Vend Review – 2019

What is Vend?

Vend is a POS system and cloud-based retail management service headquartered in New Zealand. It’s used by well-known brands like Lululemon, Kukri, and Lorna Jane.

We’re reviewing Vend to see which businesses it’s suitable for, and how it compares to the competition. Our rundown of different POS providers can be found here.

Unlike other POS companies like Epos Now, Square, or Lightspeed, Vend specializes in POS systems for retailers only.

Vend can be found in the following types of business:

  • Fashion boutiques
  • Homeware stores
  • Sports and outdoors shops
  • Food and drink retail
  • Non-profit shops

What are Vend’s features?

Vend’s focus is on POS systems, but they also help with:

  • Inventory management
  • Reporting and insights
  • Hardware purchase
  • E-commerce

Vend’s features cover the following areas:

  • POS software
  • Secure cloud backup
  • Payment acceptance and processing
  • Reporting
  • Accounting integrations
  • Customer account management and loyalty programs
  • Staff management and performance

None of the above features are unusual, and despite being the sole retail-only POS we reviewed, Vend doesn’t offer many unique features.

What features does Vend POS software include?

Vend puts a lot of focus on being user-friendly and customizable. Compared to other POS systems such as Epos Now, Vend is intuitive and visually pleasing.

Vend’s POS software has the following features:

  • PC or Mac compatible
  • Cloud-based, but works offline
  • The Vend Register iPad app for mobile selling
  • A customizable interface with quick keys and saveable templates
  • Customer database building
  • Simple product and customer search
  • Custom receipts featuring brand details
  • Add customized notes to customer receipts
  • Add discounts by a specific item or across an entire basket
  • Parked sales
  • Store credit, refunds, and returns

Among the list of features above, the only unique feature we could identify is the ability to add customized notes on receipts. Though useful, this doesn’t make enough of a difference to set them apart from the competition. The biggest differences are in the color scheme.

How good is Vend for payment processing?

Vend’s POS system has the following features that enhance payment acceptance and processing:

  • Secure credit and debit card payments
  • Custom payment types
  • Split payments
  • Gift cards, to increase revenue and reduce processing costs
  • Layaways, on-account sales, and partial payments
  • Not having to use Vend’s payment processor
  • Mobile and contactless payments

What are Vend’s reporting features?

The Vend POS offers:

  • Customizable reports
  • Product and sales reports, with details like brand, suppliers, and tag
  • Inventory reports
  • Employee performance, with sales targets by time period for each member of staff
  • End of day reports
  • Easy report exporting
  • A mobile dashboard

While many POS system providers offer reporting features, Vend’s are accessible and user-friendly.

Does Vend offer accounting integrations?

Small businesses using Xero or Intuit Quickbooks accounting software can integrate them with Vend. Vend syncs with the accounting software, meaning simpler record keeping and fewer accounting errors.

Unfortunately, the integration with Quickbooks is currently only available in the USA. Vend customers in other regions can integrate Vend with Xero, however.

What can Vend do for customer management?

With Vend, businesses can:

  • Build a centralized customer database
  • Create unique customer profiles, with purchase history
  • Import existing customer lists
  • Define customer groups
  • Establish loyalty programs
  • Export customer lists to email marketing systems
  • Issue gift cards

What staff management tools does Vend have?

Vend offers the following employee management and performance tools:

  • Create user accounts and specify permissions by individual and role.
  • Customize permission types and levels
  • Switch between users, to increase accountability and keep track of sales for each employee
  • Track cash with easy change recording to reduce theft and discrepancies
  • Receive register closure reports and add notes

These features can protect businesses from theft and discrepancies, helping the bottom line. Being able to add notes to closure reports may be unique to Vend, although this isn’t the most important feature.

How much does Vend cost?

Vend offer three types of plan for businesses interested in their POS system. Two of these have pricing available on the Vend website. The third plan, Enterprise – suitable for larger retail businesses – requires a quote.

Vend Lite

Lite is the cheapest Vend plan, costing $99/mo when billed annually, or $119/mo if paid monthly.

Suitable for smaller retailers with basic requirements, Vend Lite comes with:

  • One outlet
  • Use on one register included, with an extra $49 per month for each additional register if paid annually, or $59 on a monthly payment plan
  • Sales processing up to $20,000 per month
  • POS software
  • Real-time inventory management
  • 24/7 phone and online support
  • Small business reporting
  • The Xero accounting add-on

The inclusion of 24/7 support with the basic package is helpful, and a step up from some of Vend’s competitors, such as Epos Now.

Vend Pro

Vend Pro offers more features than Lite at a higher price. Pro costs $129/mo billed annually, or $159/mo when paid monthly.

Pro is best for established retailers, particularly with multiple locations. With the Pro package, retailers get:

  • Multiple outlets
  • One register included, with the same additional costs per register as Lite
  • Unlimited turnover
  • POS software
  • Real-time inventory management
  • Advanced reporting and analytics
  • Advanced promotion and gift card options
  • Access to all add-ons and e-commerce channels
  • API access
  • Multi-outlet retail management

While all of these features are useful, none are unique to Vend.

Vend Enterprise

Vend Enterprise is suitable for larger organizations. It’s a tailored solution, requiring consultation with Vend. However, it features a dedicated account manager and custom onboarding solutions.

Does Vend need a retail terminal?

Vend POS software is supported by most hardware and doesn’t need a specialist terminal. However, Vend can offer reasonably priced hardware bundles if needed.

Is Vend value for money?

Vend is around twice as expensive as Epos Now for their lower plans. However, they offer a reasonable range of features, too.

Vend is a POS system specifically for retailers and those companies in hospitality, like bars and restaurants, would be better served with a hospitality POS, like TouchBistro.

Although Vend is a specialist retail POS, it doesn’t have many features beyond the industry standard. You’ll find most of the same analytics, staff management, and CRM features in Lightspeed, Epos Now, and Square.

Overall, Vend is a solid POS system for retail. It just doesn’t stand out in a crowded and competitive market.

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