I am acquiring a brick-and-mortar specialty grocery store. The store sells wholesale to several restaurants. I know that many of these customers are accustomed to getting their purchases charged to a running account and then paying it off weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
I really need to know if Shopify has features allowing customers to make purchases "on account", charged to their account, or have an amount of "store credit", and be able to pay it off later.
Is this feature available on Shopify POS?
Aria here, one of the Social Care gurus at Shopify.
So you're asking if you can bill your customers for their order and they'll pay it later and/or pay in instalments? This is dependent on the payment gateway you're using, rather than Shopify itself.
Which country are you located in? If you can let me know that, I can take a look to see which third-party payment gateways are available for your country and determine which ones may be able to allow your customers to pay in instalments. You can also search for your country in this guide. If you're in the US, Sezzle may be a good option.
As for wholesale, we do have our own wholesale channel which is available to Shopify Plus merchants. Shopify Plus is recommended for stores making at least $1million per year. If you're not quite there, you can also use one of the wholesale apps from our app store. You might find Bold Custom Pricing: Wholesale is a good option for you.
If you're in Canada or the US, we do have a hardware store for POS. If you're in a different country or if you already have your own hardware, you can check for Shopify compatible hardware in this guide.
I'll wait for your response to help you further.
Aria, thank you very much for your response. I am in the US, and the store does about 500k in revenue per annum.
I think you partially understood my question, so please allow me to clarify. You asked if I meant I could "bill" my customers and let them pay later or in installments. While you could say it that way, that gives the impression that my customers are somehow sending in orders via phone or online, and then I am fulfilling the order and sending them an invoice which they pay later. That is not generally the case.
These particular customers, which I want software to help me accommodate, are usually small to medium restaurant owners who come in-person to my specialty grocery store a couple times a week. Sometimes we deliver, but that doesn't really make a difference in how we settle accounts. They "buy" large quantities, which as of right now, are simply hand-written on a piece of paper. After several trips, they will pay. It is more convenient for them, and pushes their costs a week, 2 weeks, or a month down the road. They pay faithfully, and usually in full. They're happy, I'm happy. A structure of set installments isn't what I'm worried about, though I guess that feature could be nice.
This "tab" or "account" or "store credit" is simply done on the honor system like the good ol' days. I am trying to modernize the store, and finding a modern POS that will allow me growth, potentially online (which I know Shopify is good at), but also serve me and the customers I already have.
The problem is that by not actually ringing the "purchase" up on the cash register, the inventory is off. And heaven forbid something happen to all the pieces of paper where these "tabs" are written down.
So, in response to your proposed idea of a specific payment gateway, I don't see how that should matter. What I need is simply a few lines of code in my POS system that will subtract the inventory of the items purchased "on account" or with "store credit", and add or charge the amount due to a customer account or running tally/tab/etc, which they can pay later. At any time.
Since many modern POS's advertise themselves as being an inventory management tool, accounting tool, and more all rolled into one, and Shopify is no exception, that the capability is there. If not already available, it is simply a matter of the POS running the transaction as normal except that there is no need to take payment, and a line is added to an "accounts receivable" page for the customer.
So, does Shopify POS, as used in a brick-and-mortar store, have this feature? And if not, how would any other product help me?
Sorry to be long-winded, I'm just trying to make sure I'm understood, so I can make an informed decision. Thank you, again.
Thank you for the clarification.
Does that help?
Aria, thank you! That does help. A lot!
I read both the blog post and the guide, but I still have one question unclear.
If I choose the "store credit" option with the Shopify POS, does that add that amount to a specific customer account on the accounting side of things?
It wasn't mentioned or shown, so I wondered if it still had to be tracked externally.
I'm glad that helped.
Yes, unlike gift cards, it is tracked specifically by customer account.