Upgrade your POS with an iPad
So you’re looking to embrace the era of mobile, and transform that static Point of Sale into mPOS that makes life a whole lot easier for your staff while improving customer service, but how exactly is that done?
Well, one of the most common ways of upgrading your traditional POS is through the adoption of the humble iPad.
In this article, we’ll walk through how that’s done, including the tools you need, some software suggestions and the benefits of upgrading your POS with an iPad.
Why an iPad?
Over the past decade, the iPad has proved the device of choice for retailers and hospitality providers looking to embrace mobile Point of Sale.
And there’s a host of reasons for this:
- The iPad is intuitive and economical (the current 9th edition retails for around US$329 or AU$499)
- There’s a wealth of mPOS software available
- The system is scalable (ie if you need another POS terminal, you simply purchase an additional iPad, install the software and network it to your other devices)
- iPads allow you to cut the queue and facilitate tableside ordering
- Data is stored in the Cloud and can be accessed in real-time
- iPads effortlessly connect to other hardware via Bluetooth, including cash drawers, and order or docket printers
As a result, these nifty little devices offer a wealth of potential to streamline your Point of Sale, replacing clunky legacy POS systems that often take up a whole lot of room and rely on expensive hardware.
So what do you need?
Tools and tech required
Setting up your mobile Point of sale is a lot easier than many imagine, involving hardware (iPads, cash drawers, docket printers), software, and a suitable stand to protect your device.
Even the base model iPad is suited to mobile Point of Sale, but if you’re looking for increased speed, consider a recent model and ensure it has plenty of storage.
The number of iPads you require depends on where you intend to position them and how you plan to use them.
Typically, in a café or restaurant, you would find an iPad (or perhaps a couple) at the front counteracting as the cash register, multiple iPads throughout the restaurant as ‘stations’ where staff can place orders, an iPad at the bar for drinks orders, one in the kitchen, and additional mobile devices for tableside ordering.
Some restaurants also have a dedicated iPad for takeaway, allowing customers to input their own takeaway order.
iPads acting as cash registers will need to connect to a cash drawer. This is most often a wireless connection via Bluetooth or perhaps Wi-Fi.
The payment processor is the dedicated hardware that allows your cash register to process card and digital wallet payments.
It generally also connects to the iPad POS wirelessly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. If you have multiple registers, such as one at the bar and one at the front counter, you will need multiple payment processors.
Docket printers are also connected wirelessly. They will need to be networked to each iPad so orders can be sent to the relevant area.
Restaurants generally have one in the kitchen and one at the bar, but if there are set areas within the kitchen for desserts, or light snacks, a docket printer in each of these areas is also a good idea.
The mPOS software then allows you to designate what docket printer an order is sent to (ie drinks orders to the bar, food orders to the kitchen, payment receipts to the cash register printer).
A router and internet access
One major feature of mPOS is that the data is not stored on a device but rather in the Cloud. That means reliable internet is a must as all your iPads will be networked together and updated in real-time.
There is a vast array of software designed for mobile Point of Sale, and determining the right one depends on the size of your establishment, and what you want that software to do.
The best hospitality mPOS software includes the ability to map out the layout of an establishment for ease of ordering and service, instant real-time reporting, automatic reordering of stock, and warnings when items are running low and may need to be removed from the menu.
A tablet stand
Hospitality is a fast-paced environment, which means you will need to protect your iPads with a commercial grade stand.
These stands might be affixed to a countertop, wall-mounted, freestanding or mobile.
Key features to look for include:
- A durable enclosure
- A lockable faceplate to protect items against theft
- The ability to swivel the iPad to face the customer (if required)
- The ability to position the stand at an angle that is comfortable to use for staff
If you’re looking to cater to tableside ordering, you want a durable enclosure that caters to mobility, allowing staff to pick up the device in its enclosure and take it to the customer.
Our top hospitality stands include:
- Elite Evo Freestanding - The Elite Evo Freestanding iPad stand offers high-end security in addition to a seamless look and ultimate mobility. This design offers a strong yet minimal frame that features internal cable management and a lockable faceplate complete with a barrel key. The Evo Freestanding tablet holder is elevated for enhanced interactivity and ergonomics but can be easily moved when required.
- Elite Nexus - The Elite Nexus iPad stand features a lockable faceplate that secures with a barrel key and four-point lock for ultimate security. This stand is ideal for high-traffic areas and commercial environments.
It can be installed in either portrait or landscape and includes a 180-degree swivel function, you can lock the swivel function if it is not needed.
- The Touch Evo Freestanding - The Touch Evo Freestanding iPad stand creates a minimalist yet striking kiosk, display or Point of Sale without the need for a case, clamps or cables.
Complete with flexible mounting options, this Touch tablet case with Evo stand ensures the perfect height for countertop POS.
- Touch Nexus - The Touch Nexus tablet stand has been carefully designed to securely display your tablet without any case, clamps or cables needed.
The Nexus stand sits low to the surface offering the perfect solution for desk or countertop mounting and is ideal for use when standing at a counter. It features a 180-degree swivel.
- Edge Evo Freestanding - The Edge Evo Freestanding iPad stand is ideal for retail, hospitality, or business environments. The stand allows your iPad to rotate between portrait and landscape making it ideal for use as a POS and kiosk stand. Offering superb quality and durability, it also features a 40-degree tilt for easy viewing and an adjustable ergonomic design.
- Edge Nexus - The Edge Nexus iPad stand can be installed in either portrait or landscape and includes a 180-degree swivel, which is perfect for customer-facing Point Of Sale (POS) and kiosk stands. This stand also features a lock to fix the iPad in position.
You can view our complete range of iPad stands here.