Traditional cash registers may soon be a thing of the past.

Two Beloit small businesses have already dumped the concept of a clunky cash register. The Cheese People and Bushel & Peck’s Local Market instead opt for an iPad point-of-sale (POS) solution from ShopKeep POS.

ShopKeep is an iPad POS system that gives merchants the power to run and analyze their businesses on a cloud-based interface. By combining an iPad POS system with detailed BackOffice reporting, merchants have the ability to generate analysis of inventory, sales and customer relationship management, according to www.shopkeep.com.

Thousands of merchants nationwide already have switched to ShopKeep POS as their iPad POS, according to the website. The merchant network includes quick serve restaurants, retail, locations, specialty food, services and more, said Kym Lino with Atomic public relations.

ShopKeep projects tablet POS systems will dominate the market in three to five years, Lino said.

Cheese People owner Darren Larsen said he purchased the iPad POS system ShopKeep with accompanying printer, cash box and scanner, to use instead of a traditional cash register system when he opened his business. He said a subscription to the service and the purchase of the iPad is about half the price of using a traditional system. An attachment allows a credit card to be swiped through as well.

Employee Andrew Montrone said she was a little nervous about dealing with new technology, but was forced to do it and now loves it.

Larsen said using an iPad is ideal for small businesses because of cost and counter space savings. Because ShopKeep POS is connected to the Internet, Larsen said he can track inventory or sales when he is outside the business.

Nikki’s Cafe, located in the same space as The Cheese People, on 604 Pleasant St., hasn’t switched to an iPad for a cash register yet, but uses an iPad to run owner Lloyd Smith’s Rewards Program for customers. In the past, Smith used a traditional punch card, allowing customers to get a free cup of coffee after a certain amount of purchases. However, many people lost the cards and Smith didn’t like throwing away so much paper.

Customers are now given a plastic card they can use, similar to a credit card. And if they forget it they can log on the iPad via their email address. The subscription program called “Belly” also tracks rewards points. After a certain amount of purchases, people can be eligible for a free pastry, smoothie or other goodies. After 500 points, people will be able to get the opportunity to meet Smith’s cat, Nikki.

Smith said customers love the Rewards Program. He would consider using an iPad for a POS system in the future if a compatible program becomes available.

Alissa McCue

Alissa McCue

Alissa McCue has over 10 years of marketing and public relations experience working for top brands in retail and technology. As Senior Manager of Public Relations at ShopKeep, the #1-rated iPad Point of Sale System, Alissa is focused on highlighting ShopKeep's major achievements and thought leadership in the POS and technology space for independent businesses.