What is Shopify's POS system?
As we all may recognize, Shopify is a company that started as a pioneer with an eCommerce platform back in 2006 and after a couple of successful years, in 2013 they decided to add to its platform a point of sale system integration. It wasn't too long until it became one of the most popular POS systems around the world.
So basically, Shopify POS is a mobile app you can download for free on both Apple and Android devices that allows you to process in-person payments. It was developed to be a solution for store owners, especially if it's the case of a pop-up shop, casual part-time sales, permanent brick and mortar location, and even warehouses. Even though Shopify focuses mainly on eCommerce and online stores, merchants will eventually need the capability to make in-person sales, and that's the job of a POS system. So in this review, we'll tell you everything there is to know about Shopify POS.
First of all, Shopify POS offers a very intuitive and easy-to-use interface even for the least tech-savvy users, so no matter how old or tech experienced you and your team are, you'll have no trouble adapting to its interface. This POS system was designed specifically for retail, and it allows you to effortlessly manage all your shopping processes and customize the layout for the actions you do the most in your daily routine.
In addition, Shopify POS has so many convenient features to offer and to be honest, it can easily compete with the best POS systems out there. Even on its basic plan, it provides efficiency, potential, and amazing features, but it can still be upgraded for more functionality according to the activities and type of business you're dealing with. Shopify also makes regular updates on its software to correct bugs/glitches quickly, and of course, to keep adding new features or improving the ones already existing. Not to mention that their customer service is second to none.
What hardware do I need for Shopify POS?
You can start processing your payments with 2 basic items, which are a Shopify card reader and a tablet or smartphone to run the Shopify POS mobile app. Once you get there, you can start customizing your point of sale depending on your store's needs by getting compatible hardware accessories like barcode scanners, receipt printers, and cash drawers. Shopify has a wide variety of equipment available to buy directly from them, so you can customize your point of sale experience the way you prefer to.
The official store offers a Shopify Retail Kit which includes accessories that make your in-person payment experiences a lot more convenient and effortless, along with other very useful accessories. Here we show you the most popular Shopify point of sale hardware:
Shopify Retail Bundle
What does it include?
Other Shopify POS hardware accessories available:
Now that you're familiar with all the hardware Shopify has to offer, you might be asking yourself what exactly you should be buying to fit your type of business. It doesn't matter if your store is almost always online-based and has occasional in-person sales or if you own a brick-and-mortar type of business, Shopify has you covered and provides a guide for every scenario.
If you choose to go directly for the Shopify Retail Bundle, you'll get a quick and easy setup. You can buy these items directly on the Shopify Hardware Store, keeping in mind that every piece of hardware bought from Shopify, except for card readers, comes with a 30-day return policy. On the other hand, if you already have another POS system, or simply have a preferred provider, Shopify POS mobile app lets you install some of the third-party hardware available in the market. Here you have a list of all the external POS hardware Shopify is currently compatible with.
Shopify-supported third party hardware for POS
If you're an eCommerce merchant who is already working with a different POS hardware provider such as Clover or Square POS and you're wondering whether or not it's compatible with the Shopify POS app, the answer is yes, although not natively. If you want to make that integration work, you'll need to download a third-party app to do so, here is a list of the most common ones:
- Checkout Republic
Shopify POS: iOS or Android?
Since Shopify POS system isn't capable of running on a laptop or desktop computer, its users need a mobile device to work with. Even though the POS app is available for Android devices too, Shopify has made sure iPad is the standard solution for it. This is why their software works better and more easily for Apple users.
Besides this, retailers using Shopify POS on their Android devices need to use the Swipe (audio-jack) card reader that plugs in directly to the device. Although it works just fine, it gives you little or no choice in terms of card readers. You can also make refunds, but you’ll have to do it from the Shopify app or a computer instead of the POS app.
What features does Shopify POS Offer?
There are lots of Shopify POS features you can enjoy, and the ones we'll be talking about in a minute will be available even if you have Apple or Android devices. Shopify POS app has been developed to improve its users' way to manage their businesses, giving both store owners and employees access to features and tools to boost the business' efficiency. Here you can see Shopify POS’ most essential features:
Shopify POS provides a seamless shopping experience for every customer, allowing them not only to browse which products are available for an in-store pickup but also to make return or exchange processes. They're also able to use QR codes to browse products, buy in-store, ship to a custom address, and automatically calculate shipping costs. This platform also lets you, as the store owner/admin, add discount codes to your products, add built-in or custom shipping fees to checkout, customize digital receipts either via SMS or email for on-the-go or paperless sales, and refund past purchases.
Both Shopify POS Lite and Shopify POS Pro plans allow you to get the benefits of the most popular payment methods such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Apple Pay, and Google Pay with your Shopify card reader. When accepting credit card payments, the POS system applies a commission depending on your Shopify plan, it goes from Basic: 2.7%, Shopify: 2.5%, and Advanced: 2.4%. It also lets you have a complete view of your finances by tracking your orders and payments with automatically debited fees to each one of them. In contrast to its competitors, Shopify POS has no hidden fees, you can forget about third-party payment provider fees, hardware rental fees, and set up fees.
Now, talking about payment processing, your customers will have plenty of payment methods available regardless of the type of plan/subscription you've selected for your store. This allows them to pay in whichever way they feel comfortable with. The payment methods vary from external card terminals, split payments (2 or more types), partial payments (accept as much or as little part of the payment as you choose), gift cards, and even custom payment types created by you.
Smart Inventory Management
Shopify POS system gives you the capability to make inventory decisions with confidence thanks to the smart recommendations from Stocky by Shopify (App not available for Shopify Lite plan). With this POS system, you'll also be able to request transfers across locations, easily keep track of incoming and outgoing products, ensure the inventory in your store matches the one in the system by using a barcode scanner, perform inventory counts and receive incoming orders, make low stock and detailed inventory reports. Unfortunately, these features are only available for the Shopify Pro plan.
You can add an unlimited amount of products and variants to your POS system, categorize them by type, season, promotions, and more. In terms of inventory, you'll be able to track it through the Inventory Status feature, so you won't miss any received or transferred product. The POS system also allows multi-location inventory, which lets you allocate your products to your various online sales channels, retail stores, or warehouses. Stock adjustments can be made quickly too, in case of damaged products, marketing giveaways, or leftover stock from promotions.
Another Shopify POS work is to keep track of your employee's performance and manage them with control permissions. Each employee will be assigned his unique PIN by an admin Shopify account. Unfortunately, this is the only feature you'll get with a POS Lite plan. POS Pro plan users can add unlimited store staff and assign them a unique set of permissions, which is going to limit the tasks they can perform. You'll be able to set manager approvals for a specific task and set a QR code for a quicker login process in POS devices.
Customers' feature allows you to transform one-time customers into loyal brand advocates by using customer profiles. You can achieve this by saving their contact information, adding notes, and learning about their shopping habits so they receive a personalized service every time they shop with you. Every customer can be assigned different tags for clienteling purposes, so they can be easily filtered. Shopify POS lets you track every client's order history, both in-store and online. The POS systems also let you add notes to orders, in case of a special request or specific instructions provided by the client.
Reporting and Analytics
You can view your store's Daily Sales report on the Shopify POS Analytics screen and see insights about your store's net sales, average order value, and average items per order. The Daily Sales report compares today's sales with those made on the same day last week.
You'll be able to easily create checkouts for both customers and staff members. The POS software provides a customizable smart grid that helps you speed up processes. To customize it, you can add new tiles with specific actions of your daily routine, store products, apps, discounts/promotions, collections, and links, such as add gift card, ship to the customer, add notes, add staff, add/remove customer, and more.
Shopify gives you several tools to keep customers coming to your store and attract new ones. One of its marketing features is capturing customers' emails at checkout to encourage re-engagement with marketing emails or exclusive promotions. It also allows social media integration, so you can optimize your store campaigns and get more visits or even start a Google Ads campaign to raise awareness about your store locations.
Cloud-based or locally installed
Shopify has been a cloud-based company since day one, and it is the case of its POS platform too. It allows every online store to be hosted on Shopify internal servers, this way users don't have to worry about upgrading their hardware capacity or maintaining servers of their own. A negative point about this is that the POS system needs to be connected to the internet to process every transaction, except for cash payments. However, in terms of cybersecurity and the safety of its payment platform, Shopify is Level 1 PCI Compliant, which means that every card transaction processed by Shopify POS is completely secure for all its users.
Is Shopify POS hardware free?
After all, you've read, you might be wanting to know how much does Shopify POS cost, and let me tell you first that Shopify has a wide variety of plans available for almost any type and size of business, so even if you start with one of the basic Shopify plans and your business starts growing, you can easily scale up to an advanced Shopify plan later depending on the needs of your store. Their POS pricing plans include POS Lite and POS Pro, here we explain to you a little bit more about them:
Is Shopify POS system Easy to Use?
Shopify POS' ease of use is something no one can deny, as mentioned before, it's developed to be easily used for any type of user, including the not so tech knowledgeable ones. Here we have the things that make it one of the most convenient POS systems to use.
- Quick account setup.
- Easy to use interface.
- Automatic sync with your online store.
- Default location-based sales tax.
- Active Seller Community Forum.
- Extensive Help Center documentation & forums.
- Video guides and tutorials.
- 24/7 customer support.
Customer Service & Support
One of the main things that personally make me stay loyal to a service provider is its customer service efficiency and care. You can contact Shopify's free online support whenever there's an issue and you can count on a quick reply along with a problem solution. Operators tend to give very kind and helpful assistance and Shopify makes sure each of them is knowledgeable enough in all matters of their service. There are also many useful resources available on the Shopify website and forums.
Integrations & add-ons
Another major benefit Shopify POS has to offer is the hundreds of apps available on the Shopify app store, some of them specifically developed for Shopify the POS software. The app store provides a huge amount of apps designed to give you a more customizable and tailored experience using the POS system. Even though having extra apps might mean additional charges and an increase in your expenses, the features you'll get in exchange could be worth it.
In conclusion, what is the best POS system for Shopify?
Even though there are some strong competitors out there such as SquarePOS, Clover POS, and so, everyone knows that Shopify's eCommerce platform is one of the biggest and best reviewed. So if you're already a part of it, having the POS application and hardware would be a great investment for your store, since it simplifies and speeds up almost every process in a very convenient way.
As we have seen all over this article, Shopify POS is full of features that will contribute to your business growth. As a POS system, Shopify provides its users with a wide variety of features any retailer would benefit from, and even if you still consider that there aren't enough options natively available, you can get so many more from the app store.
In short, if you're a small or medium-sized business owner and you're looking for a POS software solution both intuitive and inexpensive, Shopify POS is the best choice for you. It provides your business with multiple sales channels, competitive flat-rate payment processing, and of course many integrations and add-ons both native and from third parties.
Particularly, Shopify POS is recommended for:
- New eCommerce and retail businesses.
- Multichannel retailers.
- Cross-channel inventory management.
And not recommended for:
- Businesses that aren't using Shopify's eCommerce platform.
- Non-retail businesses.
- Businesses that require offline payment processing.
- New or occasional sellers need a free POS.