Shopify’s iPad POS System Gets Its Own Apps

TechCrunch: Shopify has been steadily improving its iPad-based POS solution since its launch a couple of years prior, in order to better compete with rivals like Revel, Square, ShopKeep, Vend and many others. Today, the company is expanding the capabilities of its iOS POS system with the launch of nearly a half-dozen apps for the platform, allowing merchants to add custom features to their POS solutions without having to upgrade to a more expensive POS platform.

The apps are available now via Shopify’s existing App Store, and include those that will help merchants run promotions, upsell to customers, turn their Wi-Fi into a marketing tool, offer wholesale discounts to select customers, plus print invoices, Brother DK compatible labels, receipts and more. The current lineup available today includes loyalty card app Appcard, Ultimate Sales Manager, Turnstyle (the Wi-Fi app), Supple Wholesale and Order Printer.

Four of these apps are made by third parties, while one is Shopify’s own.

To download any of these apps, merchants can visit Shopify’s App Store, and head to the new, dedicated section that features apps for the POS. Then it’s just a matter of clicking the “Get” button to install the app.

Once installed, merchants can then access these apps in a number of ways, depending on what type of app it is. For instance, apps that affect checkout flow will be available by clicking a button (the one with three dots) at the top right of the screen, while other apps are able to be accessed after the guest checks out. All the apps and their associated settings are also found in the Apps section of a merchant’s Shopify Admin, the company says.

The introduction of POS apps and shopify ecommerce development is notable because it allows merchants to customize their POS experience in a much more affordable way than was previously possible, and because it can help brick-and-mortar merchants tap into Shopify’s online offerings. Meanwhile, for developers, the launch is meaningful because it introduces a new platform to build for – and there are shops out there that solely work on building Shopify apps.

Developers can build apps using the Shopify POS App SDK, and are able to set their own pricing. However, Shopify will offer guidance on pricing when apps are submitted to its store for review, the company says. In addition, Shopify takes 20 percent of sales for these apps and the developers keep the remaining percentage.

Like the Shopify App Store, which has grown to over 1,000 apps since its launch in 2009, the company wants to expand the number of apps for the Shopify POS in much of the same way.

The company today powers over 165,000 business but does not disclose the number of POS customers.