Making the right choice between Shopify POS vs Square POS isn’t always easy.
Shopify and Square stand among some of the better-known all-in-one merchant solutions for business leaders today. These tools can both support business leaders in taking payments offline, building relationships with customers, and even building an online presence.
Both Shopify and Square have a lot of amazing features to offer to help you sell. However, they both have their distinct pros and cons to consider. Today, we’re going to look at some of the most important things you need to know when choosing between Shopify and Square.
Shopify POS vs Square POS: An Introduction
At a glance, Shopify POS and Square POS have a lit of similarities. Both solutions provide a range of POS features, as well as tools for building your own online store, strengthening customer relationships, managing team members and more.
However, Square is intended more for smaller retailers and new sellers without a huge presence online. The company is best-known for supporting mobile point of sale solutions, and can offer a wide range of high-quality hardware to help you thrive offline.
Shopify is intended more for online merchants who may occasionally venture offline. With Shopify, you get an extremely comprehensive online store building solution and thousands of add-ons and integrations. However, there are no industry-specific point of sale apps with Shopify, while Square has dedicated tools for service companies and restaurants.
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Shopify POS vs Square POS: Software Features
For companies in search of the right point of sale solution, it’s important to consider everything your solution provider has to offer, from both a software and hardware perspective.
Let’s look at what Shopify can do first.
Shopify is easily better-known for the online sales features it offers today’s business leaders, however, this doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of offline selling too. Shopify has an extensive range of software solutions for launching your own business online.
With Shopify, you can build an incredible website with far more customization options than you’d get for Square. The technology comes with CRM features built-in, so you can create profiles for your customers, sending them emails and building marketing campaigns.
Like Square, Shopify allows you to track stock levels across every channel, print barcodes, and even track the movement of assets across various channels. There’s also support for a host of marketing tools, including coupons, gift cards, discount features, and more, to improve your chances of a higher customer lifetime value, and average order value.
From a software perspective, Shopify also shines with it’s wide range of integrations. Both Shopify and Square offer a host of integrations for just about every function you can think of, but Shopify integrates with more than 2000 ecommerce apps, while Square offers a few less than 200.
Some of the software features you can expect from Shopify POS include:
- Available for transactions in more than 175 countries, far more than Square, although Shopify Payments are available in fewer countries.
- Wide choice of payment and selling tools, including Shopify Payments (the in-house payment processor).
- Extensive ecommerce platform for online selling.
- International shipping and payments with a wide range of carriers for when you’re shopping online.
- Loyalty programs, gift cards, and coupon options already built into the ecosystem, to help you increase your chances of more sales.
- In-depth customer insights, segmentation, and customer profile building, so you can create personalized campaigns.
- Integrations with thousands of different tools so you can access more marketing, SEO, and selling features in your Shopify back-end.
- Built-in marketing tools and integrations with popular email marketing and social media marketing solutions.
- Impressive inventory management options with syncing across a multitude of online and offline channels.
Square point of sale software is easy-to-use, and flexible. You can access the functionality you need through proprietary hardware offered by Square, or through a smartphone app or desktop computer. In this environment, you’ll have access to a range of payment processors, tools for managing your team and more. Plus, everything is designed for complete simplicity
Square, like Shopify, provides a comprehensive selection of tools for all kinds of companies, so you can sell easily both online and offline. You can build an online store for free, where the inventory will sync with your inventory offline, so you’re never running out of stock unexpectedly.
Square also supports integrations with social media, so you can sell on the channels your audience visits most often. As an added bonus, Square has specific software solutions designed for certain kinds of businesses. For instance, Square for Restaurants allows you to access menu development tools and solutions for managing your restaurant floor.
For teams accessing Square POS, there are plenty of solutions for scheduling, managing, and paying team members with the in-built tools, and you get in-depth insights for tracking performance. These analytics combine with insights into your audience and their purchasing habits.
Some of the software features on offer from Square include:
- Availability for transactions in 7 different countries (a little low compared to Shopify)
- Dedicated solutions for restaurants, smaller retail establishments and appointment scheduling.
- Multiple payment options, such as Google and Apple Pay, though you will need to use Square as your payment processor.
- Multi-channel selling through offline and online channels, including your own website, eBay, social media channels and more.
- Loyalty programs (for an added cost of $45 per month) and automatic customer information storage for accounts.
- Inventory management tools with syncing across all of your channels.
- Customer insights and statistics, customer profile management, and email marketing sign-up options for marketing.
- Integrations: integrations with leading tools like WooCommerce, Xero and Wix, as well as dedicated API access.
Shopify POS vs Square POS: Hardware
Software is just one piece of the puzzle for people taking credit card and debit card payments through a Point of Sale. You’ll also need to think about the hardware you’re going to use to power offline transactions. Both Shopify and Square have a lot of options to choose from.
With Square, you can get a POS system that works for Android or Apple payments straight from your smartphone, or you can take advantage of a free magstripe card reader included with all of the Square pricing packages. Just make sure you know the transaction fees you need to pay when using this system at checkout.
For those in need of something more comprehensive, there’s the Square Register starting at $799 per month with everything you need for customer support and purchases in one package. There’s also the Square Terminal for $299, promising an all-in-one solution for your business needs. You can even print receipts on the same machine you use for payment pricing.
The Square stand allows you to turn your iPad instantly into a point of sale with a payment processing POS app for $169, or there’s the Square Reader for simple chip cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay at $49. Specialist solutions are available of you’re using Square for retail or Square online for restaurants.
Aside from offering a comprehensive ecommerce website, Shopify POS also offers everything you need from a hardware perspective too. Most of the products are third-party solutions, like the WisePad 3 reader for accepting payments at a tap, and a range of hardware accessories.
You can still build a complete payment and order management system with hardware from Shopify, although the POS solutions are generally from third-party vendors. You’ll also be able use your mobile phone or tablet as the main basis of your Shopify point of sale system, with receipt printers, and register technology added on.
Shopify VS Square Pricing
It probably goes without saying, but the amount you spend on Shopify or Square can vary quite a bit. If you decide to access a range of hardware tools alongside your Square payments system, you’re going to need to spend a little more. Similarly, if you’d like to leverage various ecommerce integration services and premium add-ons with Shopify, your price will increase too.
Both Shopify and Square do have very similar transaction fees, but there are more initial costs associated with Shopify. For instance, with Shopify, you need to pay for a Shopify plan, and your Shopify POS subscription. Options include:
- Basic Shopify: $24 per month with all the features you need to build an online store, unlimited product support, multiple sales channels, and a free SSL certificate, with transaction fees starting at 1.7% plus 0 cents.
- Shopify: $69 per month for everything from Basic, plus standard reports, a range of local payment methods, unlimited contacts, and up to 5 inventory locations and staff accounts. Transaction fees here start at 1.6% plus 0 cents.
- Advanced Shopify: $259 per month for all the features of Shopify, plus third-party calculated shipping rates, ecommerce automations, advanced reports, 15 staff accounts, and up to 8 locations. Transaction fees here start at 1.5% plus 0 cents.
The POS Lite service for accepting in-person payments instantly is included for free with all packages. However, if you want to upgrade for faster workflows, advanced inventory management tools, and staff permissions, you’ll need to pay an extra $89 per month.
Pricing for Square also has a range of variations to consider. There’s a free version of the POS app, with transaction fees of around 2.5%, plus 10 cents per transaction. You’ll also need to consider the costs associated with your Square devices.
Square also has more advanced versions of its store solution available, including Professional at $12 per month, Performance at $26 per month, and Premium at $72 per month.
If you want to access advanced options like Square for Restaurants and Square for Retail, each option has it’s own distinctive pricing package. Square for Retail and Restaurants both start at $60 per month, while Square for Appointments is around $0-$90 per month.
One distinction between Square and Shopify is the chargeback fee, while Shopify has a $15 chargeback fee, there are no fees charged by Square. Though Shopify does have some cheaper options, like Shopify Lite, it’s still going to cost you a lot more than Square overall.
Shopify POS vs Square POS: Performance and Analytics
From a performance perspective, it’s safe to say neither Square nor Shopify will let you down. Both are user-friendly systems for collecting payments. With each solution, you get a website builder you can connect to online marketplaces like Amazon, and there are a host of Shopify and Square POS system tools to choose from.
Square works in offline or online mode, so you can take payments in real-time and upload them to your store’s tracking tools at a later date. Depending on your choice of pricing plans, Shopify also offers access to extensive tools for tracking and managing your team, with useful insights to help you make the most out of your store.
You can use both tools as a mobile POS, access intuitive tools for inventory tracking, and use your ecommerce features to sell across multiple platforms at once.
The Shopify app store allows you to build extra functionality into your POS software, and both tools come with tons of POS hardware options, capable of taking a range of payments, including mobile and PayPal payments. You even get a magstripe reader for free with Square.
If anything does go wrong with your point of sale solution, you can access phone support, email and DIY knowledgebase assistance to help you fix everything from your mobile app to your payment gateway issues.
Shopify vs Square POS: Verdict
Both Shopify and Square offer excellent POS solutions for today’s vendors, brimming with valuable tools. You can use each service to build an e-commerce store, though it’s fair to say Shopify does have a lot more functionality to offer in this area. Both solutions also come with various options for credit card processing.
You can take credit card payments online or offline, set up contactless payments, and create profiles for your customers. However, Square is the only solution that comes with a free plan to get you online. Shopify, on the other hand, has more templates to choose from, a robust app for iOS and android devices, and a lot of customizable store options.
If you’re looking for something more advanced for your POS, Shopify offers the ease of use, and wide range of capabilities growing businesses need. Alternatively, if you’re a small business hoping to start selling fast with low fees and simplicity, Square could be the tool for you.