E-commerce service Shopify launches mobile point of sale solution

Shopify, an e-commerce service that allows any business to create an online store, has launched a new point of sale solution that transforms an iPad into a payment terminal.

The system allows businesses which already use Shopify to process sales of items listed on their e-commerce site, in a physical retail setting store through an app.

All that is required is an iPad and Shopify's attachable swipe card reader. The seller simply finds the product in the store's online catalogue, hands the customer the physical product, swipes their card then prints the receipt or sends it via email.

All sales and products from any physical shop plus the online store are then automatically synced through Shopify. Sales can also be tracked through the app's dashboard.

"Forget about keeping track of multiple inventories, product catalogs, and payment systems. Shopify integrates all aspects of your retail business in one easy-to-use platform," the company's website explains.

"We're already doing the online thing and this seems like a natural extension," Shopify's Adam McNamara told Techcrunch. "Around 30 per cent of [our customers] run a physical retail store as well.

"Overwhelmingly, what people needed was something that allowed them to run their physical store, and run their online store, and allowed them to accept payments, and we thought 'Well, we can do all these things.'"

The swipe card reader costs just $19 (£12) and credit card processing is 2.1 per cent plus $0.30 (20p) on all sales.

A limitation of the service however is that the app can only process sales through cards. To provide a solution to this this problem, the firm has also developed a full cash register hardware system that integrates with Shopify and includes a credit card reader, cash drawer, iPad stand and receipt printer.