At ShopKeep we often get asked why we have chosen to build our point of sale register as an iPad POS system. I thought I’d take a few seconds and outline why that’s the case.
More Features, Faster
First and foremost, we chose an iPad POS because it meant we could target our engineering and product team resources and build a deeper feature set, faster. Android is fragmented across operating systems and devices, making it harder to achieve this goal.
When the iPad was first announced, merchants had spent decades running stores on clunky, ugly, insanely expensive Windows POS systems. We were still in the early days of building ShopKeep as a cloud-based alternative. The iPad came along at the absolute perfect moment – we realized very quickly that it was going to be a game-changing device. It was a tenth of the cost of traditional touchscreen hardware, and yet, it was going to be a high quality user experience, because that’s what Apple does.
Old school Windows POS with basic hardware = $5,000 – $10,000
iPad with Basic POS Hardware Kit = circa $1000
Easy, Continuous, Free Upgrades
In the past, the delivery mechanism for upgrades to Windows POS Software had been cumbersome and manual — not to mention expensive. We loved that with the Apple app ecosystem we can continuously roll out free improvements to the ShopKeep Register. All the user has to do is update their app and they get all the benefits of the new app, for the same price.
Availability and Ease of Access
Have you ever used a point of sale ecommerce website? We’ve invested a lot of time and effort building out an industry leading ShopKeep Store, so you can find things like printers, barcode scanners, and cash drawers quickly and easily. We took the same line of thinking when selecting the iPad. By basing our software on something as ubiquitous as an Apple tablet, we’ve made it super simple to get started with ShopKeep — and replace elements when needed. It shouldn’t be a time-consuming and expensive process replacing an old charger. With an iPad POS, it’s as simple as a trip to the Apple Store/ordering online.
A Marriage of Form and Function
They say great design is a perfect marriage of form and function — of how something looks and the purpose it’s intended to serve. Apple has not only built a beautiful product that your customers will love the look of, they’ve created software design guidelines that allow app developers to create user experiences that feel familiar. We’ve taken those conventions and married them to years of experience and deep insight around point of sale to create something that is truly beautiful and intuitive. The ShopKeep Register is an iPad POS that’s fast, elegant, and easy to use for any new cashier or server.
2014 was a big year for security in the world of point of sale. Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP-based POS systems, making them no longer PCI compliant; Target, Home Depot and others were the victims of massive (and well-publicized) credit card theft; one of the biggest companies announced a giant step forward for payments security with the introduction of Apple Pay; and EuroPay, MasterCard, and Visa announced that the U.S. will finally be catching up with the rest of the world with the introduction of EMV chip cards as a replacement. There’s a lot to keep up and the ShopKeep product will always evolve to stay ahead of the bad guys — but we’re built on a solid foundation.
The iPad is an incredibly secure core for a point of sale system. Apple operates as a ‘closed’ system, meaning that if you want to get anything onto the iPad you have to go through their App Store. And, if you want to get anything into the App Store, you have to submit to a vigorous review of your code. As such the chances of some nefarious malware ending up on your iPad POS system are much more rare.
The iPad is an incredibly secure core for a point of sale system. Apple operates as a ‘closed’ system, meaning that if you want to get anything onto the iPad you have to go through their App Store – and if you want to get anything into the App Store, you have to submit to a vigorous review of your code. As such the chances of some nefarious malware ending up on your iPad POS system are much more remote.
Your point of sale system is not like most sophisticated technology that normally gets kept in a clean, boring office — it’s front and center in a hectic and messy environment. It’s going to get worked over / knocked / scratched / covered in that Vanilla Sundae your server was rushing to table nine. We have thousands of high volume merchants processing 100+ transactions a minute. And do you know how many times we’ve had to replace an iPad? Almost never. They’re just built to last.
One final point on why we work with the iPad. It’s a versatile tool for small business owners that makes your POS investment go further. You can run a variety of business apps for customer loyalty and accounting, play music to your store from Spotify or Pandora, and use Safari to delve straight into your ShopKeep BackOffice right from the counter.
If you’re considering investing in a point of sale system, you can’t do better than an iPad — and if you’re thinking about an iPad POS, you really can’t do better than ShopKeep. If you’d like to know more about our product, simply pick up the phone and give us a call.