Home > Articles > Shopify Mobile POS System: Everything You Need To Know

Shopify Mobile POS System: Everything You Need To Know

May 01, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

The popularity of mobile POS system is emerging among Shopify store owners. So, what is it all about?

Key Takeaways

  • Shopify Mobile POS system allows merchants of all sizes to accept payment anywhere with a mobile device and Shopify POS app.
  • The system is flexible, secure, and offers a range of features that enhance the in-person sale process and customer shopping experience.
  • Shopify Mobile POS is an ideal investment for small businesses and solo retailers looking to take payments on the go.

What is Shopify Mobile POS System?

Shopify Mobile POS or Shopify mPOS is a point-of-sale system that allows Shopify merchants to process transactions on the go using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, which can function as a wireless cash register or POS terminal.

Shopify Mobile POS Pricing

Mobile POS Hardware

To start with an mPOS system, you will need:

  • A tablet or smartphone, which can be available at various price points to accommodate your budget.
  • A card reader that accepts magstripe swipes, NFC chips, and tap-to-pay transactions, with options ranging from 20 USD to 100 USD to suit your financial needs.

Shopify Plan Subscriptions

In addition to the hardware cost, merchants will have to subscribe to a Shopify plan (from Basic and up) to use Shopify mobile POS. The price range for these plans is from 39 USD to over 2,000 USD a month, depending on the specific plan selected.

For more detailed information, read our in-depth Shopify pricing plan guide here and find out which plan is right for you.

Shopify POS Pro Subscription

Merchants who opt to subscribe to Shopify POS Pro will need to pay an additional fee of 89 USD per month per location. Find more information about Shopify POS Pro here.

Where To Buy Shopify Mobile POS Hardware?

The Shopify Hardware Store is the go-to destination for Shopify merchants who need hardware to set up and run a mobile POS. However, you should note that the availability of supported Shopify hardware varies by country, and the Shopify Hardware store is only available in certain countries, namely:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

If your countries is not on the list, then refer to the supported hardware page or for supported model numbers of all devices that are compatible with the mobile POS system. You can then purchase the hardware from a verified third-party retailer of your choice. Some third-party hardware can be found in local marketplaces or online stores like Amazon, Staples, or eBay.

How Does Shopify Mobile POS System Work?

Here is a breakdown of the transaction process using the Shopify mPOS system:

  • Product selection: A customer selects the products they wish to purchase at your brick and mortar store and brings them to the checkout area. The sales associate uses the smartphone, tablet, or Shopify POS Go to scan the product’s barcode.
  • Calculation of total price: Once all items have been scanned, the Shopify POS app on the device calculates the total price of the purchase, including applicable sales tax and discounts.
  • Payment: The customer then pays with a credit or debit card, cash, digital wallet, gift card, or loyalty points. Please note that there may be some fees incurred, depending on the payment method selected by the customer .
  • Completion of transaction: The sale is completed once the Shopify POS system processes the payment. The POS system then automatically updates your Shopify store’s inventory count, adjusting for the items just sold. Once the shopper has decided between an emailed or printed receipt, they can take their purchased items and leave.

Overall, the transaction process for the Shopify mPOS system is quick and efficient, enabling merchants to complete sales on the go and keep their inventory up-to-date in real time.

How To Set Up Shopify Mobile POS

Setting up Shopify Mobile POS on Android and iOS devices is simple. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Download the Shopify POS app from the App Store or Google Play store, depending on your device.
  • Log in to your Shopify account. If you don’t have an account yet, you’ll need to create one before you can use the app.
  • Setup card reader. In Shopify POS app on your device, tap ≡ > Settings > Set up hardware to connect your card reader to the app. When the card reader appears beneath Available card readers, tap Connect beside it.
  • Set up payments. From Shopify POS, tap ≡ > Settings > Payment settings. On the Payment types screen, tap the toggle to activate or deactivate the payment type. If your store accepts credit cards and uses Shopify Payments or another payment provider, you need to activate it within the Shopify POS app.
  • Now, you’re ready to start processing transactions and taking payments.

Shopify Mobile POS On Android And iOS Devices

Shopify Mobile POS Devices Requirements

To process transactions with the Shopify Mobile POS system, Shopify merchants will need to install the Shopify POS app on their mobile devices. The Shopify POS app works with devices that meet the following requirements:

How To Choose Your Shopify mPOS Hardware

There are several factors you need to consider/take into account when it comes to choosing devices for your Shopify mPOS:

  • Screen: You should use a tablet with a wide screen that allows you to interact with the interface comfortably. Thus, a 10 inches screen would be perfect.
  • Storage: A standard tablet with a minimum of 64GB of storage capacity would be okay since Shopify POS’ is a cloud-based system, you don’t have to worry about acquiring a device with massive storage.
  • Battery life: As you don’t want your device to die in the middle of a transaction. Look for devices with a long battery life or fast charging capabilities.
  • Compatibility with POS hardware: It’s important to ensure that the device you choose is compatible with any hardware you’ll be using, such as a card reader or receipt printer.

If you’re on a budget or want a more customizable device, an Android device would be the best choice. On the other hand, if you don’t mind investing some more money in your work tool to guarantee data security and processing stability, an Apple device is the one for you.

Shopify Tap To Pay On iPhone

Tap to Pay on iPhone for Shopify POS uses short-range wireless technology, allowing Shopify merchants to transform their iPhone with the Shopify POS app installed into a mobile point-of-sale system and accept contactless payments directly.

You can use Tap to Pay on your iPhone to accept contactless credit cards, debit cards, and all digital wallets. It eliminates the need to purchase additional hardware or sign up for long-term contracts, making selling in person at events like farmers’ markets or craft fairs easier.

With every Shopify plan, Tap to Pay on iPhone is included at no extra cost. All transactions are subject to Shopify Payments’ standard in-person credit card rates. Shopify retailers can process up to 100 Tap to Pay on iPhone transactions each month without incurring extra charges. After exceeding this limit, an additional fee of 25¢ USD per transaction will apply for the remainder of the month.

Tap to Pay on iPhone is only available in the US and requires iPhone XS or later, running on iOS 15.5 or later. To use this feature, simply activate it from the Shopify POS app by following the steps below:

  • In Shopify POS, tap ≡ > Settings > Set up hardware.
  • Select Tap to Pay on iPhone and tap Next.
  • Verify the Apple ID. Once you have entered your Apple ID, accept the terms of service.
  • Tap Done.

To use Tap to pay on Iphone at check out, follow these steps:

  • From the Cart screen, tap Checkout.
  • From the Select payment option screen, tap Tap to Pay on iPhone.
  • The Tap to Pay interface will appear. Ask the customer to hold their tap-enabled credit/debit card or their mobile wallet on their smartphone or smartwatch over the tap area until the animation indicates the payment has been completed and you hear the Tap to Pay on iPhone success sound.

Shopify Mobile POS System’s Features And Benefits

Shopify POS Mobile stands out from the competition with a range of features designed to help your business grow with selling in-person.

Manage Offline and Online Store On One Device

The Shopify Mobile POS system seamlessly syncs merchants’ physical stores with online stores. With its real-time inventory management and on-the-go transaction processing capabilities, merchants can quickly check out, keep track of their sales, manage staff, payments, customers and inventory levels from anywhere on just one device.

Set Up And Scale With Ease

One of the key benefits of the Shopify mobile POS system is that it’s cloud-based. Instead of installing an additional POS terminal, you only need a mobile device and download the Shopify POS app to process payments in real-time anywhere, anytime.

It is incredibly convenient for Shopify businesses to set up a pop-up store at events such as trade shows or farmers’ markets by simply taking the credit card reader and Shopify mPOS system along.

With a quick and easy setup process that takes less than 5 minutes, Shopify businesses can quickly and easily adjust their operations to meet changing needs, especially when you have to scale up or down depending upon seasonal fluctuations.

Enjoy Secure, Convenient Purchases with Shopify Payments

The Shopify Mobile POS system comes with its built-in payment processing, Shopify Payments, following the Payment data encryption, PCI compliance, and 3D Secure compliance standards, ensuring that payment information and business data are safe.

It is designed to be flexible, so you can offer your customers a variety of payment options: in person, online, or through a mobile wallet app. It also supports customized payment types, making it an ideal solution for businesses who want to serve long-term or international customers that prefer gift cards, loyal points, checks, IOUs, or even digital coins.

Improve Customer Shopping Experience

Long checkout lines have always been a problem for retail stores, but with Shopify Mobile POS, store staff can serve customers anywhere in the store, accept payments, and check them out on the spot. It even enables setting up a self-checkout counter, which can significantly reduce long lines and waiting times.

One of the most notable benefits of mobile checkout is that customers can get one-to-one service from staff, and staff have the information they need to offer personalized service at their fingertips. For example, with Shopify mobile POS system, staff can look up a shopper’s purchase history to ensure the products they recommend align with their tastes and preferences. If the shopper has a preferred color, retail staff can add a note to the customer’s profile to share context with any store associate who serves them in the future.

Shopify mobile POS also helps store staff serve more than one customer at a time more effectively, which is especially beneficial if your store has a small team or often has a high volume of customers.

Enhance Functionality With Shopify Apps

With Shopify, you can extend your mobile POS system’s functionalities by installing apps found in the Shopify App Store. These apps can help with marketing, bookkeeping, scheduling, and virtually anything related to running your business and increasing sales. Rather than jump from one software to another, you can access features without leaving the Shopify POS App.

Customize To Your Preferences

Your business needs are likely to change as it evolves with customer habits and preferences change. With Shopify mPOS Smart Grid, you can customize your Shopify POS app’s home screen with shortcuts that speed up the checkout and meet your customers’ needs.

In addition to customizing your home screen, with Shopify mPOS system’s customizable receipt templates, you can customize your receipts to match your brand identity and provide information for customers, such as adding your logo, location address and number, discount codes, and more.

Who Should Use Shopify Mobile POS?

Shopify Mobile POS system is an ideal solution for:

  • Shopify merchants who need to process transactions on the go, such as at trade shows, pop-up shops, or outdoor markets.
  • Shopify entrepreneurs who want to set up and scale their POS quickly to meet specific needs.
  • Shopify retail businesses who wish to have a more mobile POS with full features of Shopify POS.

5 Tips To Save Cost When Using Shopify Mobile POS System

Purchase Shopify POS Go

One way to lower Shopify Mobile POS system costs is to use Shopify POS Go. With 399 USD, this all-in-one POS device has a built-in barcode scanner and card reader.

By choosing Shopify POS Go as your point-of-sale device, you can save hundreds of dollars while still having access to the full suite of Shopify POS features. It can benefit small businesses or entrepreneurs looking to keep costs low while offering a professional and streamlined checkout experience.

Use Shopify Payments

Shopify Payments can help Shopify merchants save money with free transaction fees and lower credit card fees, compared to other platforms for in-person transactions.

If you’re looking for a payment gateway that’s tailor-made for Shopify with various payment options, including credit cards, debit cards, and alternative payment methods, while also being cost-effective, Shopify Payments is the way to go.

However, Shopify Payments is available only to stores in certain countries. Refer to the list here.

Rent POS Hardware From the Shopify Hardware Store

If you’re based in the U.S or Canada, you can choose to rent a card reader, an iPad, or Shopify POS Go from the Shopify Hardware Rentals to avoid paying high upfront cost of purchasing the mobile POS hardware outright, especially when you’re planning on running a temporary event or popup store.

The rental fees vary depending on the type of equipment and the rental period, start at 9 USD per day, which can be a more affordable alternative. There’s a considerable upfront charge for using their products for just one day, the costs only increases slightly when adding more days to the rental period. If you plan on renting Shopify’s hardware, it’s recommended to take advantage of the cheaper extended time to get more value for your money.

Opt For Digital Receipts

Digital receipts are gaining popularity due to their convenience and efficiency, as they are automatically generated and sent via email.

By encouraging customers to opt for email receipts instead of printed receipts, Shopify businesses can save on paper, printing costs and help reduce the environmental impact while being able to collect customer email for future promotions. However, store staff must ask for consent before using customer data for marketing purposes.

Provide Seft-checkout Options

Shopify’s mobile POS system allows Shopify merchants to operate a self-checkouts where customers can scan items, select payment methods, and complete transactions on their own, without the need for a cashier.

This means that businesses can reduce the number of staff members needed to process transactions, which can help save on payroll expenses. With self-checkout options, customers can complete transactions quickly and efficiently, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction and repeat business.

Shopify Mobile POS System FAQs

What Kinds Of Payments Can I Accept With Shopify Mobile POS?

You can accept all contactless debit and credit cards, Apple Pay, and all other digital wallets from any smartphone. However, payment methods can vary by country.

What If My Phone Used As A Mobile POS Is Stolen?

Generally, before you can use the Shopify POS app on the device, you need to log in to the app with a PIN password. If the phone with the Shopify POS app installed is stolen, we recommend changing the PIN password for your Shopify mobile POS.

You can use your credentials with another new phone, install Shopify POS app, insert the new PIN, and you’re good to go.

Can I Use My Device As A Mobile POS When Offline?

Yes. You can continue using the Shopify POS app on your mobile using the app as long as you don’t log out. However, if you don’t have an internet connection, you can’t process credit, debit, or gift card transactions, but you can still accept payments by cash and custom payment methods.

Can I Use Tap To Pay On My Android Devices?

No. Tap to pay with Shopify can only be processed through an iPhone. Having it processed through Android devices is a current limitation.

Will A U.S Shopify mPOS Card Reader Work In Other Countries?

No. You won’t be able to use a card reader you’ve purchased for use in one country within another. This is because the reader must match with your Shopify Store’s currency, location, and POS location.

To accept in-person mPOS payments in multiple countries, you will need to:

  • Create a separate Shopify store and Shopify Payments account for each additional country, unless your store is in the European Union (EU).
  • Set your POS store location to the countries you want to sale in.
  • Purchase a Shopify compatible card reader in the regions you want to sale in.

Final Words

That’s everything you need to know about the Shopify mobile POS system. It is a suitable investment for any growing business, big or small.

Read more: Shopify POS (Point-of-sale): A comprehensive guide

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.