Shopify POS

With the mantra “Sell anywhere. Accept any payment. Grow your business”, Shopify offers a Point of Sale app and associated hardware designed for business of all shapes and sizes.

They note their mobile software is equally suited to the occasional seller or major retailer, with “hardware and software that’s easy to use, and ready to go out of the box”.

This simple approach to Point of Sale sees the Shopify platform utilised by more than 800,000 businesses globally.

Here’s an insight into the features it offers and the benefits it provides.

Who can use it?

Shopify’s target market is retailers and it has monthly plans available to suit both large and small stores, along with merchants who only sell in person occasionally.

The features available in the Point of Sale software, such as staff permissions and reporting level, vary depending on which Shopify monthly plan a business selects based on their size, number of outlets, number of staff etc.

How it works

Shopify has a Point of Sale app that can be downloaded to either iOS or Android devices. This can be downloaded from Google Play or Apple’s app store directly to the device you intend to use as the POS.

Initially the app can be used on a trial basis for 14 days, after which Shopify will ask the retailer to select a monthly plan that best suits their operation.

In addition, Shopify can be accessed via the internet on laptop or PC, allowing users to enter products, generate reports and manage inventory via a dashboard.

In the US, merchants will be sent a card reader when they sign up, while in Australia, retailers will need to purchase a card reader from compatible payment providers.

Hardware and Software Requirements

The Shopify Point of Sale app can be downloaded and used with iOS devices like iPhone and iPad running iOS 10 or higher, and also with Android devices that feature Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher.

As mentioned, the software comes with a free credit card reader in the US, which is plugged into your smartphone or tablet, or there is now the option of a wireless Bluetooth chip and swipe card reader, which is currently free for all new POS users.

In Australia, there is no Shopify card reader currently available, with the software instead connecting to third party payment terminals.

Meanwhile, in the US, users can either source their own compatible hardware like barcode scanners, cash drawers, and receipt printers or alternatively buy or rent them through Shopify.

In Australia, these products along with the card reader, will need to be sourced through compatible third-party providers.

shopify pos payment

Payment Features

Shopify allows you to track payments made online or in person. Meanwhile it also enables retailers to accept spilt tenders, gift cards, store credit, partial payments for lay-away, and custom payment types like IOUs or cheques.

Refunds

Refunds can be issued for partial or full orders with funds going back to the original payment method used by the customer.

The software also enables users to make exchanges for Store Credit.

When it comes to issuing refunds, the software operates slightly differently on iPads compared to mobile.

When using iPads, the app can refund a purchase, as long as the purchase was made on Shopify POS. When using Shopify POS for iPhone or Android, the refund is issued via Shopify admin or the Shopify app.

Gift Cards

The gift card feature allows retailers to sell gift cards that can be redeemed in-store or online. Gift cards can be emailed to customers or printed on the POS receipt printer.

Checkout Features

Shopify POS offers a range of well-considered checkout features, including customized receipts, tips, discounts and tax calculations.

Receipts

Receipts can be printed or emailed directly to the customer. They can also be customised to include information like the store’s website address, opening hours, promotions, or store policies.

Tax calculations

Taxes are automatically calculated based on a store’s location. If required, default taxes can be disabled and custom taxes can be set for a specific product or order.

Tips

When using the Shopify card readers, merchants can set up a tip feature. This allows them to:
• Set minimum and custom amounts
• Set percentage or dollar amounts
• Collect tips on credit or debit transactions
• See a report of tips collected at the end of the day

Discounts and Promotions

Shopify caters beautifully to discounts and promotions, allowing merchants to set up discounts for specific customers, such as pensioners, military personnel, VIPs or as part of a loyalty program; offer limited time promotions; establish early bird discounts; or even provide minimum purchase-based discounts to increase a store’s average order value.

Discounts can be set up in the Shopify admin or using the mobile app and can be applied at checkout in-person with Shopify POS.

Meanwhile, Shopify POS’ analytics allows merchants to track the performance of in-store promotions through Shopify’s Reports.

Store Management Features

Shopify understands the nature of retail and they have a suite of services to assist when it comes to product, inventory management and general store operations.

Product Entry

Products can be made available to one or more sales channels and also in variants.

Each product can have a title, description and image added, and items can be entered individually or via CSV file import.

Individual products can be added via Shopify Admin or directly at the POS. They can also be edited, duplicated or have variants listed.

On that note, however, Shopify warns depending on the device used there is a maximum number of advised products that can be stored as part of a catalogue on the POS.

For example, when using an iPad Air the maximum number of advised products is 5000 with up to 8000 variants, meanwhile an iPad Pro 12.9” can accommodate up to 30,000 products with 50,000 variants.

In some cases when this number is exceeded the device may not operate as expected.

Once entered, products can be organised by category, type, season, sale, and more. Merchants can also start collections to automatically sort products based on vendor, price, and inventory level.

The inventory management feature also allows retailers to track stock counts, and automatically stop selling products when inventory runs out.

Meanwhile, when using Shopify or Shopify Advanced, merchants can assign existing barcodes to products or create new ones.

Employee Management

Each different plan of Shopify POS caters to a different number of employees. Basic offers support for two staff members, Shopify offers support for up to five staff, and Advanced caters to up to 15. Shopify Plus offers the potential for further staff, but is a customised option that needs to be discussed directly with Shopify.

When managing these staff using Shopify and Shopify Advanced, merchants can assign each staff member a secure PIN along with permissions. This secure PIN also tracks their register activity and orders.

Customer Management

Shopify allows merchants to create customer profiles with new orders. Users can also import existing customer lists via CSV in the admin.

Once profiles are created users can easily find contact information and order history.

If email is included in the contact information, customers can then be notified of upcoming sales or new products using email marketing apps.

Reporting and Analytics

The level of reporting capability available is determined by the Shopify plan the merchant is using.

The Basic level option offers general retail reports, the Shopify version features professional reports, and Shopify Advanced offers custom reports.

Reports can be generated to focus on various areas of a store operation. They include:
• Sales by staff member
• Sales by location
• Sales by time period
• Sales by customer
• Sales by product type

Available in the Shopify Dashboard, these reports can also be downloaded and exported.

Integrations

Shopify integrates with a host of other software including its own apps for marketing and external software like Zapier, Zero etc.

Shopify also offers access to their API to make integration with even little-known software achievable.

Price

Unlike PayPal or Square, which offer a free POS app and then charge for transactions, Shopify has monthly plans which vary depending on the business size and intended use, with transaction fees also charged.

In addition to the standard range below there is also Shopify Plus available offering enterprise-grade solutions for high volume merchants, and large businesses.

Monthly fees are charged in US dollars in both Australia and the US, and these plans include:

Shopify Basic - US$29/month

Shopify recommends this option for new businesses or online-first businesses who occasionally sell in-person.

It offers:
• Free card reader
• Support for card reader
• Support for up to 2 Shopify admin staff
• Retail reports

Shopify – US$79/month

Shopify recommends this option for growing businesses with one retail store.

It includes:
• Free card reader
• Embedded POS apps
• Unlimited Shopify POS staff PINs
• Register shifts
• Support for card reader, printer, cash drawer, shipping label printer, and retail cameras
• Support for up to 5 Shopify admin staff
• Support for Store Credit and Gift Cards
• Professional Reports

Shopify Advanced - US$299/month

This higher-end option is recommended for scaling businesses with 2+ retail stores.

It features:
• Free card reader
• Embedded POS apps
• Unlimited Shopify POS staff PINs
• Register shifts
• Support for card reader, printer, cash drawer, shipping label printer, and retail cameras
• Support for up to 15 Shopify admin staff
• Support for Store Credit and Gift Cards
• Custom Reports

Payment processing costs USA

In addition, Shopify charges payment processing costs of:

• In-person credit card rates: 2.4% + 0¢
• Online credit card rates: 2.4% + 30¢
• Online 3rd party payment provider transaction fees vary

Payment Processing Costs Australia

In Australia, payment processing costs are:

• Online Australian credit card rates: Basic Shopify - 1.75% + 30¢, Shopify - 1.6% + 30¢, Shopify Advanced - 1.4% + 30¢
• Fees using all payment providers other than Shopify Payments : Basic Shopify - 2.0%, Shopify - 1.0%, Shopify Advanced – 0.5%.

Customer Support

Shopify has a general reputation for solid customer support.

They offer live support 24/7 by email, live chat and phone, and also have a Shopify Support Center where users can view commonly asked questions, user guides, and tutorials.

In addition a Shopify-approved point of sale consultant is made available to help set up Shopify POS, and there is a community discussion forum where merchants can take part in discussions on marketing, accounting, and more, along with an eCommerce University where there are eBooks, videos series, webinars available.

Pros and Cons

Shopify is renowned as ser-friendly, easy to set up and depending on the plan used, caters to retailers needs spanning large and small stores.

Designed specifically for retail, it assists with the set-up and running of a store, and the day to day management of it. Meanwhile for start-up merchants, Shopify makes the process of setting up a store easy and quick.

When it comes to cons, some merchants note offline services might be lacking, while the cost of larger packages plus transactions is also a little pricey.

Meanwhile, for merchants looking to get up and running quickly with an online store, Shopify’s ease of use is considered some of the best on the market.

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