Vend is a growing cloud-based POS system designed for iPad, Mac, and PC and serves primarily mid-sized businesses. It was acquired by LightSpeed Retail in 2021, and Vend’s website mentions one of its products as LightSpeed Retail POS.
Currently, the U.S headquarters is located in San Francisco, California, however it was initially founded in Auckland, New Zealand and has extended its services to have offices in Toronto, San Franciso, Melbourne, and Toronto. Vaughan Roswell is the company’s founder, Alexander Fala is the former CEO, and the current CEO is Ana Wight.
Vend POS specializes in small to medium-sized brick-and-mortar businesses. It is excellent for managing a large amount of stock in more than one location because of its practical inventory management features.
Modern e-Commerce and retail businesses require advanced features to meet the needs of their customers and unfortunately, Vend lacks some of these features. Tools like built-in restaurant management, general service features, social media marketing tools, and online transaction services are absent from their catalog. It is considered costly because merchants have to pay a base fee for essential services and extra fees for all added POS features in their monthly plan. The following Vend POS review below will break down all the pros and cons of using the POS terminal.
Vend’s website displays a whole list of features and a video demo on their website. You need your name, phone number, and e-mail address to access the tutorial videos. The website provides you with detailing the essential features you will need for your business.
Some notable features are return and store credit, order holds and layaways, tracking customer payment history, a points-based loyalty system, gift cards, and a customer management portal.
Vend POS inventory comes with a long list of tools like a barcode scanner, demand forecasting, receiving and returns, automated inventory ordering, custom prices based on location, and product bundling.
Other features include integration with accounting software, cash management, mobile retail dashboard, open API access, and free Ecwid e-commerce integration.
Vend POS excels in customer support compared to its competitors. It provides its users 24/7 customer support on all plans and this practice is not very common among other POS providers.
Vend has reviewed and resolved its problems in customer service. Currently, its customer support is considered adequate based on the standards in the MSP industry. The improvement in customer service has lowered the online complaint rate of merchants.
Phone support is available 24/7, and the company provides a single customer care number on the website.
Vend website offers a live chat support feature on the website. The representatives are typically known to give a response within 10 to 15 minutes of your message.
Merchants can also use the e-mail address to record their query, which commonly gets a response within a day.
Vend has composed a set of information that they refer to as a knowledge database to help the merchants with common queries. It includes the answers to FAQs and video tutorials about the system. You are also given an option to suggest a new feature to the POS or submit a support ticket.
Vend POS has a profile on all renowned social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Youtube.
The company’s community forum is not very helpful, and the page is not active these days as it is all topped up with a great deal of spam.
Vend offers three different packages to the merchants, who can select the plan according to their needs or budget. The plans differ and increase based on monthly and yearly subscriptions, the business location, and the number of registers you use in your business. It also depends on whether you choose Vend’s built-in payment processor (Lightspeed Payments) or an affiliated third-party processor. Square, WorldPay, PayPal, and CardConnect work as integrated partners of Vend POS.
The swiped rate for the company’s integrated partner is 2.90% plus $0.30. And for keyed-in transactions, it is listed as 3.30% plus $0.30. Vend advertises a “non-integrated” approach for the merchants who use a third-party processor, reducing the number of integrated features you can use for your business.
The company charges $25 per month as a PCI compliance fee and up to $295 for an early termination fee and offers long-term locked equipment leases plan for up to 48 months. It also provides different discount plans for the merchants who register themselves yearly; they are reviewed in detail below;
The lite plan is the cheapest one offered by Vend, costing $119 per month. The annual payment for this package costs about $1188 and comes with one register and one location. This plan includes integration with Lightspeed Payments, 24/7 customer support, retail POS, and open API access. If you want to add more than one location to the plan, you must upgrade from lite to pro. 24/7 customer support is provided, and merchants have a $20,000 monthly transaction limit.
Vend POS starts its standard plan at a minimum of $159 per month and $1548 annually. The package covers five locations, Vend POS sales app, real-time inventory management, 24/7 phone support, unlimited monthly transaction limit, sales reporting, and integration with Xero, QuickBooks, and MYOB. Merchants can integrate with Shopify, BigCommerece, and WooCommerece for e-Commerce features, and the plan also covers a free Ecwid Subscription for integrated e-Commerce.
There is no fixed rate for the enterprise package. It is custom-made according to the business’s complexity and the merchant’s need. However, every enterprise plan has more features than previous packages and covers unlimited locations, custom onboarding, and a dedicated account manager. The enterprise plan includes all elements of the pro plan as well.
Vend POS is designed to work with iPad, Mac, and Windows computers, Microsoft tablets, and Andriod smartphones. You only need one of these devices and a secure internet connection to use Vend software. But an iPad is necessary to run the Vend mobile application because it does not work on any other operating system.
Vend sells its hardware directly to merchants through partners of its POS portal, but merchants can also purchase it from third-party retailers at the same price.
Vend sells a Motorola barcode scanner for $120.75, a Star Micronics cash drawer for $125, and Epson thermal receipt printer for $230. The starter hardware kit compatible with the IOS operating system has a cash drawer, bar code scanner, and receipt printer for $600.
It is easy to cancel your monthly or yearly plan with Vend because the company does not bind you with lengthy contract terms. However, a fee of up to $295 can be deducted based on business type and size on contract termination.
The monthly package price significantly increases with the addition of more locations and registers to your account. If you are planning to use a third-party processor, definitely compare the company with other processing options offered by Vend. Using a third-party processor instead of Vend can become very expensive compared to Lightspeed Payments.
Vend POS allows merchants to use the software for 14 days as a trial. The trial method is free and you don’t need credit card information to sign up for it. Merchants can review the features and services of Vend POS without paying a single cent.
Vend struggles to provide top-tier services to its clients, and its efforts can be seen on online forums. There are fewer registered complaints against Vend POS on the online platforms compared to several other rivals.
Vend POS is not accredited with Better Bussiness Bureau but has not received any complaints in the last 36 months. So, BBB awards Vend POS with an A+ rating.
Furthermore, no informal reviews are recorded against Vend at BBB, but that is possible because informal reviews are less likely to get published at BBB. Usually, BBB’s ratings are authenticated and reliable; however, it cannot be trusted blindly for making business decisions.
Vend POS has proven itself useful in the features and services it provides. The online reviews against the company justify this statement to some extent. However, Vend POS review doesn’t name it the finest POS for online business because some drawbacks make it a difficult choice for some business types.
Merchants are hesitant to choose Vend POS because it is considered an expensive choice for businesses. Although it justifies the prices in some sections, it is nowhere near the cheapest option on the market.
Some everyday features are absent in the lite plan and are only accessible to the pro subscribers. A transaction limit is applied, and the promotion vouchers facility and multi-location management are unavailable in the lite plan, making it an unfeasible choice for merchants. Furthermore, additional features and e-Commerce platform add-ons cost extra money. For Example, to add a different Register to the lite plan, you have to pay an additional $59 with the regular fee. $119 per month is a high POS rate for a starting package compared to other alternatives available in the market.
Considering the Vend prices, it is only recommended to large enterprises or businesses that can subscribe to options with exclusive features. Otherwise, it is expensive for smaller merchants and start-ups. Small and medium-sized merchants are much better off with competitors like Square.
System glitches are a major reported problem in complaints against Vend on the internet. You can see that the Vend application is limited only to the IOS platform. In addition, improvement is needed in the reporting sector as customers are dissatisfied with the feature set and expect it to be more efficient in the future.
One of the most significant setbacks of Vend POS is that it does not have its own payment processor. A list of third-party processors is provided by the company compatible with the system, or merchants can use the payment processor by the parent company of Vend, Lightspeed Payments.
Only merchants with a compatible payment processor can use Vend POS for their businesses. Others may have to pass through the troublesome process of finding a convenient payment processor and credit card terminals that can be integrated with Vend POS. Merchants have raised issues about the incompatibility of Vend POS with their preferred payment processor or their country’s restriction on payment processors from the list provided by Vend POS.
This inconvenience can be avoided by selecting alternatives that offer a more extensive range of third-party payment processors. Shopify and Square can be noteworthy options to choose from rivals. While they are payment service providers, they offer affordable prices and are compatible with most third-party POS hardware.
Vend POS has grasped merchants’ attention for providing a cloud-based system for most business sizes, ease of use, and integration capabilities. Vend allows merchants to test it without paying a single cent, which can be considered a plus point of the company. Most of the users are satisfied with the customer support however, you can still find merchants having trouble with their representatives. Businesses that practice in-person sales can use it as their POS only if they have compatible credit card processors.
However, the lack of payment processors, high prices, and system glitches raise doubt about the reliability of this POS system. The system could be more versatile if improvements are made because merchants seek a better approach.
If you plan to choose it for your business, you must check credit card processor compatibility first. Also, review the prices with top-rated POS before making a decision. It is recommended to test the 14-day trial option before making a final decision.