Anything You Need to Know About Shopify POS in Germany
Almost every country's shopping behavior has dramatically changed since the first appearance of COVID-19 in 2020, and Germany is not an exception. Due to the recurrent mandatory isolation, merchants had to develop new ways to keep selling their products in the least invasive way possible. Consequently, more than 10% of brick-and-mortar stores in Germany have already implemented online platforms in order to increase sales and improve customers' shopping experience.
According to a recent study made by Reuters, in spite of the fact that sanitary restrictions were renewed and the situation is expected to stay tense for a while, retail sales still managed to rise 0.9% in real terms and 3.1% in nominal terms. This makes 2022 seem like the recovery year for the retail sector, both for online and in-person sales modalities.
Shopify Expands Integrated Retail Solutions in Germany
Can you use Shopify in Germany? The answer is YES! Shopify has been working hard in order to expand its solutions' coverage to as many countries as possible. As a result, merchants all over the world will be able to enjoy the benefits offered by such an advanced eCommerce solution like this. The main goal is to provide business owners with the ability to merge everything into one place, this includes Shopify's main eCommerce platform, Shopify Payments, and Shopify point of sale system.
In what countries is Shopify POS available?
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:
- New Zealand
- The Netherlands
- Hong Kong
- 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.
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 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 Germany 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 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.
Who is Shopify POS for?
Since having an omnichannel commerce approach has become the norm with German consumers, merchants find themselves in the need to adapt their businesses to the shopping trends of their audience. Shopify POS system is highly recommended for both online and physical stores that are currently making use of or planning to create a Shopify account. This platform will allow them to comply with the common German consumer demands by merging all their sales channels into a seamless experience.
Selling in person using the Shopify POS in Germany
Every day it is more common to see how businesses have been adapted to post COVID-19 shopping behavior changes. As cited before, most brick-and-mortar merchants have implemented new online sales channels in their physical stores in order to stay relevant and comply with the market's requirements. This is why it's so important and convenient for Germans to have a platform that is ready to help them unify everything into one management tool. By doing this, you will make sure both your team and your customers improve their checkout experience and enjoy an easy payment process regardless of the modality they choose.
Moreover, offering contactless payment options to your customers like the ones mentioned above is a big plus since it not only reduces the probability to keep spreading the COVID-19 virus but it also adds even more security for your customers' sensitive information.
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 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.
Providing a unified commerce solution
Given how online sales channels noticeably increased their popularity in Germany 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.
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.
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. Currently, Germany 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. However, this is not the only payment provider supported by Shopify POS in Germany.
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 Germany
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 Germany.
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.
FasterPay is a global payments platform that provides multi-currency accounts, cross-border payments, and money transfers in 20+ currencies. It also offers cash flow management, 24/7 customer support. The platform is compatible with the marketplace, online, and contactless QR code payments, pay-ins, and payouts, and over 150 local payment options. Fasterpay’s target audience is mainly private individuals, freelancers, and small to medium-sized businesses.
Pros: No monthly fees, 24/7 customer support, supports for a variety of countries and currencies.
Cons: Expensive processing rates and chargebacks.