Nowadays, a simple cash register that they used in the olden days will not work for your business. In order to move and flex with the mobile-first industry, you need a technologically advanced system in front of you.
Therefore, it is time to upgrade your operations and look for a POS System that integrates with your iPad that will not only serve your customers better, but also streamline your business.
The Need for iPad POS Systems
By understanding your business, it’s needs, and the pros and cons of the best POS system for an iPad, you will be able to not only improve the efficiency of your business, but stay with the mobile times that are only going to get more relevant.
It is no surprise that there are plenty of options to choose from when deciding on an iPad POS System. Nevertheless, are they all worth the investment and time? No. Therefore, with that in mind, here are our top choices for a rock solid iPad POS System.
The Best iPad POS Systems in 2018
*Varies by package or level purchased
Best POS System for iPad: Lightspeed HQ
By connecting to the cloud, you will be able to track the sales that are happening on both your online store, as well as your brick and mortar storefront. The cloud also helps back up your data so that your business is never at a loss if a system were to break.
With an inventory and product management system integrated, you will be able to add variations of your products and track inventory levels so that you are never out of stock.
Want a system that improves your customer service too? Lightspeed has you covered. By tracking your customers purchase history, managing tags, and even breaking your customers into segments, you will be able to understand the different types of people you sell to. This will pay off immensely when looking to build customer loyalty.
After you have sold some of your products, look at the reporting dashboard that is created for you. Grab insights into which products are selling, which have the lowest margins, and what strategies you need to implement in order to improve overall sales.
The business comes with three different payment and size options to best fit your business.
- Small – $99 for 1 register and 5 employees
- Medium – $169 for 2 registers and 10 employees
- Large – $298 for 4 registers and 20 employees
Lastly, each plan comes with 24/7 support, personalized onboarding, automatic updates, and security and hosting. This tool has all the necessities to speed up your business, streamline analytics and inventory, and even back it all up onto the cloud.
Best iPad POS for Retail: Revel Systems
This system targets the business owners that run their business from their iPad, the owners that have already adopted a mobile-first mindset and are now trying to refine their process. This touch screen iPad POS System has all the tools and gadgets.
It comes with three different setups to perfectly cater towards your business:
- Quick Service – For businesses that need to serve food, coffee, etc. fast. With this package, Revel offers customizable menus, infinite modifiers, and even an enhanced delivery system so you can get your food to the customers faster.
- Retail – For businesses that have brick and mortar storefronts. Revel offers a nice interface to keep track of all your products by organizing them into categories. A CRM system has been integrated in order to easily track your customer’s habits and purchase history. Lastly, with the automatic P.O. system, you will never run out of stock.
- Bar and Restaurant – For businesses that serve foods and alcoholic beverages. Restaurants bring an entirely different set of challenges to iPad POS Systems, but Revel has it covered. With their tableside ordering, they put the power into the customer’s hands. With their table layout feature, your staff will be able to properly track who ordered what food. And, with the split checks, you will win the hearts of all your customers that are dining with friends.
While these are the three buckets, by visiting their site you will see that they have altered the product for dozens of different scenarios such as, stadiums, pizza, coffee shop, salon, drive-thru, winery, grocery store, fuel, and the list goes on.
Revel’s iPad POS System really has thought of it all and it shows by their highly rated reputation.
Great iPad POS for Various Industries: Shopkeep
Shopkeep has been a go-to in the quick service and retail industry and is rated the number one in both categories. Their touch screen iPad POS System comes with all the bells and whistles in order to make your operations run as smoothly as possible.
From the second you setup your POS System in your iPad, Shopkeep is there to help. Not only will they walk through entire process with you to make sure you start on the right foot, but they are also respected for having the best customer support in the game.
By offering free email, chat, social media contact, forums, etc. they are able to help you in just about any situation you get yourself into.
After setting up your hardware, take confidence in knowing that it comes with a 1-year warranty. It also does not have any long contracts or agreements that you have to get locked into, unlike other systems.
Another benefit of this system is that it still offers reporting and analytics and automated inventory tracking and accounting tasks, which will save you hours on the backend of your operations.
Lastly, this system offers a great employee management system. By creating staff profiles, you will be able to easily keep track of their hours and schedule them with a touch of a button.
An iPad POS Solution with Many Customization Options: Shopify
While this sounds like Spotify, I assure you, it is different. It is also different in the expanse of products that it offers. Unlike most iPad POS Systems, Shopify gives you the option to get a custom domain, choose from different themes, and establish your website.
All of those features are in addition to the analytics and inventory tracking that the above systems include. It also offers an option to send emailed receipts to your customers, fully customizable.
Shopify then goes one step further and offers different card readers so that your customers can swipe, tap, or be contactless forms of payments. Furthermore, they still provide the great customer service around the clock, much like the above companies.
If you want to get into email marketing, Shopify has partnered with MailChimp, a leader in email marketing to help you with this service.
Other features include a mobile app, receipt printer, reports, discussion forums, and so much more. Shopify truly provides an expansive and customizable experience for the customer.
Best iPad POS System for Restaurants: TouchBistro
TouchBistro breaks their service into two different categories: Full Service, for the companies like nightclubs, bars, breweries, and restaurants: Quick Service, for fast casual meals, food trucks, cafes, and bakeries.
It is crucial to have efficiency and empower your staff to move fast in the food business and this iPad POS System does just that. By being able to split bills, joining seats, managing orders, and taking payments TouchBistro truly makes the employees happy.
Furthermore, this app lets you fully customize the layout of your restaurant, allowing you to get the best picture of each table’s margins and order food to the table with ease. It also allows you to build out staff profiles, track inventory, and edit menu items.
In addition to the above features, TouchBistro offers the analytics and dashboards that are needed to truly fuel your company’s growth. Gather and drive insights from your computer or your phone.
TouchBistro offers four different payment plans to cater to your business:
- Solo – $69 per month: this solution is for places that have one terminal and do not need multiple order platforms.
- Dual – $129 per month: this will give you two registers so that you can speed up the ordering process.
- Team – $249 per month: this is recommended for large restaurants that need a system in every serving area (e.g. bar, dining, etc.).
- Unlimited – $399 per month: this gives you unlimited ability to scale your business and run it as optimized as possible.
This iPad POS system’s reviews have been extremely good. POS System has received multiple awards for it is easy to use such as, Best Restaurant POS System of 2016, 2016 and 2015 Stevie Winner for Customer Service, Best in Biz Award for the Best International App of 2015. Here is the full list of awards that the company has received.
What to look for in iPad POS System
When looking for the best iPad POS Systems, we wanted to make sure that we covered every aspect that you could potentially think of. Here are all the points that we considered when evaluating the different systems and narrowing down our search.
- Cost: The cost is of utmost importance when running a business. While this may seem obvious, people tend to overlook it for important decisions. We believe that there are quality systems at affordable prices.
It is important to remember that the cost is not just the upfront payment to get the hardware (discussed below), but there will be a processing charge for each card swipe that happens. Different companies have different rates on these card swipes so it is important to do your research on this, especially if you are selling products with high price tags.
- Ease of setup: No one wants to spend hours setting up a process when the have a business to run. Every minute that you spend setting up is a minute that you could have been selling a product, mitigating a risk, or even talking to a customer.
- Hardware: If the card swipe is not working properly or is not built with high-quality material, you will spend more time trying to fix the product than actually using it. This is where it is great when companies offer warranties for their products.
- Customer support: For those times when issues arise and you cannot solve them, you should be able to quickly and easily reach out to customer support. Certain companies offer more expansive forms of customer support, but most of them will at least provide a 24/7 form of communication.
- Inventory management: One of the last things you want to be doing when running a business has to deal with multiple systems and software’s. By limiting your amounts, you will be able to streamline your process. Inventory management is no different in this regard. Keep it to one system.
- Marketing features: This is an added benefit for functionality improvement. Similar to inventory management, why would you not want to include it all under one system? Systems that have marketing features will only save you time and money.
- Analytics: You will not be able to grow your business nearly as fast as you would like without the data and analytics behind your decisions. Fuel your decisions by crunching numbers to make the smartest and best business decisions.
- Industry-specific tools: You do not want to try and fit a square peg in a round hole. In a similar way, you do not want to run a clothing business with restaurant features. By choosing software that has industry specific features, you will be able to work faster and better than your competitors.
- E-commerce integration: Nowadays, it is crucial that you have an online store to go with your brick and mortar store. On top of that, you want one system that manages both storefronts. By having e-commerce integration, both bases are covered.
- Employee management tools: Scheduling, paying, and managing employees is difficult enough. You should not need to worry about this and it should not take a lot of your time. By getting an iPad POS System that has this feature, you will save a lot of irritation and time.
- Contracts and service terms: Some iPad POS Systems will have a lower upfront cost, but have multi-year contracts that will keep you locked in and not allow you to break contract without incurring nasty fees.
- Cloud capability: This feature should not be overlooked. It is such an easy feature to use and will benefit you so much in the long run that it should be a requirement for all iPad POS Systems.
- Data Security: It is important to keep your customer’s data safe and secure. By choosing a reputable company, they will have systems in place to protect the data from hackers or any other potential threat.
These are the characteristics that we looked for in our analysis. There are other features that can be considered, but we do not deem as important as the above characteristics.
What is POS?
POS stands for “Point of Sale”. You interact on a daily basis with this system. Whenever you purchase something at a store or online, you are “rung up” on a machine. These machines used to be clunky old cash registers, but have recently gotten an upgrade, thanks to new technology.
iPad POS systems are essentially an app or software that is built into, or can be added to, an Apple iPad.
What is all included in POS Systems?
The answer to this question can vary based on who you talk to, but usually POS systems for iPad’s are comprised of three different aspects.
- Hardware – The iPad POS system hardware is not only the actual iPad (if you do not already own one), but also the card reader, the stand, a cash drawer, and receipt printer. All of these will complete the entire process of a transaction. You will swipe the card with the reader, which is being held in the stand. If they paid with cash, you will need to take money out of the cash drawer to give them their change. Lastly, you will finish off the process with printing a receipt.
- Software – The software includes everything that you are wanting in an iPad POS System such as, the inventory tracking, order processing, table layout (for restaurants), bill splitting, and all the above features.
- Payments – This is usually the overlooked piece of an iPad POS System, but the main component that makes it a point of sale system, the fact that you can actually conduct sales on it. Most systems work with any type of payment, while others are limited to cards, countries, etc.
Benefits of an IPad POS System
Now, if you are not sold on the need of a POS, here are a few more additional benefits to help you get won over and make the investment.
- Makes you look legit – People do not want to buy products from a “sketchy” business. They want to be confident that the business is taking care of them and will produce high quality products. If you do not instill this confidence, you will struggle to get customers in general, but will definitely have a hard time getting repeat customers.
- Allows you to collect data – Every time a customer swipes their card; you get to collect their data. This data can be used to provide a better customer experience and market to them better. By improving their customer experience, you will ultimately be benefiting the company, which means more money for you.
- Streamlines the operations – If you have ever been in a restaurant or store where you have to wait in a long line because the person at the desk is confused or having to write out the order, you can remember the frustration that it caused you. Do not “pay it forward” by causing your guests to get mad. Additionally, do not do that to your employees.
- Notifications – The right iPad POS System can free up your time so you can spend it on tasks that are more important. Certain iPad POS Systems will essentially be your supply chain manager by tracking your inventory and either letting you know when to reorder or even reordering automatically.
Protecting Your Customer’s Data and Your Business
Before making any purchase of an iPad POS System, make sure that it is PCI DSS approved. What does this mean? Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This organization sets the requirements and rules for protecting the customer’s credit card data.
PCI DSS was founded in 2006 when the Internet began to take shape and mature into a marketplace. When the government and businesses realized the potential of selling products online and the large scale that it will become, they realized that they needed to set up some regulations to monitor the data.
While you will not find a “PCI Certification”, businesses will need to comply with these standards and prove that they are PCI compliant.
While this might not seem like something to pay attention to, let us assure you that it is. If you are not PCI compliant, you are putting your business at risk for costly financial audits, data breaches, fines, investigations, and, of course, brand damage.
So, before you continue to build a business, make sure that it is protected under PCI DSS. It is not only for POS, but the following systems as well:
- Card Readers
- POS Systems
- Store Networks and Wireless Routers
- Payment Card Data Storage and Transmission
- Payment Card Data Stored in Paper-Based Records
- Online Payment Applications and Shopping Carts
Do not worry; businesses selling these products will be aware of these details and regulations. While it is still good to check, you can rest assured that all the products we recommended qualify for PCI DSS standards.
iPad POS System: Our Final Take
Overall, the IPad POS System is a crucial addition to your business operations. Without it, you will struggle to make an impact in both your employees and customer’s life, since you will slow them down. If you already have an iPad, this addition could be a simple and cost effective decision.
By abiding by our top recommendations, you will not only stay PCI DSS regulated, but will also have all the necessary features that should be desired when buying a IPad POS System. There are an unlimited amount of features you could look for, but by focusing on the ones we highlighted, you will be easily covered to give your business the needed facelift.
The right IPad POS System will be worth the investment. By understanding what to look for and abiding by our top products, you will be able to lower your stress, up your business income, and watch your business soar to new heights.