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While a lot of online stores also sell in brick-and-mortar locations as well, e-commerce platforms have been traditionally focused just on the web side of things. With Shopify’s new Point of Sale (POS), that’s no longer the case. Shopify is a long-standing e-commerce platform; the new POS allows for sales from an iPhone or iPad and manages inventory from both in one system.
Shopify sends participating stores a credit card reader that plugs into an iPhone or iPad. The reader is free with any Shopify website, which starts at $9 a month. Stores can also use their own reader if they already own one. Shopify also collects a small percentage for each in-person card swipe, ranging from 2.7 to 2.15 percent. The POS system will accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Payments can be split as well, for example, if a customer wants to pay partially with cash and partially on a card. Furthermore, taxes are calculated automatically based on location but can be changed for a specific order too.
Perks In Style
Conveniently, the system also allows stores to sell gift cards, which can be either mailed or printed on a receipt printer. Both types are redeemable in the POS system or online. Discounts can be configured by dollar amount or a percentage as well. For stores that have high staff numbers and busy locations, the retail package includes a barcode scanner and receipt printer. For those that don’t use a receipt printer, they can be emailed directly to the customer. The POS system can handle refunds as well. Factor in a mobile app to track everything on the go and a 24/7 call center, and it’s easy to see why the new POS system is so intriguing.
POS systems aren’t brand new, and there’s a number to choose from. But the biggest benefit to the Shopify system that we see is integration with your online store. Bookkeeping will be much simpler when both the online and in-person sales are tracked automatically through one system. No merging or calculating required. Inventory is tracked through both as well—so no more running out of a product. There are a few perks to using the POS method instead of a traditional cash register. Shopify keeps customer profiles with their web systems, and now through the POS as well.
Safety, Integration, and Pricing
All of a customer’s details are kept in one place—not just their contact history, but their past orders as well. Shopify’s analytics systems mean now both in person and online sales can be analyzed to track what’s working for your business and what’s not. When someone places an in-person order, their details are saved for logging in for online purchases later. That integration also means you can collect emails in person as well, and further expand your email marketing.
The price looks pretty good as well. Big stores can purchase hardware like the receipt printer and barcode scanner and get support for their larger system for $40 a month. But for small businesses that, say, just want to sell at a festival or two, the credit card scanner will work well and is included with even the basic website package. Is there a downside? It’s early to tell. Currently, the system works just with iOS—so if you use an Android device, there’s additional expense to get a compatible device.
We gave Shopify a high ranking for their web builder, so we have high expectations for their new POS system as well.