"Heartland Retail's back-end management features are particularly strong, making this a system that handles much more than the basic point of sale. "
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Pros
  • Goes beyond basic POS and into full retail management
  • Plenty of flexibility for different payment partners
  • A market-leading selection of integrations
  • Great at handling multiple branches and suppliers
Cons
  • Not really suitable for smaller retail businesses
  • Limited support options at some pricing levels
  • Above average costs
Company Background

Heartland Retail is a relatively new name in the world of retail point of sale. However, the product has actually been around considerably longer as Springboard Retail. It was renamed after Heartland Retail’s parent company, Global Payments, acquired Springboard Retail in March 2020.

Heartland Retail delivers a comprehensive solution tailored specifically to retail stores. It’s a cloud-based system with particularly strong reporting and back-office features.

Plans & Pricing

Heartland Retail’s pricing structure is refreshingly simple to understand. There are two preset pricing tiers, and a separate “Enterprise” offering sold on a “price on application” basis. You pay for a software license “per selling station,” making it simple to work out how the pricing scales for different business sizes.

Plus
$80/mo
per station
Professional
$160/mo
per station
Elite
Request a Quote

Plus

The “Plus” tier costs from $80/mo for each selling station. You may notice this is a fairly high price for an entry-level package. The fact that Heartland Retail specifically says that this solution is recommended for “multi-store and growing retailers” does seem to indicate that it’s not really intended for smaller single shops. “Plus” includes plenty of standard features, including inventory and vendor management, and Heartland Retail’s built-in CRM. However, some features only appear in more expensive packages, most notably access to telephone support.

Professional

“Professional” sells from $160/mo per station. It includes more advanced inventory management and analytics, and support for promotions and coupons. This tier also adds telephone support.

Enterprise

Heartland Retail’s enterprise solutions have custom pricing and you need to request a quote. Enterprise packages include “Elite” support, with an instant response, and customers have their own account manager. This is the only package that includes access to the product’s open API, for custom integration with bespoke systems.

Features & Functionality
Best For
Features
  • Retail Store
  • Coffee Shop
  • Nightclub
  • Quick Service
  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Food Truck
General Features
Integrated CRM

Heartland Retail includes built in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Through the use of as many custom fields as you need, you can build up comprehensive data sets on all of your customers. This can help you finely tune your marketing and gives you the ability to treat every customer as a recognized individual.

Purchasing Features

Heartland Retail excels with the back-office side of retail operations, and is well-suited to businesses with multiple stores, suppliers, and warehouses. There are features to handle everything from orders to returns to barcode labelling. As the system is cloud-based, real-time information is available from anywhere.

Strong Reporting and Analytics

One area where Heartland Retail already has a very strong reputation is in reporting and analytics. Reports work in real-time, are highly customizable, and also easy to export in your desired format. Do note, however, that while there are strong reporting features in “Plus,” analytics only comes with “Professional” or the custom enterprise plans.

Open API

Heartland Retail offers a rich range of software integrations. Better still, unlike many competitor systems, it goes further with a fully open API. For the non-technical, this means it’s possible for developers to hook into the system and its live data, allowing custom tools and integrations to be built. This functionality is only available with the enterprise version.

Integrations & Add-Ons

Integration is a real strong point for Heartland Retail. There’s an extensive list of compatible applications, covering big names such as Shopify, Magento, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp. Many integrations are free but some come with an extra price tag.
There is also, of course, the open API. This facilitates custom integrations with other products and even bespoke in-house software.

Features
  • Inventory Management
  • Loyalty Program
  • Mobile Compatibility
  • Online Ordering
  • Reporting
  • Split Checks
  • Manage Tips
  • Staff Scheduling
  • Offline Payments
  • Customer Profiles
  • Multidevice Payments
  • Gift Card Support
  • Accounting Integration
  • Tableside Ordering
  • Floor Plan Management
  • Customer-Facing Display
  • Self-Service Kiosk
Hardware & Software
Hardware Requirements

While some POS providers offer hardware as part of the deal or preset bundles of third-party-kit, Heartland Retail takes a different approach. In fact, within the support pages, the company makes clear that it is a “software company, not a hardware company.”

The software solution is cloud-based so you can access it with any operating system via a browser. The app itself is iPad-based.

When it comes to things like cash drawers and receipt printers, the solution is – at least in theory – “hardware agnostic.” This means you should be able to integrate most standard-issue POS hardware. Furthermore, Heartland Retail recommends some specific devices and links out to a partner hardware supplier as a recommended source.

For the avoidance of doubt, it’s wise to check compatibility with specific items prior to purchase.

Features
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Cloud-Based
  • On-place Installation
  • Windows
  • Mac
Pricing Options
Flexible Payment Options

If you use Heartland Retail, you have a host of ways to deal with customer payments. You can keep everything simple and use Heartland Payments, a processing option from another arm of the same company. Alternatively, you can use the system’s many integrations to connect to the payment provider(s) of your choice or those you already use.

Features
  • Free Trial
  • Freemium
  • Monthly Subscription
  • Annual Subscription
  • One-Time License
Ease of Use

Heartland Retail is a relatively advanced system, aimed at slightly larger and more established businesses. It’s often purchased via resellers who will help with the initial setup and configuration, reducing the learning curve.

It’s possible to build advanced, custom setups, and non-technical users would no doubt need assistance with those. However, from a user perspective, the system itself is intuitive and reasonably simple to learn.

Customer Support

The old adage that you “get what you pay for” is very true with Heartland Retail when it comes to support. The fastest support is only on offer for enterprise-level customers, so it’s worth paying attention to exactly what you do get on the lower tiers.

Additional customer support:
Blog
Heartland Retail doesn’t run its own blog. However, Heartland Payment Systems, Heartland Retail’s “sister” company, does maintain a blog.

Phone Support
Phone Support
Available with the “Professional” or enterprise pricing plans
Live Online Chat
Live Online Chat
Available for all paying Heartland Retail customers
Email
Email
Available via a ticketing system
FAQ
FAQ
Help center features an FAQ section
Final Word

Heartland Retail offers an advanced solution for retail businesses with multiple stores. The back-end management features are particularly strong, making this a system that handles much more than the basic point of sale. At the time of writing, the rebranding from Springboard is at quite an early stage. This is apparent in the breadth of support material available. As Heartland Retail’s parent company also runs a range of additional brands and a payment provider, the branding is a little confusing. This seems likely to improve in time. The killer features for many will be the API, the integration options, and the freedom to use a wide-range of third-party hardware. This is a system that can be deeply customized for the most bespoke of retail businesses.

Ben Taylor
Author: Ben Taylor
Ben Taylor has worked in technology since the turn of the century. He produces articles on a range of technical subjects and has specialist knowledge in Point of Sale systems, cyber security and small business IT. When he’s not writing or fixing computers, he helps out other freelancers.