ShopKeep is a simple, yet sophisticated POS system targeting small businesses, which has carved out a niche catering to food and drink vendors.However, most retailers will feel comfortable with this iPad POS system.
ShopKeep offers great value for money, albeit recently having changed its flat-rate pricing to a quote system.You’ll need to talk to a representative and let them know exactly what your retail store needs to do with the software before getting a quote.
ShopKeep POS System Features
This POS is both cloud-based and locally installed. The app syncs data back to the cloud when there is an internet connection and runs locally from an iPad.In the event of an outage, the app continues to run with all features with the exception of integrated credit card transactions. This can be resolved by setting up a backup hotspot router or by operating the application on iPads with cellular data plans.
ShopKeep is a pay-as-you-go, no-contract, monthly subscription service. The company’s software can be purchased exclusively via a quote system. That process is fairly straighforward. You can either answer a few simple questions online or call, and a representative will get in touch with you quickly.
Even with the new system, ShopKeep won’t cost more than the fairly reasonable $69 per month (earlier) for a basic package. The complete point of sale system comes with real-time analytics, a register, employee management, inventory management, unlimited users, free support, and unlimited inventory items.
Specific Size Of Business
ShopKeep is perfect for small to average-sized businesses. A large retailer wouldn’t need it though it can handle multiple locations. This is by design, and the company has done well to stay in this niche. Shopkeep continues to expand what it can run in the back office, now enabling an unlimited number of users and unlimited inventory, but the back office functions and interface don’t attempt to be a large-scale replacement.
The continued lack of table mapping makes it a poor choice for larger full-service restaurants even though it features tableside ordering functionality. The iPad register can only accommodate up to 270 item buttons. You’ll need to ring up the rest of your inventory by barcode scanner or manual search.
Best for Small Specialty Retailers
ShopKeep is perfect for small specialty vendors, such as specialty food, wine shops, toy stores, gift shops, bakeries, concession stands, cafeterias, and mall kiosks.It is also well-designed for use in food service facilities like small cafes, coffee shops, ice cream shops, and food trucks.Since ShopKeep recently introduced open check and server-less syncing, smaller full-service restaurants might also find it to be a good fit. Simply said, you open a check on one iPad and close it on another.
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.
The POS system can print email receipts, helping businesses keep track of their customers for promotions down the road.
Customer Service and Support
A lot of customers are happy with ShopKeep’s customer service, saying it owes much of its success to its being a customer-centered operation. This company is the proud three-time (in a row) winner of the Bronze Stevie Award for sales and customer service.
Unlimited 24/7 support by web inquiry, live chat, text, and email is included in the monthly price. This is a great benefit when compared to other similar, low-cost POS options.
Compatible Credit Card Processors
A number of integration options for card processors are offered even though the company favors its own payment solution, ShopKeep Payments. You’re sure to be able to keep the processor you’re using or find a more suitable one. ShopKeep recommends checking if your processor is supported by getting in touch directly.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Of the relatively few negative comments that exist about ShopKeep online, most are related to customer service. Customers converge on the opinion that customer service is great at the beginning, but its quality starts to deteriorate thereafter. They report being switched back and forth from person to person and having to wait a really long time.
Some people even claim customer service representatives were rude to them. A lot of people say that ShopKeep can take a long time responding and needs constant reminding when it comes to more complex issues. On the plus side, the company is easy to get in touch with initially.
A few comments contain complaints that the system updates at odd, inconvenient times, which can cause connectivity problems. Some reviews claim that the card processor was always slow or didn’t connect and were unhappy with ShopKeep’s offline functionality in general.
Bugs & Issues
Several users have complained of issues like bugs in the system, particularly when it comes to inventory management. Some have had issues with unreliable hardware. Any efforts these customers made to have the problem solved were allegedly ignored or simply not dealt with properly by ShopKeep.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
Even people who find issues with elements of ShopKeep will gladly share that they were very happy with the overall product, especially in terms of customer service. A lot of happy small businesses in the US are currently using the software. You can read some testimonials on the ShopKeep website for more info.
We have discerned the following trends in terms of positive comments:
Good Customer Service
Many users are happy with the level of support they get and pleased with the fact that it is offered 24/7.
Ease Of Use
A lot of customers write that ShopKeep is extremely easy to train staff on and use.
ShopKeep is reasonably priced, especially for the level of features that it offers.
Our Final Say on ShopKeep POS
This POS system continues to make updates and impress with new feature additions, including EMV transactions, an integration with BigCommerce, several updates to the reporting suite, and matrix inventory.
The company is currently working on producing table mapping in future updates, which we find is a definite plus. We’d certainly recommend this system.