Shopify POS Review 2023: Pros, Cons, Alternatives
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Shopify POS syncs one of the industry’s best point-of-sale systems with the Shopify e-commerce platform. Unlike some competitors, however, Shopify doesn’t offer free POS software and the platform is retail-focused, so businesses in other industries may want to look for alternatives.
Payment processing cost
Additional transaction fee applies if you don’t use Shopify Payments for your payment processor.
To use Shopify POS, you also have to have a Shopify plan for e-commerce.
Once you have a Shopify plan for e-commerce, add either:
No contract required. Plans are paid month to month unless you sign up for an annual, two-year or three-year plan.
Phone callback, chat, email and online knowledgebase.
How does Shopify POS work?
With the Shopify POS app, you can sell your products or services in person and online — take orders from customers, accept payments and sync transactions across sales channels.
However, you have to purchase a Shopify e-commerce subscription in order to use the Shopify POS products. Even if you don’t want to sell online, you’ll use your Shopify e-commerce account to manage important details of your point-of-sale system, such as your customers, inventory and other administrative information.
Once you have a Shopify plan, you can download the Shopify POS app — available for both iOS and Android devices. Using the app, you’ll be able to log in and start customizing your system.
If you're selling in person, you can purchase Shopify POS hardware, and you’ll be ready to start taking customer orders.
Shopify POS features
Shopify offers two versions of its point-of-sale software: Shopify POS Lite and Shopify POS Pro. POS Lite comes standard with every Shopify monthly plan, and POS Pro offers additional features to boost business efficiency and functionality.
Shopify POS Lite
The company’s basic POS includes the following features:
Inventory tracking across locations and sales channels.
Unlimited product inventory with collections, variants, and multi-location inventory.
Login PINs for individual staff members.
Discount and promo codes for online and in-person transactions.
QR codes that can be attached to certain products for checkout.
The option to email customers with items they liked to encourage purchases.
Customer profiles with order history and contact information.
Order notes for special requests on purchases.
Automatic sales tax calculations.
Custom receipts by email and SMS.
Return processing with automatic inventory updates.
Reporting that includes cash tracking, basic inventory reports and financial reports.
Compatibility with Shopify’s card readers and accessories.
Shopify Payments integration.
» MORE: Shopify Payments Review
Shopify POS Pro
In addition to the features with POS Lite, Shopify’s POS Pro includes:
Order management for local pickup, local delivery and in-store exchanges.
Cart retrieval for e-commerce checkout.
Custom printed receipts.
Purchase order creation.
Inventory forecasting based on sales and inventory analysis.
Product transfers between locations with inventory tracking.
Low stock alerts.
Sale item suggestions based on performance.
Inventory matching and receiving count with barcode scanning.
Detailed inventory reporting.
Daily sales reports on sales, products and staff performance.
Sales tracking by staff members.
Unlimited non-admin staff access to POS.
Staff roles and permissions.
Manager approval settings for actions like discounting.
How much does Shopify POS cost?
Software, hardware and payment processing will all play a role in the total cost of Shopify POS.
Shopify POS Software pricing
Shopify POS Lite is included with all Shopify e-commerce plans, which means there’s no additional cost to use this version of the POS. However, POS Pro costs extra unless you select the Shopify Pro plan (itincludes POS Pro).
To use Shopify POS, you also must have a Shopify plan for e-commerce. The following prices reflect the annual billing option, which saves you money:
$29 for Shopify Basic.
$79 for regular Shopify.
$299 for Shopify Advanced.
$2,000 for Shopify Plus.
Once you have a Shopify plan for e-commerce, add either:
$0 for Shopify POS Lite (free with all Shopify plans).
$89 per location for Shopify POS Pro (free with Shopify Plus).
Payment processing costs
Shopify Payments is included with all monthly plans to process online transactions. Shopify charges transparent, flat-rate processing fees for in-person and online payments, and the rates you pay depend on which e-commerce plan you choose.
You can use a third-party provider, such as Amazon Pay, Authorize.net or Braintree to process payments. Your rates will likely differ from what Shopify Payments charges if you work with a third-party processor, though, and Shopify will charge you an additional transaction fee for not using its in-house product.
Here are the Shopify Payments processing costs based on the different plan options:
2.4%, 2.6% or 2.9% plus 30 cents for online payments for Advanced, Shopify or Basic plan, respectively.
2.4%, 2.5% or 2.7% for in-person payments for Advanced, Shopify or Basic plan, respectively.
Shopify POS hardware costs
You can use Shopify POS with an existing iOS or Android smartphone or tablet that you already own. Shopify also sells the following POS hardware:
$49 for Chipper 2X BT card reader or Tap & Chip card reader.
$219 for Retail Kit.
$399 for Shopify POS Go mobile device ($429 with case).
You can purchase additional Shopify POS hardware, such as card readers, cash drawers and receipt printers on the Shopify website. Here are the prices of some of the standard Shopify POS hardware accessories:
Barcode scanners: $229 to $329.
Label printers: $299 to $499.
Receipt printers $299 to $369.
Cash drawers: $139 to $159.
Shopify POS pros
Features for multichannel selling
Shopify POS offers robust features for small-business owners who want to sell both online and in person. You can customize the smart grid interface of your app, check out customers on the go, offer custom discounts and send digital receipts. You can add and categorize an unlimited number of products, track inventory and sync orders across retail locations, online stores and other sales channels. You also can use Shopify POS to create email and social media marketing campaigns, develop a customer loyalty program and generate reports from online and in-person sales.
Integrated, flat-rate payment processing
All Shopify plans include built-in access to Shopify Payments and are compatible with the Shopify POS system. Unlike some credit card processing companies, which have quote-based rates or hidden fees, Shopify Payments offers flat-rate fees that are simple and easy to understand.
These processing rates do not vary based on the type of card that your customer uses, and you also can access lower processing rates with each higher-level e-commerce subscription plan tier.
Easy to use
Shopify POS is user-friendly and approachable for new and experienced business owners alike. It has a modern and intuitive interface and can be set up quickly and easily.
Shopify also offers accessible customer service, as well as a variety of onboarding and support resources on the Shopify website, including informational articles, webinars, a community forum, video tutorials and business courses.
Shopify POS cons
More e-commerce focused
Shopify POS relies heavily on its connection with the Shopify e-commerce platform, which is great for multichannel sellers but may not be as appealing, useful or cost-effective for some brick-and-mortar retailers.Similarly, Shopify POS does not offer many features designed for restaurants or food-service businesses. Restaurant POS systems such as Toast or Clover can handle online ordering, tableside payments, menu and table management and delivery integrations.
Alternatives to Shopify POS
2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions (2.5% plus 10 cents with Retail Plus plan).
2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions or invoices without a card on file.
3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions or card-on-file invoices.
Why we like it: Square offers a robust POS for all merchants with a free plan and upgrades for restaurants, larger retail shops and appointment-based businesses. The free POS includes website hosting, pickup and delivery options, online invoicing and staff management. Paid upgrades offer multi-location inventory, exchanges and vendor management, and all options let you work multiple sales channels. Square also offers flat, transparent pricing and a variety of card readers and accessories that work with its POS system.
2.3% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions for most plans.
2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions on Retail Starter, Personal Services Starter and Professional Services Standard plans, as well as Home & Field Services Standard and Advanced plans.
3.5% plus 10 cents for online or keyed-in transactions.
Why we like it: Clover offers POS for e-commerce businesses and in-person shops to let businesses pick the combination they need. POS features vary by monthly plan. More expensive monthly plans include advanced inventory and reporting capabilities. Processing rates vary with each plan.
Whitney Vandiver, a writer at NerdWallet, contributed reporting to this review.
NerdWallet’s ratings for point-of-sale system providers reward companies whose products and services are priced well and work in a variety of payment scenarios, among other criteria. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including cost, system capabilities, contract requirements, customer service and integrations and add-ons. Learn more about how we rate point-of-sale systems providers.
These ratings are a guide, but services, hardware and pricing can vary widely from business to business and provider to provider. We encourage you to shop around and compare several providers.
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