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ShopKeep Review

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Phone Number
888-970-9067
Date Established
2010
Location
New York, NY

Pros

  • Reasonable pricing
  • Intuitive design
  • User-friendly
  • Robust back-office features
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Some limits within the inventory
  • Lack of table mapping

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

ShopKeep remains one of the best values on the market, though it has recently changed its flat-rate pricing to a quote system. You’ll need to speak to a representative and let them know exactly what your business needs to do with the software before getting a price.

ShopKeep offers a system that is easy to use, has dynamic features, and boasts all-around increased efficiency. While ShopKeep definitely performs as advertised — quickly and responsively — it’s not completely without its flaws as there are still some complaints of bugs in the software. That being said, this point of sale’s functionality and excellent (award-winning) support offers are huge draws that may outweigh any potential downsides for most small businesses. ShopKeep recently partnered with an eCommerce platform, BigCommerce, and now offers it as an integration to their customers. This is a pretty big deal, especially this day in age when more and more consumers are turning to online shopping.

If you’re looking for a new POS or are already using ShopKeep and wondering if it is worth it, read on, or fill out the form below to get started with Shopkeep…

Get Started With Shopkeep

Price

ShopKeep is a no-contract, pay-as-you-go, monthly subscription service. The company recently switched over from its simple, fixed-rate system and now can be purchased exclusively via a quote system. That process is fairly simple. You can either call or answer a few simple questions online, and a representative will get in touch with you quickly.

ShopKeep’s previous plans started at a fairly reasonable $69 per month. Fortunately, even with the new system, it’s unlikely you’ll end up paying more than that for a basic package. The complete point of sale system comes with a register, real-time analytics, inventory management, employee management, unlimited users and unlimited inventory items, as well as free support.

Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed

ShopKeep utilizes a hybrid setup. The app runs locally from an iPad or specific Clover device and syncs data back to the cloud when there is an internet connection. In the event of an outage, the app continues to run with all features and now has the ability to take payments offline, but only if you are using a Clover device. If you have another device, you can set up a backup hotspot router or by running the application on iPads with cellular data plans.

Specific Industry

ShopKeep is excellent for small specialty vendors, such as wine shops, specialty food, gift shops, toy stores, concession stands, bakeries, cafeterias, and mall kiosks. It is also well-designed for use in food service applications, like small cafes, ice cream shops, coffee shops, and food trucks. Smaller full-service restaurants might also be a good fit for ShopKeep since it recently introduced open check and server-less syncing (open a check on one iPad, close it on another). That said, it does not offer table mapping (a feature I’m told are currently being worked on).

Specific Size Of Business

ShopKeep is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses. Though it can handle multiple locations, it isn’t necessarily for the large retailer. This is by design, and ShopKeep has done well to stay in this niche. The company continues to expand what it can handle in the back office, now allowing an unlimited number of users and unlimited inventory, but the interface and back-office functions don’t attempt to be a large-scale replacement. The iPad register can only host up to 3000 item buttons. The rest of your inventory can be rung up by barcode scanner or manual search. While ShopKeep offers tableside ordering functionality, the continued lack of table mapping makes it a less than ideal choice for larger full-service restaurants.

Hardware & Operating System Requirements

ShopKeep POS

ShopKeep requires iOS 9.3.5 or higher to run and is compatible with iPads, iPad minis, and certain Clover devices. As for peripherals, ShopKeep has an online hardware shop. You don’t need to purchase your hardware through ShopKeep, but keep in mind that you do need to purchase the brands and models that the company supports. Peripheral compatibility with the iPad can get very specific so it’s best to stick with what has been proven to work. ShopKeep does offer a few bundles, ranging from a starter kit (with an iPad stand, cash drawer, receipt printer, and card swipe) to kits geared specifically for retail or quick serve establishments. Most are around the $1000 mark so they won’t carve out a massive dent in your budget.

ShopKeep offers three EMV readers and is now completely EMV-integrated. Users have the option to choose a reader that connects through Bluetooth or one that can be hardwired in. Both will run you about $300.

Ease Of Use

I can usually make a snap judgment about whether or not I will enjoy using a piece of software. It seems to me that most user interfaces fall on a spectrum: lifeless and corporate on the one hand, warm and intuitive on the other. ShopKeep rests happily in the latter category.

The visual design of the iPad app is sleek and modern, with fluid animated flourishes. There are sound effects for the buttons but (fortunately) a mute option is located close by. It’s enjoyable to use, and it is never a hassle to locate rarely-used functions. ShopKeep also does a good job listening to its customers and routinely updates its design to fix bugs and make it more user-friendly.

When you first log in to your Back Office, you’re guided through a comprehensive setup process. You are given a rundown of basic features and also the opportunity to define any basic details of your store (name, address etc.) that will be shown on receipts.

ShopKeep

You’re then shown how to add inventory (on an item-by-item basis or by CSV mass import) and how to add buttons on your iPad register. With these basics covered, you’re ready to go. As I mentioned, it is a very intuitive interface, and simply exploring the different menu options is enough to get you acclimated to the system and its features. Once set up, you will do all your reporting, employee time tracking, and inventory receiving on the web platform. Beyond that, most of your interactions are with the app. In addition to the register functions, there are also a handful of managerial actions that can be accessed from the tablet.

Features

ShopKeep offers a large variety of features. Instead of listing them all here, however, I am going to go through some features that really stand out.

  • Register: The register’s capabilities are comprehensive: ringing up items, adding modifiers, taking payments, splitting tenders, quick discounting (item and order level), easy returns and refunds. As mentioned before, the in-app functionality is very intuitive and doesn’t require any additional expertise or training. Setting up your iPad button layout is also a seamless process, managed from your back office.

Shopkeep POS

  • Back Office: What’s truly impressive about the back office is the wealth of features included. Again, large businesses may find that it falls short of their needs in some areas, but a small business that operates one register will be paying for some relatively advanced tools. The same is true for outlets with more than one register. For a low cost of entry you get access to a system that manages your inventory, your customers, and your employees’ time, keeps a record of all your transactions, offers a variety of reporting options for analyzing all this data, and provides unlimited technical support by live chat and email.

  • Inventory Managment: The inventory functionality, in particular, deserves to be highlighted because it goes above and beyond what you’d expect from a product aimed at small businesses. In addition to keeping track of the quantities of each item, you can also set reorder points and use a reporting function to designate what, how much, and from which vendor to order any low stock item. One of ShopKeep’s recent updates added a matrix inventory feature, which is a big deal for most retailers. Users can now create a parent item and then add all the variations and view it on one page. Most impressively, though, ShopKeep is able to inventory items as raw goods then create assemblies based on this information. While this could be useful for a retail setting that bundles items together, its greatest value is to food service providers who need to manage inventory at an ingredient level. If you’re running a diner, for example, you’re not keeping track of how many patty melts you have on hand; you need to know the quantities of each ingredient: the patty, the rye bread, the cheese, the onions. All this said, ShopKeep’s inventory features are not quite as advanced as some other implementations I’ve seen. Users aren’t able to define the unit measurement of each raw ingredient, so it’s up to you to know that you’re tracking potatoes by the pound and cheese by the slice. And though you can define the cost of each raw ingredient, when you create an item composed of those ingredients, ShopKeep doesn’t total them up and auto-define the cost of the item. In the case of our patty melt, you would have to add up the costs and enter them in manually. I’ve seen stronger examples of this feature (POS Lavu), but it comes at the expense of other features. Needless to say, each system is going to have its trade-offs.
  • Reporting: ShopKeep offers an extensive reporting suite and recently added average cost reporting, sales by customer reporting, and sales by discount reporting to the mix. You can also print out up-to-the minute reports straight from the register.

Shopkeep POS

  • Tax Rates: Notably, ShopKeep has recently fixed one of its most glaring problems: the inability to set different tax rates. Now, in addition to being able to set a default tax rate for your merchandise, you can assign special tax rates to specific items with the new Tax Groups feature.
  • Multi-Store: ShopKeep currently has multi-location capability and the company is looking to expand that feature in the near future. One of ShopKeep’s recent updates includes the ability to view all your stores on one parent website; clicking a drop-down box allows you to view each individual store. You can also get a comprehensive view of your separate locations with a dashboard overview.
  • The Pocket App: The ShopKeep Pocket App, now available for iOS and Android, gives you the ability to keep track of how your business is doing no matter where you are with the option of receiving notifications.
  • Customer Management: ShopKeep offers gift cards integrations and can print email receipts, helping you keep track of customers for promotions down the road.

Integrations & Add-Ons

Currently, ShopKeep integrates with the following services:

  • MailChimp: Though some POS systems do offer in-house email marketing, they’re often lacking features that only dedicated ESPs (like MailChimp or AWeber) can provide. By partnering with a third-party, ShopKeep deftly sidesteps this problem.

ShopKeep-MailChimp-SignUp-Button-BO

  • QuickBooks Online: The ability to integrate directly with your accounting software saves you time and frustration.
  • ShopKeep Loyalty powered by AppCard:  The opportunity to reward your regular customers and bring new new ones by offering a points-based rewards program that offers store discounts.
  • BigCommerce: This new (and much-needed) eCommerce addition to ShopKeep will  finally give them the opportunity to set up an online store. If you’ve already set up a ShopKeep account, you can painlessly transfer your inventory over to your BigCommerce account.
  • Online Ordering:  Set up a customer website with menu items and offer customers the ability to place orders from that website for pickup.

Compatible Credit Card Processors

Though the company favors its own payment solution, ShopKeep Payments, a number of integration options for card processors are offered; you’ll almost certainly be able to keep the processor you’re using or find one that better meets your needs. ShopKeep recommends getting in touch directly to check if your processor is supported.

Customer Service & Support

ShopKeep owes much of its success to the fact that it is a customer-centric operation. In fact, this year, ShopKeep won another Stevie Award for sales and customer service for the fourth year in a row.

Unlimited 24/7 support–by live chat, email, text and web inquiry–is included in the monthly price, a huge plus when compared to other similar, low-cost POS options.

The support micro-site also offers clear and comprehensive articles and video tutorials on every aspect of the software. And of course, ShopKeep maintains obligatory Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter pages; the content on these social media channels is relevant and engaging, mostly because it provides links back to the ShopKeep blog, which goes far beyond the standard corporate “blogorrhea.”

The blog is the point of entry to ShopKeep’s Small Business Hub, a collection of business advice for the small time entrepreneur, with information on zoning, permits, licenses, a small business guide to social media, and tons of other material. I’m doubtful most entrepreneurs will actually read the bulk of this material, but it does reflect ShopKeep’s intention to offer as much advice and guidance to their customers as is feasible.

Negative Reviews & Complaints

While the bulk of online customer comments about ShopKeep are positive, there are a growing number of negative ones to consider. After scouring the internet here are the main trends that I see:

  • Customer Service: This is a subject I’ve seen mentioned again and again in recent months. Customers state that customer service is great when they first start out but its quality begins to decline from there. People report being shuffled from person to person and dealing with long response times — some even say they’ve even experienced rude customer service representatives. While ShopKeep is easy to get in touch with initially, there are many complaints claiming that, when it comes to more complex issues, the company can take a long time responding and needs constant reminding.
  • Bugs & Issues: Several customers have complained of bugs or issues with the system, especially when it comes to inventory management. Others have had problems with unreliable hardware. Any attempts these customers made to have the problem resolved was reportedly ignored or not dealt with properly by the company.
  • Connection Issues: A few reviews mentioned that the product would update at inconvenient times and contribute to connectivity problems.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials

Even people who find fault with elements of ShopKeep are quick to point out how happy they are with the overall product–especially when it comes to customer service. The software is currently being used by many satisfied small businesses across the United States, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out some testimonials on the ShopKeep website for more info. After searching the internet, I found the following trends in positive comments:

  • Ease Of Use: Most of the comments I saw noted that ShopKeep is extremely easy to use and to train employees on.
  • Good Customer Service: Many customers are happy with the level of support they receive and like the fact that it is offered 24/7.
  • Reasonable Pricing: ShopKeep is inexpensive, especially for the level of features that it offers.

Final Verdict

ShopKeep continues to impress, especially in light of recent feature additions, including an integration with BigCommerce, EMV transactions, matrix inventory, and several updates to the reporting suite.

That said, there are still some features I’d like to see added — specifically table mapping, which I am told the company is currently working on producing in future updates.

Interestingly, ShopKeep has recently expanded their partnership with First Data; within the next year or so, the two companies are working to make ShopKeep available on the Clover hardware terminal. Once implemented, this would allow Shopkeep to be available in both iPad and Android form.

ShopKeep remains one of the best iPad POS systems out there. Those familiar with our reviews know we don’t give 5-star reviews lightly. If you’re a small business owner in the market for a new POS and want something you can use out of the box, is reasonably priced, full-featured, and flexible, ShopKeep deserves a look.

Matt Sherman

Matt Sherman

Point of sale writer at Merchant Maverick
Matt Sherman has been immersed in point of sale systems for over a year now. Previously, he spent 14 years in the newspaper industry, the majority of which was as the sports editor for a pair of weekly newspapers in suburban Portland, Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon where he majored in English because he knows where the money is. Matt is the father to a pair of energetic boys and can easily be distracted by Netflix, Amazon and HBO Go.
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252 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Kelly Rasco

    Organization Name: NK Enterprise

    Beware of this company. I expressed interest in using the ShopKeep system for my business I immediately got phone class from sales agents trying to sell me . I ended up ordering the system . First red flag once I signed a contract it was difficult to get anyone to respond . The device never arrived weeks went by my store was planning to open but I had no merchant system . Finally I get ahold of someone and they assure me they were going to send it out . I did receive them however the device never worked wouldn’t charge fully and had so many glitches . After many calls and emails with zero results I sent the device back and got another merchant company through my bank (better rates as well ) After never being able to use ShopKeep amd never reviewing a working device we are 6 months later and they have been charging me every month $89 and are refusing to cancel my account . I am paying for a device that I have never once used due to it being broken and arriving late with no support . Before signing anything with them beware because apparently they are responsible for anything and just keep taking money .

    • Organization Name: NK Enterprise
    Catherine Forino

    Organization Name: ShopKeep

    Hi Kelly,
    Thank you for reaching out and providing feedback on your overall experience with ShopKeep. We apologize for any inconveniences you faced. Someone will be reaching out to you shortly to help resolve this issue.
    Thank you,
    The ShopKeep Team

    • Organization Name: ShopKeep
    Catherine Forino

    Organization Name: ShopKeep

    Hi Kelly,
    I just wanted to follow up on my previous response. We are having a hard time getting in touch via the phone number on file for you. Please email us your best contact information to feedback@shopkeep.com so that we pay chat.
    Thank you,
    The ShopKeep Team

    • Organization Name: ShopKeep
    Jared Whisenand

    Organization Name: Co-oples LLC / Build Up! Import Hobby and Toy

    We have had shopkeep for less than two months. While the software is fine on its own, with excellent design and management of inventory\transactions, the “support” has been far less of a positive experience. Early on we had issues with the big commerce integration and payment gateway leading to a weekend spent trying to get support to help and in the end had to have outside help come in and fix it. We even intentionally got the support to help ease all of this but said support is simply a person sending you links to the shopkeep website and saying to repeat them no matter how different the situation is. But the icing on the cake has to be when in the last few weeks shopkeep didn’t deposit any of our payments, only alerting us over a week after we had inquired(and then finding out they had actually missed a few days before that even). This then stacked upon the situation when customers claimed to be double charged, which shopkeep then demanded to see their back statements for. This is all while STILL having not actually gotten the transactions to us. Honestly, our experience with the support staff as a whole has been very, very bad and we are considering pursuing other options once we have the current situation resolved.

    1
    • Organization Name: Co-oples LLC / Build Up! Import Hobby and Toy
    Catherine Forino

    Organization Name: ShopKeep

    Hi Jared and and Lauren,
    Thank you for taking the time today to speak with our Payments team. We are glad to hear that the issue was resolved. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any additional questions.
    Thank you,
    The ShopKeep Team

    • Organization Name: ShopKeep
    Daniel

    Organization Name: Groove

    I would highly suggest staying away from Shopkeep. Their hardware is garbage. 6/8 credit card scanners we bought broke within two years. They offered us a 15% discount. It will cost us $2000 to replace these. Customers has really gone down hill.

    1
    • Organization Name: Groove
    Annette Payne

    We have been using Shopkeep for about five and half years. We have had a lot of problems with their credit cards scanners lately. In the past week, four of our eight bluetooth credit card processors have been deemed dead by Shopkeep. Each one receives a message saying “Waiting for Download – unauthorized.” Shopkeep said this is a software problem and it needs replaced (at our cost at $329 per scanner). The scanners are only about two years old. They also have no other bluetooth credit card processors besides this one (and with our company being mobile, an ethnert connection is not an option).We plan to switch from Shopkeep very soon and are very disappointed after working with them for so long.

    2
      Abby

      Matt, I am really interested in Shopkeep after reading your review. It sounds great, and the BigCommerce tie-in sounds wonderful. But, I am seeing an overwhelming number of bad reviews here. What is your reaction to all of the review reporting such poor customer service, and lack of responsiveness in resolving issues? – do you think this is just all the angry people being able to leave feedback here, or is there a real issue. I noticed that back in 2017 the reviews were much more positive. Changing POS’s is a huge deal for us, like for any business, and a bad decision on our part could have really huge effects on our business…

        Jessica Dinsmore

        Hi Abby,

        Thanks for writing. The truth is, pretty much any system that is widely used is going to come with it’s fair share of negative reviews as people are often quick to vent when they’ve had a bad experience that may or may not even be the fault of the company they’re angry at. In this case, you’re right that there is a common theme to many of ShopKeep’s complaints which is definitely a bit of a red flag. Obviously we really like ShopKeep for the reasons mentioned in the review but, when you contact them, I would definitely bring up your concerns. The nice thing about ShopKeep is that they don’t force you into a long-term contract so if you’re hesitant at all, you can choose a month-to-month plan which won’t come with termination fees if you end up not being happy.

          Kate Mauldin

          Organization Name: 6th Avenue Outfitters

          Shopkeep as a standalone system is has been great for us, but recently the integration with Big Commerce has been very buggy and we can not get Shopkeep to respond with any reasonable solution. Our products are not updating quantities on the website, we can’t delete (disable) items that were enabled, we go through the steps and delete them only to see them back again after a refresh. It’s terrible. We have asked Shopkeep for help since November but we just receive platitudes that the issue has been brought up to the technical team. I’m afraid I’ll have to take the whole system down and start again from scratch. So standalone, this system has been really super for us, no complaints, but they have overpromised on the integration with Big Commerce and are hurting our business.

          1
          • Organization Name: 6th Avenue Outfitters
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