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Vend makes it affordable for small businesses to change to its POS solution by providing a free trial account and compatibility with POS hardware you may already own. Basically, you can start using Vend for free. If you want to use PayPal as your payment processor, Vend is 100 percent compatible. You can also choose your own payment processor, or you might be able to keep using an external card terminal you already use.

For the most part, this iPad POS solution is most suitable for retail businesses. However, it can manage simple eateries such as coffee shops, counter-service restaurants and tea shops. It does not provide tools for managing full-service restaurants. For retailers, it can manage inventory across locations and online store items sold within Shopify stores. APIs are available if you want to build a custom integration with another online store. This is helpful if you manage a physical retail store along with an online store that sells product at remote locations as well, such as an art fair or tradeshow convention.

It includes useful back-office features as well as customer management tools. Since this app uses HTML5 technology, you can connect to your Vend account from any web-enabled device, including iPads, PCs and Mac computers, so you can check on your store, see how sales are doing and run reports from any location. You can also track customer information and custom loyalty programs.

If you want to manage employee schedules or patron appointments, you need to add a third-party app. You can manage up to 50 registers with the Extra Large account, or you can add registers as you need them for an additional monthly fee. If you only run your business seasonally, Vend only charges you $5 per month to keep your data "on ice" until you restart your account.

This app is simple to use. It has to be, since the company does not offer 24/7/365 support; however, according to the Vend website, 24-hour support will be available soon. It also offers Vend+, which provides additional training, setup support and extended phone support for a small monthly fee. You can contact remote assistance via the app.

Vend Summary:
7.9/10

For small retailers without a lot of upfront funds, Vend is a great choice. It will grow with your company as you expand. It's easy to use, even if you have little or no IT experience. It isn't as versatile as the best iPad POS systems, though, requiring third-party apps for some important functions.

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Vend

Pros
Vend integrates with Shopify for online sales and it allows you to select your own payment processor.

Cons
Features such as employee scheduling and online ordering are not included in the core app and have to be added using a third-party app.

The Verdict
: 7.88/10

Vend iPad POS is simple to use, with good inventory tools, remote management features and numerous reporting options.