Business owners who are looking for a system that allows their employees to complete transactions from just about anywhere should consider Shopify POS.
Shopify POS is a point of sale service offered by Shopify, a well-known eCommerce provider, that is primarily iPad and iPhone-based. The system also works with some Android devices.
The POS application allows business owners to manage their entire online and physical store presence anywhere they go using one platform.
Employees can easily ring up customers and complete other business transactions and inventory management functions in the store or on the road.
Online functionality is available as long as they have access to a web browser and the Internet.
The system is perfect for business owners who manage remote staff, those who are required to travel, or venders who frequent street fairs and other venues.
Merchants must subscribe to Shopify POS in order to take advantage of its full suite of services, including a Star Micronics receipt printer, APG cash drawers, a Socket Mobile barcode scanner, and Shopify’s proprietary card reader which is powered by Swipe, among others.
Shopify POS requires users to purchase a newer iPad version in order for everything to integrate smoothly.
The company does offer all needed hardware via its website to ensure compatibility, so business owners can easily acquire and download this hardware.
Shopify POS allows users to instantly accept payments from multiple channels (i.e., credit cards, online payment systems such PayPal, etc.) without worrying about third-party fees and other restrictions.
No longer will employees need to carry with them paper receipts and manually fill out everything, entering payments at a later time. This ensures important paperwork isn’t lost in transit, transactions are processed successfully, and money is collected on the spot.
All transactions are completed by referencing a preset list of items available for purchase. Items can be scanned in or found via an on-screen search option.
Users can designate “Quick Sale” items that are always visible on the register screen. Connecting to a wireless Star Micronics printer will allow a user to print custom receipts for customers or customers can be emailed a copy of their receipt.
Shopify POS is ideal for customers as well. If they are interested making a purchase but decide not to do so on the spot, the user can gather the customer’s contact information and send an email showing the item(s) of interest and including a link to purchase online at a later time.
Users and also redeem loyalty points for customers or ring up an online purchase if an item isn’t physically available in person.
A paid-for item can be marked as unfulfilled if it is in the process of getting delivered (such as with an online purchase) so that the charge won’t go through until delivery. Payments are largely customizable depending on a store’s business needs.
The POS system saves business owners a lot of time that would otherwise be spent tediously processing paperwork. There is no need to back track to make sure debts are properly collected and less chance of error.
Reports can be quickly pulled to view daily sales totals, and by digitizing each step of the process, data and documents are easy to retrieve at a later point.
Shopify POS comes with an intuitive design, making it for all employees to navigate. Time spent learning how to navigate the service is minimal and no formal training is required.
A thorough company customer support system allows any issues to be promptly addressed, and the unified system interface does not require professional expertise to set up and use.
This makes it ideal for a small operation without a dedicated tech department. It also means there will be no business downtime while the integration is in process.
The number of employees who will have access to the Shopify POS service depends on the subscription level chosen, and a business owner can preset controls to restrict access of certain functions as needed. Access levels can be adjusted at any point.
A store’s products can also be categorized by type, season, sale, and more. The smart collections feature will automatically sort products based on vendor, price, and inventory level.
A business owner can easily offer different versions of their products, such as multiple sizes, colors, materials, etc. Each variation can have its own price, SKU, weight, and inventory within Shopify POS. Barcodes are quickly and easily scanned into the system and items are tallied. Sales taxes will be added depending on the specified location of the company.
All inventory processes are available in the cloud, so a user can easily track when certain items are low and know when to reorder. Comprehensive reports and analytics allow for quick viewing of various operations, so business decisions can be made.
The web-based service also provides users with a wide range of templates that can be customized to meet individual branding requirements. Those familiar with HTML and CSS can put their skills to good use by editing both and enjoying extensive control over template design. Both digital or physical goods can be sold using the system, making Shopify POS an ideal service for just about any type of company.
Other features include the ability to track the sales numbers across multiple locations, track a location’s cash float, and end-of-the-day reconciliation. The software allows for more than one shop, letting a user track the float made through the day. There is also an option to accept two or more payment types in a single transaction (for example, credit card and cash, or multiple credit cards). Partial payments, such as deposits or layaways, can also be accepted for any order. Shopify POS can also come equipped with a WiFi camera security system called Nest Cam.
A customer’s complete order history is available for any orders made in store and online, searching by customer, product, or date. Since customer profiles are automatically created when they first make a purchase, a business owner can track the number of visits, purchases, and shopping habits.
This information can be used for mailings with coupons and other discount options or notices. If a business collects email addresses at checkout, customers can be automatically notified of upcoming sales or new products with Shopify’s email marketing apps, enticing them to make purchases either online or in the store.
Shopify POS allows for a variety of discounts to be applied depending on a business’s customer base.
Some standard rule-based discounts available include unlimited time- and usage-based discounts for frequent buyer, senior, or military discounts; limited time only discounts for limited time promotions; limited quantity discounts for first come, first serve door crasher sales; minimum purchase-based discounts for increasing a store’s average order value; and customer group specific discounts for exclusive/VIP or loyalty programs. BOGO sales and wholesale pricing can also be offered.
Tips for Shopify POS allows customers to offer immediate feedback during their visit. The feature’s makes it simple for customers to leave just the right amount of gratuity.
The feature is integrated right into the checkout process, so customers can add a tip as a percentage of their purchase or leave a set dollar amount.
Shopify recommends that brick-and-mortar stores use iPads along with the necessary hardware while those selling at fairs, pop-up shops, and other in-person, on the road events can use card readers along with either Android-based phones or iPhones.
The system works well with iPhone 5 or better running iOS 9.3 or higher; Generation 2 or better iPad running iOS 9.3 or higher; any generation iPad mini running iOS 9.3 or higher; and Android devices running version 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher.
There are five Shopify subscription pricing plans from which one can choose. These include ‘Basic Shopify’ at $29 per month; ‘Shopify’ at $79 per month.
‘Advanced Shopify’ at $299 per month; and ‘Shopify Plus,’ for which fees are negotiable, but generally fall within a $2000 per month range depending on the size of the business and specific usage expectations.
Because larger enterprises often have unique requests, it is best to speak directly with Shopify and receive a quote for the specific services needed. The price will vary.
‘Shopify Lite’ allows users to sell an unlimited number of goods and manage inventory via an established Facebook page or a physical location.
Users are also given access to Shopify’s Buy Button, which allows for the sale of goods an existing website or blog page.
This button acts similarly to PayPal’s Buy It Now feature. The Lite version does not allow users to operate a fully functioning online storefront, but rather, allows the user to integrate limited functionality into their already existing operation.
More advanced features are available as one moves up the price scale. Professional reporting functionality and a gift card option is only available on the $79 Shopify plans and higher.
Advanced reporting tools and the ability to create customized reports are only provided on the Advanced and Shopify Plus plans, and real time carrier shipping is a feature unique to the Advanced Shopify plan.
Shopify Plus offers additional options regarding security, APIs and fulfilment. This is the best option for those who need a more complex POS system.
A business owner is allowed up to two accounts on the Basic Shopify plan, five on the Shopify plan and fifteen on the Advanced Shopify plan.
These accounts allow an owner to have access while offering accessing to team members. The owner can set different permission levels, allowing sensitive data to be restricted as needed.
Pros of Shopify POS
Low Processing Fees
Reviews indicate Shopify POS credit card fees are the lowest on the market.
Custom Payment Options
If a user is running Shopify POS on an iPad, custom payment options can be created within the app such as cash, debit, or IOU. Any payment options enabled will also be available in Shopify POS for iPhone. If a user is running Shopify POS for Android, the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader must be used.
Many customers have noted that everything syncs with ease. The ease of use is largely unmatched in the industry. Shopify POS can be installed on an unlimited number of devices without customers being charged extra fees.
Shopify POS for iPad includes an app to refund a purchase, as long as the purchase was made on Shopify POS. With Shopify POS for iPhone or Android, a user can refund an order from the Shopify admin or the Shopify app.
The Shopify POS system is simple enough to install and use with limited training. No formal training is necessary. This allows for operations to continue while it is being integrated.
The number of available options is unmatched compared with competing systems, which is preferred even if there is an additional cost for specific features.
Sole proprietorships and other small operations won’t need to pay hefty fees to use the Shopify POS service.
There is a large range of pricing and available features, making it ease to select the right subscription service for a company’s specific needs.
Large Customer Base
Shopify has a large market reach which means the POS system is much less likely to become obsolete than others with more limited reach.
Customers do not have to worry about getting dropped unexpectedly and having to put business operations on hold in order to switch to another supplier.
Cons of Shopify Point of Sale System
Many users have reported that there were bugs or errors during use. For instance, there is no limit to the number of products that one can create, but there is a limit to the number of products that can be in a store’s catalog before your POS device might start to experience performance issues.
A user will begin to receive error messages if too many products are entered at once. However, Shopify has an accessible customer support team available 24/7 to quickly resolve issues, so often these are fixed in a timely manner.
Weak Offline Functionality
The system reportedly has a weak offline mode, which makes it difficult to process credit card payments during an Internet outage.
Less than Ideal Inventory Features
The inventory functionality does not include automatic alerts for low stock, which is the subject of many customer complaints. Users have also reported it is difficult to apply a storewide discount, which has to be done manually. This gets especially tedious if there are a number of items on sale at once.
Staff accounts, staff sales tracking, and hardware integrations all come with an additional cost, and some customers feel that these necessary features should be included in all packages without having to pay extra for them.
The Shopify POS includes a free “chip and swipe” credit and debit card reader. However, a contactless “tap” reader, such as Android Pay and Apple Pay, costs $89.
Analytics Features Lacking
Some reviews indicate that the reports offered are too basic, and that competing systems offer much more in-depth reporting functionality.
It is important for a business owner to choose a POS system that best fits his or her organization. The system must be able to provide functionality that supports relevant to day-to-day business operations.
The overall cost, features, and the ease of a system’s integration into existing practices should all be considered. Having an appropriate budget in place is key. Trial versions are often available for hands-on testing and online reviews will reveal the pros and cons of each from real customers who have experience using POS.
Shopify POS is a widely used system that comes with a variety of package options, so an owner can custom-fit their purchase to the needs of his or her business. This means small and large operations alike can take advantage of what the product has to offer.
The large market reach Shopify has established means that the system is less likely to become obsolete or be pulled from the market unexpectedly, making the POS system more reliable than others with more limited reach.
Shopify POS allows users to manage their entire online and physical store business using a unified platform. This means items can be sold from a brick-and-mortar location, from multiple physical locations, or from pop-up shops, events, or other traveling and temporary storefronts. Items can also be sold via blogs or social media.
Users can offer customers refunds and exchanges, gift cards, store credit, discounts, loyalty point redemption, or the ability to make online purchases even when items are not on site. There is also an option to charge the customer’s payment source only once the item has shipped.
These advanced POS options make Shopify especially user-friendly. The company’s accessible 24/7 customer support team is also readily available to help as needed.
It is important to do some homework prior to committing to a particular POS system or version of Shopify POS, and to understand how the choice will add value for a user’s unique business.
There is a wide variety of functionality available in the Shopify POS system which makes it fairly simple to tailor fit features, choosing only those that are necessary. This is what makes the Shopify a top player in the POS space.