Technology makes the world go round, and this is particularly true when you’re running a small business.

Legacy (on-premise) point of sale technology that used to set small business owners back thousands of dollars has been replaced with modern, mobile payments technology.

Nowadays, anyone with a mobile or tablet device can take in-person credit card payments. Tasks that used to be manual like tracking inventory and bookkeeping are now automated with the help of cloud-based tools, putting business owners in a better position than ever before.

If you’ve been considering replacing your traditional POS system with a point of sale application, here’s what you need to know — including the best tablet POS apps to streamline the way you run your business.

What Is a Tablet POS App?

A tablet POS app incorporates the power of an enterprise POS software solution with the flexibility of a tablet. Instead of taking orders on a desktop computer or ringing up customers at a traditional cash register, servers and salespeople can place orders, check prices, and process payments from anywhere, improving both the speed of transactions and customer experience.

For businesses that choose to embrace technology, a tablet POS app can streamline business operations with the simple download of a tablet application.

Common POS App Functions

A quality point of sale application will improve your ability to tackle many of the day-to-day tasks that go into running a business. While specific functions vary from one app to another, ranging from booking appointments to managing reservations, most POS apps offer services that include:

  • Payment Processing
  • Report generation
  • Inventory management
  • Employee management
  • Customer data collection

 

In essence, tablet POS apps close the gap between business management tools and traditional POS functionality, offering a balance of the basics such as payment processing, and more complex aspects of running a business, like reporting, analytics, customer marketing and accounting.

SEE ALSO: How to Use an iPad Cash Register

How Tablet POS Apps Can Benefit Your Business

As mentioned previously, tablet POS apps enhance productivity in a way that saves time, energy, and money.

Reduced Costs
Traditional POS systems can be expensive, especially those that come with proprietary equipment. Because tablet pos systems are typically cloud-based, eliminating the need for complicated setups and servers, they are affordable and straightforward to implement.

Enhanced Reporting On-the-Go
Tablet POS apps offer the improved reporting capabilities you would expect with a traditional point of sale system, with the added mobility of a tablet device. With a tablet-based point of sale app, essential business analytics are available at your fingertips at all times.

Rather than wasting time logging into a cumbersome console or sitting in the back of the house running reports, a tablet POS system allows you to view numbers in real-time as long as you have access to the internet. Many tablet-based point of sale providers also offer complimentary mobile reporting apps so that you can monitor business insights and employee performance on your cellular device.

Error-Free Employee Training
Adopting a new POS system often creates challenges in employee training. Anyone who has ever worked in a retail business can tell you that traditional PC-based POS systems are not at all straightforward.

Most of your employees are already familiar with smartphones and tablets, by adopting a tablet-based system, you eliminate the knowledge barriers experienced with a traditional POS solution. When choosing a tablet POS app, opt for one with a user-friendly design to reduce training time amongst staff.

Improved Customer Experience
Happy customers make for happier wallets. According to a survey from Timetrade.com, 75% of retailers report losing customers due to wait-related issues. The inherent mobility of a tablet-based POS system empowers you to check out customers anywhere in the store, avoiding abandoned purchases.

 

3 Tablet POS Apps That Will Skyrocket Productivity

By now, the benefits of a tablet POS app should be evident, but not all apps are created equal. In fact, tablet POS applications exist in a wide range of formats and functions, presenting many options to consider. As you evaluate POS applications, be sure to keep your business needs in mind.

Here are 3 options for growing businesses.

ShopKeep Register App

As the #1-rated iPad point of sale app, ShopKeep is a definite standout from the competition. Affordable, intuitive, and easy-to-use, ShopKeep arms you with a suite of must-have business tools that simplify and automate many of the once-manual day-to-day operations.

Designed by a merchant, ShopKeep’s register app is intuitive enough for the not-so-tech-savvy but robust enough for retailers, bars, and full-service or quick-serve restaurants.

Owners can customize inventory, process payments, track data, and run detailed business reports. Virtually any standard store or restaurant can find a use for ShopKeep, maximizing opportunities while minimizing the expense that goes into a traditional POS system.

How ShopKeep Works

ShopKeep’s register app gives small business owners access to a full-featured POS system that includes a sleek and sophisticated register app as well as tools to streamline the day-to-day operations. With a comprehensive suite of options, business owners can enjoy enterprise-level features for a fraction of the cost.

Here’s a list of some of the leading features offered:

Transactions: ShopKeep is designed for shopping. With it, businesses can process transactions from anywhere, even offline, customize payment and order placement abilities, handle transaction inclusion using a simple tap or a barcode scanner, and efficiently manage tax, sales, discounts, and more.

Payment Processing: ShopKeep simplifies processing payments with a simple, portable card reader. Merchants can choose credit card vendors like MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, and are also able to accept EMV chip cards and Apple Pay.

Inventory Management: Inventory can be a huge time drain, requiring countless hours every week. ShopKeep can monitor inventory for you, helping you to optimize ordering so that you never run out of must-have products. ShopKeep can also help you track sales patterns, ensuring you always know what your customers want to buy.

Staff Management: Scheduling and staff management doesn’t have to be a burden. With ShopKeep, employees can clock in and out and manage sales safely and securely. Also, as a business owner can keep your thumb on the pulse of your workforce, helping you to identify average hours, sales trends, and more, to highlight who on your team is most effective.

Customer Marketing: No business can survive without marketing products and services, but ShopKeep makes this easy. Your ShopKeep POS can help you grow email lists, customize branded email receipts, keep in touch with customers to inspire repeat sales, and track customer visits and spending over time.

Reporting and Analytics: ShopKeep can help you work smarter, providing valuable data insights that can guide the future of your company. With reporting and analytics that provide transparency into total sales, specific transactions, trends, department and category breakdowns, shift reports, and inventory reports, you’ll never miss an operational detail.

Integrations: With ShopKeep you can streamline other day-to-day operations like accounting, payroll, and online sales by adding on services that integrate with the platform.

Platform Compatibility

ShopKeep is available for the iPad and iPad Mini, creating a dynamic system that runs on one of the world’s best-loved operating systems. ShopKeep is also compatible with The Mini built by Clover, an all-in-one credit card reader and printer.

Want to learn more? Request a free quote and see how ShopKeep can benefit your business.

Square

Square is a simple, mobile payments solution boasting limited functionality and rock-bottom pricing. Customers know Square because of its small square credit card reader that plugs into headphone jacks on a tablet or phone.

Although their business model makes it easy for anyone, anywhere to accept credit card payments, this can be both a blessing and a curse. Unlike more robust platforms, Square is a barebones payment processor, which is extremely restrictive in functionality.

This is mainly because Square is a brokered service, not a POS. The legwork that goes into building connections with merchant services processors can be labor intensive, with merchant accounts requiring a significant undertaking to establish. Square takes this requirement off the table, processing payments through its own accounts.

SEE ALSO: How is ShopKeep Different from Square?

How Square Works:

If you need to get off the ground quickly and don’t have plans for long-term growth, Square can be the perfect fit for launching your entrepreneurial endeavors. Square is ideal for businesses that will only be in operation for a short period or on a limited basis since you can start selling right away for a portion of your processing fees.

However, because you can get set up an account with Square almost immediately, your account will be under scrutiny, and it’s not uncommon to experience account holds or termination without fair warning. Also, they are free to charge fees on top of general charges from payment processors, costing growing businesses a small fortune to operate.

While they do offer some basic POS features such as inventory management, they cannot match what more robust platforms can do. Bottom line, Square is fantastic for entrepreneurs getting their feet wet and experimenting with business ideas, but any small business serious about scaling will outgrow Square very quickly, making something like ShopKeep or Booker a far better investment.

Platform Compatibility

Square is compatible with Android and iOS and can be used on any device, including smartphones and tablets.

Booker

As the name implies, Booker is all about booking. Designed specifically for the beauty business, Booker is used in spas and salons nationwide. The software functions available are customized to the needs of the beauty industry, making it easy to book desired services with a flexible mobile app. Booker is intended to serve as a start-to-finish business solution for companies operating in its niche, from the first point of contact to the final sale.

How Booker Works:

Booker’s POS functions start with the booking process and end with sales retention abilities, helping beauty businesses to manage the customer experience in a simple, seamless way.

Booking: As a central aspect of the salon and spa industry, scheduling is a critical function of POS services. Booker combines virtually every avenue for booking in one convenient location, including online booking options, self-scheduling, mobile and tablet booking compatibility, and even Facebook booking.

Sales: As a POS, Booker facilitates making payments on-site and online using credit cards, cash, and mobile payments. Additionally, customers can purchase gift cards and certificates as gifts or for future use.
Customer Attraction: The Booker marketing network keeps you connected, utilizing distribution partnerships with Yahoo!, Bing, YellowPages, SuperPages, and more. Businesses can also market via social media, solicit bookings, and manage business intelligence right through the Booker interface.

Management: Booker outfits beauty businesses with a full suite of management tools, including employee scheduling, customer relationship management, inventory tracking, and advanced reporting, meeting virtually all operational requirements.

Retention: Retaining customers is a big part of running a sustainable business and Booker makes this easy, offering email marketing tools, membership program support, customer loyalty tools, and customer surveys to keep buyers engaged and committed.

Platform Compatibility

Booker is available for both iOS and Android operating systems, giving businesses the ultimate in flexibility. Apps can be downloaded on phones and tablet interfaces, providing an easy way to stay connected.

Choosing Your Tablet POS App

The tablet POS app you choose will have a significant impact on the long-term success of your business, offering you substantial management tools – or leaving you mainly in the dark. With tablet point of sale apps like ShopKeep, it’s possible to harness the opportunities in store quickly and efficiently, unlocking new avenues for growth and development that can keep you moving forward.

Yamarie Grullon

Yamarie Grullon has years of experience creating helpful & engaging content for small business owners. As Director of Content Strategy at ShopKeep, the #1-rated iPad Point of Sale System, Yamarie provides merchants with practical advice on all things related to business or point of sale.