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Apple's iPad is being eagerly adopted by retailers in all segments. It's expected that by 2017, over 3.6 million tablets will have been shipped for use in North American retail and hospitality operations. Its attractive design, user-friendly interface and relatively affordable setup and maintenance costs are making iPad POS systems an appealing choice for retail operations. As a result, more and more point-of-sale vendors are releasing iPad applications for their POS systems. However, no iPad POS solution is perfect. Each type of deployment has its benefits and drawbacks. In this guide we'll cover:
iPad POS systems are often great solutions for retail start-ups, small retail operations and mobile retailers, such as food truck vendors because they're easy to implement, scalable and affordable compared to traditional POS systems.
However, reporting and inventory management for some point-of-sale solutions, Square for example, are limited or non-existent. Retailers who handle large amounts of cash, require detailed reporting capabilities, or use many external devices, such as signature pads, bar code readers and displays, may prefer a traditional POS system for handling transactions. Fortunately, many traditional providers now offer iPad applications or support for tablets via one of the deployment models mentioned above.
Retailers that adopt the right types of iPad POS software for their operations stand to benefit in many ways, such as:
Retailers that fail to realize some of these core benefits often do so because they:
When calculating the cost of iPad point-of-sale software, it's important to include hardware equipment costs. Make sure hardware choices are compatible by contacting the vendor. Common POS hardware components include:
|Tablets||iPad POS software typically supports iPad, iPad Mini and iPad Touch tablets. Apple tablets are often considered pricy compared to other tablets with costs ranging from $229 for an iPad Mini to $499 and more for iPads.|
|Stands and Mounts||Tablet stands and mounts position and protect iPads. Costs typically range between $49 and $349, with high end models reaching price points from $500 to $1,000 range.|
|Card Reader||Most iPad POS software packages include a credit card reader. When purchased separately, card readers typically have price tags between $10 and $100.|
|Barcode Scanner||iPads have a built-in camera that can serve as a barcode scanner. Retailers who scan barcodes frequently may prefer a handheld or mounted scanner, however. Costs typically range from $170 to $529 per device.|
|Receipt Printer||iPad compatible receipt and label printer costs range from $299 to $479.|
|Cash Drawer||Depending on your security requirements, cash drawer prices typically range between $100 and $299.|