If you own a small business, be it in the form of a brick and mortar store, an online store or a workshop or a donut stall, chances are high that you are looking for a suitable Point of Sale (POS).
A POS helps you keep track of all the sales you make online and offline, making sure you have the right inventory available at the right moment, by keeping a close watch on the sales you’re making.
When your sales and inventory are in sync, you can make better business decisions, without having to worry about the manual, cumbersome tally work that comes associated with it. Both in terms of finance and planning out your restocks.
This is why choosing the right POS becomes all the more important. In this article, we will tell you exactly what a POS is and how Shopify POS compares to the others in the market.
What is a POS?
Imagine your journey at the local supermarket. There is a section for entry, a separate section for kids, a section for meat and poultry, and even a section for desserts. Of course, your shopping is only complete once you pay for all the items you have picked up from the various sections.
The point where the transaction is completed is called the Point of Sale (POS). At the POS, the seller calculates the amount of money owed by the customer, displays that amount, and may or may not prepare an invoice for the customer. The POS is also the place where the customer makes payment for the goods or services that they have availed, thereby completing the transaction.
Now that we clearly know what a POS is, let us see why having a POS is important for any online store.
Why is having a POS important?
No one likes waiting, especially not in this era of smartphones and competition, where an alternative purchase is just a swipe away. So to prevent your customers waiting, you must process their orders faster, and to do this you need a robust POS system.
Here are a few other reasons why having a POS is good for your online business:
1. Eliminate human error
When you run a small business that has a high volume of checkout per customer, there is always a chance that the person manning the checkout corner can make an error. This is especially applicable if they have to manually enter a lot of products and prices into the system.
A POS ensures that you always have consistent prices across all the systems, and correct sales data is entered into the system, so that you can review it later, if necessary.
2. Minimize losses
Inaccurate inventory is the reason that a lot of small businesses fail to make profits in the initial years, and this can be solved with the help of a robust POS system. By knowing how much stock you have in your inventory, you minimize the risk of misplaced inventory and can take action quickly in case some of your items in the inventory are stolen.
Another important advantage of having a POS system is the financial information that is now available at your fingertips. A POS system will tell you how much cash you have in your cash drawer and also how much profit you have made at the end of the day or the month.
3. Keep track of your employees
Your employees are your biggest asset, but managing them can be a headache, especially if you are using separate spreadsheets to keep track of who is doing what.
With a POS system, you can calculate metrics such as which employee worked a particular shift, how much sales they made, and the amount of commission that each employee deserves. This also helps you make objective decisions as to which employee deserves to be promoted and who can do with a bit of coaching.
4. Manage and execute loyalty programs
To provide a wholesome customer experience, you need to make them feel special, and that they are also an extended part of your family. One way of doing this is to run loyalty programs, which ensures that there are repeat customers and new customers have an incentive to stay.
Integrating elements such as gift vouchers into your POS means your customers are rewarded and at the same time your employees don’t have to go the extra mile to keep track of your regular customers.
5. Offer attractive discounts
Offering discounts is one of the oldest tricks in the marketing playbook, and if used correctly, it can be used both to attract new customers and make sure your existing customers keep coming back.
A POS gathers all the information there is on customers, inventory and sales, and this can be used to calculate how much discounts you can offer on slow - moving products, while keeping your bottom line in check. You can also use the POS to give flexible promotions based on customer data and inventory, and the POS will automatically calculate discounts for these items and apply it. This will save you precious time and effort, which can be used to acquire new customers.
6. Make the checkout process smoother
If you don’t have a good checkout process in place, it will most probably lead to a bad customer experience, a direct fallout of which will be reduced sales. A POS acts as a centralized database where you can quickly track your inventory, assign orders to different customers, apply discounts to select customers, and make the checkout process as easy as a breeze.
Customers who don’t wait for long hours in the checkout queue will naturally want to come back to your store, and a POS will be the first step to ensure a fast and smooth checkout.
7. Provide a variety of payment options
One part of shopping that has changed significantly over the past 5 years is the way customers can pay for their goods. Cash, debit cards, e-wallets, you name it, and the store’s got it.
A flexible POS will ensure that you can offer more payment options to your customers and the customers are left feeling good that they made the purchase from your store.
How does Shopify POS compare with others
Shopify POS vs. Ecwid POS
Both Shopify and Ecwid allow you to sell through physical stores, and not just the online method, which is a win-win situation for business owners. With Ecwid, you have to rely on third-party services if you want to avail all the benefits that come associated with having a POS. These could be in the form of providers such as Square, Shopkeep, Clover or Paypal.
Shopify has POS inbuilt into its selling experience, and it is cheaper to access this feature when compared to Ecwid. With Shopify POS, you can sell in multiple locations, facilitate exchanges, facilitate online buying and the functionality to collect in store, among other things.
Shopify POS vs BigCommerce POS
Before we compare Shopify POS to BigCommerce POS, it should be noted that both of these solutions support mobile devices for online selling, and you can integrate barcode scanners, receipt and label printers, to suit the kind of user-experience you want to create. If you decide to go with BigCommerce POS, you need to keep in mind that you need to integrate hardware with third-party platforms, which means working with tools like Square and Shopkeep.
Shopify, on the other hand, does not require third party apps to set up its POS, and the hardware solutions from Shopify are directly available from its own brand. There is also an advanced Shopify POS pro available, that gives you access to many more features for just $89. The add-on features include the ability to sell at multiple locations, printed receipt support, staff role and permissions management etc.
Shopify POS vs Magento POS
When comparing Shopify POS to Magento POS, the first glaring difference is that Shopify gives a first-party POS system, whereas Magento offers POS via ConnectPOS, which is a third-party POS system. That doesn’t mean that the Magento POS skims off on the more juicier features of a POS. The Magento add-on apps offer real-time synchronization of inventories and customer orders, click and collect or buy online and then pick up offline, among other features.
Shopify POS is a cloud based system that comes with a lot of features including barcode scanning, managing employee activities, creating custom sales, or displaying order history.
The click-and-collect and inventory management features are available in the Shopify POS pro plan. Overall, Shopify offers greater flexibility compared to Magento POS, simply because most of its essential features don’t require integration with a third-party app.
ShopifyPOS vs WooCommerce POS
If you are a business owner who is getting serious about purchasing a POS solution, then WooCommerce might be exactly what you are looking for. The POS solution offers a series of impressive features, including commission management, barcode scanning, gift card management, multi-location, loyalty program, discount management, among others. It does not, however, give 24*7 live support and chat support.
Shopify POS also offers an impressive range of features, but does not support commission management, restaurant POS or electronic signature. It is a bit cheaper than WooCommerce to start with, at the moment, priced at a respectable $89/month compared to WooCommerce’s $99/month. Shopify provides 24*7 live support and chat support, and is best suited for brick and mortar businesses who want to build a complete eCommerce solution from scratch.
Shopify POS vs Squarespace POS
Squarespace has partnered with Square to develop a POS, for which you need a SquareSpace Commerce app and a Square card reader costing $49. This POS is only available with Commerce basic or Commerce advanced plan, but WooCommerce doesn’t charge any additional transaction fee. An impressive feature that the Squarespace POS provides is that the inventory displayed in the app is automatically in sync with your online store at the time you make an online sale.
As mentioned earlier, Shopify has developed its own POS system, which can be used by brick-and-mortar sales teams to provide a seamless customer experience. To use Shopify POS, you will need to download the Shopify App and buy hardware such as the Shopify Chip and Swipe Reader. There is, however, a transaction fee associated with the Shopify POS system, which can put off many business owners on a budget. But overall, Shopify provides a range of features that eCommerce store owners are likely to benefit a lot from.
Shopify POS vs Wix POS
Wix has launched its own POS system in June 2021, which is available to a select few US- based merchants. You would also need to buy separate hardware to use Wix POS systems, but you can customize the kind of solutions that you offer to a large degree. For instance, the Wix Mobile POS lets you accept in-person payments at events, the gym, festivals and classes, among other things.
Shopify POS on the other hand has been around for quite some time, and is thus more streamlined and integrated into Shopify’s offerings. The list of features that Shopify offers is impressive, with the Shopify Pro plan giving smart inventory management, unlimited registers, omnichannel selling features, in-store analytics, among other things. Thanks to the flexibility of the features offered and the ease at which Shopify POS integrates with the eCommerce solution, Shopify POS emerges as a clear winner among the two.
Shopify POS vs Etsy POS
Etsy is a relatively little known eCommerce platform when compared to Shopify, and thus offers POS solutions only through a third party integration, which, in this case, is Square. Once your Etsy account is connected to your Square account, you get access to a bunch of neat little features such as the ability to accept payments even when the wi-fi is down, send receipts via email and text message, pull sales reports and manage inventory in real-time. Square does charge a small transaction fee for each sale processed by swipe, so if you are a small business owner, you would need to think twice before using Etsy’s POS system.
Shopify, on the other hand, gives a clear picture of all the features you can expect with its Lite or Pro plans. With the aim of unifying online stores and in-store purchasing, Shopify doesn’t shy away from packing all the punches for a solution provider that has been around for a long time. Unified reporting, custom staff permissions, advanced inventory features like generating purchase orders, seamless checkouts with options like buy in store- ship to customer, the list of things you can do with a Shopify POS go on and on.
Why we recommend Shopify POS for growing your online and offline businesses
Once we compared Shopify POS with most of the POS solutions offered by other eCommerce providers out there,we saw a pattern emerging. Although Shopify POS lost out on a couple of small features here and there, overall, it emerged as a clear winner when it came to answering a majority of the customer’s pain points.
Shopify POS comes with a set of powerful features that are missing in the POS solutions provided by other players in the market. Some of the other reasons we recommend Shopify POS over others include:
- User friendly design
- Stellar customer support with live chat and 24*7 hotline
- The software syncs instantly with the Shopify online store
- High quality service with a reasonable pricing structure
- High amount of flexibility, with a whopping 5 different POS tiers and a lot of features ready for you to use
- Free hardware such as cash drawer and receipt printer with the Shopify Advanced plan
- Use more than one payment method while making a single transaction
- Ability to process transactions even without an internet connection
- Easily send gift cards to customers by email and apply discounts using the POS
- Smart integrations with the best Shopify apps
If you have recently migrated to Shopify or have used Shopify as your eCommerce solution in the past and are aware of its features, we strongly recommend you use the Shopify POS.
For more information on the features of the Shopify POS or how you can go about implementing it, you can reach out to us here at Xgentech.