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iPad POS Software Reviews

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  • ShopKeep Review

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    Pros Reasonable pricing Intuitive design User-friendly Robust back-office features Excellent customer service Cons Inventory features slightly lacking 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, most retailers, food-seller or not, will feel at […]

  • Lightspeed Retail Review

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    Pros Excellent register functionality Onboarding help provided Good work order management Robust reporting features Strong eCommerce platform Cons Not cost effective Contract hard to cancel Overview Are you in the retail business? Looking for a cloud-based point of sale system that boasts diverse functionality and a plethora of features? If so, Lightspeed Retail is an […]

  • Square For Retail Review

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    Pros Advanced reporting Multi-location inventory management Purchase order management Advanced employee management Competitive pricing Cons iPad-only Poor cost-of-goods reporting Pared-down features Overview Square has never been one to stop introducing new features and services, though the addition of Square for Retail to its product mix definitely had a few of us scratching our heads. The […]

  • Square POS Review (Free Version)

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    Pros Quick set-up Simple processing fees Intuitive interface Loads of integrations Cons Occasional fund holds Customer service not 24/7 Overview Picture a modern small business’s point of sale system in your head — the screen, the layout, the card reader. There’s a decent chance you’re thinking about Square right now. Square’s free point of sale […]

  • Shopify POS Review

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    Pros Reasonably priced Excellent customer service Robust reporting and CRM features Intuitive interface Syncs instantly with Shopify eCommerce Cons Some inventory features lacking Poor store credit functionality Overview Currently one of the most popular online sales platforms around, Shopify has been a major player in the eCommerce industry since 2005 (see our review of Shopify here). […]

  • ERPLY Review

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    Pros Integrates with most credit card processors Strong shipping integration Customizable loyalty programs Very strong customer management features Cons Higher cost than similar systems Slightly higher learning curve to master 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 […]

  • Revel Systems Review

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    Pros Robust integrations Excellent reporting Kiosk functionality Modern kitchen display system Cons Complex setup Occasional glitches Overview Revel’s point of sale system was birthed in 2010 and the result was a groundbreaking Apple iPad POS. In January 2012 Revel was announced as the winner of the Best iPad Business App of the Year Award at […]

  • Lavu Review

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    Pros Constantly updating Highly customizable Simple employee management Helpful integrations Cons Gift card option costs extra Occasional glitches in software Overview When you think of Route 66, you likely imagine a nostalgic landscape with retro diners and kitschy tourist traps. What you’re probably not envisioning is a state-of-the-art point of sale company. But that’s exactly […]

  • Square For Restaurants POS Review

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    Pros Cost efficient Extremely easy-to-use interface Delivery options included Square App Marketplace Cons Weak on the back end Occasional fund holds Overview Well, it was only a matter of time. Square has had a busy year or so. After coming out with Square for Retail and the game-changing Square Register, it seemed imminent that the wildly […]

  • TouchBistro Review

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    Pros Elegant, simple design User-friendly Cost-effective Excellent for small and large restaurants alike Cons Sketchy customer service Loyalty costs extra Overview We’ve all seen morning coffee buyers anxiously standing in line, waiting for the caffeine fix that will carry them through their day. Picture this instead: staff walking the line and taking orders and payment […]

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. We also maintain an updated list of our choices for best ipad pos systems if you’re interested.

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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