In the final part of our month-long series on Shopify we’ll be looking at the mobile payment world, comparing Square and Shopify, the two industry leaders in mPOS solutions.
Whether your business is a retail store, restaurant or any other brick and mortar location, you’ve likely faced the question of which point of sale solution to invest in? Ideally, you’ll need something that will track your inventory, sales reports and sync with any ecommerce store you’re running. It’s fair to say a good old-fashioned cash register won’t achieve this goal. You’re going to need something a little more robust, something like Square or Shopify.
What is a Point of Sale System?
A point of sale system facilitates payment between a customer and you, the merchant. In times past, a simple cash register (not connected to the internet) was more than enough for businesses but it wasn’t without drawbacks. For starters, stock levels needed to be audited manually taking up valuable staff time. Cash ‘floats’ also needed to be reconciled at the end of every business day.
The modern POS system is much more flexible in what in can achieve. They can track inventory in real-time, run analytics to make future stock ordering automated, speak to your online store for cross functionality and even track in real time across multiple locations. Both Shopify and Square provide industry leading solutions in this space, each with advantages and disadvantages.
We’ve spoken at length in previous blog entries about the advantages of Shopify as an ecommerce solution. Its robust feature set and easy installation make it the gold standard for online merchants around the world. If you want to run a physical location and an online store, Shopify PoS provides an excellent way to achieve this thanks to a robust feature set of syncing, reporting, inventory management and much more. Not running a Shopify online store? No problem. Shopify Point of Sale can be used alone, or as an add-on to an existing ecommerce site.
The Shopify PoS hardware starter kit costs upwards of $700 CAD with a 30-day money back guarantee. Monthly subscription plans include unlimited devices, products and 24/7 support. They start at just $12 per month for the “Shopify Lite” plan, escalating to $300 per month for the “Shopify Advanced” plan.
Popular with smaller merchants and start-up businesses, Square’s point of sale app is free to download, and it has no monthly fee. The ubiquitous “square” hardware starter kit the plugs into the bottom of iOS and Android devices, providing the perfect solution for businesses not yet ready to invest in more robust point of sale solutions. All payments are processed through Square when using their hardware. It’s worth noting they’ve been known to put a hold on larger transactions, so it might not be suitable for businesses handling large sums. This is to help avoid any instances of fraudulent transactions.
Square Point of Sale costs around $500 CAD and that’s the only cost a retailer must bear. There’s no fee per transaction and no monthly subscription. It’s a great solution for smaller businesses that haven’t quite found their feet.
If you’re hoping to grow your business, it’s hard to look past Shopify PoS. While Square’s offering is fine for a start-up, it won’t scale with your business. Shopify will, handling larger transactions just as easily as small ones. The robust feature set and added security make it the clear winner. Looking to get set up with Shopify Point of Sale? GD Commerce is standing by to help! Contact Us and we’ll be happy to chat!