Tablets signal turning point for small-business POS solutions

Brooklyn small-business owner Jason Richelson designed his own point of sale system using the Apple iPad. His solution, now used by more than 2,000 small retailers, is one in a growing array of tablet POS options.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Who better to design a point-of-sale (POS) system for small businesses than a small-business owner frustrated with his POS technology options?

That's the back story for ShopKeep, a cloud-based POS solution from the SMB market that uses the Apple iPad as its point of entry. The company's founder and CEO, Jason Richelson, originally designed the system to run his $7 million Brooklyn-based wine and food store, The Green Grape after he couldn't find one that would run the sorts of reports he needed. The system he designed, ShopKeep POS, is now used by more than 2,000 small retailers, Richelson said.

The simplicity of the ShopKeep POS solution along with its promise of 24x7 customer support is helping track retailers from dress boutiques to coffee shops to chocolatiers, he said.  

The solution offers basic cash register and inventory functions and can be bought online for prices starting at $49 per month per register. (You can try it for free for up to 30 days.) While ShopKeep POS isn't relegating its outreach to any particular vertical market, it is adding features specific to restaurants, such as the ability to print orders from an iPad directly to the kitchen, Richelson said.

A deal with PayPal enables ShopKeep POS users to handle cashless mobile payments for a flat rate of 2.7 percent on those transactions. 

ShopKeep is one in a growing array of POS options that center on tablet computers in general and the Apple iPad in particular. The company is backed by $3 million in venture capital, including $2.2 million in Series A funding it raised earlier this year. 

"Tablets are going to replace cash registers and POS systems in the next three to five years," Richelson said. Here's more on what he thinks:

Of course, he is biased, but ShopKeep POS is far from the only iPad-based POS system aimed at SMBs.

Other companies that also deserve the small-business owner's attention include Revel Systems, which just debuted a solution targeted at food trucks; Square, with its iPad-specific Square Register solution; and LightSpeed, which has extended its systems for Macintosh computers over to the iPad platform.



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