Brilliant POS offers a range of point of service (POS) hardware and software to meet the needs of entrepreneurs, SMBs, and multi-location enterprises. Like many of the best POS systems, its cloud-based software is intuitive and easy to use and, despite some limitations discussed below, will meet the needs of most business owners in the retail and restaurant sectors.
In this Brilliant POS review, we take a look at the plans and pricing available for vendors of all sizes, key features like inventory management and reporting, customer support, and how it compares to competitors.
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Plans and pricing
Brilliant POS offers a variety of pricing plans for both hardware and software.
For Clover Mini, Clover Mobile, and Clover Flex (see the How it Works section below), the lowest tier costs $4.95 per month and enables you to accept all forms of payment, capture electronic signatures, and send and store receipts. You also get customer engagement features and the ability to set employee permissions and hours. Paying $9.95/mo will add inventory tracking and order management, access to a large selection of integrations, and installation and training.
The Register plan costs $39.95/mo for the first device, then $9.95/mo for additional devices. It includes advanced inventory and order management, provides access to the full range of Brilliant POS add-ons and integrations, and allows for connecting one’s devices to a scale or kitchen printer. Restaurants can also take advantage of support for modifiers and table management. This plan is available for Mini, Mobile, Flex, and Clover Station.
Finally, the Cash Register Express and Restaurant Pro Express software are available for a one-time payment of $599.00, available for Clover Station only.
All plans include access to 24/7/365 US-based phone support.
In terms of hardware, you have a large selection of devices, from Clover Go ($149.00) up to Clover Station with Customer Display ($1,699.00), plus scanners, printers, scales, and more. Information on card transaction fees, regrettably, is only available by directly contacting Clover for a quote.
How it works
Clover POS offers both POS hardware and software. The software is only compatible with Clover POS hardware, so you’ll want to start here.
Entrepreneurs, pop-ups, and kiosks can take advantage of low-cost hardware like the Clover Go, which connects to your mobile device for dip, swipe, and tap payments, or the Clover Flex ($699.00) portable touch-screen (and signature) device with embedded scanner, printer, and full-day battery.
Small- and medium-sized businesses can avail of a variety of tools for use in retail and grocery stores, restaurants, bars, quick-serve shops, and more. Among these is the Clover Mini ($749.00), which comes with a 7” touchscreen display, printer, EMV and NFC, swipe and dip, front-facing camera and microphone, and barcode scanner.
The fullest-featured device is the Clover Stand, available with a customer-facing screen and cash register, a large 14” display, finger-print access for employees, multiple USB ports, a backup battery, and more. Most devices can be leased instead of purchased outright.
As mentioned above, Payment Plus and Register Lite plans are available for Mini, Mobile, and Flex devices, while the Register plan is available for these, plus the Station device.
Features & Services
Clover’s POS software is praiseworthy not just for its usability and attractive design but also for its impressive array of features and functions. The basics are all there, like barcode scanning, electronic signatures, and returns, but you also get some useful customer engagement features, like discounts, gift cards, loyalty programs, emails, and branding.
One of the most useful aspects of Brilliant is its marketplace, which enables businesses to greatly expand the functionality of their POS system, including integration with Quickbooks and other accounting software. Many of the applications are only available at a premium or with a monthly subscription, so be aware that if certain features critical to your business are missing from the POS software, you’ll likely have to pay extra for these.
Inventory management is solid, although the most advanced features are only available with the Register plan. Still, this includes top-sellers, customizable tax rates, item counts, categories, labels, and pre-set modifiers to stay organized. Some customers have found inventory management cumbersome, however, especially when dealing with large inventories.
Clover offers a basic array of reporting, including sales data (by hour, category, item, customer, and more), inventory, and employee performance and timeclock. Reports can be generated from your account online, wherever you are, which is a useful feature. The software also includes built-in profit analytics.
Employee management is simple and straightforward, with a labor scheduler, time clock, and even payroll processing, exportable to Excel or directly to Quickbooks. A reporting panel lets you build your roster based on customer traffic, and evaluate individual and team performance.
Cash Register Express (CRE) and Restaurant Pro Express (RPE) are available as stand-alone POS software platforms that run on Windows 7 and higher. The main features are similar to those described above, plus a variety of features for retail stores (like layaway, styles and sizes, and commissions and consignment) and restaurants (like age-verification, ingredient inventory, bar tabs, modifiers, comps and voids, and more).
While powerful, it must be said that the interface is dated and somewhat cluttered—a far cry from the simplicity and intuitive design of Clover on its own devices and in the cloud. The bones are there, but the user experience could be greatly improved by, for example, presenting information in tooltips to reduce screen clutter and updating fonts, icons, and colours for readability.
Support and customer care
Customer support is available 24/7/365, and is praised by most customers as knowledgeable and helpful, with a few (verbose) exceptions. The service can be contacted by email or telephone.
There’s also a blog with announcements and stories, although no FAQ or knowledge base to speak of. This is unfortunate, given the long wait times experienced by some callers, although being able to call at any time, any day of the week is a definite plus.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to POS systems, so be sure to compare vendors. For entrepreneurs, kiosk, and food-truck owners, there are some great low-cost solutions available. Square POS, for example, has no monthly fee and low transaction pricing (2.6% + 10¢), and includes phone and chat support.
For something more robust, Epos Now is a popular alternative, especially for use in hospitality, and it has a built-in CRM. It’s also available as a one-time purchase ($750) instead of a monthly agreement, which can be much cheaper in the long-run. Payments, however, are managed through third parties like iZettle and PayPal, and so won’t be appropriate for customers looking for an all-in-one solution.
Brilliant POS has a lot to offer, and has fairly billed itself as a fully-featured product. This is especially true of the Clover software that runs on the company’s hardware, although the standalone CRE and RPE programs need a major overhaul. A help section with guides and knowledge base would be a plus, although the 24/7/365 support is a saving grace.
A few customers have encountered problems with inventory tracking, although this seems to be limited to those with large and complicated inventory needs—not something many SMBs will have to worry about. The price is right, given the wide array of features, and the hardware is top of the line.
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