Shopify POS connects one of the world’s leading ecommerce platforms, with a convenient and feature-rich point of sale system.
In this brief Shopify POS review, we’ll provide insights into all of the features you can access, the pros and cons of the system, and the alternatives available.
Shopify POS is a fantastic tool for retail businesses. Though it requires a Shopify subscription to access, this POS solution is ideal for retail companies looking to embrace the world of omnichannel sales, with integrated solutions for marketing, reporting, and payments.
Pros & Cons
- Easy-to-use solution for multichannel/omnichannel selling
- Integrated flat-rate payment processing
- Integrations with a range of apps and tools
- Excellent reporting and analytics
- Employee, customer, and inventory management in one
- Primarily focused on ecommerce retailers
- Requires a Shopify subscription to access
- Advanced capabilities can be expensive
Shopify POS Features
Shopify POS is a comprehensive point of sale solution, designed by the same company responsible for one of the world’s leading ecommerce platforms. It’s intended to support omnichannel sales, allowing companies to sync in-person sales data with their online store.
The features available for Shopify POS vary depending on whether you choose the “Lite” version (included with most Shopify ecommerce subscriptions), or the premium “Shopify POS Pro” plan.
Shopify POS intuitively syncs the Shopify ecommerce platform (and your online store), with your brick-and-mortar sales data. It supports both online and offline transactions, with options for local pickup, sending carts to customers so they can buy products online, and QR codes.
The Pro version of the service also allows customers to buy products in-store and have them shipped to their address, buy online, and return in store, and access local delivery options.
Inventory and Product Management
Though the Lite version of Shopify POS is a little sparse on inventory management features, it does allow users to manage inventory data in a unified environment, and assign products to different sales locations and channels. If you upgrade to the Pro version, you also gain access to:
- Demand forecasting tools
- Transfer requests
- Purchase orders
- Low stock reports
- Inventory counts and analysis
- Detailed inventory reports
- Stock adjustment
- Inventory receiving tools (with barcode scanning)
For product management, Shopify allows companies to manage unlimited products with their POS, create product collections, and even design various product variants. You can track the inventory status of all products, assign barcode labels to each item, and even allocate inventory to various locations from your POS back-end.
Staff and Customer Management
With Shopify POS Lite, companies can assign unique PINs to team members, so they can log into the software securely, from anywhere. The POS Pro service includes manager approval workflows, custom roles and permissions, and the ability to attribute sales to staff.
You also get the option to create unlimited staff accounts with Shopify POS Pro. For customer management, Shopify offers the opportunity to create rich customer profiles, with contact information, purchasing histories, notes, and tags. You can also store order histories, contact customers directly from your POS, and track their marketing preferences.
Shopify POS even offers the option to create loyalty and reward campaigns, so you can maintain customer engagement over time.
Shopify Checkout Features
Shopify POS offers one of the most advanced collections of “checkout” features around. Even Lite POS customers can allow their clients to checkout anywhere with a smartphone or tablet-based system. You can create customizable smart grids for the checkout, apply discount codes or promo codes in seconds, and even automatically calculate taxes.
Shopify supports offline cash transactions, when your internet connection is down, and allows users to send custom email and SMS receipts to buyers. Plus, businesses can manage returns, create order notes, and design “custom sale” options all in one place.
Shopify POS Pro upgrades all of this functionality, with access to saveable carts, exchange management, order cancellation, and custom printed receipts.
Managing payments is something that Shopify excels at. Shopify POS comes with access to “Shopify Payments”, an integrated payment processor. This allows users to accept all popular payment methods, from Visa and Mastercard, to Apple Pay and Google Pay.
You pay the same rate for all credit cards (based on your Shopify plan) with no hidden monthly fees. Plus, you can keep track of your cash with in-depth cash-flow management tools. Shopify Payments also supports Shop Pay instalment options, chargeback management, and automatic reconciliation.
Shopify POS also supports additional payment options, such as:
- Gift cards (digital or physical)
- Split payments or tenders
- Custom payment types
- Patial payments
- Refunds to gift cards
Reporting and Analytics
Access to data and reports is crucial to any business leveraging a point of sale system. Fortunately, Shopify makes it easy to collect and use valuable information, with a robust reporting suite. There’s an integrated dashboard in the software for a quick view of your sale’s performance.
Plus, you can create custom reports to track all aspects of your product’s performance, cash flow, retail strategies, discount campaigns, and inventory. There’s even the option to generate financial reports that cover everything from sales, to returns, taxes, payments, and more.
Plus, Shopify POS Pro users can automatically access daily sales reports, that cover information on product and staff performance, as well as online and retail sales.
The best way to take full advantage of the marketing capabilities offered by Shopify is to leverage the website building tools you get on most Shopify plans. You can use those to create a search engine optimize blog, interact with customers through live chat and more.
However, the POS system also supports various marketing solutions, such as the ability to request product reviews from customers, email marketing, and social media integrations. You can also promote your store through the Google Merchant Center.
Although Shopify does have fewer POS hardware options to choose from than some competitors, its solutions are relatively advanced, and quite affordable. Options range from simple card readers, to Shopify’s POS Go mobile system. There’s also the option to simply manage payments through Shopify’s mobile app on your phone.
All of Shopify’s hardware options come with a warranty, 1 year on POS Lite, and 2 years on POS Pro, as well as free shipping and returns. Plus, there are plenty of accessories to choose from, such as cash drawers, receipt printers, and barcode scanners.
The Lite version of Shopify POS is included on most Shopify plans. However, you do need a Shopify subscription to access any version of the software. The POS Pro solution costs an additional $89 per month, or can be included with Shopify Plus.
Where Shopify Stands Out
Omnichannel sales tools
Shopify POS is fantastic for smaller business owners looking to sell both online and in-person. You can access the software on any device, customize the smart grid appearance, check customers out on the move, and offer custom discounts. You can also use Shopify POS to create comprehensive email and social media marketing campaigns and loyalty programs.
Shopify even integrates with various other solutions like marketplaces, so you can sell your products across a range of channels and sync all of your inventory.
Integrated Payment Processing
All Shopify plans include built-in support from Shopify Payments. Unlike some other credit card processing companies, which have hidden fees and quote-based rates, Shopify maintains flat fees on its software, with no unexpected costs.
Processing fees remain the same regardless of which type of cards your customers use. Plus, depending on your Shopify plan, you can even reduce your transaction fees.
Ease of Use
For smaller businesses, and beginners, Shopify offers a very straightforward and convenient environment. The backend is simple, clean, and intuitive, plus, features can be customized to suit your specific needs. Shopify also offers a range of fantastic resources to get you started.
There’s also 24/7 support for businesses who need extra help, informative articles on the Shopify website, courses you can access online, and video tutorials.
Where Shopify Falls Short
Strong Focus on Ecommerce
Shopify POS mainly stands out for its connection with the Shopify ecommerce platform. If you don’t have an existing website on Shopify, and you don’t want to build an online store, then this might not be the right solution for you.
The company doesn’t offer many advanced features for traditional sellers. Plus, there aren’t many specific features intended for different kinds of companies, such as restaurants and food service brands. Although you can always explore integration options and apps.
Expensive (Requires a Shopify Subscription)
While you can access Shopify POS Lite on most Shopify plans, you do need a Shopify subscription to use any of the POS tools. Plans start at $5 for the Starter plan, but this doesn’t give you full access to Shopify’s website building tools. More comprehensive plans start at $39 per month.
If you want to access all of the features offered by Shopify POS, you’ll also need to pay another fee on top of your subscription ($89 per month). Alternatively, the POS Pro service does come built into Shopify Plus, but prices for this enterprise solution start at around $2,000 making it less appealing for smaller businesses.
Alternatives to Shopify POS
We consider Shopify POS to be one of the best solutions for omnichannel or multichannel retailers who want to combine online and brick-and-mortar selling. However, it’s not the right toolkit for everyone. If you’re looking for something more suited to traditional retailers, specific industries, or smaller companies with lower budgets, there are other options out there.
Some of the best alternatives include:
Square stands out as one of the most popular POS systems for smaller businesses. Not only is it easy to use, but it’s packed with fantastic features, including secure payment processing solutions, reporting tools, and inventory management.
The cloud-based POS system also comes with specialist tools for restaurants and retail companies, and the ability to create your own website (though it’s relatively simple) for free. Plus, you can accept payments, automate aspects of your business, and manage employees without paying a monthly fee for your software.
Square also offers a much broader selection of hardware options to choose from, including small card readers, mobile tools, and full-service countertop registers.
Highly customizable, Clover is an excellent POS solution for a wide range of different businesses. You can accept virtually all kinds of payments with minimal effort. Plus, there are built in management tools for orders and inventory, staff, customers, and more.
Clover also has some of the best hardware options on the market, ranging from Clover’s Go Mobile POS system, which connects with your tablet or mobile, to the Clover Flex terminal. There’s even the Clover Mini countertop register, and a virtual terminal for computer systems.
Like Square, Clover also offers specialist modules and features for retail and restaurant businesses, to help you manage and automate more aspects of your company. Plus, it has a robust app market where you can connect to various sales, marketing, and accounting tools.
Created by PayPal, Zettle is another fantastic solution for both online and offline selling. There’s no monthly fee to worry about with Zettle, although the payment processing fees can be quite high, depending on the type of transactions you’re managing.
Zettle is very easy to use, with a convenient backend, and it can process all types of payments, from manually-entered transactions, to cards, and digital wallets. It also offers reporting, inventory management, and staff management tools. Plus, you can also connect Zettle to other third-party integrations for things like marketing and accounting.
Zettle also offers a wide range of great hardware options to choose from, with simple card readers starting at $29. You can also access full comprehensive kits which include printers, barcode scanners, mobile card readers, and screen-based terminals.