ShopKeep POS Review for 2021 – NerdWallet

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ShopKeep is a popular POS option used by over 25,000 businesses across the country. When you sign up for ShopKeep POS, you’ll get access to powerful POS software that can handle most important business functions, including inventory, employee and customer relationship management.

Depending on what you want from a POS system, ShopKeep POS could very well be the right option for you. If you rely heavily on other business owners’ opinions and experiences, then highly positive ShopKeep Reviews may steer you toward this system.

However, if you’re looking for POS software that is highly specific to your business, you may want to look elsewhere.

ShopKeep is a POS provider, meaning it supplies the hardware and software needed to run payment transactions. The system is both locally installed and can run on the cloud. This means your information is stored on your POS device (either an iPad or Clover tablet) and can sync with the cloud whenever there is an internet connection. ShopKeep can also operate offline in the event of an internet outage, ensuring minimal levels of disruption.

In terms of the types of businesses ShopKeep can support, the answer is many. While it’s true that ShopKeep is most popular amongst foodservice businesses — with a variety of tailored solutions for full- and quick-service restaurants, coffee shops, food trucks and bars — it also offers solutions for retail-based businesses.

ShopKeep provides in-house payment processing and merchant cash advances. In-house payment processing means that you can use ShopKeep to process all of your credit card transactions. If you use ShopKeep for merchant cash advances, ShopKeep will provide you with a percentage of your daily credit card sales upfront for an additional fee.

  • Customer reviews: A POS system needs to offer the whole package — including intuitive design, lots of helpful features and top-notch customer service — in order to win the customer reviews game. The fact that ShopKeep is well-reviewed on so many different websites should give small-business owners peace of mind.

  • Hardware options: With so many POS hardware options at your fingertips, you have the ability to mix and match in order to create the perfect POS setup for your business’s payment processing needs. Alternatively, you can opt to buy your ShopKeep POS hardware in one of its recommended bundles based on what type of business you run.

  • Expensive software pricing: Although ShopKeep has navigated away from its old quote-based pricing structure — and it’s not the most expensive POS software on the market, it’s certainly not the cheapest. With plans starting at $49 per month, there are many competitors (Square, Clover, Shopify, etc.) that offer a similar, if not more robust, basic software for a cheaper cost.

  • Can be glitchy: Perhaps one of the most common customer complaints you’ll see when it comes to ShopKeep is that the software is glitchy or experiences bugs.

Although ShopKeep used to only operate on a quote-based pricing system, it’s since revised its pricing system. Now, ShopKeep offers three software plans:

  • Basic: $49 per month (billed annually); $69 per month (billed monthly).

  • Essential: $79 per month (billed annually); $99 per month (billed monthly).

  • Advanced: $179 per month (billed annually); $199 per month (billed monthly).

Regardless of the plan you choose, you’ll have access to ShopKeep payments for payment processing. ShopKeep gives you two pricing options for credit card processing fees — you can either opt for a flat-rate processing fee model or an interchange-plus processing rate model.

If you opt for the flat-rate model, you’ll pay the following fees:

  • In-person, card-present payments: 2.5% + $0.10 per transaction.

  • Online payments: 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.

  • ShopKeep mobile payments (card not present): 3.5% per transaction.

  • Invoices: 2.8% plus 10 cents per transaction.

With the interchange-plus model, on the other hand, you’ll work with the ShopKeep team to receive a processing rate customized to your business.

Here’s is a comprehensive list of everything you’ll get when you use a ShopKeep POS system:

Payment processing

The most important thing your POS system can do is process payments. With ShopKeep, you have the option of keeping your payment processing in-house with ShopKeep Payments. This service allows you to accept most types of credit cards and swipe, dip and contactless methods of payment. You’ll also be able to acquire your card reader from ShopKeep via its hardware store.

That said, if you already have a payment processor or would prefer to explore other options, ShopKeep works with most third-party payment processors.

Software

ShopKeep offers three versions of its POS software, so the specific features you receive will vary based on which of the three plans you choose. In general, even its most inexpensive plan is comprehensive enough to handle the basic needs of a retail or food service business.

Here is a breakdown of the features that come with ShopKeep POS software based on the plan:

Hardware

ShopKeep can run on both iPad and Clover hardware devices. While you don’t need to purchase your POS hardware through Shopkeep, the ShopKeep hardware store does offer a range of options, including several bundles for different types of businesses. The pricing on bundles is quote-based. Here are your options:

Retail kit

  • Credit card reader (EMV and NFC).

Restaurant kit

  • Credit card reader (EMV and NFC).

Quick-service hardware kit

  • Credit card reader (EMV and NFC).

Handheld register kit

  • Handheld iPad Mini enclosure.

  • Portable credit card reader.

Android POS hardware kit

  • Clover Mini (Android device with built-in credit card reader and receipt printer).

  • Two rolls of printer paper.

  • Clover Mini feature guide.

Clover Station kit

  • Clover Station (Android device with built-in credit card reader and receipt printer).

  • Two rolls of printer paper.

  • Power brick and power cord.

Note that with all iPad kits, you will have to purchase your iPad separately. ShopKeep also allows you to build your own custom hardware kit and sells a variety of individual hardware pieces, including enclosures, printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners, label printers and gift card packages.

Integrations

On top of what ShopKeep offers in terms of hardware and software, it also integrates with several third-party services that allow you to extend the functionality of your POS. Among the products you can integrate with ShopKeep are:

  • MailChimp (email marketing).

  • QuickBooks Online (accounting).

  • BigCommerce (e-commerce).

Customer service

ShopKeep offers 24/7 customer service via phone, email and live chat. The ShopKeep website also features a Support Center with a robust level of documentation on how to use all the different ShopKeep products.

Generally, ShopKeep reviews are positive. Customers who give ShopKeep high marks like to talk about the system’s long list of capabilities and hardware options, as well as its helpful customer service and user-friendly interface.

For the most part, ShopKeep’s negative reviews speak of a breakdown of communication or a one-off bad experience. And with every negative review, there’s a response from the ShopKeep team attempting to resolve the issue the customer faces, which is about as promising as a negative review can get.

Even if you like what ShopKeep POS is offering, it’s smart to get an idea of what its competitors look like. Here are two ShopKeep alternatives to consider:

Square POS

Your first alternative is Square POS systems. Although most Square hardware also requires additional technology, the Square Register doesn’t require a smartphone, tablet or iPad. In fact, the Register is Square’s first fully integrated point of sale system — and it will cost you less than most point of sale packages out there.

The Square Register comes fully equipped with no additional costs for software for a grand total of $799. You’ll also have to pay a payment processing rate of 2.6% plus 10 cents for each transaction you run through the Square Register. The free version of Square’s POS software provides sales reporting and customer and inventory management tools. There are also two paid versions of Square POS software with more industry-specific features — Square for Restaurants and Square for Retail.

Clover POS

Another top POS option for you to consider is Clover. Just like ShopKeep and Square, Clover offers ample POS hardware options to choose from (some of which even work with ShopKeep software). The hardware options with Clover are also fully capable, meaning you won’t need to purchase additional hardware.

On top of that, Clover offers three different POS software options: Payments Plus, Register Lite and Register. These three plans allow you to choose the perfect balance of cost and capability for your business. With the Payments Plus software plan, you’ll pay no additional cost for your software, and you’ll still be able to access sophisticated capabilities like setting employee permissions and shifts and enabling customer engagement marketing.

Altogether, if you’re looking for flexibility from your business’s POS system, then Clover might be the best fit for you.

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.