Clover Review

ByTop10.com StaffNov.08, 2018

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In a Nutshell

Clover is an all-in-one business management tool that offers far more than your standard POS. As well as taking multiple payments including credit and debit, chip and mobile solutions, you can manage staff and inventory, view reports and analytics and even build a loyalty scheme with your customer data.

pros

  • Wide range of devices to fit unique merchant needs
  • More than 200 available apps

cons

  • Can be costly to get set up if multiple terminals are needed
  • Limited to First Data (a separate merchant services company)

Clover was designed with some seriously competitive reporting and insights. Transaction data can be analyzed to unlock sales trends, see who is buying what, when they’re buying it, and which location they’re buying it from.

You can also get a competitive advantage with data from the web that allows you to track competitors and analyze their performance against yours. The insights also examine various geographics and demographics. If you’re thinking about expanding, Clover offers tremendous insights to help you find the best location for growth.

With real time reporting combined with historic data, you’ll have everything you need to make informed decisions. For a small business owner, data can put you at a serious advantage over competitors as you get inside the heads of your customers.

Clover provides an impressive amount of information for running back-of-the-house operations, including everything from inventory management and employee reporting to merchandising and marketing.

Ease of Use

While the system may not be used freely on Apple or Android, the proprietary design of Clover’s POS systems provides a visually driven interface with a large and easy-to-use touchscreen.

Navigation is simple, using visual menus that make it easy to find everything you need. It’s a very intuitive design that resembles a typical smartphone device. You can customize the layout, making it easy to locate functionality and improve the comfort and efficiency of your POS system.

When you order Clover it arrives pre-configured for your business with minimal assembly required. Simply plug in the system, get it online via Ethernet or WiFi, boot up the system and start the final setup process to get your products loaded.

If you have any difficulty, Clover offers a detailed run-down of the setup process on its website as well as customer service options to speak with a representative.

Products

Clover Mini

This mini device is a compact countertop device that has the capacity to grow with your business. Created with small businesses in mind, the mini does all of the basic functions that you need from a payment processing solution, and when you combine all of the add-ons it becomes a full featured POS.

Clover Mobile

Clover's mobile device is ideal for on-the-go businesses, such as food trucks, pay-at-the-table restaurants, or any other business where customers require quick service. Clover Mobile accepts a full suite of payment types, such as EMV chips, credit and debit cards, and NFC payments. It's designed for fast and secure transactions, and can grow with your business as well.

Clover Station

This is Clover's main countertop POS system and featured POS product. It contains standard POS abilities and more. With the Station you can make payments, track inventory, manage timesheets, run reports, sync with other devices, and more. This product is built for established businesses to integrate to a POS system and can grow as you grow as well.

Clover Go

Clover Go is the all-in-one EMV chip, card, and contactless payment reader. It's ideal for on-the-go businesses and connects with other Clover devices. Best of all, it integrates with all reporting and sales activity as well as business insights, to help your business grow based on data.

Cost and Contracts

While Clover was designed for small to mid-sized businesses and it offers a comprehensive suite of insights and reporting (with a lot of feature potential), the POS system itself can be costly.

Because the POS system can be purchased from a variety of merchants, the price can vary. The Clover mini POS terminal runs at around $400 while the complete terminal with register, printer, scanner, terminal and touch screen is typically $1,000.

If you require more than one POS station the startup cost can run into the thousands. This is a significantly higher setup cost than with many other POS systems that allow for simple leasing models. However, you do have the option to purchase 2-3 minis, which will cost you somewhere around $1,000.

Features and Add-Ons

Fresh out of the box you get a wealth of insights and reporting but the overall features of the POS system are pretty bare bones. There is an app marketplace that allows you to expand on the native functionality and features of the system. The benefit of this is it lets you create a more customized platform that meets your specific business needs.

On the other hand you’ll have to take the time to familiarize yourself with the marketplace and figure out what apps are available versus what you need. That’s a little disappointing for an out-of-the-box feature set, but there is a lot of potential here.

If you want extra features like loyalty programs and value-added features you’re going to have to pay for those by purchasing 3rd party apps in the marketplace. You also have the option to add the Register Software for a monthly fee which includes these apps and many more. 

In addition to the 3rd party apps and those apps available from Clover, the system offers an open source programming model with API integration—that means you can work with a developer to have applications created specifically for your business.

Native features with the Register Software include:

  • Employee permissions and employee customization

  • Produce and order management

  • Inventory

  • Product modifiers for inventory

  • Basic and advanced reporting

  • Customer management

Bottom Line

Clover has a lot of potential to be a great POS system, especially with a comprehensive and open source application marketplace. This allows you to truly customize the experience and functionality of your POS system. The robust reporting makes it a great tool for managing your business if you can get past the higher startup cost.