What is ShopKeep?

If you’ve been searching online for some efficient tools to manage your ecommerce and retail businesses, you may have come across the Shopkeep POS. This is a point of sale system that was developed by Jason Richelson and Amy Bennett in 2008.

Jason and Amy had a wine shop in Brooklyn. They were frustrated by the relentless crashing of the POS system they were running off an iPad. Consequently, Jason and Amy came up with the idea to create a better payment system for small business owners. Their goal was to create a modern cloud-based point of sale system specifically for use with iPad that was intuitive to the unique needs of small food and beverage businesses. 

The first version of this software debuted in 2011. Since it’s debut, ShopKeep has grown to offer business management tools for a variety of small and medium-sized businesses. ShopKeep’s technology offering has grown to include payment processing hardware including card readers and iPad stands.

Now, the ShopKeep register can run on both iPad and Android tablets. In 2017, ShopKeep partnered with BigCommerce, the ecommerce platform provider. As a result of this partnership, ShopKeep can seamlessly integrate their POS with any BigCommerce storefront. 


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In November of 2020, ShopKeep was acquired by Lightspeed, a provider of cloud-based commerce platforms headquartered in Montreal, Canada. ShopKeep POS is immensely popular among small business merchants and is currently used by over 20,000+ businesses. 

With a multitude of valuable tools and clever features, ShopKeep is a great choice for a variety of boutique merchants. In addition to wine shops, it’s an ideal POS management system for gift shops, independent book sellers, toy stores, food trucks, coffee shops, gift shops, bakeries and even pop-up kiosks. 

In researching small business POS options, you’ve probably noticed some similarities between ShopKeep and Clover. Both systems allow a merchant the ability to transition to a modern tablet-based POS. Also, Clover and ShopKeep offer comparable business management tools in addition to just running payments. A main difference between the two is that with ShopKeep POS you can download the system to your own iPad or tablet. Clover only runs on a proprietary tablet that they provide. Due to the hardware requirements, the cost of running Clover POS is generally higher than ShopKeep.

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ShopKeep Functionality

ShopKeep was originally designed to run on iPad but has grown to include an Android version as well. If you have an iPad, the system requirements for ShopKeep are 6th Generation or newer, iPad Mini 4 with ios 10 or above, or iPad Pro. If you’re an Android user you’ll need a tablet running 5.0 Lollipop or above. 

When you sign up with ShopKeep POS, they’ll provide you with an EMV integrated card reader that accepts NFC payments. If your business requires additional hardware, you can either purchase ShopKeep products, or any of the models or brands that ShopKeep supports regardless of whether you buy through them. The company offers various hardware bundles, some that include cash drawers and receipt printers. If you’re running a restaurant, they have hardware that supports the specific needs of that business type as well. You can visit ShopKeep to check out more specifics on their bundle options.


ShopKeep Features

In the old days of cash registers, the main tool a retail store had was a bulky piece of hardware that could only accept payments. In the current digital age, POS systems have evolved to do so much more. ShopKeep provides some terrific features that fit the needs of both small and medium-sized businesses. 

If you own a retail store, ShopKeep offers a plethora of specialized management tools like inventory tracking, customer profile maintenance, and in-depth profitability reporting. ShopKeep POS can even migrate your brick-and-mortar inventory online to create an ecommerce site. 

A bonus feature of ShopKeep POS is that the app can manage payments even if there’s an outage and the system loses internet connectivity. ShopKeep can process transactions offline, then sync files back to the cloud once it’s reconnected to the internet. 

Here’s a more in-depth look at how ShopKeep POS can benefit retail stores and specialty shops:


Setting Up Your Business with ShopKeep POS

ShopKeep POS was designed to be intuitive and user friendly. Once you log-in, you’re guided through a tutorial of ShopKeep’s essential features and functionality. Additionally, ShopKeep’s user interface directs you through all the steps necessary to set up your business data, including your merchant identity, and the information necessary for receipt printing. 

Next, you’ll be taken through a step-by-step guide on how to build your product inventory. The POS includes colorful buttons to set-up each individual inventory item. When you build your item layout panel, you can also add customized shortcuts to popular items. The iPad register maxes out at 3,000 items, which should accommodate the needs of most small merchants. If you’re running a larger business, you’ll have to process additional items with a scanner or barcode search.


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Inventory Management 

ShopKeep POS provides some stellar inventory management tools. Once you’ve compiled your initial inventory, ShopKeep tracks the quantity of each item in stock providing you with reorder alerts when necessary. By maintaining inventory in real-time, you’re able to monitor which items are the best and worst sellers. 

For restaurants and bars, ShopKeep offers a unique vertical tracking feature called Raw Goods. This allows a user to build ingredient chains so you can monitor the inventory of specific ingredients by menu dish type or cocktail name. This feature helps cafés stay on top of crucial popular menu item components. An unfortunate drawback of this helpful feature is that you’re not able to uniquely define the unit measurement of each ingredient. Unfortunately, you’ll have to separately track whether each items is being measured in pounds, cups or gallons. 

ShopKeep has a wide variety of inventory reporting features as well. A user is able to input the wholesale purchase cost of everything in stock, allowing you to monitor and track profit margins. 


ShopKeep POS Report Features

ShopKeep POS offers an impressive variety of retail and business reporting features including the convenience of running a report off the register at any time to evaluate real-time data. For the back office, the user has access to all of their business data on a simple and well-organized merchant dashboard. Additionally, you can access personalized reports. You will have the ability to break down costs and revenues by date, most popular sales time windows, or by item profitability. You can also manage and monitor employee productivity and shape your payroll for the month. Some of Shopkeep’s newer reporting additions include sales per discount and also sales per customer.


Shopkeep Pocket

Another great feature for business owners who choose this software is the ShopKeep Pocket app. It allows you to monitor business activity virtually. You can download the app to a smartphone iOS or Android device to keep tabs on your store or ecommerce site on the go. Through ShopKeep Pocket you have access to view business activity such as customer transactions, sold items and up-to-the-minute sales.

Through your ShopKeep account you can add as many store or site locations as necessary to ShopKeep Pocket. As a result, you can toggle between them to monitor individual businesses. Additional perks include setting up real-time notifications for register activity, openings and closings, as well as time clock management. ShopKeep Pocket provides so much flexibility that you won’t have to worry about managing your business remotely.


Customer Loyalty Management

As a business owner you know the value of having a dedicated customer base. Giving clients the opportunity to sign up for reward programs can keep them coming back. ShopKeep POS customer loyalty system provides you with technology to keep track of individual purchasing activities so you can reach out with specific incentive promotions. The POS can integrate gift cards and email or print receipts. It also simplifies the log in process for customers so they can track and renew their points.


Additional Features

Like most payment processors, the ShopKeep POS can integrate with QuickBooks online for merchants who are also QuickBooks customers. Also, ShopKeep offers integration with Mailchimp to handle email outreach for a business’s entire database of customers. With this integration, a merchant has access to Mailchimp’s extensive array of templates. They can customize the templates using their unique branding. 

It’s important to note that ShopKeep values customer input and feedback. They use it routinely to solve problems and work out software bugs to improve POS functionality while keeping their product extremely user-friendly. 

ShopKeep’s 24/7 customer service access is highly rated and very responsive. You can contact them via live chat, text and email, but they also have community hubs and an extensive web inquiry system for problems and questions. 


Payline and ShopKeep

The best news is ShopKeep POS integrates with a variety of backend payment processors including Payline Data.  ShopKeep does offer a proprietary payment processing system called ShopKeep Payments, but it’s a bit pricier than choosing a company specializing in payment processing. With Payline’s exceptional features and Interchange-Plus pricing model, we can handle all of your payment needs through our partnership with ShopKeep.


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