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iPad POS Software Reviews

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  • Lightspeed Retail Review

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    Developed in 2013, Lightspeed Retail is the cloud-based version of OnSite, Lightspeed's locally-installed POS system. Lightspeed Retail is geared toward mid-sized and larger scale independent businesses and can handle the needs of virtually any retailer, boasting dozens of integrations that can keep your business on the cutting edge.

  • ShopKeep Review

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    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 home with this iPad POS (point of sale) system.

  • 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 […]

  • SwipeSimple Register Review (From Payment Depot)

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    Pros Low cost Included free from Payment Depot Incredibly easy to use Good customer service Offline mode Free card reader Cons Lack of integrations Limited backend Overview SwipeSimple (offered by Payment Depot) is one of the more unique POS products I’ve come across. For one, you can’t simply buy the product outright; you can only get […]

  • Vend POS Review

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    In 2010, Vend was revolutionary; it was a powerful POS system operating completely in the cloud, making it possible for your business to still function through an internet outage. Since then, Vend has stayed on top of current trends and remains one of the most user-friendly systems on the market. Vend is constantly updating its product and has very few flaws. The POS's front end is remarkably intuitive even to the greenest retail employee and its back-end features come with virtually everything you would expect from a top-end system---and at a reasonable price.

  • 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 […]

  • Lightspeed Restaurant POS Review

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    Pros Sleek, professional UI Intricate employee management Fully customizable Depth of reporting Cons Offline mode can’t process payments Inventory not overly deep Overview Lightspeed Restaurant is a cloud-based iPad POS system for restauranteurs. It balances two seeming opposites (and quite well I might add), combining a comparatively complex, feature-rich POS back end with a deceptively […]

  • Revel Systems Review

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    Revel is one of the more advanced and loaded POS systems available to merchants of all sizes. While geared toward larger businesses with multiple locations, a smaller retailer/restauranteur with a savvy owner may find Revel to be an ideal fit. It's certainly not the cheapest system on the market. However, given its robust integrations and advanced back end, it's hard to imagine that any business owner (particularly in the foodservice industry) would find Revel lacking.

  • Square For Restaurants POS Review

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    Need an affordable POS system specifically for restaurants? Square For Restaurants delivers everything small eateries need to succeed at the right price.

  • 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 Large-scale businesses may find features lacking Weak offline mode 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 […]

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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Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.