Revel POS System Reviews
Welcome to my Revel POS review!
I tested Revel against two of its top competitors in my own business.
Revel is touted as a comprehensive software solution with extensive functionality, but how does it stack up to the two rival brands?
I compare price, functionality, integration, applications and features.
Read on below to find out which of these three POS systems is the best fit for your business.
The Revel Systems POS software license starts at $99 per terminal per month, with an initial three-year contract.
They also recommend you use their setup and implementation service, priced at $674 (one-off payment), and a flat fee on payment processing.
This fee is available by quote only as it depends on other aspects of the purchased package.
The final software cost for your Revel POS will depend on which features you need.
For example, many customer loyalty features, online ordering capabilities, and inventory management aren't covered in the basic price. Whether you are operating on one site or multiple locations will also affect the eventual price. Ensure you work closely with your Revel systems sales rep so they know exactly which features and services you require.
Hardware costs will also be a significant factor in your initial outlay. Being an iOS-based point of sale system, you will require at least one iPad terminal, but there are a host of other accessories you may need depending on your business. A cash register, barcode scanner, and card reader are fairly essential for most retail businesses, whereas restaurants may also want to consider digital menu boards and/or a kitchen display system.
Extra customer support features such as Account management and "concierge" services are also available on a by-quote basis.
Benefits & Features
Flexible sales Models
Revel Systems POS is very much designed with retail businesses who want to take advantage of a range of sales channels in mind. Whether making in-person sales in one of your retail stores or seeking efficient delivery management for purchases made using the online ordering platform, the Revel POS has you covered.
For the broadest range of features and options, including device-based mobile ordering and self-service kiosk operations, you'll find the Enterprise Management solution from Revel more comprehensive than other POS systems. It gives your sales management team every avenue imaginable to drive the success of your retail business.
The fully EMV compliant Revel Systems POS handles much more than just in-store cash transactions and credit card processing. The integration with SmartPay also allows features from SMS payments to allowing customers to ring up their orders and pay using QR code scanning. Users have also reported significant savings as a result of the Revel system's flexibility over the choice of payment processors, unlike some competitors with a fixed solution.
Store credit, layaway, and house accounts are all covered by the functionality of the payment gateway, whilst users in the food and beverage sector will be impressed by the ease with which bill splitting and bar tab pre-authorization.
Everything which goes through a cash drawer or credit card processor is recorded separately, so you can even monitor payment streams and keep track of whether all of your current platforms are adding sufficient value to be sustainable.
The Revel Systems POS has options for comprehensive Customer Relationship Management and loyalty rewards features. You can easily add up-to-date information to your customer database and use this to inform custom offers and email marketing.
By linking the purchases made by each customer to their details, you can identify trends and preferences via the Revel dashboard, so discounts, loyalty rewards, and upselling promotions are tailored to individuals or key demographics.
If your business is appointment-based, the CRM module can also be used to assign customers to the schedule. If you want even more powerful schedule management features, the system can be paired up with compatible third-party integrations by obtaining open API access.
Inventory and Menu management
The Revel Systems POS inventory management tool is highly adaptable, being equally suited to either providing in-depth inventory control for the retail sector or using ingredient-level inventory alongside the menu building features to provide real-time availability information for the food and beverage industry.
In retail terms, inventory levels and status are monitored, so you can track inventory across multiple locations and throughout the delivery process for customer orders. The Delivery XT service offers extra delivery management features, including insights into key delivery metrics and real-time tracking in transit.
From the restaurant side, linking your inventory and menu lets you do more than just track availability. You can set up the system so detailed information on ingredients etc is visible to customers via digital menu boards, as well as to your servers via the iOS app.
The business management and analytics features in the Revel Systems POS are just as comprehensive as the sales functions themselves.
Revel Insights keep the CEO or any project manager informed about all aspects of performance. Live sales data and other key indicators can be accessed anytime through your Revel dashboard, along with a selection of handy visualizations for trend analysis.
The employee management functions allow roles to be assigned with specific permissions, so you have complete control of which features each employee has access to. Overtime and shift changes can be assigned and tracked easily and the system can be used to handle the majority of your administrative paperwork relating to staffing and compliance.
For extra flexibility of reporting, analytics, and management features, Revel integrates with over a hundred other third-party applications through open API access, although there is an additional cost inherent in this approach.
Revel systems have put a lot of thought into their customer service, support, and training provision. Their online tutorial platform, Revel University, provides setup and optimization guides for the various modules within the Revel POS, whilst a dedicated account manager works with the customer service team to meet the specific needs of each client.
Onsite support is available through the implementation phase, in addition to online and telephone assistance. If you want the highest level of support available, going way beyond troubleshooting and setup, you can sign up for the Revel Concierge Service. This is a tiered solution where you can select the level of direct support you require with the actual administration and operation of your POS.
Pricing and Transparency
Not all costs are initially made clear on the Revel Systems POS company website, with the additional cost for features only being available by quote rather than directly through the Revel Systems website. For example, Revel does not share open API pricing upfront.
Other competing products are available at a lower cost. Although most of these are not as comprehensive, they may be more suitable for a small business without large budgets.
Revel does not offer a free trial period at this time, although they can arrange a demonstration. Not being able to try the system fully for a period of time could be problematic when initially tied in for three years.
The iOS-only basis of the Revel Systems products can be an annoyance for those companies who are not currently using Apple hardware.
iPads are significantly more expensive than other alternatives (Android and Windows tablets) so this does affect the overall hardware cost.
According to some user reviews, there have been issues with recurrent glitches in the system. One of the most common reports is a problem whereby Inventory uploads regularly fail. This is apparently being addressed.
Some users have reported that the "basic" customer service options are not as effective as they could be. Difficulties with getting hold of a representative or complaints being passed around on a "not my job" basis have been specifically mentioned. However, the more advanced services with a dedicated customer advocacy manager or access to the Revel Concierge Service should not experience these difficulties.
The Square POS system is another point of sale solution designed to be broadly applicable.
It has many similar features to the Revel Systems POS, especially in terms of facilitating sales through multiple on-site and remote channels, beyond the basics of cash sales and credit card processing at the physical cash register.
The basic package from Square doesn't have quite as comprehensive a set of options for customer relationship management and back-office features as the offering from Revel Systems, although there are paid add-ons available that compensate well.
There are some advantages when it comes to inventory management and tracking which may be worth exploring with them in detail before committing to Revel.
The biggest difference between the two systems is actually in the pricing structure. Square POS licenses their basic software package for free, with only a payment processing cost payable to the company (the user is also responsible for hardware costs). Additional features are payable but the pricing for these is fairly transparent.
If your business model is simple enough to be covered by the basic package, Square may well prove more cost-effective than the more extensive Revel Systems suite. However, for larger companies, the balance is likely to tip in favor of the latter.
The Lightspeed Retail POS is another comprehensive system with extensive functionality.
In terms of utility, it may be more suitable for larger companies, for similar reasons to the Revel POS.
One point of difference is in eCommerce. The entire POS system from Lightspeed is designed to integrate flawlessly with eCom websites, providing an excellent set of remote point-of-sale features.
Inventory is linked directly to the online store (complete with high-quality images), credit card processing can be done remotely and automatically, and orders are synced with your in-house POS terminals in real-time to avoid inventory issues.
Another key feature of Lightspeed is the integration with the Lightspeed Supplier Market, giving users access to hundreds of catalogs for stock ordering and price comparison.
If e-sales is the main drive of your retail business, Lightspeed definitely has all the tools you need to do the job efficiently. If in-house selling is more fundamental, or if you are manufacturing and selling your own products, the extra features may not prove cost-effective.
The Revel Systems POS provides a versatile and effective solution for most companies.
It's relatively user-friendly due to a nice POS interface and logical layout and carries most of the features you are likely to need.
Overall, this product stacks up well against most other POS systems on the market.
However, there are pros and cons to any system within the POS and management software sector, so the most important thing is to work out exactly what you need the most and how much you're willing to pay, before committing to any system, especially with a three-year initial contract.