Clover is a point-of-sale (POS) system that offers an all-in-one solution for small retail, restaurants, and service-oriented businesses. Its POS software comes bundled with a configurable payment processor and proprietary hardware, plus integrated apps. You can purchase Clover from third-party resellers based on your preferred merchant processor.
However, pricing and overall contract transparency vary greatly among Clover resellers. And once configured, you can’t reprogram Clover to a different payment processor. Choosing a Clover alternative can offer a more flexible solution.
The best Clover alternatives are:
- Square: Best overall Clover alternative with free POS and fully integrated payments
- Shopify: Best multichannel features for native ecommerce businesses
- Lightspeed Retail: Best Clover POS alternative for advanced inventory features
- Revel Systems: Best for restaurants with high-volume, in-house delivery
- Upserve by Lightspeed: Best for full-service restaurants
- Loyverse: Best Clover alternative for small quick service and hybrid restaurants
Note that while Clover advertises solutions specifically for retail, restaurant, and service businesses, limited functionality—along with pricing and contract variability among resellers—prevented Clover from making our list of:
When to Use Clover
Clover is one of the best mobile POS systems and best credit card readers for iOS users, especially for businesses that already have a compatible merchant account. Being able to choose your merchant account from a variety of third-party resellers ensures that you get the most value for your investment. Clover is also up there with Square in terms of flexibility in features for different types of businesses.
Business owners who want to build customer relationships will like how Clover gives access to its customer loyalty and rewards management tools regardless of the subscription plan. It also includes payroll and employee management features and a built-in ecommerce integration. Clover’s proprietary hardware is also versatile, offering options that range from simple card readers and mobile devices, to complete industry-specific stations.
See our full Clover review to learn more about Clover’s features and whether it is right for you.
When to Use a Clover Competitor
Clover offers user-friendly software but does not make our list of the best POS systems on the market because of its limited inventory management capabilities and lack of advanced plans that can grow with your business. Additionally, Clover’s pricing can vary significantly depending on which merchant account provider you purchase the software and hardware through.
Startups should consider the overall cost of setting up a POS system with Clover vis-a-vis their budget, while businesses that are already using the system should review the level of activity it needs to grow against features, like inventory and reporting, supported by Clover.
Consider Clover competitors when:
- You have yet to determine a compatible merchant processor
- You are an occasional seller or small business that doesn’t need a separate merchant account
- You need solid inventory management tools that can keep up with increasing inventory movement.
- You have a restaurant or cafe that requires granular inventory management tools
Square: Best Overall Clover POS Alternative
Square is Clover’s top alternative (and vice versa) as it offers similar key features, including the use of a built-in payment processor, but excels over Clover for its ease of use. You can get started with Square for no money down if you have an iOS or Android device to run the Square app, and Square top pick for best mobile POS systems. Square also offers basic and industry-specific POS software that starts with a free plan and makes our list of best free POS software in the market today.
Square has one of the most intuitive POS systems in the market, giving users the ability to process transactions and manage their business seamlessly with a cloud-based system. It also allows you to run sales reports, take payments, and gives you access to third-party apps at no extra charge. Users who outgrow the basic Square POS software also have the option to upgrade to a more industry-specific solution like Square for Retail and Square for Restaurants.
Specific Square features include:
- Multichannel sales tools
- Offline payment processing
- Credit card pre-authorization
- Automated customer directory
- Social media selling integration
- Buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) features
Want to know how Clover stacks up against Square? Read our side-by-side Clover vs Square comparison for more details.
Shopify: Best Clover Alternative for Ecommerce Business
Shopify POS is a powerhouse in the ecommerce space and offers small business owners one of the best retail POS platforms to sell almost anything, from an ecommerce website to a traditional brick-and-mortar shop. It offers key integration tools that allow native online businesses to seamlessly manage multichannel sales. Unlike Clover, Shopify gives you plenty of choices for credit card payment processors, plus useful built-in features and functionality, and access to third-party apps to help you design your ideal POS.
Shopify stands out because of its sophisticated yet easy-to-use website builder while also providing business owners with solid tools to manage in-store sales. Clover POS users who prefer a stronger online presence or have a larger ecommerce sales revenue should consider Shopify as a more suitable alternative.
Specific Shopify features include:
- Integrated sales channels
- Online store builder
- Shipping tools
- Integrated inventory management
- Wide range of integrations including Amazon
To learn more about Shopify’s multichannel tools and how they stack up to the competition, read our guide to the best multichannel POS systems.
Lightspeed Retail: Best Clover Alternative for Advanced Inventory
Lightspeed offers POS systems for retail and restaurant businesses, along with an ecommerce platform comparable to big names like Shopify and BigCommerce. Its granular matrix inventory management tools surpass competitors like Clover, earning its place as our top-recommended POS for inventory management. Lightspeed is also RACS-compliant and tops our list of best vape shop POS solutions.
Lightspeed gives its users the ability to access back-office management and online reporting tools. Flexible features also allow users to easily customize the system for a wide variety of retail and restaurant businesses.
Lightspeed’s top features include:
- Customizable advanced matrix inventory
- Built-in purchase ordering
- Third-party payment processing integrations
- Supply chain management
- Multi-location management
If you’re ready to get started, see our guide on how to manage inventory using Lightspeed.
Revel: Best Clover Alternative for Delivery Restaurants
Revel Systems offers a wide range of features and can easily handle busy restaurants, in particular, for its built-in delivery management system. This makes Revel the best alternative to Clover for pizzerias and other restaurants with in-house delivery. Revel’s streamlined kitchen display system (KDS) easily handles dine-in, takeout, and online orders. It also provides solid kiosk software and hardware support, making it one of our top recommended self-service POS for businesses selling ready-to-eat items.
Revel Systems Features
Revel’s massive list of features allows users to create a highly customized POS system. Large restaurants that struggle with managing multiple revenue streams from dine-ins, online orders, deliveries, catering, takeout, and even retail sales will find Revel’s functionalities most helpful. Revel also integrates with third-party payment gateways alongside its own payment processor.
Revel’s other features include:
- Menu management
- Guest management
- Inventory management with physical and blind count modules
- Self-service kiosk software and hardware
- Floor plan customization
- In-house delivery system with GPS and driver management
- KDS with customer-facing “order ready” screen
- Standalone online ordering tool
To see how Revel Systems stacks up against our other recommended restaurant software, read our guide on the best restaurant POS systems for pizzerias and best POS systems for food delivery.
Upserve by Lightspeed: Best for Full-Service Restaurants
Upserve by Lightspeed is designed for full-service restaurants and bars, and it comes with online ordering tools and delivery management integrations. Upserve makes our list of top kitchen display systems for its full offline functionality. It also features a robust customer relationship and reputation management system that is ideal for any full-service restaurant or high-traffic operation.
Upserve by Lightspeed Features
Like Clover, Upserve’s features work well with busy, full-service restaurants. On top of strong restaurant POS features, Upserve provides a host of customer relationship management tools built to improve retention and engagement. It supports integration with third-party delivery apps, such as Chowly and Grubhub, so orders go straight to your POS system.
Other Upserve features include:
- Automated inventory management
- Table and check management
- Contactless and order ahead online ordering
- Integrates with delivery software apps
- Offline KDS
- Reputation management tools
- Team management
- Restaurant analytics
To see how Upserve compares to other top-rated POS software, read our guide to the best restaurant POS systems.
Loyverse: Best Clover Alternative for Small Hybrid Restaurants
Loyverse is the only free POS system that comes with a built-in loyalty program. It also offers business management tools that support both retail and restaurant businesses, making it an ideal solution for small hybrid cafes and restaurants. You will need to find your own payment processor, but, unlike Clover, it does not require proprietary hardware, so you have more flexibility with choosing a provider. Loyverse is also available for PC users and is among our list of top open source POS system solutions.
Loyverse offers solid POS and inventory management tools for small food-based establishments that also sell retail products. You get access to menu customization and ticket management tools along with barcode scanning and bulk inventory upload features. Loyverse also integrates with popular payment providers, such as SumUp, CardConnect, and Worldpay.
More specific Loyverse features include:
- Free POS app for iOS and Android
- Barcode scanning and bulk inventory uploading (CSV)
- Menu modifications and management
- Offline mode
- Built-in kitchen display system and customer display support
- Order management tools
- Stock management including inventory count
To see how Loyverse stacks up to Clover and other POS systems, read our full Loyverse review.
Clover POS offers a complete business solution, from software and hardware to credit card payment processing. However, it locks you into contracts, may include hidden fees, and could be more expensive than a small business can afford. Square gives you more features and flexibility at a fraction of the cost, even with Square’s paid plans. Additionally, it gets constant high marks for affordability and ease of use. For these reasons, Square is our top recommendation for a Clover POS alternative. Visit Square to create a free account.