Shopify POS Review 2023: Best for Omnichannel Retail
This article is part of a larger series on POS Systems.
In our review of the best point-of-sale (POS) systems for small businesses, Shopify POS landed second overall with a score of 4.47 out of 5. We used 31 data points and reviewed over a dozen POS software options to make our evaluation, and determined that Shopify is best for retailers selling across multiple channels, especially when one of these channels is a Shopify ecommerce store.
- 14-day free trial
- Smart omnichannel and inventory tools
- Easy-to-use, intuitive interface
- Best-in-class ecommerce platform
- Customizable checkout interface
- Limited offline mode capabilities
- Limited features in free POS
- Requires an ecommerce subscription; prices can add up
When to Use Shopify:
- For connecting a Shopify online store
- For multichannel POS
- For selling on social media, Shopify has the best integrations with Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok
When to Use an Alternative:
- If you do not need an online store
- Restaurants or cafes should use an specific POS like Toast
- C-stores and liquor stores would benefit from a POS with age-restriction sales tools
- Food and beverage retailers could benefit from ingredient-centered inventory tracking
- If you need a free POS: Consider Square
Shopify POS is a great POS software for any small retail business, but we especially recommend it if you need a POS system that includes a top-of-the-line online store. With its reporting and analytics tools, advanced inventory management, and seamless ecommerce integrations, Shopify has everything you need to make running your business easier, more efficient, and more profitable. In fact, it’s one of our picks for leading retail POS systems.
Did you know?
Shopify is our top-recommended ecommerce platform for small businesses. Learn more about all Shopify has to offer in our article, What Is Shopify & How Does It Work?
While Shopify is ideal for online and multichannel retailers, it would not be a great POS selection for everyone. Non-retail businesses, like service businesses or restaurants, would not have the necessary scheduling, ordering, or inventory tools with Shopify.
Additionally, retailers that only operate in person should not opt for Shopify. You have to sign up for a Shopify ecommerce account to use the POS software, which would incur an unnecessary cost. We recommend Square for retailers that operate strictly in person.
If you want to experience the platform, Shopify has a free 14-day trial where you can try its Pro plan and see how everything works. Or, you can follow along on the video below, where I take you through how to sign up for a Shopify account and some of the top features at your disposal.
Shopify POS Deciding Factors
Supported Business Types
Retailers, wholesalers, dropshippers, pop-up shops
Monthly Software Fees
$39–$399 for ecommerce + $0–$89 for POS/location
Setup and Installation Fees
DIY installation only
Save 10% with an annual contract, 25% with a two-year contract, and 30% with a three-year contract
Payment Processing Options
Shopify Payments (pre-integrated)
Third-party integration options
Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm integrations for Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services
Payment Processing Fees*
In person: 2.4%–2.7%**
Online: 2.4% + 30 cents–2.9% + 30 cents
* Based on Shopify Payment rates
** Rates depend on your Shopify plan
Shopify POS Alternatives
Best for: Businesses looking for a free POS and mobile POS app
Best for: Businesses looking for robust inventory management
Best for: Restaurants
Best for: Brick-and-mortar retailers
Monthly software fees: $0–$60 (custom pricing available)
Monthly software fees: $89–$269 (custom pricing available)
Monthly software fees: $0–$165 (custom pricing available)
Monthly software fees: $0–$60 (custom pricing available)
Hardware costs: $149–$799
Hardware costs: Quote-based
Hardware costs: Quote-based
Hardware costs: $149–$799
Shopify earned a high score for pricing due to its forever-free POS plan, which includes unlimited users, products, and transactions. The POS does not require proprietary hardware and can run on any desktop or iPad, which is economical and practical for retail stores.
Shopify POS Lite is free with all Shopify ecommerce plans, which range from $39 to $399 per month. The Lite POS system works great for running temporary stores such as pop-up shops and farmers market locations.
However, those wanting to use Shopify POS for their brick-and-mortar operations will likely want to upgrade to the POS Pro plan and pay the additional monthly fee of $89 per location. The main difference between these two Shopify POS pricing schemes is access to advanced features, such as smart inventory management tools and in-store analytics.
Shopify POS Lite
Shopify POS Pro
Best for: Mobile sales
Best for: Brick-and-Mortar Retailers
If you don’t want to use Shopify as your ecommerce platform, you can sign up for the Shopify Starter plan for $5 per month. This lets you create a very simple ecommerce site but does not include Shopify POS for sales and inventory management.
Since our last update:
Shopify introduced a new mobile terminal called Shopify Go. The device is designed for mobile sales and curbside pickups, with your POS and card reader housed in one sleek mobile device.
Once you download the POS app, you can start choosing from Shopify’s range of hardware options to support mobile and in-store sales. Each piece of hardware includes free shipping, 30-day returns, 24/7 customer support, and a one-year warranty.
Tap and Chip Readers
Securely accept tap, chip, and swipe payments, all fully integrated with Shopify POS. Available for iOS only. Dock available for $39 (in-store use)
iPad stands with customer-facing displays come in various models. iPad not included.
Scan items with wireless Bluetooth barcode scanners that connect directly to your POS.
All-in-one POS device complete with integrated card reader and barcode scanner.
Best for: Mobile sales
Best for: Brick-and-mortar stores
Best for: Retailers with large inventory or sales volume
Best for: Mobile and curbside sales
If you want to use Shopify POS for pop-up sales or a temporary market or on a seasonal basis, you can rent POS hardware through Shopify’s partnership with Fello.
Shopify Payments is Shopify’s in-house payment processing solution that comes pre-integrated with every Shopify ecommerce store and POS system—meaning, you can start accepting payments immediately upon signing up. Shopify Payments transaction fees vary depending on the type of transaction and the Shopify ecommerce plan you have.
For online sales, you can also opt to use a third-party payment processor—Shopify seamlessly integrates with various third-party payment processors, including BNPL options.
In-person Transaction Fees:
Online Transaction Fees (domestic):
Learn more in our full Shopify Payments review.
Shopify POS is just one of two POS systems to earn a perfect score in our evaluation of register and checkout features (Revel Systems being the other).
Speedy and customizable checkout flow, easy transaction management, mobility to sell from anywhere via the POS mobile app, customer management, and seamless online ordering with in-store pickup contributed to the perfect score.
Shopify POS’ easy-to-use checkout features include:
Easy Checkout Interface
Shopify offers a good array of backend management tools that you can use to run your business more efficiently. From staff to inventory management, Shopify has you covered with lots of tools for keeping your business on track, along with reports to help you make smart decisions.
In our evaluation of management features, Shopify earned a respectable 4.19 out of 5. While it didn’t score as high as Vend, Lightspeed, or Square for Retail, Shopify POS excels with seamless omnichannel functionality. It falls short with reporting and employee management, with key features like sales tracking and multiple permission levels only available with the Pro plan.
With Shopify POS, you can upload inventory to the built-in inventory library for automated real-time tracking and sales reports. Meanwhile, Pro subscribers can get more advanced inventory reporting and controls by adding the Stocky app to the inventory system.
Stocky will help you make informed inventory decisions using smart recommendations, and advanced inventory tracking and analysis. Stocky’s capabilities include:
- Demand forecasting
- Detailed inventory reports
- Inventory analysis
- Inventory counts
- Inventory receiving
- Low stock reports
- Purchase orders
- Sale item suggestions
- Stock transfers
- Multiple locations syncing
Each staff member gets a unique log-in to access your POS system. When adding new staff members, they will start with no permissions, then you can add the appropriate allowances based on their role.
For each staff member, you can control app access and track their performance from anywhere on your POS dashboard. You can also set staff POS PINs, define retail staff roles and permissions, and attribute sales to staff and reward commissions or kudos.
Transform one-time customers into loyal brand advocates by providing stellar service with Shopify’s customer management features. With its CRM tools, you can create customer profiles and tags, save contact information, view order histories and notes, see a customer’s email opt-in preferences for marketing purposes, and offer rewards with discounts, exclusive content, and access to events. Additionally, whenever a new shopper places an order, a new customer profile is automatically created—so you don’t have to worry about your online customer base.
Shopify not only makes it easy to track your customers and create profiles, but you can foster their loyalty by sending messages, discounts, and offers to specific customers or customer groups. You can also add the free Shopify Loyalty app to your POS for more loyalty-building features.
Reporting & Analytics
Shopify POS enables you to see how your business is performing by providing consolidated analytics. Some of the key reports that the app provides include:
- Cash flow
- Daily sales reports and insights (Pro only)
- Traffic reporting
- Sales by staff member, location, and sales channel
- Tax reports
- Discount reports
- Product and product category reports
Shopify provides a list of various compatible apps and software that you can integrate seamlessly with your Shopify POS system. Simply visit the Shopify app store, browse the selection or search for the app you want to integrate, select the app’s icon, and click “add app” on its product page—it’s that easy.
Shopify also has a “Buy Button” that you can incorporate into any Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress site. The Buy Button connects transactions on your site back to your Shopify POS system, so you can use the Shopify POS with a non-Shopify ecommerce platform or even incorporate it into a blog or non-commerce site. Shopify also integrates with Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, so you can sell whatever your customers are looking for.
Shopify makes omnichannel selling a breeze. On the Shopify POS system, all your sales channels are listed, so you can access their individual details and performance as needed from a single platform. Additionally, Shopify syncs all your sales, inventory levels, and expenses across your different sales platforms for easy management.
Supported sales channels include:
- Shopify ecommerce store
- Facebook and Messenger
Win over even more customers by automating your messaging and email marketing campaigns with Shopify Flow.
Shopify earned top marks in the ease of use category, with a 4.5 out of 5 in our evaluation. Setting up a Shopify POS account only takes minutes, and once you’re done, you can customize the checkout interface to match your needs. Using the Smart Grid tool, you can update the home screen to add, remove, and edit tiles so that the most used tasks are quickly accessible. And, until you create your own settings, the system can use your location to apply appropriate sales taxes.
Shopify POS can also automatically synchronize with your Shopify online shop, allowing you to manage your entire business from a single dashboard. Product or inventory updates made on the Shopify admin page will instantly take effect on the POS app.
Customer service is available 24/7 through email, chat, and phone. Video tutorials are also available, along with an extensive resource in its help center, like sign-up FAQs, shipping tips, and a staff and management training checklist.
Additional ease-of-use features include:
- Quick account setup with guided assistance
- Easy-to-use and customizable interface
- Automatic sync with Shopify online store
- Default location-based sales tax
- Active Seller Community Forum
- Extensive Help Center documentation
- 24/7 customer support
As with ease of use, Shopify earned an impressive 4.5 out of 5 in the expert score category. Here, we considered the overall value the POS provides, user reviews, feedback based on our own experience testing the system, and any unique or standout features. Overall, Shopify POS offers a solid toolset for a good value.
It includes all the basic features you need to run a storefront and/or pop-up shop that’s seamlessly connected to your Shopify online store. If you’re a small business serious about selling online, Shopify is the ecommerce product for you, and its POS system is a natural extension.
However, where Shopify falls short is that many relatively basic features like daily sales reports, custom receipts, stock adjustments, and low stock reports are only available with the Pro plan.
If you’re selling online, it’s worth it. However, if you are mainly selling in person, Square for Retail could offer a better value.
What Users Think of Shopify
Shopify POS is among the top-rated POS software on the market today. Among users, the POS system received high marks:
- G2: 4.4 out of 5 based on more than 240 reviews.
- Capterra: 4.6 out of 5 based on over 100 reviews.
Additionally, the Shopify POS mobile app has collected well above average scores from its iOS users and, at the time of publication, has a 4.5-star rating from over 7,300 reviews in the App Store. However, Shopify POS is not faring as well with Android users, scoring 3.5 out of 5 from over 1,700 Google Play reviews.
Let’s take a look at some of the trending positive and negative feedback that we gathered from reading user reviews and speaking to business owners that use Shopify POS.
|Easy to access and manage inventory and customer data||Hardware compatibility issues|
|Seamless connection to online store||Upgrades can be expensive|
|Syncs inventory automatically||Complicated fee structure|
|Extensive knowledge base||User dissatisfaction on software upgrade|
Methodology: How We Evaluated Shopify POS
To evaluate Shopify POS, and other POS options, we looked for systems that are affordable for independent business owners and included basic POS functions like check and order management, the ability to process multiple forms of payment, and inventory tracking. To find the best, we also looked for systems that support multiple business types or that dominate in the industry they serve.
Click through the tabs below to see the full evaluation criteria.
30% of Overall Score
We prioritized POS systems that include a free plan or free trial, affordable subscriptions, and additional plans so that you won’t grow out of the system. We also awarded points to systems with affordable integrated payment processing, flexible hardware options, and no restrictions on the number of users, inventory, and transactions. Finally, we penalized systems that require long-term contracts and hefty installation fees.
15% of Overall Score
Businesses need speedy and customizable checkout tools, easy customer management, mobility to sell anywhere, a process to track orders, and a way to process online orders. Because the way businesses operate has changed so much in recent years, we also considered contactless payments, integrated online ordering, and online store features.
15% of Overall Score
The most important feature we considered was inventory tracking. We also considered how sophisticated and user-friendly the reporting dashboard of each system is and what marketing and employee management tools are available.
20% of Overall Score
We prioritized POS systems with 24/7 phone support. We also considered help tickets and email or chat support, installation processes, and whether or not the system has an offline mode or hybrid installation so that you can continue operations when you lose internet access. Finally, we considered if the system has an online knowledge base, training videos, or a training mode to help bring new employees up to speed.
20% of Overall Score
We considered the overall quality of each system’s features, along with system stability and security. We evaluated whether or not it offers a good value for its price point and standout features. Finally, we accounted for our experts’ personal experience using each system and interacting with customer service representatives, its reviews, and the personal experience of other small business owners.
Meet the Experts
The evaluation of Shopify’s POS system was performed by three of Fit Small Business’s top retail and restaurant experts. Get to know them below.
Mary King With more than 14 years of hospitality experience, Mary has used POS systems in coffee shops, food trucks, full-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants, bars, hotels, coworking spaces, event spaces, and retail stores. She has several years of experience advising bar and restaurant owners, and three-plus years evaluating POS systems.
Brigitte Hodge is a retail specialist with several years of retail management experience. Before joining Fit Small Business, Brigitte worked on a variety of point-of-sale systems to run a store in downtown Denver. Brigitte has since been writing as a retail expert, evaluating POS systems and working with them firsthand to learn their ins and outs.
Meaghan Brophy has 10-plus years of retail experience, during which she has operated a variety of cash registers and POS systems in different settings and applications.
Since working in retail, Meaghan has 7-plus years of experience writing for retailers and 4-plus years of experience evaluating POS systems.
Shopify POS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Shopify offers a reliable and adaptable POS that’s ideal for any retailer also using Shopify for ecommerce. It is reasonably priced, full of omnichannel features, and easy to use. Here is some information that might be helpful if you are thinking of becoming a Shopify user.
Who should use Shopify?
Shopify is best for multichannel retailers or businesses that sell on multiple sales channels. On top of the POS features we covered above, every Shopify account comes with an ecommerce site that you can design and manage from your Shopify dashboard. Shopify also supports curbside pick-up, mobile sales, and social media selling integrations, making it easy to sell from any channel and manage all your sales from one easy-to-use platform.
When should I use a Shopify alternative?
If you do not plan to have an online store or if you already have an online store from another provider, Shopify is probably not the best solution, as you will have to pay for an ecommerce subscription to access the POS features. Shopify would also not be the best solution for retailers looking for a free POS software. In both of these cases, look to Square for a free and fully-equipped POS platform that can integrate with a variety of ecommerce sites.
Can I use another ecommerce site with Shopify POS?
While it is possible to use another ecommerce platform with Shopify POS, it will require a custom integration, and you will still have to pay for the ecommerce subscription.
Cross-channel sales are crucial to business growth, and to efficiently manage inventory, you will need a multichannel POS system like Shopify POS. Overall, Shopify POS offers the best value for new ecommerce businesses and online-based multichannel retailers. It combines top-of-the-line ecommerce features with in-person sales tools to offer the best omnichannel platform. Its user-friendly interface, smart inventory management features, seamless checkout, and wide range of integration options make Shopify POS among the best POS systems on the market today.
Try it for yourself with Shopify’s 14-day free trial.