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Clover is a good point of sale system for retail and food-service businesses. It offers a suite of hardware options and a large App Marketplace to fit the unique needs of a large number of business owners. Clover manufactures their own hardware which works nicely with their software and add on Apps. Though Clover has been in the market for a few years, it is still missing functionality that other systems offer. Most of the times, the functionality can be added via purchasing apps but it can get very costly. Also, Clover does not offers support for third party apps which can leave business owners stranded if they are unable to get in touch with the app developer.
WHO IS CLOVER A GOOD FIT FOR?
There are a few factors that determine the price of the Clover system. Most important ones are: the hardware needed, merchant processing agreement and whether the system is bought or leased.
Each Clover device is linked to a merchant processing account. Often times, resellers will consider the processing rate and monthly volume before quoting a price. There’s also the option to buy or lease all the equipment which can lead to a big difference in price.
For the Clover Station, buying the equipment up front will cost between $600-$1000 and leasing will be in the $29-$99/month range.
FRONT OF THE HOUSE
Clover’s home screen is different from all other tablet point of sale systems, it resembles the home screen of an Android smartphone/tablet since it is built on the Android OS. Like Android tablets, Clover relies heavily on their App Marketplace to offer their customers expanded functionality. Clover treats each set of features (orders, employees, inventory, etc.) as a separate app.
The Orders app makes it easy to ring up guests and offers all the functionality that most businesses will need. Items can be selected on screen, searched for or scanned using the wireless barcode scanner. Clover offers support for categories and modifiers so wait staff can quickly ring up customers . Since Clover is used by many different business types, the order screen is simple and more advanced features (splitting, merging, transferring checks, etc.) is not easily accessible. Retail businesses can use a barcode scanner or the search feature to ring up items.
The checkout process is seamless and intuitive. If a customer pays with a credit card, the stand can quickly be swiveled to face the customer so they can sign and enter a tip (optional) to complete the transaction. The receipt can be printed, emailed or texted to the customer right from the Clover Station.
Clover’s customer tracking allows you to store customer data right from the Clover Station. Customer details including name, address, phone and birthday can be entered in and orders can be linked to that customer. Customer profiles include all the information entered as well as their past order history.
Clover offers expanded functionality through their App Marketplace. For example, Full service restaurants can download an app that gives them access to a table layout screen. Retailers have many apps available to them as well and are served better by using one of the advanced inventory tracking apps instead of relying on the native inventory tracker.
Most of Clover’s management features are accessible from the station as well as the online portal, allowing managers and owners to stay in control of their point of sale no matter where they are.
Clover offers great employee controls with built in permissions control and a time clock feature for payroll. We found the permission settings will satisfy most business owners as it lets them lock down individual settings on most screens. The default time clock serves its purpose but other options are available if integration with a scheduling software is needed.
Clover’s default inventory management allows business owners to keep track of what they have and reorder supplies as needed. Each item can have variants, attributes and options and modifiers. All these features combined give business owners various ways to enter their inventory and make it easy for staff to ring up orders. As mentioned earlier, additional inventory apps are available for unique needs.
Clover offers basic reports on the Station which are sufficient for the day to day operations. Business owners can quickly pull up daily totals, the number of payments received, tip totals and other reporting from the Station. The Clover Insights™ web portal offers a more comprehensive set of reporting that can be used to analyze trends and grow the business.
Clover manufactures all their own hardware and have a variety of devices to fit pretty much every need. The flagship device, Clover Station, combines a swivel touch screen, NFC and magstripe reader, printer and cash drawer.
Clover also offers the Clover Mini, Clover Mobile, Clover Flex and Glover Go. Each device fulfills a unique need and they all work together to provide the user a seamless point of sale experience. Though Clover Mini’s can be used as a standalone point of sale system, they are commonly used as a customer facing display for the Clover Station. The Clover Mobile is used as a mobile ordering device at brick and mortar businesses while the Clover Flex is a standalone device for service based businesses.
Due to Clover’s business model, the level of support provided during the setup process varies widely. All customers have access to the online support center but the level of phone and email support depends on who the system is purchased from.
Some of the larger re-sellers will completely set up the system and provide hands on support during the launch phase. While others expect the business owner to configure everything on their own.
We recommend business owners clarify the level of support you expect when buying a Clover system.
As mentioned earlier, support and setup varies from re-sellers to re-sellers. All Clover users have access to the online support portal which has helpful articles on most topics but is not comprehensive support documentation.
Most large re-sellers provide 24/7 phone and email support directly or through a partnership with Clover. The proprietary nature of the hardware and software makes great support even more of a necessity.
Being one of the largest providers of point of sale systems, Clover offerings a compelling solution. The company develops their hardware and software in-house which leads to a great customer experience. The App Marketplace is great for growing businesses with unique needs and is one of Clover’s strong points. We recommend Clover for most retail and restaurant businesses that need a starter point of sale with expandable functionality.