Shopify POS: A Guide

Shopify POS: A Guide

Shopify POS enables merchants to take payments in real stores. Find out how it works, what versions are available, how much it costs, and more

Written by Matt Allen

5 min read

Shopify POS enables fast checkouts, smooth payments and less work for Shopify merchants who want to sell in person as well as online through their Shopify store. In this article we tell everything you need to know about Shopify POS.

1. What is Shopify POS?

Shopify POS (Point of Sale) is an application available on Apple and Android devices that allows merchants to take payments in person, not just online.

Using a mobile device with the app installed, Shopify merchants can take payments, swipe credit or debit cards, create receipts, and process orders at an in-person store, markets and in pop-up shops.

2. What are the benefits of Shopify POS?

It brings your online store and in-person store together so it can all be managed under one roof.

Other benefits include:

  • Advanced inventory management including forecasting, analysis and stock transfers
  • Analytics that enable you to see entire business performance across online and in-person stores
  • The ability for customers to buy online and collect in store
  • It integrates with Google Shopping, Amazon and eBay
  • Supports multiple currencies, domains and languages for international businesses

3. How do I use POS on Shopify?

You’ll need hardware in order to accept payments (cash, card or both). What you’ll need will depend on the size and complexity of your business. As a starting point, you’ll need a device and the POS app. You may also need a card reader, receipt printer, a barcode scanner and a cash drawer.

4. Does POS work on all Shopify plans?

All plans include the facility to use Shopify POS Lite at no extra charge. This allows you to accept in-person payments at pop-ups, markets and fairs.

For bricks and mortar shops, it’s recommended that you upgrade to Shopify POS Pro which gives access to store management tools and omnichannel features. This costs $89 USD per month, per location.

5. What’s The Difference Between Shopify POS Lite and Shopify POS Pro?

If you upgrade to POS Pro, you get a bunch of additional features including:

  • Custom printed receipts
  • Staff permissions
  • Discounting
  • Exchanges
  • Sales attribution
  • Ship to home
  • Local pickup and delivery fulfilment
  • Daily sales reports
  • In-app analytics

6. What Is Shopify POS Go?

Shopify POS Go came after Lite and Pro, in 2022. This is an all in one device that allows you to scan barcodes and accept payments without needing to be on a sales counter.

7. Does Shopify POS work offline?

Shopify POS needs to be connected to the internet to sync with your Shopify store admin, take card payments and send emails with receipts. You can connect to the internet with wi-fi or through data on your mobile device plan.

If your connection is lost after you’ve logged in and imported your store’s products, you can continue using the app so long as you don’t log out (this does not apply to Android users - you need the internet to use POS on Android).

Once you reconnect to the internet, your POS should automatically sync with your Shopify admin.

If the internet connection goes down, or you’re running a store from a location without internet access, you can still process some types of transactions (cash and custom payment methods).

8. What payments does POS accept (debit cards, cash etc)?

Cash: Shopify POS can accept cash payments.

Card: POS can accept payment by card with a swipe card reader. Customers will need to authorise payment by either entering their PIN or using their signature.

Contactless: Tap, Chip and Swipe card readers also allow you to accept contactless payments via Shopify POS. This can be in the form of cards, or through devices that have Apple Pay or Android Pay.

Manual card payment: If you don’t have the required equipment or there is a technical issue, don’t worry - you’re able to take payment manually from a credit card as well.

Gift card: these can also be accepted via Shopify POS. You’ll need to scan the barcode on the card with either a barcode scanner or the camera on your iPad.

Custom Payment: you can create custom methods for payments through cheques, for example.

Staff PINs are unique 4-digit numbers which are issued to individual staff for them to log into the POS app. This ties a member of staff to each order so you can see who is processing what.

currency and clouds

9. How much does Shopify POS cost?

Shopify POS Lite is included in all plans at no additional cost. This allows you to accept in-person payments at pop-ups, markets and fairs.

Shopify POS Pro has additional features and costs $89 USD per month, per location. This gives access to store management tools and omnichannel features and is best for bricks and mortar stores.

10. Can you use Shopify POS on a computer?

The Shopify POS app is only available for iOS and Android devices - it is not available for desktop computers.

It works with devices which have the following operating systems (correct as of September 2023)

  • iPhone: iPhone 7 or higher running at least iOS 13
  • iPad Air: Gen 2 or higher running at least iPadOS 13
  • iPad: Gen 5 or higher running at least iPadOS 13
  • iPad Mini: Gen 4 or higher running at least iPadOS 13
  • iPad Pro: All Pro models running at least iPadOS 13
  • Android: devices running at least Android 7.0

11. What external hardware can you use with Shopify POS?

You can buy hardware from the Shopify Hardware Store. There are stores for Canada, the US, the UK, and Ireland. If you’re in the US or Canada, you can buy the retail custom kit which bundles together equipment to create a discounted bundle.

man using ipad

12. Can I use a Square reader with Shopify POS?

Shopify POS doesn’t integrate with the Square card reader. There is a list of compatible hardware if you decide not to use Shopify’s own. There is an official Shopify POS Hardware Store.

13. Is the Shopify card reader free?

The Shopify card reader is not free. You have to buy the hardware either from Shopify, or from another seller who is selling compatible equipment.

14. What do I need for Shopify POS as well as the app?

As well as the app, you’ll need:

  • A supported device - iPad, iPhone or Android phone
  • Shopify store
  • A product to sell

In addition to the Shopify POS app, you’ll need retail hardware in order to accept payments (cash, card or both). What you’ll need will depend on the size and complexity of your business. As a starting point, you’ll need the items above. You may also need a card reader, receipt printer, a barcode scanner and a cash drawer.

There’s a Shopify hardware store mentioned above that you can visit which lists all available equipment. It's possible to buy bundles, depending on what your needs are.

15. How do I make products only available on POS?

You can do this individually or in bulk.

For a single product, select it and edit the Product Availability so that only Point of Sale is checked. Click Done and Save.

In bulk, select All Products and check the boxes of the products you want to edit. Click Actions then Make Products Available. You can now check the boxes to change the sales channels where the products are available.

16. Can I sell different products in my Shopify store and in my real store?

Yes you can: when adding products in the admin panel, you can decide whether you make them available in store, online, or both.

17. If I use Shopify POS how do I get paid?

The money is transferred to your merchant account. How long this takes depends on your Pay Period which differs depending on the territory you’re in.

18. Can I trial Shopify POS for free?

You can try Shopify POS Pro features for free with a 14 day trial.

Shopify POS Lite is included in all Shopify plans.

Hopefully that answers any questions you had around Shopify POS. Install the app, pair your devices, make sure you're online and you can start processing sales wherever you are.

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