Very few electronic devices have proven themselves as an effective cloud-based point of sale like the iPad. To add, the iPad POS system looks smart and costs less than other dedicated POS touchscreen devices. Hence, it makes more sense why more small businesses choose it as their entry point into cloud-based POS systems.
Be that as it may, you want the kind of mobile POS system that’s free from bugs or at least quickly solves any bugs. Also, accessible and reliable technical support makes all the difference for your company. So how do you buy a retail POS system when you have your eyes on the iPad POS system as your hardware of choice?
The number of vendors keeps increasing. However, whether they will all survive the vicious competition in the POS market remains a fact we’re yet to ascertain. Nevertheless, we’ve been able to round-up some of the best iPad POS systems for small businesses that do not break the bank.
Below is a list of some of the most distinguished iPad based till systems in the market this year.
#1 Sygnio – Customized POS system for quick full and quick service restaurants, retailers, coffee shops, bars, and cafes.
#2 Square – Free till system yet comes with the most features.
#3 TouchBistro – Very value for money, especially for small-to-mid-sized restaurants.
#4 Vend – Perfect for retail businesses with sophisticated all-round inventory features.
#5 Lightspeed – Affordable yet extremely advanced.
Now that you’re all excited about the iPad POS system, let’s consider what it means and how it makes all the difference in your business.
An iPad POS system is a point of sale software explicitly created to run on iPad devices. Due to the user-friendly interface, attractive design, and cost-effective nature of Apple iPads, they are increasingly gaining popularity with retailers, foodservice businesses, and establishments.
As expected, this has led to the release of more iPad applications, several POS vendors. However, this increase in iPad POS systems doesn’t mean they are all free of issues. Every deployment comes with pros and cons. To help you navigate the imperfections in the iPad based POS solutions, and decide whether, between the android and iPad POS systems, we take a look a the deployment options.
There are three deployment options available with most mobile point of sale systems. There are:
Now, let’s consider these three options by taking a closer look at each.
Web-based systems – This option gives you access to the full application built and maintained by your vendor. You log onto the system through your web browser and gain access to all the features and functionalities. This option comes with several advantages, especially compared to other POS systems that come with dedicated (expensive) hardware. You don’t have to worry about software updates, backups, or data losses associated with losing your device.
In many cases, web-based systems are developed to run different devices, provided they have a web browser. Nevertheless, it’s not uncommon to see some of the best POS systems built specifically for the iPad.
Remote access – When you choose a remote access POS system, you will access the system, which is at a central location through a virtual private network. This comes with several advantages and flexibility, especially since you can access your system from virtually anywhere in the world. However, this option has major vulnerabilities for like “back door” intrusions.
Therefore, all hardware used for this deployment must comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, otherwise known as PCI compliance.
Native iPad apps – These are mobile POS systems developed specifically for Apple’s iOS devices. Due to the specificity of the software built and its compatibility with iPad devices, the systems deliver the best possible user experience. You can get these apps directly from the Apple App Store, either for sale or trial versions.
The cons, in this case, might be the manual upgrades and the fees they come with it.
Usually, some of the best POS systems your small business can find in the market is the iPad POS system. These systems are easy to set up, very affordable investments, and quickly scale relative to the traditional POS systems.
Nevertheless, you will find some limitations if you want to use sophisticated inventory management and reporting features. For instance, some very top-notch iPad POS systems either have no inventory management feature or its very subpar. Therefore if your retail business plan involves a lot of quick expansions and growth, you need to get a system that adjusts to the increasing volumes of your transactions.
Hence, you need to ensure you choose the right mobile POS system by reviewing POS options thoroughly before deciding which is best for you. If you pull this off the right way, you can reap the following benefits:
Increased mobility – The portability of iPad devices make it an essential feature for use in establishments that require a lot of movement. In such scenarios, a traditional POS system lacks the portability that makes its usage practical.
Low upfront costs – Software and equipment for a complete iPad POS system can range between $1000 to $3500. These price points depend on your number of terminals and the hardware requirements you specified.
Improved data management – The iPad POS system allows you to manage all the relevant data about your business in one place. Here you get to handle receipts, customer data, and credit card information with fortified security that’s backed by Apple’s security protocols. Also, you can track data in real-time, so can make the right information based on the latest data at your disposal.
Often, some retailers do not get the chance to realize the full benefits of modern POS systems. This is due to the following factors:
You cannot accurately calculate the cost of your iPad POS system without considering the hardware and peripheral equipment you will also need to buy. Hence, you need to ensure your existing hardware and new equipment are compatible by speaking with your vendor. Typically, the hardware components that make a complete iPad POS system includes:
These five pieces of hardware form the essential components of your iPad POS system. Therefore, you will have to check their prices directly from dealers.
Though our round-up list above covers the most trusted iPad POS software around, there are other honorable mentions we couldn’t mention. Therefore if you believe you know any iPad or Android POS systems that deserve to be on this blog, don’t hesitate to drop us a comment or two in the section below. In the meantime, we hope this article helps you choose the best POS system for your business.