When setting up the business, it was a given that I needed a cash register. I knew from the beginning that I wanted the ability to scan bar codes, manage inventory, handle cash and swipe cards. In other words, I needed a “point of sale” system (POS). A quick search on-line revealed complete systems with cash drawer, screen, printer, etc. that started at $3000 and up. This kept me looking for options. Then I discovered a POS system that was designed to work with an iPad. To use this, you simply install the software app on the ipad and then purchase the hardware separately – such as the printer and barcode scanner. I was sold.
Not only did the total cost of this fall well under the dedicated POS systems $3K price tags, but unlike the dedicated POS, the iPad system is more than a POS. This is because the “computer and screen” part of the system is the iPad itself, which can be removed from the stand and used as an iPad – doing whatever you want the iPad to do. Futhermore, the iPad is mobile and wireless. This saves on clutter and if you have a cellular connection on your iPad, you could ring up customers in the middle of a field somewhere. (Or more likely at an event like a county fair or swap meet.)
Initially, I ordered the NCR Silver hardware as it was the first one I found and seemed to be everything I needed. I’m sure the NCR system is good, but it wasn’t going to work for me for one reason. Their system was not integrated with Paypal for credit card processing. As an ecommerce business, I have been working with Paypal for years and am very happy with their service. So I really didn’t want to get an additional credit card processor or switch my existing ecommerce business over. So with a little more research I found Shopkeep.
This time I called before ordering the hardware to find out if the Shopkeep system would work with Paypal. It turned out that they had just finished integrating and released the app on the Apple App store. This meant I could continue with Paypal as my credit card processor for both on-line and in-store purchases.
While we haven’t started operated as of this post, we are moving towards the start date confident in the ability to handle customers efficiently with the Shopkeep system while enjoying all the benefits of Paypal for card processing. (Note: Aside from charging credit cards, the convenience of Paypal’s debit card, the Paypal Master Card, international payments, sending money to friends, and fraud prevention are just a few of the reasons I prefer Paypal.)
Last but not least, the personal service from Chris, the Shopkeep representative, exceeded my expectations. He was eager to help and not afraid to research questions he couldn’t answer immediately – not to mention very friendly.