My store is 99% online but in two weeks I'm doing a launch event where I want to sell products and make quick transactions. I am reading up on Shopify POS but it seems expensive for a one time event. Can Shopify POS take credit cards easily? Its not detailed in the features, how and what happens. And or are there any POS systems such as Square that integrate with inventory? Or do I just get Square and deal with manually adjusting stock?
Please let me know what others have done in this case.
Julie here from Shopify Support.
It's awesome to hear that you're going to be hosting a launch event! What kind of business are you launching?
It sounds like you may have been reading about Shopify POS Pro, which is a retail plan that's geared towards merchants who manage brick and mortar stores. If you're looking to sell in-person only casually, then you can most definitely do so without needing to be on a separate plan!
In this case, you'll want to look into Shopify POS Lite, which is included with all Shopify plans at no additional charge. All you need to do is add the POS sales channel, which can be done by selecting the + icon next to Sales channels on the left sidebar within your admin. You'll also need to install the Shopify POS app on your mobile device, which is what you'll use to process orders.
Accepting in-person credit card payments from customers is quite easy! To do so, you'll just need to purchase one of Shopify's card readers, which are available to merchants in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ireland via the Shopify Hardware Store. Keep in mind that you must be using Shopify Payments in order to use our card readers.
If you aren't using Shopify Payments and/or if you aren't located in one of those supported countries, then you can instead source a card reader from a third-party provider, like Square. Using a third-party reader, you can still use the Shopify POS to ring in sales, which will update your inventory automatically, but payment will be captured outside of Shopify. More information on using Shopify POS with third-party card readers can be found here. That being said, if you are eligible to use a Shopify card reader, this would definitely be the way to go, as it will offer a more streamlined user experience.
I'd love to offer some further guidance to help you get set up before your event! Where are you located and which payment gateway are you using?
Thanks Julie, I'm launching a shoe business in Australia - yay! I can't get the SFY POS offerings here so I think Square is the easiest and fastest way to get up and running and I can buy it tomorrow. My event is getting closer its now a week away. I'm using Shopify payments, so i'll follow your links - many thanks.
Thanks for the quick followup! Hosting a launch event sounds like the perfect opportunity for a shoe business.
Now, are you referring to any specific links? While our help docs are applicable to all merchants, the link to our Hardware Store is region-specific and you can select your country from the bottom righthand corner of the page. However, because we are not yet offering hardware to Australian merchants, you won't see an option for Australia there.
Since you're in Australia, you'll just need to source a card reader from a third-party provider; in this case, that's Square. With the Square reader, you can still ring up orders through the POS app, but the way you process them will be a bit different. Before you process an order, you'll just need to make sure you enable External terminal as a payment method in the POS app. This can be done by heading to Store > Payment types, and ensuring that External terminal is enabled (Note: if this option isn't available for you, then you may be using a different version of the POS and can instead setup a custom payment method — the steps outlined below will still apply, but you'll be selecting your custom payment method instead of "External terminal").
Once that's done, you can then process orders by adding products to the POS cart, then selecting External terminal when choosing a payment method. At that point, you can use your Square card reader to collect payment from your customer. By selecting, External terminal as the payment method, Shopify POS marks the order as paid while the actual payment is processed by your Square, not Shopify Payments.
This process will ensure that your inventory is accurate and your orders are captured on Shopify's end. The only difference here is that Shopify isn't collecting payments. and transaction details, aside from the amount paid, are not reflected in Shopify. While processing orders with the POS is quite straightforward, I recommend testing it out before heading to your event next week so you are comfortable with the setup.
By the way, as you continue preparing for your launch event, I wanted to pass along our blog post, "Pop-Up Shops 101: Everything You Need to Know to Try Temporary Retail". This offers some excellent advice on how to setup your event, promote it, and evaluate its success. It also includes some examples of successful popup shops that should hopefully spark some inspiration.
I hope this clears things up, but let me know if you have any further questions before the big day. If I don't hear from you before then, best of luck!