Revel vs. Square Retail: Which is right for you? (2022)

Looking for Point of Sale software? Here's how Revel and Square Retail stack up.

Revel vs. Square Retail: Which is right for you? (1)

Mark Hammersley

Last updated 15o September 2020

Revel vs. Square Retail: Which is right for you? (2)

Revel

3.6 Stackupp rating

Get started Revel review

Pricing from

$ 99.00 / month

Free Plan?

No

Best for

small food businesses like restaurants, coffee shops and cafes.

Revel vs. Square Retail: Which is right for you? (3)

Square Retail

3.8 Stackupp rating

Get started Square Retail review

Pricing from

$ 60.00 / month

Free Plan?

Yes

Best for

small and medium-sized businesses that are looking for an intuitive interface and a straightforward pricing model.

Revel or Square Retail: Which is best?

Can't decide between Revel and Square Retail?

Find the best platform for you with our side by side comparison of Revel and Square Retail. See how each platform stacks up across ease of use, features, integrations, support and value for money.

Let the comparison begin. Don't worry, we'll guide you.

Is Revel right for you?

Revel POS is an iPad point-of-sale solution that’s aimed largely at small businesses in the catering space. It’s used by restaurants, coffee shops, food delivery services, and so on. Revel also offers a dedicated retail solution.

Revel was one of the earliest iPad POS platforms and the feature-kit is reasonably robust. Users have access to everything they need, including payment processing, inventory and employee management, analytics, a wide library of integrations, and a number of reasonably-priced and well-designed hardware packages.

The big downside is the cost. Cheaper small business solutions are available and there are a number of “hidden” costs, such as for use of the API and mobile inventory management app.

Advantages

  • Straightforward, relatively intuitive system.
  • Excellent customer support and onboarding options.
  • Some innovative features like the self-service kiosk.

Drawbacks

  • Expensive for a small business solution.
  • Extra costs for features not included in the base plan.
  • Interface can be a little confusing at times.

you’re a small business in the catering space and are looking for a functional, straightforward iPad system that comes with an excellent customer support package, a decent library of integrations, and a reasonably-priced hardware range.

Is Square Retail right for you?

Square for Retail is Square’s dedicated point of sale system (POS) for brick-and-mortar retailers. It is offered alongside several other solutions, including Square for Restaurants and Square Appointments (for appointment-based service businesses). This review will focus on the retail option.

Square for Retail has everything you would expect from a point of sale system, including built-in payment processing, integrations with ecommerce platforms, inventory management, a good (if slightly expensive) selection of hardware options, and a fairly comprehensive analytics dashboard.

Notably, Square offers what is perhaps one of the best free plans on the market, although users will have to pay for hardware and the ability to add additional team members at $35 per location.

Square’s fee structure is also relatively straightforward. If you’re not on the free plan, you will pay $60 for each location (with unlimited staff numbers and permissions) and a transaction fee of 2.5% plus ten cents. This is very competitive when compared to other processors, although you will pay slightly more on the free plan. If you run a larger store, with sales above $250,000 annually, you qualify for a custom pricing package.

On the negative side, we would have liked to have seen more third-party integrations, cheaper hardware (many competitor plans include a free card reader), and deeper levels of functionality in some areas.

All in all, however, Square offers an inexpensive and easy-to-use system for small and medium retailers that don’t want the hassle of having to navigate a more complex app. There is also the option to integrate with Square’s ecommerce platform if you don’t already have an online store.

Advantages

  • Easy and straightforward to use.
  • Transparent pricing structure.
  • Excellent free plan.

Drawbacks

  • Lack of integrations.
  • Expensive hardware.
  • Limited functionality in some areas.

you’re a small or medium-sized retailer looking for a solution that won’t require large amounts of time and resources to set up. You just need to be wary of purchasing Square’s complete hardware package, which costs $799.

Ease of Use

Our first comparison criteria, ease of use. Why? Because it’s the most important.

Think about it. You don’t want to invest a lot of your precious time setting up an online store and tweaking the design only to find out that it’s a pain in the butt to manage day to day.

We take a look at how simple the Revel and Square Retail platforms are to run.

How easy is Revel to use?

Rated 3.5/5 for Ease of Use

On the whole, we found Revel POS relatively easy to use. It’s not as intuitive as some other options on the market, but it’s by no means difficult.

The backend office, which is accessed via a browser, includes dedicated areas for inventory management, employee permissions, sales and analytics data, customer information, and restaurant menu and table customization.

The iPad app, which acts as the main sales terminal, also follows a typical POS block format, with options to create and hold orders, add discounts, search for saved customer information, and so on.

Notably, Revel also offers the option of a kitchen display system for visualizing the flow of orders.

What Revel customers are saying...

“It's easy to learn and accessible.”
“Nice clean look and fairly easy to find what you're looking for.”
“The cloud-based system allows me to access and make changes remotely which is fantastic.”

How easy is Square Retail to use?

Rated 5/5 for Ease of Use

Square for Retail is very easy to use. Everything from the back-office dashboard to the “smart” store builder is designed to streamline the process of taking and managing payments.

The POS register, which is usually accessed via an iOS tablet or Square’s in-house register, follows a typical block format, with an area that displays individual products and categories, a checkout box, and additional options like discounts, gift cards, popular items, and so on. It’s also possible to use your tablet to receive tips, send email receipts, check inventory at different locations, and so on.

The back-office is also designed in a traditional way, with a left-hand sidebar providing access to dedicated areas for managing sales, analytics and tracking, employee permissions, and more.

What Square Retail customers are saying...

“Square is a great product that is a wonderful tool for small businesses and nonprofits like ours.
“It operates just like your mind works. It is so logical.”
“I liked that it was a convenient way to accept payments anywhere via my mobile cell phone through the Square App.”

Square Retail is our winner for ease of use

Revel Features

Rated 3.5/5 for Features

As far as features go, Revel has everything you would expect in a point-of-sale system. The iPad display is intuitive, customizable, and users can take advantage of employee permissions, add-on options during checkout (like discounts and gift cards), and saved customer details. The backend office, which is accessed via a browser, has ample tools for inventory management, customer relationship management, and analytics and tracking. Revel also offers a number of innovative features that you will struggle to find elsewhere. These include self-order kiosks, mobile ordering (for customers that prefer to make orders via their mobile devices in your store or restaurant), and a large library of integrations, although intermediary third-party connectors are relied on quite heavily.

Prospective users should remember, however, that many features aren’t included in the core package. Online ordering, API use, mobile barcode scanning, and multi-location management may all incur extra costs.

What’s more, Revel doesn’t integrate with any third-party payment processors, so you will have to use the in-house solution, Revel Advantage. Pricing is on a custom basis, with discounts for larger enterprises.

Finally, Revel provides an always-on mode (so you don’t need to worry about the WiFi going down), high-level security, and regular data backups. There is no cap on the number of users per terminal.

Square Retail Features

Rated 4/5 for Features

Square for Retail has a fairly comprehensive feature-set and comes with everything you would expect from a point-of-sale system. Keep in mind that you will only have access to all features on the $60/month “Plus” package. The free plan provides only limited functionality.

Square back-office is a browser-based app. The register interface is accessed via an iPad or the Square register. Support for Android tablets is not provided, but you can download a feature-limited Android app to take mobile payments.

Checkout features include saved carts, barcode scanning via the iPad camera or Square register, discounts, item searches, and exchanges. Payment functionality, which works on a straightforward, transparent fee structure, comprises next-day transfers, invoices, and both physical and digital gift cards.

You won’t find anything lacking on the inventory management front, either. Tools include unlimited products, low stock alerts, bulk inventory uploads, barcode printing, and more.

If you decide to use Square’s in-house ecommerce solution, you will also have access to a user-friendly store builder, automated inventory syncing, and integration with Instagram.

Finally, analytics reports cover sales, profit margins, vendor sales, and total costs.

Square Retail is our winner for features

Revel Integrations

Rated 3.5/5 for Integrations

Revel performed very well on the integrations front. The library of integrations is fairly extensive, especially when compared to other similar solutions on the market. It includes connectors for everything from mobile ordering to additional security services.

Two points are worth mentioning, however. First, Revel often makes use of intermediary tools, rather than direct integrations. So you will have to use third-party providers to sync Revel with some apps in your tech stack. Second, payment processing is only available through Revel Advantage, Revel’s in-house payment solution. No third-party integrations are offered. Pricing for Revel Advantage varies depending on the size of the user’s business, so you should get in touch to check prices before making a decision.

The main highlights of the integrations library include connectors for accounting platforms like QuickBooks and Xero, mobile ordering with big delivery services like UberEats, and numerous loyalty and gift card programs.

Users can also connect up to many major ecommerce platforms through the Kosmos eSync app. A limited online ordering toolkit with a customer portal (mainly for food purchases) is available. Revel doesn’t offer a high-level in-house ecommerce platform, so retailers that want to run their own online store will have to opt for a separate package from a brand like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and so on.

Square Retail Integrations

Rated 2.5/5 for Integrations

Integrations represent one area where Square could have performed better. If you’re looking for a POS system that syncs up seamlessly with your existing tech stack, you may be forced to look elsewhere. That said, Square does provide a small package of integrations, so you may find what you’re looking for. A Zapier integration is also available, so you can sync up with most apps, albeit with limited functionality.

Square performs best in the area of accounting and tax, where a large selection of integrations is offered, including Quickbooks, Xero, Shogo, Kahoo, OneUp, ZohoBooks, and more. A small number of connectors with analytics, team management, and restaurant apps are provided.

Square’s online payment processing tool also integrates with most well-known ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, and so on.

Revel is our winner for integrations

How much do they cost?

Everyone’s favourite topic - pricing. Let's dive in to see if Revel or Square Retail offers better value for money.

How much does Revel cost?

Rated 3/5 for Pricing

Revel POS falters a little when it comes to cost. Much of the pricing is on a custom, per-user basis, so you should get in touch for a specific quote for your business. This also applies to Revel’s payment processing service, Revel Advantage.

You should also be aware of the fact that there are some semi-hidden costs for features that aren’t part of the core plan. These features include the API, the mobile inventory management and barcode scanning app, multi-location management, and online ordering functionality.

Pricing starts at $99/month per terminal, with possible discounts available depending on the size of the business and the number of locations. An installation package, which includes tailored onboarding assistance, is available for $649. A variety of hardware options, with varying price-points, are available.

How much does Square Retail cost?

Rated 4/5 for Pricing

Square has a straightforward, competitive pricing structure. We consider the free plan to be one of the best available to small and medium retailers. Three plans are offered: “Free”, “Plus”, and “Premium”.

The free plan is ideal for small shops and comes with a limited number of features. If you want to add extra team members, you will have to pay $35/month per store. The “Plus” plan, which most users will opt for, costs $60/month per location and includes the full feature-set and discounted payment processing fees.

Finally, the “Premium” plan, which is geared towards larger enterprises, operates on a custom pricing model and is available to sellers turning over in excess of $250,000 a month.

Square Retail is our winner for cost

Help and Support

If things go wrong (and they often do) you need to know someone’s there to help get you back on track. So, how does Revel's and Square Retail's support measure up?

How good is Revel support?

Rated 4.5/5 for Help and Support

The level of support offered by Revel is very good. 24/7 phone and web (email) support is included on all plans. The user documentation is also very detailed.

Companies can take advantage of a comprehensive onboarding package for $649. This includes management console training, hardware installation, and payments set-up. Dedicated long-term account management is also available.

How good is Square Retail support?

Rated 3.5/5 for Help and Support

Square customer support is available via phone, email, live chat, and social media. Users also have access to extensive documentation and an active seller community.

User reviews of the quality and speed of support are mixed, with many users talking positively about helpful staff and fast response times but complaining about receiving generic answers.

There are no custom onboarding packages, although the ease of setting up largely removes the need for them.

Revel is our winner for support

The Bottom Line

The final say. Let's wrap up our thoughts on each platform.

Revel: Our Verdict

For the right kind of business, Revel POS is a good solution. We feel that it is definitely geared towards companies in the restaurant and catering spaces. If you sell retail merchandise, we suggest trying other solutions before making a final decision. Small restaurants, coffee shops, takeouts, and so on, however, will find a lot to like.

Overall, it’s an intuitive, feature-rich, and reasonably well-priced solution that comes with an excellent support package. Just be careful to check the prices of any additional features and keep in mind that you will have to use Revel’s in-house payment processor. If you are thinking about going with Revel, take advantage of the free demo first.

Square Retail: Our Verdict

Overall, we were very impressed with Square. It’s one of the easiest-to-use platforms we reviewed, and the “forever free” plan is arguably the best on the market. Small and medium-sized retailers that are looking for a streamlined, straightforward solution with transparent pricing will find a lot to like. The only real downsides are the limited integrations library and the expensive hardware, although this won’t be a problem if you’re using an iPad.

Larger store-owners will likely require more extensive functionality, especially when it comes to analytics and integrations. Nonetheless, it is still worth getting in touch to discuss options if you’re generating sales of over $250,000 per month.

Overall, we found Square Retail to be the better Point of Sale platform.

More Comparisons

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Square Retail vs. Epos Now

Square Retail vs. Talech

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Square Retail vs. Clover

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Square Retail vs. Shopkeep

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Square Retail vs. Vend

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In this article

  • Is it right for you
  • How easy is it to use
  • Product features
  • Integrations
  • How much does it cost
  • Help and support
  • The bottom line

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