Hardware and OS Requirements
To run ShopKeep, you need iOS 8.2 or higher. It is compatible with iPad minis and iPads. The company has an online hardware shop. You don’t need to buy your hardware through ShopKeep, but you have to buy the brands and models supported by the company.
Peripheral compatibility with the iPad can get very complex so it’s best to work with what you know. ShopKeep does offer a few sets, ranging from a starter kit with a cash drawer, an iPad stand, receipt printer and card swipe to kits targeting retail or quick serve establishments. Most are relatively affordable (around $1000).
Shopkeep is a warm and intuitive system. The visual design of the iPad app is elegant and modern, with exciting animated flourishes. The buttons come with sound effects – and a mute option for those who’re less than thrilled by this feature. The system is fun to use, and it is never a problem to find even the most rarely used of functions.
ShopKeep also does a great job of listening to its clients and regularly updates its design to fix bugs and make it easier to use. It also aims to give customers more autonomy with updates that enable users to hide various functions or buttons or move others that are used more often.
The system shows you how to add inventory (by CSV mass import or on an item-by-item basis) and how to add buttons on your iPad register. To learn the ropes, it’s enough to simply explore the different menu options. Once set up, you will do all your employee time tracking, reporting, and inventory receiving on the web platform.
Beyond the scope of this, most user interactions are with the iPad app. You can access a handful of managerial actions from the iPad in addition to the register functions.
This is the most feature-rich aspect. Again, large retailers may find that it fails to meet their requirements in some areas, but a small retailer that operates one register will be getting some relatively advanced tools at an affordable price. The same is true for retail outlets with more than one register. You get access to a system that manages your customers, inventory, and your employees’ time, offers a variety of reporting options for data analysis, keeps a record of all your transactions, and provides unlimited technical support by live chat and email for a low cost of entry.
The register has complex capabilities, which include adding modifiers, ringing up items, splitting tenders, taking payments, easy returns and refunds, and quick discounting (item and order level). As mentioned earlier, the in-app functionality doesn’t require any additional training or expertise. Setting up your iPad button layout is straightforward. This process is managed from your back office.
ShopKeep features an extensive reporting suite. Recently, the company added sales by customer reporting, average cost reporting, and sales by discount reporting to the mix. Updated reports can also be printed out straight from the register.
The inventory functionality, in particular, merits special mention because it goes above and beyond what you’d expect from an item targeting small businesses. Apart from setting reorder points and using a reporting function to designate what, where, and how much to order any low stock item, you can keep track of the quantities of each item.
One of the company’s recent updates involves a matrix inventory feature, which is very important for most retailers. Customers can now create a parent item and then add all the different versions and view it all on one page. What is more, ShopKeep can inventory items as raw goods, after which it can create assemblies on the basis of this information.
This option offers great value to food service providers who need to manage inventory ingredients, but could also be helpful in a retail setting where items are bundled together. For instance, a diner needs to know the amounts of each ingredient in a patty melt: the patty, the cheese, the rye bread, and the onions. A cook isn’t keeping track of how many patty melts are available.
Until recently, it was impossible to set different tax rates with this system. Now you can assign special tax rates to specific items with the new Tax Groups feature, in addition to being able to set a default tax rate for your merchandise.
The Pocket App
Available for iOS and Android, the ShopKeep Pocket App now lets you keep track of how your business is doing no matter where you are.
ShopKeep is trying to expand its multi-location capability in the near future. One of their recent updates includes the option to view all your stores on one main website. You can view each store by clicking a drop-down box. The dashboard overview gives you a comprehensive view of your separate locations.
Integrations & Add-Ons
Currently, ShopKeep integrates with QuickBooks Online, MailChimp, BigCommerce, and AppCard among others. Integration with QuickBooks Online costs you $15/month. The ability to integrate directly with your accounting software saves a lot of effort and time.
Some POS systems offer in-house email marketing, but vital features that only dedicated ESPs like MailChimp can provide are missing. ShopKeep bypasses this issue by partnering with a third-party.
BigCommerce is a new and very welcome eCommerce addition to the POS system. It only costs an additional $15/month, but will finally let you set up an online store. You can painlessly transfer your inventory over to your BigCommerce account if you’ve already set up a ShopKeep account.
AppCard is an integrated loyalty program featuring impressive reporting, personalized offers, and syncs with your ShopKeep sales data.
Finally, the POS system recently acquired ChowBot, an online order and delivery system, adding that option for companies to increase sales.
ShopKeep’s gift card integration syncs to its app seamlessly, making it simple to create and process cards as an added way to increase profits.