November 2, 2018
An all-around good POS that's particularly great for online stores.
Shopify offers two main services: An e-commerce platform designed for online stores and a retail-centric POS system. Since online stores are such as large part of what Shopify offers, the ecommerce integrations offered by their POS system are tough to beat. At least, over 600,000 businesses worldwide seem to think so.
- Free trial
- 24/7 Support
- Serves all business sizes
If you're in the market for a new POS system, you'll struggle to find a service much better than Shopify. However, it's always worth getting bespoke quotes from leading suppliers to make sure you're getting the best deal.
The Shopify POS software is one of the best on the market. Aimed squarely at retail and ecommerce, the service comes with stellar features and support options, all bundled into an interface that's easy to pick up and won't force your employees to deal with a tough learning curve. It's a great modern option, with omnichannel integrations and a solid mobile app.
The POS software subscription comes in three plans: Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify, with the number of staff accounts being the biggest differentiation, though Basic Shopify offers a handful fewer features than the other two.
Shopify's POS pricing is worth noting. In addition to the monthly fee that most POS services charge, Shopify also charges a set percentage of the revenue from each transaction placed on their service. However, since Shopify doesn't price up its monthly fees with each additional staff account used, the overall cost remains competitive within the POS industry.
In this review:
- Strong ecommerce integration
- 14-day Free trial
- 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email
- Works with lots of different hardware options
- Exclusively-focused on retail and ecommerce
- Charges transaction fees unless you're using Shopify's own Payments processing system
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Shopify POS: Core Features
Users of any of Shopify's price plans will get their own online store. They'll be able to set up and customize an ecommerce website and blog. Their website builder comes with a drag-and-drop store editor to keep the site creation simple. In fact, as we phrased it in Tech.Co's Shopify website builder review, it's “the best ecommerce platform on the market.”
Shopify's multi-channel support makes the shopping experience streamlined across your online store and your physical one, but it doesn't stop there: You'll be able to integrate your store accounts on Amazon and eBay, as well as social media channels. A mobile app syncs instantly with the main POS dashboard, too, letting managers view and make changes while on the go.
Sales and Payments
With a Shopify POS card reader, which comes free with a plan, you can accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Bill-splitting, cash, partial payments, and store credit are all supported features as well. Custom payment options can even be added, for store owners who want to accept checks or IOUs.
When it comes to online orders, a customer's shipping address can be logged in their account for the future, and receipts can be emailed as well as printed.
Products can be listed by category, type, season, sale or more, and barcodes can be quickly assigned as new products are added. Variations on products can also be added, if a change in size, color or material needs to be noted, and every product variation can be given a new price, SKU, and weight as well.
For ease of use, products can be added or restocked straight from the mobile app.
Analytics and Reporting
The POS dashboard tracks and displays the latest sales, orders, and traffic, letting managers know how their business is growing.
Analytics reports can be created both for products (telling managers which items are selling best and when) and for retail (telling managers which staffers sell the most, which customers return the most, and which location does the best overall).
Loyalty and Marketing
Customer profiles are automatically created with each new order, and can follow a customer across their online and physical purchase histories. Email addresses can be collected with each new account, and can then be used in email marketing campaigns to bolster return visits.
Discount codes can be created and applied via the Shopify POS. Gift cards are also supported and can be redeemed in-store or online, though this feature isn't available on the Basic Shopify plan.
Shopify ranks 3rd in our list of the best retail POS providers.
Video: Shopify’s Chip & Swipe Reader
Shopify's Chip & Swipe Reader comes free with a payment plan. With it and the mobile app, Shopify POS users will be ready to take payments and sell their wares just about anywhere, from farmer's markets to kiosks to a typical storefront. The pocket-sized device takes chip cards or swipeable mag stripes. Here's a quick video that can give you feel for what Shopify's most popular hardware option looks like.
Set Up and Customer Support
Shopify's support team is available to users of any payment plan by email, live chat and phone, for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That's about as comprehensive a support team as any POS user can hope for.
Online resources include guides, a help center, a community discussion forum, and — in what is, to my knowledge, a first for POS services — multiple podcasts aimed at educating and entertaining Shopify users.
Another online resource accessible via Shopify's website is the “Shopify Academy,” a free online training program that lets users learn both how to use the service itself, and how to expand their business more broadly. The on-demand courses include lessons like how to grow a business with Instagram or how to “build a print-on-demand empire.”
Support & Training
Live chat: 24/7
Shopify POS Plans and Pricing
Shopify offers three main POS plans: “Basic Shopify” starts at $29/month, supports up to two staff accounts and includes a free card reader and mobile app. In addition to the monthly fee, however, users will be charged an additional 2.9% + 30¢ of the revenue from each online credit card transaction, 2.7% from each in-person credit card sale, and 2% of revenue from any payment provider other than Shopify.
The price for the “Shopify” plan jumps up to $79/month, which covers up to five staffers and supports more advanced reporting features and gift cards. Payment fees are a slightly better deal, however, at 2.6% + 30¢ of each online credit card sale, 2.5% of each in-person credit card sale, and 1% from each sale through a third-party payment provider.
The “Advanced Shopify” plan will run you $299/month, supporting fifteen staffers and further reducing payment fees. Users will be charged 2.4% + 30¢ for each online credit card purchase, 2.4% for each in-person one, and 0.5% for each sale via a third-party payment provider.
|Shopify POS App||✔||✔||✔|
|Hardware peripheral support||✔||✔||✔|
|Unlimited Shopify POS staff PINs||✗||✔||✔|
|Works with third-party POS apps||✔||✔||✔|
|Allows for ecommerce sales||✔||✔||✔|
Your business's staff size is a key factor to consider when looking at plans, given that the Basic Shopify plan allows two staff accounts, the main Shopify plan allows five, and the Advanced Shopify plan allows fifteen. Given that most POS vendors' plans charge extra for each individual account or register added, Shopify's set monthly prices offer a better value to a business the more staff members it has (unless it surpasses fifteen, that is).
Interested parties can also sign up for a 14-day free trial.
Shopify POS Alternatives
While Shopify is one of the best POS systems on the market, and its ecommerce functions give it a unique twist, it isn't the only good choice on the market. In fact, we think some of its rivals might be better-suited to some businesses.
Let's take a look at some of Shopify's main rivals:
|Vend||Shopify POS||Square POS||Lightspeed|
|Hardware:||Works on a range of devices as well as iPad and Android devices||Sold by Shopify, but also works with iPads and Android tablets||Sold by Square, available separately or packaged with software. Works with most leading brands.||Sold by Lightspeed, available separately or packaged with software. Works with most leading brands.|
|Key features:||Ecommerce features|
Lots of third-party integrations
Free onboarding webinars
|Best for:||Businesses that are looking to grow quickly due to its versatility and range of third-party integrations.||Businesses looking to integrate ecommerce functions into their POS system.||Smaller, quick-service businesses, due to cost-effective pricing, strong brand recognition, and strong support.||Businesses in need of flexible, rare, or unique abilities, due to robust third-party integrations.|
So while Shopify is a great choice for businesses that need to sell online as well as in real life, rival POS systems such as Square and Lightspeed might be a better fit for your business, specifically.
Lightspeed, for example, works with loads of different third-party services to expand the amount of features on offer. Square, on the other hand, has significant brand recognition and a large community of users — they can help you find solutions for any problems you might encounter.
Of course, before taking the plunge with any of these suppliers, you should get bespoke quotes for your business here.
We would recommend Shopify POS, it's one of the best retail POS options available. It's great across the board, from its 24/7 support team, to its fair price, to an intuitive interface with a quick learning curve. In addition, it's a particularly good fit for businesses with an online store as well as a physical one, or businesses that are interested in adding an online store to their existing one.
See how Shopify POS compares
to other leading Point of Sale providers.
By clicking to compare, you’ll receive quotes from various suppliers, tailored to the needs of your business. If you enter into a contract with a provider, we may receive a payment for the introduction. This helps Tech.co to provide free advice and reviews. It carries no additional cost to you, and doesn’t affect our editorial independence.
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