What are iPad POS Systems?
iPad POS systems follow the same principle as standard POS; software is combined with hardware to enable the “Point of Sale” transaction.
In this case, an iPad provides the hardware and dictates the compatibility of the software. Additional hardware for payment transactions and barcode scanning can be incorporated, or the iPad used as the standalone hardware device.
A PC, or an Apple Mac or MacBook, can be used as a central device for management and more in depth or office based functionality if needed.
Features and Benefits of iPad POS systems
Size and Adaptability
An iPad can replace much bulkier terminals, providing a manoeuvrable, interactive device for both employees and customers.
In any service industry, many employees are from the tech savvy younger generation who can easily handle iPad POS systems. With iPad’s being so popular, all employees can quickly adapt to the familiar tablet devices.
Speed and Security
iPad’s run iOS software, which is upgraded frequently. Apple has a reputation to maintain for security and reliability, so iPad devices are generally safe and have few failures.
Fast Wi-Fi and cloud services mean fast responding software and easy access to data from each and every device in your business network. Some iPad POS service providers offer payment processing software which can continue to make transactions even if the internet connection fails.
iPad devices can also process transactions faster than more traditional POS systems
Any POS system, and any business is at risk of security breaches, particularly due to the high volume of card and payment data processed and transmitted. Hacking and credit card fraud is a danger retailers need to pay attention to. Apple iOS performs highly in the ratings for cybersecurity using a mix of hardware and software security measures to protect your data and devices.
Features and Engagement
iPad POS software makes electronic or paper receipts an easy choice for customers. Marketing functions allow advanced customer monitoring and interaction. Customers can be handed an iPad device at their seats or point of purchase to complete their order or transaction.
iPad’s will run the latest in software, offering advanced functionality including ordering, shipping integration, loyalty solutions and reward programs, and more.
Studies on the hospitality industry have even shown better tipping by customers who can use iPad devices to choose the amount and method of tipping.
With iPad’s in place your business sets an example to your competition and positions you as forward thinking and innovative in your marketplace. It may help to attract the younger social media generation who can spread the word to other valuable customers.
Reporting and Stock Control
Reporting is as comprehensive as functionality. Real time monitoring and transactions give true picture reports of transactions and customer behaviour. This allows more effective management of every step of the sales process and effective marketing techniques.
Inventory is managed more effectively when order and purchase information is instantly fed into stock control features. Menu items or stock availability can be adjusted in real time to ensure customers are never disappointed.
How Much Does an iPad POS System Cost?
An iPad POS system will usually include a stand for your iPad, cash drawer, credit card reader and receipt printer. This is in addition to the cost of an iPad device (or multiple devices), and your Wi-Fi subscription.
There will likely be a registration fee or charge for the software and setup. There could be a fee per transaction or a monthly subscription to cover service, maintenance, and access to support.
Hardware costs can be in the region of $600 plus and will depend on the size of your business and the number of terminals you require. You may need to think about having a central PC, – or in this case Mac, for more in depth work and management. Mac, MacBook and iPad prices will follow current market rates.
Choosing an iPad POS system
Depending on the functionality of your business you may find an iPad POS system to be cheaper and more advantageous due to high functionality and low maintenance.
As with making any decision research the types of POS system, their costs and their benefits. If you feel iPad POS systems are the right choice, research suppliers and compare features. Set an idea of your requirements and your budget then compare diligently three of four suppliers who stand out. Using a comparison service like Expert Market can really help speed up this process and remember to take advantage of supplier demonstrations and free trials.
TouchBistro iPad POS
TouchBistro is a great option if you want a dedicated iPad POS system.
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TouchBistro's POS solution is as adaptable as it is simple. It lets restaurants run a single iPad as a point of sale; or dozens, to allow ordering from each table and booth at your restaurant.
TouchBistro offers a free trial period, after which it has four pricing tiers, billed by the number of licenses issued (one license covers one tablet). All plans are billed annually.