The Best Apps for Retailers in 2018

The Best Apps for Retailers in 2018
Mobile apps help you keep up with crucial aspects of your retail business.
by Square Oct 05, 2017 — 5 min read
The Best Apps for Retailers in 2018

We understand that small business owners in the retail trade are always juggling multiple functions — and are constantly on the go. Mobile apps help you keep up with the most important aspects of running your business. Here are 12 of the best retail apps to help you streamline your growth.

The best free apps for retailers

Free apps are a great launching point to give you baseline information about your business and streamline your day-to-day tasks — without spending a fortune on a software platform.

Square Point of Sale

Square’s free POS app is a powerful system built specifically for the needs of growing small businesses. The Point of Sale app lets you accept credit and debit card payments from customers in seconds, includes inventory management features and in-depth reporting. Square Point of Sale also lets you send professional online invoices (which are free to send) straight from your mobile device. Use the Square Point of Sale app as a mobile POS on a smartphone or a tablet at your counter.
Monthly fees: None
Transaction fees: Pay just 1.6% per tapped, dipped or swiped card transaction for Visa, Mastercard, eftpos, JCB and American Express, or 2.2% per invoice paid online.
Available: on iOS and Android


If you’re opening a new retail shopfront or looking to re-style your existing one, MagicPlan can help by quickly creating professional floor plans and budget estimates. It’s simple to use — snap some photos and the app measures the room and draws everything up. You can also add objects and photos to generate more detailed estimates. Users, small business owners and commercial contractors alike say the MagicPlan app is easy to use.
Monthly fees: None, but floor plans must be purchased individually at $2.99 USD each.
Available: on iOS and Android

Google Drive

If you’re already using a Gmail account to manage your business email, you have free access to the powerful G Suite. That includes Google Drive, which lets you keep all of your business files in one convenient location that you can access from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. You can also set sharing permissions to allow other people to view, comment, or edit documents, and you can view files offline. This allows you to collaborate safely and easily with clients, bookkeepers or other employees, no matter where you are.
Monthly fees: None
Available: on iOS and Android


Instagram is one of the most important social media channels for retailers. To ensure your content stands out in people’s feeds, you need impressive, engaging shots. Snapseed is an app that comes with a huge selection of editing tools and stylish filters to make your product photos pop. Edit your ordinary photo from drab to fab, and make the most of Snapseed’s regular updates which improve app functionality, filters, and tools.
Monthly fees: None
Available: on iOS and Android

The best retail apps for accounting

Using an app to accept payments means you can accept transactions from customers and clients no matter where your business takes you.

Zoho Books

Zoho Books helps you create and send invoices, get quotes from vendors, and access your business financial information from anywhere. You can also upload expense receipts and bill directly from the app, then categorise them from your smartphone. The app has real-time updates so employees across multiple locations can see the same detail, minimising communication errors across the business. Zoho Books is also setup for GST in Australia, ensuring that your bookkeeping is accurate and organised.
Monthly fees: $9/month/organisation for up to two users, up to $29/month/organisation
Available:on iOS and Android


Xero’s accounting app helps you take care of bills and expenses, pay employees, and manage purchase orders. Your data is saved in the cloud, so you can access it from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop; that also means that if any of your devices are ever lost or stolen, you’re information is secure and won’t be lost. Xero’s accounting app helps busy retailers handle expenses quickly and easily, even letting them see their cash flow in real time.
Monthly fees: $49.99 AUD per month
Available: on iOS and Android

QuickBooks Accounting

Global accounting experts Intuit QuickBooks brings you the perfect accounting app for retailers and small business owners who need a single solution for accounting and payroll. QuickBooks Accounting can be used across mobile and desktop, and enables you to send invoice, track expenses, manage banking and access powerful business insights. You can connect your bank account to automiatically import and categorise transactions, and take pictures of receipts to store them within QuickBooks.
Monthly fees: Starting at $16.50 AUD per month for a Simple Start plan.
Available: on iOS and Android

The best retail apps for inventory management

The first step in a successful transaction is to make sure you have what the customer wants to purchase. Good inventory management is crucial to ensure that you have the right products available, when and where you need them — whether that’s in physical retail stores or online.


Shopventory is an inventory management system that integrates with your point-of-sale system. The software has analytics that let you see your profit margin at a glance across different time periods, as well as at an item or category level, so you can optimise your inventory better. Shopventory can help you identify the items that aren’t selling well, so you know what you could discount or discontinue. The easy-to-use system is best for small and medium-sized businesses.
Monthly fees: Basic plans are free for one location, with paid plans starting at $24 USD/month for businesses with more than one location and wanting to track an unlimited volume of transactions
Available: on iOS and Android

Many times, a transaction ends with payment at your cashwrap. But if you sell online or over the phone, you need to fulfill orders and ship items, too. Shipping services are a great way to manage costs and ensure your goods get where they need to go.


ShipStation is a huge time-saver when it comes to shipping. It streamlines your fulfillment processes with batch label creation, connections to the top shipping carriers, and can send custom tracking emails to your customers. The web-based system is hosted in the cloud, which means you can access the data anywhere (you can even get order alerts on your Apple Watch). Retailers and small business owners using ShipStation call it a fast, easy-to-use solution.
Monthly fees: from $9 USD to $145 USD/month
Available: on iOS and Android

The best apps for managing employees

Managing employee rosters and keeping track of timecards can get complicated. These apps can help simplify the process.


Deputy’s mobile apps help you plan shifts, clock employees in and out, and send them notifications when the roster changes. You can also send friendly reminders or push notifications to remind employees of upcoming shifts. Employees love how they can see hours worked and planned time off, and communicate with their fellow team members all in one place.
Monthly fees: None
Available: on iOS and Android


Humanity is a complete workforce management system that includes employee scheduling, leave management, staff training, and employee communication tools. If you’re managing employees across many locations, the GPS clock makes it easy and provide your managers peace of mind that employees are checking in from the right location. Humanity also integrates with your POS to create labour forecasts, giving you a better idea of how to optimise employee schedules for traffic and sales.
Monthly fees: Management software starts at $33 USD per month
Available: on iOS and the Humanity website


Building employee schedules manually can take up a lot of your time. With Homebase, you can schedule out your team in a matter of seconds. You can also view the clock-in status of all employees, add or edit their timecards, and track scheduled and actual labour costs to keep an eye on how your overhead is tracking. The app is also convenient for employees, since it gives them better access to schedules, shift trades, shift covers, time off requests, and availability.
Monthly fees: None
Available: on iOS and Android

1.6% card present rate applies for Square Sellers who sign up on or after 30 May 2024. The rate of 1.9% will apply for Square Sellers who signed up prior to this date when using Square Reader, Square Stand or Tap to Pay, as listed in the Square Fee Schedule.

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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