Anything You Need to Know About Shopify POS in Belgium
Ranking number 12th among the 25 richest European countries in 2021, and right above the UK, Belgium sits there with its 53,450 GDP per capita (USD) which is projected to grow 3.2% in 2022. This way, with a developing economy and a very high GDP per capita, Belgian buyers managed to maintain their shopping habits with the help of web browsers, online stores, marketplaces, and deliveries during isolation. So, after several of these repetitive lockdowns which affected people's buying behavior, specialists predict that by 2025 eCommerce market in Belgium will reach a value of US$16,839.
It´s worth highlighting that Belgium has a population of more than 11.5 million, of which, a total of 10.14 million are internet users. So, if you are looking to sell more products and expand your retail business' customer base, you need to take advantage of this fact and start growing your web presence to make everyone know your store name.
It has become a common practice among merchants to start implementing online sales channels to their current physical store approach. By doing so, companies have found a way to get through the pandemic's troubles and keep providing their customers with their favorite products without depending on in-store sales.
After lockdowns ceased, retailers were left with a hybrid business model which included the recently implemented online sales channels while also being physically back in business. This gave retail store owners a whole new lot of responsibilities and tasks that a basic point of sale system would struggle to complete.
Does Shopify provide a POS solution?
Shopify POS is one of the retailer-aimed solutions offered by Shopify and it's currently one of the leading POS systems in the market with over 100,000 merchants using the platform as we speak. It was specifically developed to be integrated with the Shopify online store linked to your account. You can try its benefits without any additional cost thanks to the 14-day free trial offered to any Shopify plan you're currently using. Even though it has some limitations regarding the country of origin, Belgium is on the list of supported nations.
It's fair to say that implementing the Shopify POS system into your brick-and-mortar store would be the perfect solution for this new hybrid way of doing business and approaching as many users as possible. Keep in mind that when your brand's reach gets wider, your responsibilities grow as well, so in order to keep your workload manageable, you might need the help of tools like Shopify POS.
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, and in case of not having any additional hardware, you'll only be able to accept cash payments.
Selling in person using the Shopify POS in Belgium
Even after the dramatic growth of eCommerce value after COVID-19, recent studies and statistics showed that Belgians still preferred old-fashioned in-store shopping experiences. However, as you probably have noticed, online sales have been exponentially growing (probably because of their convenience and a wider range of products and prices) since the first lockdowns, particularly for fashion and leisure items.
In accordance with a retail trends report, near 50% of the Belgian customers prefer brands that have implemented an omnichannel business model, basically making it a must-have for every company that wants to stay relevant and keep increasing its customer base. Having your online store combined with a classic brick-and-mortar experience might be a decisive fact to convince new customers of your brand's legitimacy.
Does Shopify POS cost extra?
No matter what Shopify subscription plan you're using, you can always 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 retail hardware 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
You can always check Shopify's retail hardware available in Belgium 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 more accessories. This is the perfect choice for people who would prefer to buy hardware directly from the service supplier for trust reasons.
Recently, Belgium has been added to the list of countries supported by the Wise Pad 3, so Belgian merchants are now able to include this device in their store's checkout setup. It is important to mention that 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.
Does Shopify POS only work with Shopify payments?
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 debit and credit card purchases. Belgium has recently become part of the countries supported by Shopify Payments, which adds a layer of trust and convenience to the shopping experience and in-person sales by offering some of the most popular payment methods in the market. However, this is not the only payment gateway supported by Shopify POS in Belgium so you'll have many of them to choose from.
Another important point to highlight is that not only Belgians but almost any type of customer will consider and prioritize your brand if you offer flexibility on the payment methods. If they have access to their preferred payment method, the sale will be basically completed, however, not being able to pay the way they prefer might make them lose interest in buying.
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.
What countries is Shopify POS available in?
You can use Shopify as an eCommerce platform in any country you want, however, Shopify Payments usage is limited to a certain list of countries. So, if you're currently running your business in any of the following countries, then you are eligible to use Shopify Payments:
- Hong Kong SAR
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States (Shopify Payments is available to US territories except for Puerto Rico).
If your business is based in a country not listed above, you also have the option to implement some third-party payment provider.
Best Payment Providers for Shopify POS in Belgium
In order to accept payment methods such as online banking, credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, cash cards, and more, you will have to hire a payment provider that allows you to implement the most convenient payment solutions while also suiting both your store's needs and budget. Here are the top 3 payment providers supported by Shopify POS in Belgium.
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% 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.
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.
PxPay by Windcave
PxPay is a platform-independent eCommerce solution provided by Windcave. As a Hosted Payment Page, PxPay 2.0 protects merchants' sensitive credit card information without exposing them to it. The platform allows merchants to re-direct their customers to a Windcave payment page rather than hosting the page on their own website. This reduces the scope of Payment Card Industry compliance.
Pros: The interface can be integrated into a native mobile application or website as a payment method, supports a wide variety of countries and currencies, advanced fraud protection.
Cons: Expensive processing rates, monthly fees, additional fees for multi-currency processing configuration.
Tips & Tricks
Although every retail business has its own different attributes, 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 mind to improve your service and experience
Notifying 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 Germans' urge to be shopping and checking out promotions every now and then.
Creating 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.
Implementing 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 address list and improving your marketing strategy. You can also use loyalty apps as a guide to starting with this approach.
Keeping your staff constantly 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.
This tool, among other things, allows you to set staff permissions which will give you an overview of what your team members are doing. Each of them will be assigned a unique password or "PIN" that will work as a code to identify who signs in and does a specific action.
Providing a unified commerce solution
Given how online sales channels noticeably increased their popularity in Belgium 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.
Best Reviewed apps for Shopify POS
Shopify's app store has a wide variety of options that can provide you with all the extra tools needed to improve both your business' personnel and customer experience. Here you have 4 of the Shopify app store community's most acclaimed apps.
This is one of the leading apps for store management tasks. EasyTeam integrates an intuitive interface along with exportable timesheets to facilitate payroll tasks, staff time tracking, sales commissions calculation, staff scheduling, and more. All these features combine together to make both managers' and employees' routines smoother, quicker, and more accurate by adding tiles of specific tasks to the main POS menu/dashboard. With an average rating of 4.9 stars, its current users have assured its legitimacy. You can try this feature for yourself at no cost thanks to the free plan available.
With a 4.4 stars average ranking based on the opinion of 391 of its current users, this app has proven how beneficial it can be to enhancing sales. It offers loyalty points for purchases, sign-ups, subscriptions, birthdays, reviews, and social media interactions. This is a convenient way to reward customers for their appreciation and at the same time, encourage engagement and interaction with the brand. In addition, this app offers a free plan for new users to try its features.
Everyone knows how important yet time-consuming is the creation of invoices. This app is here to automate the creation and sending of professional invoices and documents. It's also capable of designing custom workflows that are tailored to your business needs. These invoices are validated by certified accountants ensuring your documents meet worldwide regulations for both B2C and B2B. You can try all these benefits with the 14-day free trial offered by Sufio.
Given how much time inventory management tasks can take from you and your team members, the implementation of apps like Stocky might be truly beneficial for your business. After all, who doesn't want to finish tasks quickly without lowering the work's quality?
This app can give you better visibility into what products you should order and when based on product performance and seasonality. It allows you to track what you’ve received and what’s leaving your store with each purchase without the need to create spreadsheets or use multiple systems. In addition, it lets you know when stock runs low so you can create purchase orders or transfer items from your locations.