Shopify POS in France: All the Things You Need to Know
Having an online presence is a key factor if you want your business to be successful in these post-pandemic times. Online shopping has indeed become a big part of most economies, but France is one of the countries that have adapted to it in the best way. Since they are currently part of the 6th best economy in the world, French consumers have managed a way to naturally increase their online shopping habits. Since 2020 when the pandemic started affecting brick and mortar stores, there was a rise of 1.5 million new online buyers, for a total of 41.6 million French people buying online, i.e. 81.4%.
Based on the mentioned above, Shopify POS (point de vente) offers a convenient solution for these unpredictable times where physical and online sales have merged to keep businesses afloat. Right now, Shopify is considered one of the leading eCommerce platforms around the world given the fact that it has more than 2.1 million daily active users. The POS system offers an intuitive interface with a customizable dashboard (tableau de bord) where you can add the tiles of your preference to automate processes and improve the experience in your store.
Does Shopify work in France?
Unlike other countries where retail businesses (commerces au détail) can easily use all of Shopify's solutions the way they want, such as Shopify Payments and Shopify's hardware store, France's government has very strict legal limitations. One of them is Article 88 of the Anti-Fraud law, which intends to reduce the chances of merchants committing tax fraud. This article demands that all merchants selling in France and subject to VAT must have a certified system of records.
Shopify's market started focusing mainly on the USA (états unis) based merchants, but after a few years of trying to expand their coverage, they were finally considered an accepted point of sale system that met all requirements of French legislation. In order to be compliant with Article 88 in France, you need to download and complete this Loi Anti-Fraude TVA document and keep it in your records. Additionally, in order to export your compliant records, you need to install the France Data Exporter and select the calendar year you want to export. Your exported records are sent to the store owner's email account.
You'll be able to use the POS system on your compatible iOS/Android device and connect it to supported third-party hardware like receipt printers, card readers, iPad stands, and such. You can also scan products out, create orders, cash them, print receipts, and customize the receipts information. Unfortunately, the only native payment method you can use is cash, but you should be able to use third-party card readers and indicate when someone pays with a debit/credit card (cartes de crédit/debit) through your payment gateway.
What Shopify POS hardware can I buy in France?
Sadly, there is no support for Shopify's own hardware in France yet, which means you cannot enjoy the benefits of buying directly from their hardware store. What you'll need to do is to acquire the devices you need through a third-party supplier and verify whether or not they are compatible with the Shopify POS system. If you already own certain hardware like cash drawers, barcode scanners, receipt printers, card readers, or more from your previous shopping processing system, you can still add them to your POS system as long as they're supported.
How does Shopify integrate with the POS?
Shopify automatically syncs all your account's data (such as inventory, products, etc) with your POS app. It also provides an easy-to-use and well-designed interface that allows you to start selling online and at your brick-and-mortar store at the same time. 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. So, if your store doesn't have any additional hardware, you'll only be able to accept cash payments.
Does Shopify cost money?
Let's start by saying that no matter 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 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):
Pricing & Subscriptions
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. 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.
What payment methods for Shopify POS are supported in France?
Since the French government has yet to approve the usage of Shopify's own hardware among merchants based in France, your only option will be to use third-party hardware to collect money from your customers. When this happens, you can use the POS application to create the order and charge the customers through your external card reader. You need to keep in mind that these actions won't be automatically linked to your Shopify order. After the payment has been completed on the terminal, you need to manually mark the order as paid in your Shopify point of sale system so that the inventory and financial reporting are updated.
Basically, depending on the hardware devices you have in your store and the payment provider you hire, 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. Currently, France is one of the countries where Shopify Payments isn't available yet. However, this is not the only payment provider supported by Shopify POS in France, you can always make use of supported third-party payment gateways.
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.
Top 3 payment providers in France
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 in France.
So far, Stripe has become one of the most popular and easiest to implement payment processors for people with web development experience, and also relatively inexpensive. With Stripe's API, you can build your own e-commerce environment. You can also partner with one of many e-commerce platforms to build a store if you do not have developers on your team. This typically involves an additional fee.
Pros: Free and simple API, free integration, no monthly fees.
Cons: Doesn't accept PayPal payments, complicated for non-tech-knowledgeable merchants.
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.
This is one of the best 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.
Best Reviewed apps for Shopify POS
There are several apps that can give you all the extra tools needed to improve your business' both 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. With an average rating of 4.9 stars, its current users have added a layer of trust to 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.
Shopify POS Trends 2022: Improving Customer Experience
There are some general practices merchants are implementing nowadays to improve the POS (points de vente) experience in their retail businesses. Some of them you might not know about, while others you may have heard of. In any case, doing some research is worth the effort if you want to get the most from your POS system, so here's a list of some things you should mind to improve your service and experience.
Providing an omnichannel experience
Given how online sales channels noticeably increased their popularity in France 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.
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 list and improving your marketing strategy. You can also use loyalty apps as a guide to starting with this approach.
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 French 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.