6 Best Vape Shop POS Systems (with Features Every Shop Needs)

  • By Matthew Davis
  • May 16, 2024
  • Upselling Tactics

New vape shops open all the time. According to an industry estimate, the number of shops in the U.S. grows 20% every year. It’s a highly competitive industry.

To stay ahead, vape stores need technology. And one critical piece of tech is a vape shop POS system.

A point of sale isn’t just a fancy cash register. The best vape shop POS systems can transform your entire operation.

Top POS platforms include tools for inventory management, marketing, loyalty programs, payment processing, and ecommerce. Plus, they help new shops build a foundation to expand their operation and add locations more profitably and efficiently.

What do the best vape shop POS systems have in common? And what systems should be on every vape store’s short list?

Keep reading for a deep dive into how to choose the right vape store POS system for your shop (along with recommendations for the best POS systems for vape shops).

Vape Shop POS Systems: Essential Features

As a new store, affordability and basic features will be most important to you. So, look at a POS system’s basic software and hardware packages and look for these five features.

However, you’ll also want a platform that offers advanced functions (which your business will need as it grows). You can upgrade to these features as you scale and expand.

The 5 must-have POS features for vape shops include:

1. Inventory Management

Vape shops carry dozens of SKUs for various flavors, nicotine levels, sizes, etc. This can create some inventory challenges. To address them, you need these basic features:

  • Minimum Stock Alerts – Get alerted when stock levels get low.
  • Variant Management – This will allow you to create variants and base your variants on a specific “parent” product.
  • Expiration Dates – Vape juice is shelf stable (generally up to 1–2 years, if properly stored). However, it’s good to be able to track this info.
  • SKU Management – A great vape POS system allows you to add products, manage your price book, and make changes with ease.

Advanced Features. As you grow, your business may need features like replenishment automation (auto ordering), vendor management, handheld scanning, and warehouse/receiving functionalities.

2. Payment Processing

Every vape shop needs a payment processor, and generally, vape shops are considered high-risk. Therefore, at a minimum, you need a POS that works with high-risk payment processors.

A POS platform with integrated payment processing, however, is a better option.

Integrated processing means the POS company also handles credit card processing. Therefore, your card data syncs automatically with your POS. This simplifies register reconciliation processes and eliminates the need to work with a third-party company.

Reduce Card Processing Costs. Most vape shops pay a 2.6% fee on credit card transactions but may face high-risk fees and limitations. For a high-volume shop, that can be a huge cost! Get a rate quote before you commit to a processor or POS system.

3. Ecommerce

Ecommerce software is a must if you plan to sell online. A POS and ecommerce integration allows you to:

  • Upload your products to your website
  • Manage products on your website
  • Accept payments online
  • Sync online and offline inventory
  • Manage in-store pickup or delivery

Generally, this is an advanced add-on in vape POS software, so you only pay for it if you use it. But even if you don’t plan to sell online right now, make sure the platform includes this (so you can scale ecommerce in the future).

4. Barcode Scanning

As mentioned, vape shops manage hundreds of SKUs, and products tend to move quickly. This can create issues at the register if you aren’t prepared, (e.g., having to look up prices or inventory inaccuracy).

Barcode scanners are a vape shop’s best friend.

Say you scan a disposable vape. With a POS barcode scanner, the correct price would be charged at the register, correct taxation (if tax rates vary by category), and the item would be subtracted from inventory.

5. Compliance

Compliance is so important for vape shops. The industry is heavily regulated, and failing to adhere could result in fines or you could lose your license.

Choose a POS with ID scanning and/or age verification software. If you sell online, POS age verification software is better. This feature allows you to do in-store ID checks, as well as check IDs in ecommerce flows.

Another compliance feature is tax reporting. The best POS systems come with pre-configured tax reports, as well as let you customize.

Additional Features to Consider

As your operation grows, you’ll want a platform that offers advanced functionalities. Some features you may need include:

  • Loyalty Programs
  • Accounting Software Integration
  • Payroll
  • Marketing / Upselling
  • Customer-Facing Displays
  • Replenishment Automation

Research options. The best POS systems offer these as basic or advanced features. You can upgrade and pay for them, when you’re ready to use them.

Top Vape Shop POS Systems: In-Depth Comparison

Looking for vape shop POS system recommendations? These are some of the industry’s best solutions.

1. FTx POS (FasTrax POS)

FTx POS caters specifically to businesses that sell age-restricted products, making it a strong contender for vape shops. Plus, we have extensive experience in the industry. As such, our POS platform offers industry-specific features that help vape shops grow.

Features

  • Age Verification: FTx POS prioritizes age verification with features like integrated ID scanning and integrated age verification software (FTx Identity) for ecommerce ID checks.
  • Compliance Expertise: Having experience in the industry, FTx POS understands the specific regulations vape shops face. We offer pre-configured settings and reports to streamline compliance tasks.
  • Best-Rate Card Processing: Looking for a payment processor? Our POS system includes processing with better rates for vape shops. We recently helped a multi-store shop save $70,000 per year on processing fees.
  • Advanced Inventory Management: FTx POS includes a full inventory platform, designed for retailers that manage hundreds of products and variants. Plus, we offer advanced features like vendor management and automated re-ordering.
  • Scalability: We work with some of the largest chains in the industry and offer advanced features for multi-store locations. Optimize your operation – from 1 store to 100.

Pricing

FTx POS plans start at $89 / month. Our basic plan includes inventory, product management, and reporting tools.

We also offer POS hardware bundles or you can build-your-own terminal. Hardware costs vary with discounts available for our POS + card processing customers.

Overall

FTx POS offers a strong feature set focused on age verification and compliance, making it one of the best POS systems for vape shops. Our platform helps brands launch and scale with ease, with numerous core and advanced features for retailers.

2. Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed POS is a huge company and provides POS for various industries. Some features for vape shops include:

  • Ecommerce: Lightspeed includes ecommerce software in its $149 / month core plan. The platform allows you to sell online.
  • Integrated Payments: This is a standard feature. However, Lightspeed requires POS subscribers to use their integrated payment solution (with rates starting at 2.6% + 10 cents).

Pricing

Lightspeed offers tiered pricing plans that start at $89 / month. The Basic plan includes inventory and integrated payments. Hardware costs vary.

Overall

Lightspeed is a solid POS system, and it offers numerous functionalities for vape shops. Overall, it can be a bit expensive, with many advanced features available in only advanced plans. The platform does require integrated payments too, which limits retailers’ processing options.

3. Korona POS

Here are some reasons why Korona POS might be a good fit for vape shops:

  • Payment Processing: Korona doesn’t offer integrated payments but does work with some top payment processors.
  • Age Verification: Age verification is crucial for vape shops. Korona POS offers built-in ID scanning for fast and reliable age verification at checkout, ensuring compliance with regulations. T
  • Inventory Management: Korona POS includes advanced inventory management with features like mass editing, automatic reordering, and the ability to configure custom pricing.

Pricing

Korona POS offers tiered pricing plans with varying features. Explore the plans and ensure they align with your specific needs and budget.

Overall

Korona POS is another contender that offers some robust features. However, some users report that Korona POS can have a steeper learning curve compared to other POS systems.

4. Clover

Clover POS is a popular POS system, especially for new businesses. It offers features that can simplify operations and enhance customer service. Some features for vape shops include:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Designed with simplicity in mind, Clover POS offers an intuitive interface, ideal for staff with varying levels of technical expertise.
  • App Marketplace: Find apps for age verification, specialized inventory management (such as tracking coil types), and marketing tools for targeted promotions. However, this can make it more complicated and expensive to use.
  • Flexible Payment Processing: Clover integrates with various payment processors, including those suited for high-risk industries like vape shops.

Pricing

Clover offers payment plans for hardware and software. It’s basic plan for retailers starts at $60 / month for 36 months (with card processing costs of 2.6% + 10 cents). However, the basic plan only includes a touchscreen with receipt printer.

Overall

Clover offers a fast solution to get operations off the ground. But there are some limitations as you scale or your operation and add locations. Similarly, its basic inventory system isn’t the most in-depth, and may not be best for vape shops with numerous product variants.

5. Shopify

Shopify POS can be a good fit for vape shops, but it’s generally best for smaller stores or those already using Shopify Online. Some features include:

  • Online & In-Store Integration: Connect your vape shop’s physical and online presence effortlessly with Shopify POS, streamlining inventory and customer data management.
  • Familiar Interface for Shopify Users: If you’re already using Shopify, the POS system will feel familiar, simplifying staff training.
  • Basic Age Verification: Shopify POS provides basic age verification tools, though additional apps may be needed for stricter compliance.

Pricing

Basic plans (recommended for sole-proprietor businesses) start at $89 / month. Shopify does offer integrated payments. However, if you use a third-party payment processor, they do charge a 2% fee (which can significantly add to processing costs).

Overall

Shopify POS works well for an ecommerce-focused business and may be useful for an online shop that’s opening a brick-and-mortar. However, Shopify may not be the best choice for processing high-risk payments. Check compatibility with payment processors before committing. Plus, there are limitations in inventory management, which might not be best suited for large or growing vape retailers.

6. Square for Retail

Square for Retail has its benefits for vape shops, but it’s essential to know its limits. Here are some features for vape shops:

  • Affordable & Easy to Use: Square’s simple interface and free basic plan make it wallet-friendly for small vape shops or startups.
  • Offline Sales: You can still make sales without internet in offline POS mode, handy for areas with spotty connections.
  • Inventory Control: Keep tabs on your vape products, manage variations like nicotine levels, and get alerts for low stock.

Pricing

Square’s basic retail plan is free. However, this includes just basic features + ecommerce and a POS app. A tiered option is available at $89 / month.

Overall

Square’s affordability makes it an attractive option for small vape shops, but this does introduce some limitations. For example, Square isn’t great for high-risk payments, and only offers basic age verification. You may need to upgrade your plan for detailed reports and marketing tools too.

Which Vape Store POS Is Right for You?

This really comes down to the needs of your business. A single store has widely different needs than a multi-store outlet.

Therefore, the POS systems they choose might change. Here are some suggestions based on the size of the business:

Vape POS for Single Store

  • Size & Budget: Focus on affordability and ease of use.
  • Features: The platform needs, at a minimum, inventory, age verification, barcode scanning and basic reporting. CRM is an added benefit.
  • Ease of Use: Staff training should be minimal. You need something that can get up-and-running fast.
  • Customer Support: Basic support might suffice for a single store. But make sure support is accessible and included in your plan.

Vape POS for Multi-Store

  • Size & Budget: Invest in a scalable system that can grow with your business.
  • Features: You need real-time inventory data across stores. This is a necessity for brick-and-mortar + ecommerce businesses.
  • Ease of Use: Choose a POS with a centralized interface to manage the operation, as well as single-store tools.
  • Customer Support: Reliable and responsive support is vital. Look for companies with multi-store clients.

What About FTx POS? FTx POS serves retailers of all sizes. For new shops, we offer budget-friendly pricing and must-have features in our basic plan. However, we have extensive multi-store experience. The largest smoke shops in the U.S. use FTx POS.

Recap: You Need a Vape Store POS System

For vape stores, a POS system is one of the most important choices you can make. Your entire business – from checkout, to inventory – runs through your point of sale. Therefore, it needs the features to help you grow.

Specifically, the best vape shop POS systems include age verification, barcode scanning, inventory management, and payment processing options (with ecommerce being an optional upgrade).

But beyond that, your POS provider should have industry experience. And that’s something FTx POS offers.

Contact FTx POS today to learn more about our POS systems for vape shops. We help independent stores and multi-store chains grow.

FAQs

Prices vary based on features, plans, and number of stores. However, most systems include two fees 1) a monthly software subscription and 2) POS hardware (like a touchscreen, barcode scanner, etc.).

FTx POS offers free and discounted hardware packages for POS + payments subscribers. (Note: Minimum processing volume required.)

The best ways a POS helps a vape shop streamline include:

Yes, the best vape POS systems have numerous integrations. FTx POS offers manual and automated integrations with third-party tools like QuickBooks and payroll software. Plus, we offer a full line of first-party retail integrations:

  • Loyal-n-Save
  • FTx Identity (age verification)
  • FTx Warehouse (warehouse inventory management)
  • FTx Digital Signage
  • FTx Uplift

Yes. Many systems offer this functionality. Specifically look for a variant management feature. This will allow you to create a parent product, and then manage “child” products as related to the parent.

A POS tracks every sale. Using this data, vape shops can identify fast- and slow-sellers and develop re-ordering algorithms to automate their replenishment. For example, a vape shop:

  • Track popular mods. You can then optimize shelf space for top mod brands and avoid stocking devices that don’t sell.
  • Trends in vape juices. Do your customers prefer fruity or dessert flavors? Use this to make stock decisions.
  • Daily/weekly trends. Identify how product buying changes on the weekends. Do you sell more disposables? Use this insight to make order decisions.

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Business Experts & Contributors

A New Solution Coming To FasTrax

Danielle is a content writer at FTx POS. She specializes in writing about all-in-one, cutting-edge POS and business solutions that can help companies stand out. In addition to her passions for reading and writing, she also enjoys crafts and watching documentaries.

Danielle Dixon

Content Writer
A New Solution Coming To FasTrax

Matthew Davis is a content marketing specialist for FTx POS. With experience in marketing, brick-and-mortar retail, and ecommerce, Matthew enjoys writing about strategies and technology retailers can use to grow. Previously, he managed retail operations for a sports/entertainment facility and worked in marketing consulting.

Matthew Davis

SEO Specialist/Content Writer

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