a simple, free POS platform that is built for both mobile and desktop payments. Helcim offers free invoicing, online payments, and low processing fees. There are no contracts and no monthly fees, making it one of the best free POS providers when it comes to starting a business.

3. Loyverse

Loyverse has all of the basic features you need in a POS system, but also offers add-ons for inventory and employee management ($25/month each). Loyverse also has advanced customer loyalty features such as purchase history, number of visits, and a points reward program.

Paying for a Reliable, Innovative POS System Is Worth the Investment

Free liquor store POS software can only take you so far — if you really want to take your business to the next level, you need to consider a robust, industry-specific POS solution.

That’s where Bottle POS comes in.

Bottle POS is a reliable system that has every feature you need to run your liquor store. From automated inventory management to an age verification feature that protects your business, your store saves money where you didn’t think possible.

It can be tempting to go with free software, but your store will be missing out in the long run. Bottle POS is a reasonably priced and comprehensive solution, and we’re here to help.

Get a demo of Bottle POS to see all of the ways your liquor store can reap the benefits of a smart point of sale solution made for liquor stores like yours.