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Shopify POS Review [2024]: Omnichannel Selling Simplified

Ivana Shteriova Ivana Shteriova Finance Specialist

Shopify POS is best suited for omnichannel businesses that sell online and in person. Its solutions allow you to unify sales across all your channels with automatic inventory updates and lets you manage your stock, staff, products, and marketing from one place. However, entirely brick-and-mortar businesses and those in industries other than retail might be better off with an alternative.


POS equipment Card readers, tablet stands and accessories like barcode scanners, barcode printers, receipt printers, and other accessories and consumables
Payment methods accepted Credit cards and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH, buy now pay later options, gift cards
Payout times 2–5 business days
Contract length Monthly (no cancellation fees)
Customer support 24/7 live chat and phone support and email support
Security Level 1 PCI-compliant, encrypted payments, mandatory staff login for access, fraud prevention tools

Powerful Omnichannel POS for Retail Businesses

Shopify POS features
Shopify POS combines powerful software and hardware for omnichannel commerce

Shopify enables you to sell across various platforms (online, in-person, and on digital marketplaces and social media) from a single place. It’s easy to use and features an integrated system for orders, inventory, and customer data that syncs sales across all channels and updates this data in its proprietary app. With Shopify POS’s app, you can manage your entire business.

Shopify POS is specifically designed for retail businesses. This focus means it might not be the best fit for service industries or restaurants. However, it excels for retail by offering advanced features such as coordinating in-store exchanges and returns for purchases made online and management for local delivery and pickup orders.

While it caters to businesses of all sizes, smaller retailers might find it pricey because it doesn’t offer a free plan or free POS equipment. It may also be less cost-effective for brick-and-mortar businesses because you’ll have to subscribe to an e-commerce plan to access essential features like inventory management, customer data, and other administrative information – even if you’re not interested in selling online.

If you’re looking to sell both online and in-person, or if you’re already a Shopify user, my research indicates that Shopify POS is an excellent choice for omnichannel, multi-store, and other retail businesses. It truly shines when it comes to seamlessly integrating both online and physical store operations.

But is it right for your business? Keep reading to find out.



Many Features for Whatever and Wherever You Sell

Shopify offers POS hardware and software for all types of retail needs and budgets. This includes basic features suitable for small retailers and those occasionally selling at events and pop-up shops. It also offers advanced POS features for managing multiple retail stores and locations. You can extend your POS functionality further with many free and paid apps from the Shopify App Store.

Seamless integration with Shopify’s e-commerce platform allows for unified management of online and in-person sales. While some POS solutions have e-commerce capabilities, they can’t compete with Shopify’s robust online platform. That’s why Shopify POS is ideal for retailers equally focused on online and in-person selling.

Competitively Priced Hardware

Shopify POS Retail Collection
Shopify’s hardware range offers something for every retailer

Shopify’s POS hardware includes retail and starter collections, pre-built kits, and customizable hardware bundles. You can select various POS accessories like cash drawers and barcode scanners to enhance the checkout experience and streamline operations. Despite being an e-commerce-first platform, Shopify offers an extensive hardware range.

The Shopify POS app, available on Android and iOS at no additional cost, powers the POS hardware. Like other proprietary POS apps, Shopify POS integrates with only a small number of third-party hardware, which could be a drawback if you already own equipment. Plus, using external hardware will limit its functionality.

Also, unlike some other brands, you can’t reprogram Shopify’s hardware to work with other software so there’s a level of monetary commitment involved. The hardware itself is available at various price points that are suitable for different budgets. Shopify doesn’t offer free equipment like some brands, but it does lease it at a reasonable cost.

Custom POS Solutions for Various Retail Types, Sizes, and Needs

Shopify POS apps
Shopify’s app store has plenty of POS apps to make your life easier

Due to the abundance of built-in features it offers, Shopify POS easily caters to all retail types and sizes. On top of that, the Shopify App Store lets you customize your POS system with 100+ apps for invoicing, loyalty programs, gift cards, upselling, integrations with bookkeeping software like QuickBooks, Xero, and more.

If you’re a small retailer that occasionally sells at events and pop-up shops, you can save on equipment by using the Shopify POS app to collect payments from your phone. The app also works offline so you’ll never lose a sale due to poor connectivity. Still, these are pretty standard features that most competitors offer on their entry level or even free plans.

But where Shopify does stand out is in multi-store management scaling, where one single account can manage up to 1,000 stores from a central location. Retail businesses of this scope will find Shopify POS’s advanced features very beneficial. These include dynamic order routing to determine the most optimal shipping location and advanced staff management that lets you assign roles, grant permissions, and allocate sales for commissions or bonuses.

For restaurants, Lightspeed is a solid alternative to Shopify POS. It’s tailored for the hospitality sector, offering easy staff and menu management, customizable floor planning, and efficient table handling. Other key features include detailed sales analytics and compatibility with restaurant-focused hardware and software.

Comprehensive Options for Omnichannel Selling

Shopify POS omnichannel channels
Shopify allows you to literally take your business everywhere

While some competitors provide omnichannel solutions, no one can beat Shopify when it comes to selling across multiple channels, including in person, online, through social media, and on Google and YouTube. This seamless integration helps you increase visibility and maintain a consistent shopping experience across channels.

Shopify POS offers advanced solutions for omnichannel commerce, such as Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS), Buy In-Store, and Ship to Customer. You can even send an abandoned cart email with products to customers who showed interest in your store but did not complete the purchase.

Another unique feature is that you can attach QR codes to your in-store products so customers can scan to learn more and complete the purchase online. The platform also boasts automatic inventory syncing across channels and pop-up alerts that minimize the risk of overselling and stock shortages.

Unparalleled Support for Online Selling

Shopify POS boasts the strongest e-commerce support among popular POS solutions, making it particularly suitable for online-first businesses. You can build a simple online store with every retail subscription, with numerous customization options available on each e-commerce plan. Its integrated shopping cart includes secure checkout, automatic tax calculation, flexible shipping rates, and more.

Furthermore, nonprofits can benefit from discounted rates, donation buttons, and resources to sell merchandise on demand – features not readily offered by most POS providers. You can also sell product subscriptions and schedule payments for both in-person and online sales.

Proprietary Payment Solution Fully Compatible With Your POS

Shopify Payments, exclusive to Shopify users, offers a unified payment experience with automated reconciliation. It accepts major credit cards and digital wallets and supports Tap to Pay on iPhone for contactless payments via the Shopify POS app. With Shop Pay, you can also process installment payments.

During my research, I found that Shopify Payments has higher transaction fees than leading credit card processors. The standard payout time for Shopify Payments is 2–5 business days in the US, with no option to expedite it for an additional charge. However, you can receive funds in one business day by signing up for a fee-free Shopify Balance account.

Still, you might want to consider a traditional processor for quicker payouts and plans suited to your specific risk level and business needs. Dedicated processors also provide zero-cost processing programs (such as cash discounts and surcharging) to reduce your processing costs.


Ease of use

Feature-Rich Yet User-Friendly POS Systems

You can set up Shopify’s POS system easily. Shopify offers extensive onboarding assistance with video tutorials, written guides, and 24/7 customer support, ensuring quick and smooth integration with your business. With so many resources, you can quickly solve issues and customize the system to meet your needs.

Getting Started With Shopify POS

You can start with a free trial before committing to a paid plan. After the trial period, you must subscribe to a plan to access the POS functionality. The next step is purchasing the necessary hardware, which Shopify will ship for free. Then, you’ll need to download the free Shopify POS app and connect it to your hardware.

To begin accepting payments, you must also set up Shopify Payments or another payment solution. Finally, you can review the hardware documentation to learn how to navigate your POS devices or consult Shopify’s help center for further assistance.

Centralized Back Office to Manage Your Business Across Locations

Shopify's dashboard
You have your business at your fingertips with Shopify POS’s centralized back office

Shopify’s POS app serves as a “back office,” helping you manage your entire business across multiple locations. You can add customer profiles, add discounts, import products, manage inventory, and create staff accounts with varied permissions.

Note that Shopify POS is for handheld devices, but you can access most features by logging in to your Shopify admin on a desktop.

Robust Analytics and Reporting That Cuts Administrative Work

Shopify analytics and report features
Shopify’s detailed analytics can help you scale your business

Shopify POS’s analytics and reporting tools eliminate manual data collection and report preparation, freeing up more time for decision-making. These data-driven insights streamline the development of effective inventory management and sales strategies. For example, the demand forecasting tool estimates upcoming orders by analyzing recent product performance and seasonal trends to optimize stock levels.

There’s also a tool that identifies underperforming items, helping you free up cash and storage space for products that sell better. Furthermore, inventory analysis highlights products that are worth reordering, ensuring efficient use of resources.



Plans for Every Budget but No Free Option

Every Shopify plan includes the POS system, but you must subscribe to one of its plans to access it (choose from five: two in-person and three e-commerce plans). Even the low-tier in-person Starter plan includes a simple online store, so you can sell both ways on all Shopify plans. Unlike some competitors, Shopify doesn’t provide free equipment, but you can lease hardware for as low as $9/day.

If you opt for Shopify Payments, you’ll pay 2.7% + 0¢ (in-person), 2.5% + 0¢ (in-person), or 2.4% + 0¢ (in-person) per transaction, depending on your plan. The Advanced e-commerce plan comes with the lowest transaction fees but you’ll be paying $399.00/month. If you opt for a third-party processor, Shopify will charge you additional fees of 2%, 1% or 0.5%, depending on your plan. You can access any Shopify plan at a discounted rate if you commit to a yearly subscription.

The Basic plan is $39.00/month and you’ll be paying 2.7% + 0¢ (in-person) and 2.9% + 30¢ (online) per transaction. With one admin account and a basic online store, it’s somewhat limited given that some alternatives provide these features for free. The Retail plan costs $89.00/month per location for two admin accounts and unlimited POS logins. It does include one POS Pro subscription and advanced features like staff permissions, personalized customer profiles, inventory management, and omnichannel selling.

To customize your online store and access additional sales channels and more advanced features, you’d have to subscribe to one of the three dedicated e-commerce plans. For more retail features, you can add a POS Pro subscription to any plan for $89/month per location. This level of flexibility makes Shopify’s plans suitable for online-first and omnichannel retailers of all sizes.


Compliance & Security

PCI Compliant With Built-In Fraud Prevention Tools

Shopify goes the extra mile to protect your customers’ data. Besides its Level 1 PCI DSS compliance, it offers a variety of tools to keep your in-person and online transactions safe.

PCI Compliance and POS Security

Shopify PCI compliance features
You won’t have to spend a dime on PCI compliance as a Shopify customer

Shopify POS adheres to PCI compliance and EMV best practices. As a Shopify customer, your store is automatically PCI compliant. You won’t have to worry about spending dozens of hours and hundreds of dollars to get certified every year, which is the case with some POS providers. Regular software updates, two-factor authentication, and user permissions also keep your Shopify POS systems secure.

Shopify is also designed with tools to aid in GDPR compliance. However, it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re using these tools correctly if you’re collecting and processing the personal data of EU residents.

Additional Security Features

Shopify Fraud analysis tool
Fraud Analysis will tell you whether an online order is suspicious or not

All Shopify plans come with end-to-end encryption and tokenization, but Fraud Analysis tools are only available with Shopify Payments or on the Shopify plan and above. This e-commerce tool helps you identify potential fraudulent orders, resulting in fewer chargebacks. It supports third-party fraud prevention apps that you can download from the Shopify App Store to strengthen your security further.

Shopify also secures your store data and POS devices by making them inaccessible without staff login, thereby adding an extra layer of protection.


Customer Support

Hard-To-Reach Support but Extensive Knowledge Base

Shopify advertises support through various channels, including 24/7 live chat and phone support, email support, a Help Center, community forums, and social media.

Shopify customer support interactions
Shopify’s AI support is impressive, but getting in touch with human agents is nearly impossible

However, reaching a real human is nearly impossible as a non-customer and just as hard as a customer. I had to sign up for the free trial to get a chance to speak with a live chat agent. I repeatedly tried to reach live support through Shopify’s AI assistant, accessible within the Help Center and the Shopify bot. The estimated wait time was five minutes, but I was stuck in the queue for hours without success.

The saga continued even when I tried to call. After digging through its online forum, I realized that Shopify no longer offers a direct phone support number but you can try to schedule a call – as long as the wait times are not too high. Apparently, volumes were indeed high when I scheduled mine because I never received a callback. I wanted to contact Shopify via email but couldn’t find an email address or a ticket system for merchants on its site.

Fortunately, Shopify offers an extensive knowledge base filled with informative articles, step-by-step guides, and video tutorials, so I was able to figure out almost everything by myself.

That said, Shopify’s AI assistant is pretty impressive. It’s a chatbot that answers all your Shopify-related questions and provides links to additional resources.

What’s more, the links open on the left side within the same window, allowing you to read and ask the assistant additional questions without switching between tabs. Super convenient! But I caught some inaccurate AI-generated answers, so it’s important to double-check any crucial information.


How does Shopify POS match up to the competition?

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Online-first businesses and even those occasionally selling at events and pop-up shops will benefit from Shopify’s basic POS solutions in every e-commerce plan, with optional upgrades for even more features. Still, the lack of a free plan makes Shopify a pricier option than some alternatives, especially for small retail businesses that don’t primarily sell online.

Shopify stands out due to its seamless blend of online and physical commerce. Its feature-rich POS system, supported by a robust e-commerce platform and integrations with social media and digital marketplaces, makes it a top choice for omnichannel businesses.

Here are Shopify’s biggest pros and cons at a glance.
Pros Cons
  • Competitively priced hardware
  • Centralized back office with strong analytics and reporting tools
  • Advanced POS customization
  • Free Shopify POS app
  • Ability to easily scale with up to 1000 locations per account
  • No free plan
  • No free equipment
  • Hard-to-reach support team


Is Shopify POS free?

All Shopify plans include Shopify POS software at no extra cost. However, you must subscribe to a Shopify e-commerce plan to access the POS software. Advanced features like staff roles and unlimited registers also cost extra. POS hardware, such as card readers and receipt printers, are sold separately.

Can Shopify POS work offline?

Shopify POS can work offline to some extent. You can still accept cash and manually enter card payments when you’re not connected to the internet, but the card payments won’t be processed until you’re back online. Once you’re back online, Shopify POS automatically syncs your sales data with your Shopify back office.

Does Shopify POS work on desktop?

Shopify POS works for mobile devices like iPads, iPhones, and Android devices. However, you can manage your store, orders, and products through the Shopify admin on a desktop.

Can I use Shopify POS without a Shopify store?

You can use Shopify POS solely for in-person sales. However, you must still set up a Shopify store to manage your products, inventory, and sales data. If you don’t want to sell online, the online store can be password-protected to restrict visitor access. Still, businesses selling in-person only might find Shopify POS’s strong reliance on its e-commerce platform not for them.

Ivana Shteriova Ivana Shteriova
Ivana is a full-time content writer and expert reviewer passionate about tech, finance, business, and too many other things to name. After getting her bachelor’s degree in Economics, she decided to ditch a career in accounting and turn her passion into a full-time writing affair. You can find her listening to finance podcasts, reading self-help books, glamming up, and rocking bold outfits. She’s also advocating for animal welfare and women’s rights.
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