Though better known as an eCommerce platform, Shopify can also be used by retailers with physical locations. This iPad POS system is primarily for retail businesses and can be used for stores with either a single or multiple locations.
As with most of the iPad POS systems we reviewed, you're not required to sign a long-term contract in order to use Shopify and can opt instead for month-to-month service. The company posts its pricing online and offers four plans for its POS software. Its monthly subscriptions cost between $9 and $299 per month, plus an additional $49 per month if you need the Retail Package. Although it's optional, most retailers with physical stores will need to add this to the system, as it allows you to add your employees to the system and connect to a receipt printer, cash drawer and other POS hardware.
Shopify offers credit card processing services, but you can choose to use another processor, though you'll pay Shopify a surcharge of 0.5% to 2% on top of the rates you pay to your processor, making it an expensive option. The company sells POS hardware, but it posts a list of compatible equipment on its website, allowing you the option of using hardware you already own or purchasing it from a third party.
This POS system has many of the features we looked for in our review. On the dashboard you can see an overview of your sales data and generate a variety of reports. You can see your sales per hour, which helps you identify your busy and slow times of day so you can staff your store appropriately. You can also see a list of your top-selling items, helping you evaluate customer interest in your store's offerings. If you need to export report data to another program, you can do so in CSV format.
Using Shopify's inventory management tools, you can organize your inventory by category or season, add variations such as color and size, and create or assign barcodes. You can add an unlimited number of products to the software, but you should be aware that your iPad may experience performance issues if you add too many products to the system; the company recommends adding no more than 2,000 to 7,000 items, depending on the iPad model you use. If you want to receive low-inventory alerts, you'll need to add a third-party integration to the system. Shopify doesn't manage your vendor information or help you create purchase orders, which is inconvenient.
Shopify's customer database allows you to gather contact information for your marketing efforts, and you can also use it to recall order history. Integrations for loyalty programs are available, if you want to add that capability to the system.
You can reach customer support 24/7 by email, phone and live chat, though remote assistance isn't available. If you have an equipment failure, you can order replacement parts and have them shipped overnight.
Shopify is a good POS system for retailers with both physical and online stores. It doesn't require a lengthy contract, gives you the option of using it for your payment processing or using another company, and is compatible with third-party hardware. However, it doesn't have vendor management tools that would be useful for reordering stock, and most businesses will need to add the Retail Package to their subscription, which costs extra.