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Everything You Need to Know About Shopify POS in Australia

The definitive guide to Shopify POS in Australia, including tips and tricks.

Stephanie García

Everything You Need to Know About Shopify POS in Australia

It is no secret that COVID-19 made an impressive change in customers' shopping behavior since it first appeared in 2020. Between 2020 and 2021, Australians spent AUD 48.1 billion on online retail, accounting for around 13.2% of the total retail sales (NAB). Moreover, as of November 2021, Australians were the world’s most active online shoppers. Forty percent of them reported online shopping at least once a month, and 35 percent said they do it weekly.

To put it in numbers, in 2021 the amount of online retail buyers was up to 14.6% more households than in the previous fiscal year. This basically pushed a lot of brick-and-mortar stores to experiment with online sales channels, such as Shopify. As a result, when the isolation stopped, hundreds of physical stores had already implemented an online platform to sell their product online so they wouldn't miss any more customers.

Here's a chart showing the 2021 profits of online retail. Online retailing turnover continues to rise despite consumers being able to shop more freely at stores following lockdowns. Online retail turnover was up 22.8% ($692.1m) compared to November 2020.

Even though some people got used to shopping/selling online,  most of the potential buyers stuck with the classic person-to-person experience. This is where Shopify POS work begins. Having a tool that simplifies all your store management processes takes off the pressure of having to deal with multiple systems since everything is centralized in one place.


How to Get Started with Shopify POS

If your business is already part of Shopify's eCommerce platform, it'll be a piece of cake to become a member of the Australian POS app community. All you need to do is download it to your smartphone or tablet (it can be both Android or Apple) from the Shopify app store and start processing orders right away. However, if you're not, it's also pretty easy to create a Shopify account and merge it with your brick-and-mortar store.

You need to keep in mind that, if you do not have certain hardware in your retail business, the only method of payment you'll be able to accept is cash. Then, it's time to evaluate whether or not your business needs the implementation of new hardware to process purchases. If you don't want to be dependent on the daily cash flow, it is better for you to consider some hardware options. Shopify offers a series of devices that extend the payment methods available. However, you can always buy it from verified third-party suppliers.

Pricing & Subscriptions

Regardless of your Shopify subscription plan, you can try the POS PRO features thanks to the 14-day free trial. This way you'll see the best of the POS system before actually subscribing to it. Having that said, Shopify offers a different pricing structure for your main Shopify Store and for the POS system. These costs are calculated in USD as the main currency regardless of the country your store is located. The POS app is included in every subscription plan a Shopify user may have, even the Basic Shopify plan.

As an eCommerce platform, the main subscription plans offered by Shopify, as current users may be aware, are Advanced, Shopify, and Basic. Here's a more detailed  cost description (including the Shopify transaction fee):

On the other hand, the Shopify POS app has its own subscription prices. The plans are Shopify POS Lite and Shopify POS Pro. The differences between them are displayed in the following table:

The next thing you need to think about is whether or not to acquire POS Hardware from Shopify. Even though the only thing you need to actually start selling is a mobile device with the Shopify POS app installed, it will only let you process cash payment purchases. To provide your business with more flexibility, you'll need to buy a Shopify card reader so you can process both debit and credit card payments.

If you already own certain hardware like cash drawers, barcode scanners, receipt printers, or more from your previous shopping processing system, you can check if they're compatible with the Shopify POS. But if you're just starting, it is recommended to begin with a Shopify package like a hardware bundle with the essential tools a retail store needs.


Shopify's Hardware Store

As mentioned before, you can check Shopify's hardware available in Australia right on their website and ask to get them delivered directly to your retail locations. Among the products they offer are cash drawers, barcode scanners, receipt printers, card readers, iPad stands, and other accessories. This is the perfect choice for people who would prefer to buy hardware directly from the service supplier for trust motives.



However, there are also third-party sources for Shopify compatible hardware, some of them even offer a wide variety of bundles too, so you can buy the most convenient group of devices according to your business needs and requirements. It is recommended to make sure the supplier is a reliable source, you can do this by searching for its reputation on a trustworthy reviews website and verifying its users' opinions.


Can you use Shopify POS in Australia?

It's been a few years since all the tools provided by Shopify POS are available for Australian store owners. Shopify has been making significant efforts in order to expand its services around the world and offer the same quality to each of them.

Based on the statistics previously shown, it seems right to say that having a Shopify online store implemented in retail businesses is one of the smartest moves these days to keep the market's pace and stay relevant for potential buyers.

Offering your clients the possibility to buy the way they want is a very valuable thing you could take advantage of to please any kind of customer, and Shopify POS systems can easily help you with that. Additionally, merchants in Australia were able to accept Shopify payments a few years ago. This allowed their retail businesses to have an even wider selection y of payment methods.


Can you sell directly from Shopify?

Shopify automatically syncs all your account's data (such as inventory, products, etc) with your POS app. It also provides an easy-to-use interface that allows you to start selling online and at your brick-and-mortar store simultaneously. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that, as mentioned before, if you don't have the proper hardware devices, the payment methods you can accept when selling directly from it will be limited.


Selling in Person Using the Shopify POS in Australia

It is recommended to implement an online platform to process orders and offer delivery or local pickup to your customers even if you plan to start with an in-person sales model. Furthermore, Shopify POS systems can be integrated into pop-up shops, markets, fairs, and so on in case you wish to host special events. Online sales channels have taken their space in Australian's lives, so it's better to offer them the possibility of making both physical and online purchases.

Another important thing store owners need to take good care of is customer experience. After all, who doesn't want to be recommended by their customers? Train your staff to offer the best possible customer service and make it part of your company's values. Customers tend to give more importance to their friends' recommendations than to any type of advertisement.

What Payment Methods Can Customers Use?

As mentioned before, depending on the hardware devices you have in your store, the payment methods may vary. Cash payments will always be available, but if you integrate a card reader into your POS system, you'll be able to process credit and debit card purchases. Currently, Australia is one of the countries supported by Shopify Payments, which adds a layer of trust and convenience to the shopping experience and in-person sales.

Retailers also have the option to accept both Apple pay and Google pay, they just need to fulfill some requirements.

For Apple Pay: to enable the Apple Pay button for your store, you must be using one of the following credit card payment providers: Shopify Payments, Stripe, First Data Payeezy, Authorize.net, CyberSource, Braintree.

For Google Pay: all you need to enable Google Pay for your store is to be using Shopify Payments.


Best Payment Providers for Shopify POS in Australia

Another important thing to highlight for retail stores is to determine which payment provider is the best fit for each business model. There are currently lots of options you can consider and adapt to your budget. Here's a brief description of four of the most common payment providers in Australia.  


Shopify Payments

Shopify Payments, the company's very own payment gateway, is one of the most convenient payment providers for your Shopify store. It was specifically developed to be added to your Shopify POS app experience and let you accept payments of any kind. With highly competitive pricing, Shopify Payments offer the highest levels of security along with seamless integration with all aspects of your eCommerce store.

There are also several ways for customers to pay online without using a credit card thanks to Shopify Payments, such as Shop Pay, Facebook Pay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. You might also want to accept alternative methods of payment like cryptocurrency.

Pros: It's included in every Shopify Plan, all credit cards are charged the same rate based on your plan (starting at 1.5% in Australia for in-person transactions), there are no hardware rental or hidden fees, 24/7 customer service in case of any problem, 2-day payout.

Cons: Not supported in every country, strong regulations for the activities allowed to use the service.

Strongly recommended for Shopify store owners who can take advantage of the low commissions and prices for already being part of the Shopify community.


eWay

eWay is an Australian payment processor with operations in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Canada. In Australia, eWay's role as an online payment provider has made it pretty popular among the retail community.

Pros: Getting paid in 1-3 days after receiving payments, Shopify add-on available, guaranteed 24/7 customer service in case of any problem.

Cons: High monthly/transaction fees, and other charges for gateway services.

2Checkout

This is one of the leading payment providers for businesses that sell physical goods or digital products online. While it is impressive in terms of its global payment options and subscription billing capabilities, its payment processing rates can be expensive compared to domestic rates (3.5% plus 35 cents per successful sale and up). As 2Checkout has a striking resemblance to PayPal, when someone buys something from your site, you can expect 2Checkout to appear on their credit card statement.

Pros: No monthly fees, 24/7 customer support, supports for a wide variety of countries and currencies, advanced fraud protection.

Cons: Expensive processing rates.


SecurePay (Australia)

As a division of Australia Post, SecurePay offers eCommerce payment solutions for businesses and organizations of all kinds and sizes. Known as a leading online payments company in Australia, it works with a wide range of businesses. More than 40,000 businesses, especially small and medium-sized ones, have used it to meet their e-commerce needs over the past 15 years.

Pros: Australian bank support, 24/7 customer support, integration with most shopping carts.

Cons: Expensive processing rates and monthly charges.

Tips & Tricks

Although every retail business has its uniqueness, there are some general tips and suggestions that would improve your POS app experience. Having both a physical and online store point of sale is worth doing some research if you want to get the best out of its features, so here's a list of the basic things you should know to improve your service and experience

Notify when customers' in-store favorites are available

You can use the customer profiles feature in your favor by collecting their past purchases data and until you've obtained the necessary information to start popping up on their notifications with reminders, back-in-stock notifications, special promotions, etc. This is a very common strategy applied by thousands of businesses nowadays. This helps to encourage that little Australians' urge to be shopping and checking out promotions every now and then.

Create personalized marketing campaigns

Since the POS system gathers all of your customers' past purchases information, you can easily use it for a very specific targeted marketing campaign based on accurate analytics from your actual client base. This can be combined with the notifications previously mentioned to make it even more powerful and engaging.

Implement loyalty programs

One of the most common strategies to increase sales and customer engagement is rewarding your loyal buyers with discount codes, referral programs, exclusive content/promo codes, etc.  You can earn your audience's contact details by offering them some content of interest or maybe more targeted offers in exchange for email subscriptions. Then, you can start growing your email list and improving your marketing strategy. You can also use loyalty apps as a guide to starting with this approach.

Keep your staff trained

For some of your team members, learning how to use a new device/software might be a bit more difficult than for others. Though it is your job to make sure everyone is aware of the Shopify point of sale app's main features, as well as basic problem-solving abilities. In order to achieve a better understanding of the POS interface and features, along with new updates as well, employees should be familiar with Shopify's social media content and study the material and tutorials they provide if needed.

Merge all of your channels

Given how online sales channels noticeably increased their popularity in Australia during the isolation and how unpredictable these pandemic times are, it is recommended to keep a hybrid model of sales. Having a physical store and online sales advantages prepares retail stores for any unexpected situation.

Another benefit of merging all channels with each other is to create a seamless customer experience and make it easier for users to switch between your business' platforms depending on their needs. Making the experience as effortless as possible creates a smoother process for both customers and employees at the time of check out, and if your store is a physical and online Shopify store hybrid, this feature will benefit both modalities at the same time.


Top Australian Retailers Using Shopify POS

Hero Packaging

https://heropackaging.com.au/

This is an eco-friendly family-run company with the main goal of producing earth-saving, compostable, zero-waste packaging for products that also have cute and creative designs. Hero packaging is very serious about making a difference and encouraging as many people as possible to be part of the change and try to save the planet in the process.


Locks Lash Australia

https://www.lockslash.com.au/

Locks Lash was one of the first companies in Australia to come up with lash extensions. They started with a small and selected group of products and a little training school. However, since the business started gradually growing, their inventory did too, and by 2013 they moved into a new international phase.


Budgy Smuggler

https://budgysmuggler.com.au

It started as a joke between a group of friends and now it's become international with a couple of locations around the world. Budgy Smuggler is a swimwear specialized store located in Sydney, but they also offer a wide variety of products, such as underwear, socks, towels, tees, bumbags, facemasks, and more. Everything mentioned is available for men, women, kids, and even dogs.



Auspicious Online

https://auspiciousweb.com/

Auspicious Web helps businesses to design and develop user-friendly websites. Additionally, these websites are absolutely maintenance-free and they come along with hosting plans. Their unique web design allows Desktop customization, as well as on laptops and mobile phones. Auspicious Web's digital marketing team keeps one step ahead to promote & boost businesses on different channels or platforms.


Skatescool Shop

https://skatesociety.com.au/

Started as a skate school in late 2012 and since then they've had the pleasure of teaching thousands of students to roller skate through various learn to skate programs, events, workshops, and adult fitness classes. A bit later, in mid-2015 they opened a shop in Erindale South Australia, and have been providing both beginner and experienced skaters with roller/inline skates, skateboards of all kinds, protective gear, accessories, spare parts, scooters, apparel, and more. Skatesociety is a proudly Australian store with very knowledgeable staff members (passionate skaters too) that are there to help you choose the products that best suit your needs.