As a Shopify merchant, are you seeking to enhance your in-store sales? Are you wondering about the transformative potential of Shopify POS hardware on your point-of-sale experience?

Then you are in the right place because, in this article, we will navigate through the hardware aspect related to Shopify’s Point Of Sale (POS) system, from equipment selection to setting up an efficient checkout process. Let’s jump straight into this exploration and unearth how employing Shopify POS hardware can elevate your retail strategy significantly.


The basics of Shopify POS Hardware

What is POS hardware?

shopify pos hardware

The term ”Point-of-sale (POS) hardware” encompasses all the components necessary for processing customer payments – a rather broad classification. It is worth noting that Shopify caters not exclusively to e-commerce, but also enables you to provide your clients with an immersive retail experience.

More specifically, ”Shopify POS hardware” denotes the physical devices and systems employed in facilitating transactions within physical Shopify stores. The retail and hospitality industries most commonly use it. Shopify POS equipment includes an array of devices, from cash registers, barcode scanners, receipt printers, and credit card readers to touchscreen displays.

What is POS system?

A POS system is a combination of software and hardware that empowers businesses to process sales transactions and manage diverse operational aspects. It acts as a centralized hub where customers make payments for products or services, or businesses utilize it to track sales, control inventory issues, and generate reports among other functionalities. The POS system comprises three integral components: software, hardware, and payment. Therefore, POS hardware is a part of the POS system.

The difference between POS hardware vs. software

Both essential components of a complete POS system, Point of Sale (POS) hardware and software serve different purposes and also possess distinct characteristics.

As previously stated, POS hardware denotes the tangible and visible devices used for transaction processing – these may include card readers, cash drawers, receipt printers,… Directly used by cashiers or salespeople to interact with customers, these devices are indispensable components that facilitate a seamless transaction experience.

On the other hand, POS software refers to digital programs and applications running on computers or mobile devices. It facilitates the management of sales, inventory, and customer data. Both hardware and software are necessary parts of a POS system, yet they serve different purposes: Hardware executes transactions; software controls the data that goes along with them.

Benefits of using Shopify POS hardware

Using Shopify point of sale hardware offers several benefits. It enhances operational efficiency, improves customer experiences, and drives business success. Thus, businesses of all sizes – whether in the infancy stage or with an established presence – can utilize this flexible solution.

Flawless Integration Process

The seamless and cohesive experience that Shopify POS hardware provides results from its design specifically for integration with the Shopify platform. This integration setup enables real-time synchronization of sales, inventory, and customer data – a process that eliminates manual entry requirements while significantly decreasing error probability.

Mobility and Flexibility

Shopify POS hardware encompasses mobile devices such as iPads or smartphones and empowers businesses with the ability to process sales not only within their physical store but also at off-site locations. This mobility furnishes businesses with a flexible avenue: they can utilize it for setting up pop-up shops, participating in events, or even facilitating curbside pickup. By extending the reach and proliferating sales opportunities, businesses can maximize profitability potential.

Simplified Checkout Process

The hardware – comprising card readers, cash drawers, and receipt printers – accelerates the checkout process while ensuring its efficiency. Barcode scanners and card readers facilitate a swift item-scanning procedure while processing payments with ease. Consequently, customer wait times diminish significantly, thus enhancing their overall shopping experience.

Inventory Management

Integrating Shopify POS hardware with the Shopify inventory management system allows businesses to achieve real-time stock tracking, automate inventory updates and receive alerts when items are depleting. Preventing stockouts, enhancing order fulfillment and boosting customer satisfaction are the direct benefits of accurate inventory management.

Customer Relationship Management

By capturing customer information at the point of sale, Shopify POS hardware enables businesses to construct customer profiles, track their purchase history, and personalize future interactions. This information equips businesses to launch targeted marketing campaigns, and devise loyalty programs – all with the aim of enhancing customer engagement and retention through personalized recommendations.

Comprehensive Access to Analytics & Reporting

With Shopify POS hardware, business owners can delve into data on sales performance, product popularity, and customer behavior, thus gaining a nuanced understanding of their business dynamics. These insights enable businesses to make informed decisions, identify trends, and optimize sales strategies, thereby fostering superior business growth.

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Choosing the Right Shopify POS Hardware

shopify pos equipment

To ensure a seamless and efficient checkout experience, your business must select the appropriate POS hardware. As many businesses prefer Shopify, it is crucial to deliberate several factors when selecting Shopify POS hardware. This guide navigates through key considerations that facilitate an informed decision, ultimately leading you toward identifying the ideal hardware setup for your business.

Consider your store’s requirements based on its processes

Several essential pieces of POS hardware are necessary for all shops; however, there exists no all-purpose setup. Your choice in Shopify POS equipment hinges on various factors, such as your store’s unique setup, the nature of your selling operation – whether it is an inaugural in-person venture at a craft fair or you’re opening your first store – and even extends to considerations regarding multiple store locations and numerous employees. To ascertain your store’s requirements, pose the following queries and provide your own answers.

In what manner do you intend to process customer checkouts?

Consider the kind of checkout experience you desire for your customers. Should it be a traditional cash wrap counter, then several components are necessary. These include a tablet, furthermore, both tablet stand and card reader must be present along with hardware accessories such as cash drawer, receipt, and barcode printing equipment.

If you operate a pop-up shop and need to maintain the shortest possible lines with mobile checkout, all that’s required is your smartphone or tablet – along with a card reader.

Consider having both tablets and smartphones in order to provide you with the ultimate flexibility to check out customers at both your cash wrap counter and on the sales floor. And don’t forget to customize your point-of-sale (POS) hardware to achieve the desired checkout experience.

What is the size of your retail store?

The size of your store will also have an impact on your business operations, as it determines the hardware you use.

If there’s just one location, then you’ll manage perfectly with a tablet, a tablet stand, a card reader and accessories, a receipt/barcode printer and scanner, as well as a cash drawer or other necessary equipment. Should your needs expand; consider augmenting this hardware setup using additional mobile checkout devices such as smartphones or tablets.

If you have more than one permanent location, the necessity for multiple sets of equipment listed above becomes apparent.

Do you desire to expedite any specific processes?

Initiating with a basic POS hardware setup proves helpful, however, you might contemplate modifying your arrangement as the evolution of your needs takes place.

For instance, to expedite your checkout process during peak times such as holidays or weekends, incorporate a smartphone and mobile card reader. This addition will minimize wait periods and eliminate queues by allowing merchants to serve customers from any location within the store, not just restricted to the cash wrap.

Desire to expedite the process of receiving and counting inventory? Acquire a barcode scanner – these scanners offer a swifter, more ergonomic solution compared to manually searching for products on your POS system or utilizing the camera function of your tablet/smartphone.

Various market possibilities and factors to consider

Compatibility with Shopify POS System

First and foremost, consider the hardware’s compatibility with the Shopify POS system. Seek explicitly designed Shopify POS equipment or Shopify POS hardware that integrates seamlessly with the Shopify platform. This guarantees real-time synchronization of your inventory, sales data, and customer information, thus eliminating any compatibility issues.

Type of Hardware Setup

Consider the hardware setup that aligns most with your business needs. Shopify presents a range of options, both mobile and countertop. Mobile setups, exemplified by iPads or smartphones, not only offer flexibility but also ensure mobility. This allows you to process sales within your store at any location – off-site included. On the other hand, businesses with a fixed checkout area often prefer more traditional countertop setups. Your operational needs should dictate your choice of setup; therefore, evaluate what requirements are essential for your business.

Features and Functionalities

Analyze the features and functionalities that Shopify point of sale hardware provides, and specifically focus on your business’s unique requirements. Ascertain if the hardware offers all indispensable features to streamline sales operations and augment customer experience.

Quality and Durability

For long-term use and cost-effectiveness, investing in high-quality, durable hardware is necessary. Seek out Shopify-compatible POS hardware that manufacturers construct to withstand the demands of a retail environment. Factors such as materials utilized and even customer reviews are crucial indicators for assessing reliability and durability in this case.

Cost and Budget

In considering the cost of Shopify POS hardware, one must strike a balance between budget and equipment quality. Investing in reliable hardware can ultimately reduce long-term expenses, such as maintenance and replacement costs. Comparing prices among various options is crucial. Additionally, it’s essential to factor in any required peripherals or accessories for your specific setup, as these could significantly affect overall expenditure.

Customer Support & Warranty

Verify if the Shopify POS hardware is covered by a top-notch warranty and customer support. Access to technical assistance proves invaluable for troubleshooting needs or any potential issues. Seek out hardware providers who offer a warranty covering all possible defects or malfunctions, along with responsive customer support.

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Thoroughly research and explore your options

An extensive selection of devices and accessories beckons, yet you must avoid hastily purchasing the first item that crosses your path. Considering POS hardware signifies a substantial investment, therefore, it demands an informed decision that should not be taken lightly.

Harness the power of online retail communities

Online retail communities can be a valuable resource in finding vetted POS hardware options. Be it that you embark on a new business venture or seek insights from experienced retail store owners, platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook groups, along with Reddit communities like Ask Retail or RETAIL subreddits offer indispensable recommendations and advice.

Search through online reviews

After narrowing your list of potential hardware options, invest time in reading and watching online reviews. Explore manufacturer websites, and investigate review platforms such as G2 and YouTube for detailed user reviews on tablets, smartphones, iPad stands, barcode scanners,…

Such reviews furnish invaluable insights into every product’s advantages and disadvantages, and aid the process of making an informed decision significantly.

Consider hardware POS suppliers’ offers

Your selected POS software provider may also extend hardware options, tested and proven by their customers. Opting for the same provider’s hardware can streamline your setup process, offering convenience in return. Consequently, it proves beneficial to explore available hardware choices from your chosen POS software provider due to their probable compatibility and seamless integration.

Engage with your fellow merchants

Engaging with fellow merchants in your local community is as important as participating in online communities. Actively connect to neighboring business owners, solicit their recommendations and feedback on varying Shopify POS hardware options. Consider joining local business improvement districts or commerce associations for networking opportunities. These affiliations can also grant you access to invaluable insights from seasoned merchants.

In your research and quest for advice, also factor in those guides mentioned above – your business’s specific needs, the hardware’s scalability, and not to mention customer support levels provided by either a hardware manufacturer or POS software provider. You must assess durability, warranty terms, as well as potential future upgrades or expansion opportunities.

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Top Shopify POS Hardware Options

To accommodate various needs and budgets, Shopify presents a diverse range of hardware options. While you may not require all the additional features that come with pricier Shopify hardware – for example, as a small business – these tools and accessories epitomize the POS hardware essential for operating an offline store that most brands invest in.

Smartphone & Tablet

shopify pos equipment tablet

Retail stores employ mobile devices such as iPads or smartphones within their POS systems. These tools enable sales associates to process transactions throughout the store – a feature that not only enhances customer convenience but also streamlines the mobile checkout experience.

However, it’s important to note you need separate purchases of tablets or smartphones, these must be subsequently paired with Shopify POS equipment. None of the purchases made through Shopify include these devices, though complementary equipment for constructing a POS with your own iPads is available from Shopify.

Similarly, reputable third-party sellers of Shopify POS systems do not incorporate iPads into their packages. Apple’s probable preference for specific retail partners, along with its primary product distribution through Apple Stores or its official website, could explain this.

Please note that the vast majority of Shopify POS systems cater to iPads, with some exceptions – notably the chip and tap swipe readers. These also pair with Android devices, though this scenario is less prevalent.

Install POS software on tablets, and use them for an array of tasks – product and customer profile look-ups, transaction processing, inventory tracking,…In a retail environment specifically, the tablet proves invaluable as it offers not only sleekness but also flexibility – a superior alternative to antiquated bulky POS hardware.

A smartphone – for instance – an iPhone, is a device enabled for mobile internet usage. Its functionality extends beyond mere communication, including the operation of applications and various other tasks. In retail settings particularly, smartphones serve multiple purposes: one can download POS software onto them and transform these handheld devices into POS terminals – a convenient method to ring up customers or look up products with ease.

Furthermore, you can use your smartphone’s camera as a barcode scanner at checkout in a product scanning capacity or when conducting an inventory count.

A smartphone, being smaller than a tablet, offers an advantageous choice for sales in events and pop-up shops: here you require the flexibility to accept debit, credit, and mobile wallet payments with minimal hardware.

Barcode scanner

shopify point of sale hardware barcode scanner

During the checkout process, barcode scanners serve as essential tools for swiftly and precisely scanning product barcodes, providing a more rapid alternative to manually searching and adding products to a customer’s cart. This expedites sales transactions and guarantees accurate inventory management at the same time.

In POS systems, a variety of scanning hardware accompanies barcode scanners, in which the laser stands out as the most prevalent and universally employed type. Through a laser, it interprets reflectance on the barcode’s black-and-white spaces. Specific software or drivers are not necessary for most modern-day barcode scanners to transfer information to a computer.

Nonetheless, some barcode scanners possess the capability of reading and decoding barcode images. You must ensure that your inventory management software is compatible with the chosen barcode scanner.

Choose a wireless handheld model if you require a portable barcode scanner. It’s worth noting that some scanners only transmit data when connected to power, conversely, others can wirelessly transmit data. On the go, you can capture and upload data with a Bluetooth barcode scanner.

Card reader

shopify pos supported hardware card reader

Retail stores, in response to the burgeoning popularity of card payments, require a card reader for accepting debit or credit transactions. This device, which is able to process both forms of plastic currency, may manifest as either an integral part within larger POS terminals used during in-person interactions with clients, or alternatively serve as a small attachment for mobile devices that process card payments on the go.

Regardless of the format a card reader adopts, it consistently fulfills one fundamental task: accepting customer card payments and transmitting this information to both the POS system and the business’s payment processor.

Either integrated into the POS terminal or connecting via USB or Bluetooth, card readers demonstrate the ability to process credit and debit card payments in multiple ways. These include contactless transactions powered by near-field communication (NFC) technology; EMV chips – an international standard for smart cards; and magnetic stripe (magstripe) swiped payments.

As you embark on your quest for a suitable card reader, ensure its capability extends to processing both traditional and modern payment methods, specifically those utilizing contactless technology.

Cash drawer

shopify pos system hardware cash drawer

A cash drawer, frequently paired with a cash reader, serves as the storage for physical payments such as credit card receipts, and transactional cash, among other paperwork. Typically connected to the POS terminal, upon executing a cash transaction, associates gain accessibility to it by opening it up, allowing acceptance of payment in cash and return of change.

Bins within a cash drawer actively segregate bills and coins by value, facilitating swift deposits and efficient change-making processes. Point-of-sale systems, such as Shopify POS, equipped with cash tracking sessions enhance your ability to monitor daily monetary exchanges; thus enabling faster balance adjustments for optimal operation efficiency.

Receipt printer and Receipt paper rolls

shopify point of sale hardware receipt printer

Any Shopify business necessitates the use of an essential piece of hardware: the receipt printer. This small, countertop device is used to print customer receipts after every transaction, provides a physical record for customers on their purchases, and also facilitates returns or exchanges. The information these receipts carry is useful – it includes crucial data such as items purchased, product prices, tax amounts, and the time and location of the transaction.

Whether you are employing a POS system or not, the capability to print receipts for your customers offers convenience in monitoring their purchases. The printer generates both a merchant copy and a customer copy of each receipt for card transactions necessitating physical signatures.

Additionally, you will need receipt paper rolls, which are essential for receipt printers.

Barcode labels printer & Barcode labels

buy shopify pos hardware barcode printer

Retail stores may require a specialized printer that generates machine-readable barcodes on a variety of labels, tags, or adhesive materials. These barcodes facilitate the identification, tracking, and management of products, inventory, or assets through scanning. You have the capability to create barcode labels for your product tags in-house by using a label printer. Stores possessing a substantial inventory or those that regularly revise pricing and promotions may find this particularly useful.

Pair a barcode label printer with a barcode scanner for enhanced convenience, as this combination accelerates the process of adding items to your customer’s cart and expediting checkouts.

One can print barcodes on either sticker-type or cardstock barcode labels for attachment to product tags. It is imperative that you verify the compatibility of the purchased labels with your specific barcode label printer.

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How much does retail Shopify POS hardware cost?

The POS system, in general, is a step above traditional cash registers and presents an advantage in its customizability as you can tailor it to be as basic or sophisticated as desired. Factors such as the necessary components, quality, and brand of hardware needed, along with your choice of supplier/retailer will influence the Shopify POS hardware cost.

These providers are often flexible with their packages and offer you two options – whether you pay for the hardware on a monthly basis or purchase it outright. In addition, most suppliers will provide tablet stands and barcode scanners, they also offer the convenience of purchasing continuous supplies such as receipt printer paper.

Below is a rough breakdown of the customary expenses linked with POS hardware:

Shopify POS hardware Approximately cost
Touch screen devices from $80 to more than $2,000
Barcode scanner from $229 to $269
Card reader from $29 to $49
Cash drawer from $139 to $159
Receipt printer from $299 to $369
Barcode printer from $169 to $499

Is It Possible To Purchase Third-Party Hardware For Shopify POS?

In short, the answer is affirmative – indeed, you possess the capability to do so.

You can utilize third-party hardware with Shopify POS. Despite the provision of their own range of options like the Shopify POS Kit, you face no restriction to using only their hardware. Even though compatibility issues may arise and occasionally impede smooth operation between the two systems, Shopify POS’s design inherently accommodates various third-party hardware devices – a freedom that empowers you to select your business needs’ most fitting choice in terms of hardware.

On their website, Shopify offers a list of recommended hardware partners, these companies provide compatible devices such as barcode scanners, receipt printers, card readers, and cash drawers. Manufacturers or authorized resellers often facilitate direct purchases for these third-party hardware options.

To select third-party hardware, one can opt for Shopify-compatible POS hardware that facilitates connection with your current system or vice versa. This process usually entails linking the equipment to your Shopify account and setting up configurations within the Shopify POS app.

You can also use Shopify App Bridge, as this app facilitates the connection between your third-party hardware and Shopify. Numerous options exist, therefore, conducting thorough research is crucial to identify the most suitable choice for meeting your specific requirements.

You can enhance your flexibility by incorporating third-party hardware with Shopify POS, this allows you to select from a broader array of options potentially aligning more accurately with your budget, unique requirements, or preferred brand. However, prior to finalizing any purchases, it remains crucial to verify compatibility and confirm that Shopify supports the chosen third-party equipment.

Obtain The Optimum Deal For Your Shopify Hardware

So how can one secure optimal prices on Shopify POS equipment, ensuring maximum functionality without succumbing to overspending?

First, invest time in researching various suppliers and compare their prices for the specific hardware components you require. Seek out competitive pricing options from authorized resellers, online marketplaces, and direct manufacturer websites.

Subsequently, scrutinize your needs and ensure that you procure only what is essential – if barcodes are not part of your system utilization or if cash transactions do not occur within it, then a barcode scanner or cash drawer becomes unnecessary.

Next, navigate the Shopify hardware website to assess diverse scenarios, determine the individual purchasing cost of items, and examine bundle prices for that specific equipment. Certain suppliers or retailers might present attractive bundle deals that allow you to procure multiple hardware components at a marked-down rate. This option provides cost-effectiveness compared with singular item purchases.

Actively monitor Shopify and their authorized partners for promotions, sales, or discounts. This surveillance may encompass seasonal and holiday-specific offers as well as exclusive merchant-only markdowns from Shopify. Always worth checking out third-party retailers, such as Amazon or eBay, as they may offer competitive prices.

Remember to negotiate! When you buy hardware in bulk or maintain a long-term relationship with your supplier, do not hesitate to haggle for improved pricing. Certain suppliers might offer discounts or special rates for substantial orders or continuous business relationships.

Should budget concern you, exploring used or refurbished hardware options remains an option. Just ensure your purchase from reputable sellers, and verify the devices’ good working condition.

Keep in mind that while the factor of price holds importance – it is crucial also to guarantee that your hardware fulfills specific business needs and integrates flawlessly with Shopify POS.

A Rough Guide to Setting Up Your Shopify POS Hardware

To properly connect and integrate your devices with your Shopify account, you must follow a few steps in setting up the Shopify POS hardware. The simplicity and user-friendliness of a Shopify POS remain its core attributes, catering even to new shop owners or those less technologically adept. Albeit challenging to encompass the setup process for all POS hardware, we present a general guide on how to set up your Shopify POS system hardware.

Step 1: Choose Your Hardware

Those residing in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, and Australia can procure their Shopify POS hardware from the corresponding Shopify Hardware Shops. Individuals outside of these countries have the option to investigate verified third-party sellers by referencing Shopify’s model number guide.

Step 2: Connect Your Card Reader

Your country of purchase and location determine the specific card reader model you need. Different cables, connectivity elements, and product designs may exist for each model. For a seamless setup, consult the manual accompanying your Shopify POS hardware. The guide will direct you in tasks such as powering the reader and connecting it with cables.

Connect first, then open the Shopify POS app on your iOS or Android device, and log into your Shopify account. Then enable POS hardware in the Shopify settings

Step 3: Add Products & Adjust The Store Settings

Now that you have installed your POS app on the iPad, you stand prepared to serve customers. Yet, for a fully functional store, it is necessary that you configure crucial elements such as products, retail locations, and tax settings.

Easily input products during checkout and ensure accurate pricing by completing the final setup steps. Additionally, customize settings for tasks such as printing receipts, enabling tips, and configuring payment options.


In this article, BSS Shopify Commerce has deliberated on the significance of selecting compatible and dependable hardware, as well as underscored the advantages that seamlessly integrating third-party options with Shopify POS can provide. Having guided you through our exposition concerning pivotal aspects of Shopify POS hardware, equipping you to enhance your customers’ shopping experience effectively, now is an opportune moment for action.

Essential to achieving a seamless, efficient point-of-sale experience is to invest in superior-quality Shopify POS system hardware. Don’t hesitate to explore the wide range of available Shopify POS hardware options, and find – with precision – the perfect fit for your business needs.