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Businesses that are familiar with Shopify for online payments may wonder, ”Does Shopify have a POS system?” The answer is yes.Or, if you sell in a store and online, you can easily manage your inventory and sales for both outlets.
Shopify POS supports unlimited tablet registers, helping you accept credit cards, debit cards, and gift cards using the Shopify app and iPad card reader. Shopify can accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Additionally, you can create custom payment options in order to accept other forms of payment, such as checks.
Shopify offers an introduction video about the POS solution:
You may be wondering, if Shopify POS is just an app and card reader, does it have all the point of sale functions you need? In this Shopify POS review and profile, we’ll go through exactly what the system can and can’t do so you can make an informed decision.
At minimum, you’ll need an iPad, the Shopify app, a Shopify card reader, and a Shopify Store account. You may also need the Shopify Retail Add-on if you’d like to take advantage of additional POS features, or optional accessories like barcode scanners and cash drawers if you need more register functions than just running credit cards. You can pick and choose which accessories you need to create the right solution for your business.
On Shopify’s website, it touts the POS system as a great way to sell at fairs and markets. The implication there is that Shopify POS functions more like a mobile payment than a full, traditional point of sale system, but it does have functions for use in-store. However, some in-store POS functions require the purchase of the Retail Add-on package at an additional cost. In the feature descriptions below, we’ll add a plus sign to denote that it’s an add-on feature.
For quick explanation, Shopify POS without the retail plan will all you to take payments, add discounts to orders, set and adjust tax rates, and sync inventory, customer, and order data. The retail package allows for all of that plus receipt printing capabilities, cash drawer integration, gift receipts, barcode scanning, gift card creation, staff PINs for POS access, and save cart functions.
Let’s take a look at these features in more detail.
One of the most helpful features is inventory syncing. Shopify POS automatically syncs your inventory from your Shopify store to your POS so you can easily track stock and automatically stopping selling when you’re out of an item. Shopify supports an unlimited number of products for sale through your POS system, so if you expand your product line, you don’t need to worry about going over a limit for how many products you can include in your inventory.
Shopify gives you the ability to add a cash drawer, but only with the retail add-on package. You can choose from several models (including locking styles) and create the setup that works best for your location. Shopify supports unlimited tablets, so if you’d like to have multiple checkout stations set up, you can do that and integrate a cash register at each checkout point.
Another feature reserved for the retail package, barcode scanners make it easier to ring up items that have barcodes. You can connect barcode printers and barcode scanners to your Shopify account if you use the retail package. Barcode printers allow you to create scannable barcodes for as many items as you like. Several models of barcode scanners are available through Shopify.
Sometimes called store and forward mode, offline processing is vital for times when internet connections go down or are unavailable. Orders placed will automatically sync with Shopify and be submitted for approval when a connection becomes available. No more missed sales due to those unavoidable technology glitches that we all experience.
Have a customer that wants to pay for part of their order in cash and put the rest on a card? No problem. Shopify can also process partial payments, allowing customers to split the total between multiple types of payments, or to record a payment as a deposit for a product or service. You can even set up a layaway system, accepting partial deposits until the full amount of the order has been paid.
You can process discounts, issue refunds, or offer store credit rather than refunding a payment. The Orders screen lets you search for orders, take partial payments, and update information to ensure accuracy.
If you want to sell physical gift cards for your store, you can do that with the Shopify retail package. Gift cards can be redeemed in your store or online for customer convenience. Physical gift cards can be printed through your receipt printer. Otherwise, you can email a digital gift card to your customer.
For orders where products are being mailed, you can record a customer’s shipping address and contact information for easy future shipping. With every new order, a customer profile is automatically created for easy customer management. Customer information syncs with Shopify so order history can be easily referenced. You can also collect customer email addresses at the time of sale to notify customers of future sales or products using the Mailchimp email marketing application. Customer profiles can be used to create mailing lists to send information about events, promotions, and special sales.
Shopify offers both print and email options for receipts. However, printing receipts is a function of the retail package add-on and is not available in the basic POS options. Additionally, the retail package allows you to create and print gift receipts.
If you’re on the go and don’t have a printer, you can take advantage of the email option so customers always get their receipt. All receipts can be tailored and personalized with business information such as store hours, promotions, website, and more.
Limit staff access to your POS system and set permissions for each employee using the staff PIN option, available through the retail package add-on. The 4-digit PIN is used to access the POS system and cash out customers. You can easily addd or remove staff as your business grows and changes. Individual staff PINs allow you to more easily track each staff member’s sales and register use.
Shopify provides reporting and accounting features for ease of business management. You can track daily totals for all payment types, track activity by staff member, and view past orders made in store and online, even searching by customer, product, or date. Data can be easily integrated with QuickBooks and other accounting and bookkeeping software.
Shopify POS is Level 1 PCI DSS compliant for secure card processing. Additionally, Shopify requires PIN login for users, preventing unauthorized access and reducing the risk of fraudulent transactions.
The introduction of EMV chip cards in the US has also increased security of credit card transactions by encrypting data at the time of the transaction. You can choose the Shopify EMV chip-capable card reader to enable you to accept chip cards securely and ensure that your business and customers are protected. Chip readers are not legally required, but are strongly recommended. Businesses that don’t utilize chip readers but run chip cards like a magnetic strip card may be subject to penalties and costs in the event of a data breach or fraudulent transaction, or may receive non-compliance charges from processors.
Related Article: EMV Non-Compliance Fees are Here.
Shopify works with Apple iPads and currently supports iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, and iPad Air. You will not be able to use Android or Windows-based tablets when using Shopify POS.
Shopify offers two readers for taking credit cards: a basic reader that only accepts traditional magnetic strip cards, and an EMV/NFC combination reader that accepts EMV chip cards, magnetic strip cards, and contactless (NFC) payments like Apple Pay. Remember that back in October of 2015, businesses that accept chip cards but swipe them like a traditional magnetic strip card are liable for any fraudulent transactions. Chip cards are only becoming more common, so it’s a good idea to upgrade to a chip-capable reader to protect yourself and your business.
Shopify also offers accessories including cash drawers, barcode scanners, and receipt printers from major brands including Star Micronics, Dymo, and Zebra. See Costs for Shopify Equipment, below, for more details.
Shopify pricing can be a little complicated – there are different costs for the different services, and some services are required in order to use other services. For example, using Shopify POS requires a Shopify Store account. Using the Shopify Retail application requires Shopify POS. Additionally, Shopify’s information can be contradictory or not fully disclosed, depending on which part of the website you’re looking at.
For Shopify POS credit card processing, the company publishes rates of 2.4% per transaction and promises no hidden fees. However, this is contradicted by the pricing page on its website, which shows that per-transaction costs depend on which Shopify Store account you have. (Store accounts are required to use Shopify POS.)
As you can see from this screenshot from Shopify’s website, POS (in-person) transactions will cost 2.7% if you’re on the Basic plan, 2.5% if you’re on the Shopify plan, and 2.4% if you’re on the Advanced plan.
Required Store accounts start at $9/month for the Lite plan (not listed above) and go up to $299/month for the Advanced plan. As you can see, the Store and processing costs are inversely proportional – if you pay a higher monthly fee for your Store, you pay a lower percentage for processing.
The retail add-on for Shopify POS is another $40/month.
Be sure you’re clear on all the components that you’ll need to run your Shopify store and POS system and take all costs into account. You can also check out how costs for credit card processing through Shopify POS compares to costs through other point of sale systems by using CardFellow’s free price comparison tool.
The magstripe reader is available for free, but remember, you won’t be able to accept contactless payments like Apple Pay, and if you accept and EMV chip card, you’ll be liable for fraudulent transactions. A more advanced EMV/NCF combo reader allows you to take traditional magstripe cards, EMV chip cards, and contactless payments. The Shopify EMV/NFC combo reader is available through Shopify for $89 as of 2017.
Pricing for accessories varies by type and model. Shopify sells receipt printers, barcode scanners, barcode printers, cash drawers (including locking models), and iPad stands.
Pricing is accurate as of 2017, and subject to change.
Hardware bundles are also available, with varied costs. As of 2017, Shopify offers a complete bundle for $749 which includes an iPad stand, a cash drawer, receipt printer, and the EMV/NFC combo credit card reader. Shopify POS runs on iPads, so you’ll also need to account for the cost of a tablet when making your decisions. (Complete hardware bundles do not include the iPad in the cost.)
The company offers a 30-day money back guarantee on equipment purchases if you’re not satisfied with your hardware.
The Shopify POS system has some helpful features, such as splitting the bill between multiple cards, but the ala carte pricing makes costs seem lower. Using Shopify POS comes with credit card processing fees but then also requires a Shopify store account (monthly fee) and using the retail specific add-on for point of sale features incurs yet another monthly fee.
Thanks for the great review! I like Shopify POS. It's simple and easy to use. I use iPad for Shopify POS, it synchronizes with Shopify online store. It's convenient and I can take my business to anywhere. But the system seems to be missing some features like printing barcode labels, store credit on sales returns, and COGS (cost of goods sold). Did anyone try other POS systems with Shopify integration?