Turn your iPad into an iPad Cash Register
When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad to the world in 2010, he called it a ‘magical & revolutionary device’.
It’s hard to say that he was wrong.
The iPad and indeed the modern-day tablet has transformed not only our personal lives but the retail industry, in ways that seemed outlandish not that long ago. Businesses around the world have embraced the iPad as their point-of-sale solution, turning a device that is often seen as the perfect symbiosis of the iPhone and MacBook, into an all-in-one multi-purpose productivity tool.
Electronic cash registers of days (decades) past have almost been rendered obsolete, replaced by the iPad POS whose functionality allows stores to grow to even greater heights.
Therefore, selecting the right iPad POS solution that can run your store to all your specific requirements is essential. Here we’ll outline some of the most important factors you should consider when making that decision.
But first, what are the advantages of utilizing an iPad cash register over your old electronic cash register? Let’s find out…
Old Technology, new technology
If we’re being honest, the electronic cash register was a gargantuan of a product. Literally. From its bulky hardware to its attached monitors and mechanical receipt printers, there was nothing elegant about the old ECR.
Certainly, it served a function but old technology doesn’t get replaced by new technology if there aren’t significant limitations with the former.
As a hefty piece of machinery, the ECR took away valuable space on a counter, prohibiting retailers from selling more items and cluttering the aesthetics of their store.
Beyond looks however, these registers required extensive hours of manual labor in the form of reporting and tracking. Moreover, to run multiple stores with shared data you’d need expensive servers, which themselves would need ongoing maintenance – installing anti-virus software etc. Not to mention the fact you’re looking at losing all your data if one of your servers unexpectedly crashed!
The upkeep costs to run an ECR was/is simply unjustified, especially when a more portable and streamlined solution is readily available.
Enter the iPad.
The iPad was born out of innovation and to stay ahead of the pack. The same can be said about the tablet POS.
According to industry reports, Apple has sold 360 million iPads since it first launched. That’s a lot of potential business owners – new and existing – who could all have a point of sale system right at their fingertips.
All that’s needed is a robust software solution to put it all together.
And yes, certainly that’s Hike’s bread and butter. We’re an award winning all-in-one retail solution that’s been helping retailers revolutionize their sales experience and we’re pretty good at it too!
But enough about us! The iPad cash register is a piece of equipment that delivers unparalleled levels of accessibility and portability compared to cash registers of past. To fully utilize it however, you need a software that can do more than just sales.
There’s a level of flexibility in using an iPad POS that is simply unheard of in electronic cash registers. But what does that flexibility look like? Here are just a few examples of how an iPad POS can streamline your entire business operations.
Get real-time information on all your inventory across all sales channels. Set ‘par levels’ or stock re-order points to receive automated reminders for when stock gets low. Especially useful for your best-selling products, so that you’re never out of stock on your most popular items!
Of course, being on an iPad means you can engage with your customers and sell-on-the-go. Bring the sales service directly to your customers instead of lounging behind a fixed counter.
Take control of your entire customer database by tracking them using your POS. Know what your customers are buying and gain useful insights into buying patterns to know which stock is doing well, and which needs some improvement.
Save time & money:
You can use an existing iPad or tablet to set up as your cash register within minutes. There is no installation required or capital outlay. With Hike, for example, you can start with a simply monthly subscription starting as low as $49/month.
Hike Tip: Hike is a cloud-based technology, meaning all your data is centrally located, in the cloud. Every aspect of your business can be controlled from anywhere, and scaling your business to include more outlets is done as easily as a few clicks!
A POS to tick all the boxes
Not all POS solutions are the same. It’s critical then to determine your businesses specific needs and align them with an iPad POS that matches the best. Here are a few other ‘must-have’ items that you should also consider when looking to purchase a POS.
Your POS contains data but if that data can’t be extracted to form useful analytical reports, your POS almost becomes redundant. Ensure your POS has advanced reporting capabilities, that can help you gain a better understanding of your business, giving you the ability to make smarter, better decisions.
Choose a POS that integrates with your favorite business applications. From e-Commerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce & WooCommerce to accounting software such as QuickBooks & Xero, the ability of your POS to connect with the existing applications – or ones you plan on adopting – only enhances the management of your store.
POS solutions are bought from customers worldwide. It’s not an ideal situation if you’re operating in a time zone different to that of the software developers who work only during their business hours. So, finding 24/7 support is essential, as is an extensive range of support guides that can also be utilized.
iPad Cash Register + Add-Ons
After you’ve turned your iPad into a cash register by purchasing a POS software, there’s still a few items that you’ll need to make sure you have for a fully functioning retail system, which include:
Complete your POS system with a cash drawer, that can sit neatly underneath your iPad. A perfect, safe storage space for all your daily cash takings.
A receipt printer that can be paired with your iPad POS by either Bluetooth, USB or LAN connections. While email receipts are becoming a popular option, many retailers and customers still prefer physical paper receipts.
The need for a barcode scanner will indeed vary from business to business. Retail store are more likely to use one, simply because of the sheer number of SKUs. Simply scanning items can save precious time, compared to having to manually search for each one.
Barcode Label Writer:
To scan barcodes, you’ll of course need a label writer so that you can easily print barcode labels. Again, this would be optional purchase dependent on your business needs.
Integration to a payment processor is vital for when accepting card payments. Ensuring that the payment you and your customers use the most is integrated into your iPad POS makes settling your daily transactions easy.
Hike Tip: Hike has a wide-range of plug-n-play compatibility with retail printers and barcode scanners. So, the chances are that your existing hardware will work just fine on Hike.
As we stated at the top, the iPad was launched to be a ‘magical and revolutionary device’. They were lofty goals at the time, to be sure, but they’ve done transformative things to businesses – especially the retail industry – in just a short amount of time.
Turning your iPad into a full-blown cash register point-of-sale solution, ready to service all your retail needs is not just wish fulfillment, it’s a reality. Take the time to do your research, know what your needs are and what to look for, and soon you’ll be tablet retailing in no time.
And while you’re at it, check out Hike’s all-in-one iPad cash register app. Designed to help you ‘hike up’ sales with our brilliant cloud-based technology.