iPad POS Software Reviews

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  • ShopKeep Review

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    Highlights: Simple, reasonable pricing Great for small businesses Intuitive design User-friendly Robust back-office features Highly functional register Raw ingredient tracking MailChimp integration Excellent customer service Overview: ShopKeep is a simple, elegant piece of software. It is aimed squarely at small businesses and has carved out a space catering to food and beverage sellers. That said, […]

  • Vend Review

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    Overview: In 2010, Vaughan Roswell led his team of software architects to create Vend, the world’s first web-based retail POS to use HTML5 and its offline cache capabilities. The architecture of this ground-breaking point of sale system allows it to be truly hardware independent. And despite being 100% cloud-based, Vend can continue to ring up sales during an […]

  • ERPLY Review

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    Overview: Do you know what holds the title of unlikeliest locale for the future of software development? The correct answer is Estonia, a small European nation whose official language doesn’t even have a future tense. Skype was Estonia’s first major export, and venture capitalist/ERPLY board member Saul Klein believes that “ERPLY can do for business software what Skype did for […]

  • SalesVu Review

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    Overview: Nestled in the tech-hub of Austin, TX, SalesVu is a cloud-based, all-inclusive POS interface and payment processing package. It has an ambitious reach as it is intended to work as a successful POS regardless of whether you’re selling hamburgers, books, or cleaning services. CEO Pascal Nicolas founded SalesVu in 2011. Before starting SalesVu, Nicolas […]

  • Ring It Up Review

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     Overview: Change is on the horizon for the POS software Ring It Up. Ring It Up was developed by a company called Pingysoft, founded by Todd Florman in 2008. Recently, it was acquired by a small start-up based out of Uruguay. Since the acquisition, two improvements have already been added to the Ring It Up […]

  • iConnect Review

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    Overview: iConnect has only been around since 2011, but founder Subodh Gupta is already planning for a future retail environment that looks nothing like what we’ve seen so far. iConnect can’t sell you anything in an augmented reality just yet, but it does have some interesting features I haven’t come across in most point of […]

  • talech Review

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    Overview: Having personally interacted with more POS systems than I care to keep track of anymore, I have arrived at the point where I can basically guess the quality of a system based on a cursory glance at the vendor’s website. I’m not sure whether it’s my experience with POS, my “we’re best at everything […]

  • Revel Systems Review

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    Overview: Revel’s point of sale system was birthed in 2010 by CEO Lisa Falzone and CTO Chris Ciabarra. The result of their efforts was a groundbreaking Apple iPad POS. In the fall of 2011, Revel began beta testing with several Bay Area businesses and was successful enough to capture the attention of early-stage venture capital […]

  • Lightspeed Retail Review

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    Overview: Note: There are four separate Lightspeed POS products, though the distinction isn’t always clear. Lightspeed OnSite comprises software that is installed onto your desktop Mac. Lightspeed Restaurant is a cloud-based POS system used by food service businesses. Lightspeed eCommerce is used by online businesses, and can be integrated with Lightspeed Retail. Finally Lightspeed Retail […]

  • POS Lavu Review

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    Overview: Imagine you’ve started a new company. You’ve created what you think is a killer product and you’re ready to launch, but you haven’t settled on a name yet. There are all kinds of things to consider: it should sound pleasant and be easy to remember; if it’s a recognizable word, it needs to evoke […]

Overview of iPad Based POS Systems

When the server arrives at the table of your favorite restaurant, she’s carrying an iPad instead of a pen and pad. As the members of your party place their orders, she navigates the touchscreen and sends the order directly to the kitchen from right there at your table. You notice the efficiency of the process and resume conversation with your colleagues.

When it comes time to settle the tab, you hand the server your credit card. Instead of walking away or saying that she’ll be “right back with your receipt”, she completes the entire transaction on the iPad and asks you to sign the touchscreen. Then she offers to email the receipt to you. The entire process saved paper, time, and energy. (If you’ve ever waited tables, you know the value of saving steps whenever you can.)

Scenarios like these have led to the increased popularity of iPad based POS systems among all kinds of retailers. This article will discuss the pros and cons of such systems as well as the costs and hardware requirements necessary for implementation at your business.

Pros

  • Easy deployment. You only have to purchase an iPad and download an app.
  • Easy to use. Because touchscreens and iOS are so common, your employees’ learning curve will be minimal. Chances are they already know how to navigate an iPad.
  • Integrations with ancillary software. Most of these iPad based POS systems integrate with other software that works to support business marketing and operations. Such software includes loyalty software, accounting software, booking software, shopping cart software, shipping software, inventory software, and payroll. Older systems usually don’t have these types of integrations.
  • Lower maintenance. Since iPad based POS systems are based in the cloud, all of the updates happen there, too. You don’t have to worry about updating your onsite servers if you don’t use onsite servers.
  • Accessibility. Look over sales reports or inventory from anywhere there’s Internet access. Everything’s on the web so you don’t have to be at work to have the information.
  • Increased mobility. Like the server in the introduction, your employees can be where your customers are. Use the iPad POS at a food truck park or an auto repair shop, a hair salon or a trade show. You’re not tied down to the checkout counter. Anywhere can be the checkout counter.
  • Low upfront costs. For a single user situation, the costs involve an iPad and an app. Obviously, those costs increase when you have to buy more than one iPad.

Cons

  • No offline mode in some cases. While some vendors offer an offline mode, most rely on Internet connectivity to operate properly. So if the Internet is out, you’re out of luck. Of course, that’s the case with most business operations anyway. The Internet is second only to electricity when it comes to business essentials. If either gets knocked out, head to the golf course.
  • Security concerns. Because hackers use their genius for evil rather than good, there is always the risk that business, employee, and customer information can be breached. If it’s accessible to you anywhere there’s an Internet connection, it’s accessible to hackers, too. Many vendors work to encrypt information, but there is still a risk.
  • Monthly fees. You have to pay for the service just like you pay for other merchant services. Everybody’s trying to make money.

Costs

  • Low upfront costs. Depending on how many terminals you want and the hardware your business requires, you can start up for anywhere between $1,000 and $3,500.
  • Monthly fees. Fees vary from vendor to vendor accordingly to the features they offer.
  • Hardware costs. The more hardware you buy, the more it will cost. Think about what you’ll use consistently and what you won’t. The food service industry probably won’t need a barcode scanner.

Implementation and Deployment

  • Easy to deploy. In some cases all you have to do is download and install the app. In other cases, it’s all web-based and you just have to access the Internet.
  • Quick hardware setup. When you buy iPad compatible hardware, it’s just a matter of downloading the required software.

Hardware Requirements

  • To use an iPad POS, you need to have a tablet that is iOS compatible. That means an iPad, an iPad mini, or an iPad touch. These tablets cost anywhere from $200 to $500.
  • Stands and/or mounts. If you’re thinking, “I don’t need a stand. We can just carry the tablet or lay it on the counter,” think again. Stands and mounts protect the iPad from spills, drops, and other travesties that shatter screens or ruin devices.
  • Cash drawer. You want to have somewhere secure to keep cash. You can purchase a cash drawer for $100 to $300.
  • Receipt printer. Not everybody is forthright with their email address. Some people still want hard copies of everything. You can pay anywhere from $300 to $479 for an iPad compatible receipt printer.
  • Barcode scanner. If you plan to use barcodes to keep track of inventory or during purchase, you’ll want a barcode scanner. The camera on the iPad will suffice for infrequent use. Otherwise a scanner will cost you between $170 and $529.
  • Card reader. Most of the iPad POS software packages come with a credit card reader. For those that don’t, expect to shell out as little as $10 or as much as $100.
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