It may not be the first thing you think of when buying equipment for your business, but a point of sale (POS) stand can be an essential tool for your store, restaurant, or cafe.

Not only is an iPad POS stand a functional and stylish addition your place of business, but it can also help you better serve your customers, and be more effective overall.

With all of that being said, it’s pretty obvious that an iPad POS stand shouldn’t be a hastily made purchase. If you’ve taken a look at some of the POS stands available on the market, you might also find yourself a little overwhelmed with all of the options. Don’t worry. In this post, we’ll cover some of the primary considerations and benefits of using a POS stand so that you can buy the right one for your business.

What is an iPad POS Stand?

An iPad stand can be as basic as something like a stack of books that props up your iPad, or as robust as a purpose-built POS stand that houses the iPad component of your POS system. While anything that props up your tablet counts as a stand, most businesses are going to want a stand that’s made explicitly for turning an iPad into a point of sale system. Not only are they’re more professional, but they also work better, and they’re less fidgety than anything you might jerry-rig yourself. Additionally, a stand can sometimes give your iPad the additional equipment it needs to take electronic and smartphone payments so all of a business’ transactions can take place through one piece of iPad POS hardware.

SEE ALSO: How Do POS Systems Work? Let ShopKeep Break it Down For You

Why Would You Want an iPad POS Stand?

iPad POS stands can vary greatly, and what a business owners need a stand for depends on the type of business they have. For example, the needs of a retail business will differ from those of a restaurant because of the differences in the products they sell and how a typical customer interaction plays out. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the reasons why you might want an iPad POS stand.

iPad POS Stand POS Stand Stops Theft

Added Protection
A POS stand or enclosure acts as a case that protects from both theft and damage. People can’t steal something that’s mounted to a countertop.

Increased Mobility
Not all POS stands are stationary. A lightweight, portable stand can help staff make a sale from anywhere in your retail store. This strategy is called line-busting.

Better Serve Your Customers
A second screen, or a stand that swivels, can be a great addition for customers who want to keep track of their transaction. By showing customers the details of a transaction as it’s happening, you can preempt disputes over price and avoid potential conflicts. Some stands accomplish this through compatibility with a separate customer facing display that shows the customer the details of the transaction, like price and tax. Often this second display also allows the customer to complete payment by inserting their card or using an NFC method like Apple Pay. At a minimum, your stand should swivel so that the customer can select the receipt options, leave a tip, and sign for their purchase.

Add Style to Your POS
Stands also come in a variety of designs to blend in with the look and feel of your establishment. You don’t have to have a huge black chunk of metal in your bright and cheery flower shop, for example, if you don’t want to.

Accept All Payment Methods
If you only have a basic credit card reader or a device to take chip cards connected to an iPad, you’re missing out on other ways to utilize your retail POS. For example, about 166 million people worldwide are expected to make purchases using the Near Field Communication (NFC) setting on their smartphones with services like Apple Pay. While your iPad POS stand won’t allow you to accept NFC payments on its own, you’ll want to make sure you select one that’s compatible with a credit card reader or another device that does.

How to Use an iPad POS Stand

Setting up some POS stands is as simple as taking a stand apart, putting the iPad at the stand’s base, and putting the stand back together. Others could require you to add the additional components like a chip reader and a barcode scanner before you finish putting things together. All of this depends on the stand you buy, and the company you buy from, as each is different. Lastly, you would need to make sure to place your stand in a productive spot in your business (like the checkout counter of a retail store) so that it functions and looks the way you’d like it to.

Main Features to Consider

Picking the right stand can be very personal. The features you look for will vary depending on the needs of your business. Here are some things to think about when picking a POS stand.

iPad POS Stand ShopKeep POS Cash Drawer

How You Want to Take Payments
Like I mentioned earlier, a lot of people are paying with their phones, but not everyone is. Tens of thousands of personal checks are still written each year even though the overall usage of checks decreased by more than 50 percent from 2000 to 2012. However, many older adults still use checks heavily, and you will need to keep that in mind, just like you need to think about chip readers.

Additionally, cash is still king to a lot of consumers out there even though many businesses are moving towards a cashless business model. Consider what payment options are best for your small business and target audience. For example, if cash payments are important to your customers, you’ll to ensure your stand is compatible with a cash drawer.

How Portable You Want to Be
Consider getting a portable stand if you’re running a bigger retail store. It can be more convenient for the customer if you’re able to ring them up out on the sales floor. Additionally, capitalizing on the excitement a shopper feels when they’re trying on a new jacket can be a powerful way to overcome objections to making a purchase. Lastly, during the busy holiday shopping season (or any busy time at your business), taking electronic and card payments on the sales floor can cut down the size of your line and keep customers happy.

How Do You Want to Look
There are many different designs and looks you can choose from when picking a stand so take time to browse the available options and select a stand that looks and feels best to you. Many have sleek metal designs, but some are made in different colors and from different materials to align with a variety of brand aesthetics.

Ease of Use
If you’re new to the world of point of sale systems, you’ll want to consider the different features of a stand, and select one that you think you can easily assemble. Make sure to go over the instructions and know the warranty of the stand, as well as the exchange and return policies. Ensure the company you buy from has a support team you can access easily.

SEE ALSO: Choosing a POS System: Your 90-Day Plan

Picking the Right iPad POS Stand For Your Business

There are so many stands on the market today that it can be difficult to navigate them all to make the best choice for your small business. If you are a ShopKeep customer or considering ShopKeep, we offer stands that meet a variety of needs and fit everything from an iPad Mini to a 12.9” iPad Pro. There are even different visual designs to complement the brand identity of your business. If you aren’t a ShopKeep customer, it’s still likely that your vendor offers a few different models that you can choose from. Just keep in mind that your iPad POS stand is an investment in your business and taking your time to make the right choice is the best course of action.

Kori Williams ShopKeep Content Writer

Kori Williams

Content writer, Kori Williams, brings a love of grammar and a journalism background to ShopKeep, a leading iPad point of sale system, to create relatable business and POS content.