Shopify E-Commerce Invades the Real World with Secure POS Michael Kwan September 8, 2014 I live on the Internet. It’s how I communicate with my friends, it’s how I do my taxes, and it’s how I do a good part of my shopping too. You really can get a lot accomplished without ever having to leave your computer, whether it’s shopping for back to school, keeping up with world news or applying for a part-time job to pay for all those back to school gadgets you just bought online. Interestingly, as much as we’ve shifted our lives onto the world wide web, a lot of what we see online is starting to migrate back into the offline world too. The Offline Went Online Going back just a few years, e-commerce didn’t really exist yet. If you wanted to buy some groceries, by golly you had to get up off your butt, drive over to the supermarket and pick up a box of cereal. If you wanted some new sunglasses, a new pair of jeans, a new office chair or a new television, you probably had to make the trip out to the mall. That’s no longer the case, because you can buy just about everything online. This paved the way for a lot of smaller startup stores that could take advantage of increasingly affordable e-commerce solutions. It’s far cheaper to open an online store than it is to rent out a physical space in the city to stock and sell your inventory. As a consumer, your offline activities went online. As a business owner, you had a real shot at success via the Internet. The Brick and Mortar Just Got Cooler One of the leaders in providing affordable and robust e-commerce solutions is Shopify and they have long since established themselves in this space. But did you know that Shopify also offers a solution that lets you sell in person in an actual store, all while still tapping into the Shopify back-end? The Shopify POS (point of sale) hardware solution is based on using an Apple iPad. This means that you (and your employees) don’t need all that much training, because you’re already familiar with how to swipe around the touchscreen interface. The iPad works as part of an end-to-end solution that syncs up your online and offline inventory, so you can still run your online store while selling IRL. What this means is that if you setup a “pop-up” shop or kiosk somewhere, you can have a legitimate POS via the free iPad app. There are many advantages to using an iPad-based point of sale system: it’s cheaper, it’s more powerful, and it’s way more portable than a conventional cash register. It’s not just about taking credit cards; it’s about having a real system with inventory management, customer management and more. And if you want to go beyond the simple iPod POS stand, Shopify has all sorts of other compatible hardware too, including cash drawers, receipt printers, and barcode scanners. And even though you’re using an iPad to process the transaction, you can still use an existing payment processor through your bank or other provider if you prefer. A Complete iPad POS System Don’t get me wrong. Online shopping is a gift from heaven and it’s definitely here to stay. Plenty of entrepreneurs are more than happy with their e-commerce stores. At the same time, it’s quite the awkward burden when you encounter a customer in real life and you can do nothing but tell them to visit your site and wait for shipping. With a secure iPad POS system from Shopify, you can take care of that in an affordable, simple and remarkably powerful way. Share This With The World!