How to Take Your Shopify POS Inventory Management Up a Level

Selling Shopify products in person can benefit your sales and brand. Explore the difference Shopify POS inventory management can have on your offline efforts.
Published: 10.07.2019

Selling in person gives your Shopify store the opportunity to make the connection that many consumers are craving for. The problem comes when making sure that you are still running your workshop efficiently in the background, and that’s where good Shopify POS inventory management comes in.

Oh, the wonders of Shopify, how loved they are.

Because even as your business grows and you want to sell in person, Shopify still has your back.

When you decide to go to trade shows, create a buzz with a pop-up store, or even go full brick-and-mortar, Shopify still supports you with its POS system. Or to be precise, Shopify’s Point of Sales system.

It gives the ability to quickly take payments and sell products on the spot with cutting edge hardware that is directly connected to your Shopify store. So, you can continue to manage your business comfortably with Shopify.

The real question comes when we get to Shopify POS inventory management. 

Because if you want to continue running a tight ship back in the workshop while you sell, then you need to have your inventory management running efficiently and in real-time.

Sadly, this is where using Shopify POS falls a little short.

Thankfully there are software and tools which can support your mission to expand from the virtual world into the physical realm.

For now, let’s start with the basics…

What is Shopify POS?

Before we get to Shopify POS, let’s start by defining what a Point of Sales (POS) system is.

Well, the answer to that is fairly simple.

It refers to the tools you use to process a sale at the point it occurs. In your local grocery, this likely means a cash register and a basic receipt printer.

In a supermarket, you’re probably going to have electronic scales and barcode scanning software too.

Now, considering Shopify is an online platform, you might be thinking, “what is a Shopify POS?”

Shopify POS is an application which allows you to process orders and payments directly to your Shopify store in a physical location from an iPad or iPhone. 

That means that if you are selling at a tradeshow or a pop-up store then you can continue to keep all of your data and processes in one place. Pretty neat, huh?

The application comes free with your Shopify account so you might already be ready to use it, but the reality is that you will need some hardware to start processing payments.

Be aware though that there are a few limitations to your POS app if you are using Shopify Basic.

For example, you will be lacking the register shifts feature which helps with holding your staff accountable for cash they’ve handled. And the same goes for unlimited Shopify POS staff PINs.

To be honest though, these will not be vital to most of you who are occasionally selling in physical places for promotional purposes.

And the main problems arise when you think about your Shopify POS inventory management. But, we’ll get to that later.

Pro tip:

If you’re just starting out with your manufacturing business then it’s a good idea to start saving and tracking your products and materials. Check out our free small business inventory spreadsheet template so you can get started on your inventory management journey.

Shopify POS Hardware

There is some awesome software out there to help you up your Shopify inventory management game, but everything starts with having the right hardware to keep sales operations running smoothly.

So, your customer is browsing your wonderful wares at the craft fair and comes across an item of choice. They gracefully pick the product up and bring it to you with a wide smile of glee.

But you fumble around endlessly because you don’t know what you need to process their payment.

Thankfully you wake up, realize it was a dream, turn on your laptop, and get on the Shopify POS hardware store to get the tools that will help you process physical sales more smoothly, when you will actually be selling at a craft fair.

Because without the right hardware you’re not going to be making the most out of your Shopify POS.

Now remember, technically you only need an iPad or iPhone to use the app. As long as you have one of those you can begin to use the Shopify POS system.

But once on the hardware store you will see a bunch of items which can enhance your customers buying experience.

They are there to make the selling process easier for you, and the buying experience more pleasant for your customers.

The list boils down to these:

  1. Shopify retail kits;
  2. Card readers;
  3. iPad stands;
  4. Barcode scanners, printers and labels;
  5. Receipt printers and paper;
  6. Cash drawers;
  7. Customizable gift cards;
  8. Shipping printers and labels; and
  9. Scales.

Now obviously you won’t be requiring all these items to get your POS Shopify system on the go.

A card reader is probably going to the most valuable piece of hardware.

But do keep in mind that barcodes can make life a lot easier if you sell products in high volumes, and in the same way receipt printers are going to make sales much smoother too.

The main point here is to focus on what you need and build from there. No point going all out and then realizing no-one wants to buy your gift cards anyway.

What’s Shopify POS useful for?

Alright, it looks like we might have got ahead of ourselves here. After all, why should we even be selling in person anyway?

Isn’t the whole point of Shopify to get away from old school brick-and-mortar selling and take advantage of the decreased overheads?

Well, the main sentiment still holds, but there’s also no denying that consumers are looking hard and fast for that personal touch. Marketers feel that way too, as 88% agree that customers expect a personalized experience when shopping for products.

And what better way to give it to them than being there in person to answer all their questions and offer your sweet personal insights.

Trade shows, pop-up stores, and craft fairs are all great routes for drawing in local custom. You can put a face to your product and allow customers to feel like they are part of the process.

Beyond that there is also a chance for you to make sales that you might not otherwise have made. From people who don’t shop online, and even more importantly, for those consumers that are tired of buying and looking for experience.

You can give them that experience just by the mere fact that you are there today and gone tomorrow. A fleeting in moment in time where a connection can be made, and when the stars align, sales are made too.

How to Add Shopify POS

Getting your Shopify POS inventory management set up starts with getting the app downloaded onto your iPad or iPhone. It’s a much simpler process than some may have you believe, but make sure you do your tax research first.


Getting your Shopify POS inventory management set up starts with getting the app downloaded onto your iPad or iPhone. It’s a much simpler process than some may have you believe, but make sure you do your tax research first.

The great thing about setting up your Shopify POS is that it’s a very quick and painless process.

As long as you have an iPhone or iPad at the ready, you can be good to go in five minutes.

First up you want to download the Shopify POS app.

Once that’s done it’s just a matter of filling in the blanks.

Here is the list of steps to follow:

  1. Download app;
  2. Connect to your Shopify store;
  3. Add products you want to sell with POS;
  4. Configure taxes;
  5. Set up payment provider;
  6. Connect POS hardware; and
  7. Place test orders to make sure you’re good to go.

And just to clarify here, you don’t need to start creating products all over again. It’s just that you want to choose which ones are available to be bought with POS.

When it comes to the payment provider, you won’t have to do anything more than you have done before. Shopify payments is a solid choice, and unless you are running a Shopify CBD store, you don’t have to worry about changing to a third-party provider.

Now there probably is one point which has been niggling away at your mind throughout all this.

How do we deal with our Shopify POS inventory management?

At the end of the day, you are running a workshop as well as a sales unit when you’re going close-and-personal with customers.

So ensuring that you have a real-time overview of your inventory, and running it efficiently is vital to making the most out of your Shopify POS.

Let’s dive into how we solve this…

Shopify POS Inventory Management

The elephant in the room. Managing your inventory efficiently whilst selling both online and in the physical world.

It’s certainly no secret that using Shopify POS is already a massive improvement on what many e-commerce stores did in the past, which is to have two totally separate systems when dealing with online and offline inventory management.

But the reality is that Shopify’s inventory management system is rather weak when it comes to the manufacturing business needs.

You are not able to track detailed product recipes which give you accurate costing, and there is certainly nothing in the way of raw material inventory management.

The cool thing about Shopify is that it allows you to use software and apps to tackle the areas it falls short on.

Now when it comes to Shopify POS inventory management you want to make sure that you find an app which gives you:

  1. Real-time inventory control;
  2. Production planning;
  3. Raw material inventory management;
  4. Bill of materials support; and
  5. Multi-location inventory management.

These elements are essential to running a smooth operation when selling in person while simultaneously running a workshop.

Katana Smart Manufacturing Software is the solution that covers all of these elements and allows you to take full advantage of your Shopify POS.

With Katana, you can integrate your Shopify account, so your Shopify sales and inventory movements are updated accurately in real-time.

Here’s an example to give you a clearer picture.

Let’s say that alongside your Shopify online store, you also have two retail stores that use the Shopify POS system to process sales (way to go you!).

With Katana, you can easily track your sales and inventory levels separately. So, you know your current stock levels at each location as is.

You can also choose which store is your preferred location for handling Shopify online sales.

This allows you to centralize and manage your e-commerce and offline sales, from one, ridiculously easy-to-read dashboard.

You can set which store is your preferred location for handling Shopify online sales, and which locations you use for the Shopify POS system.

Once you’ve configured this, Katana will sync with each location listed, providing you with real-time sale order updates and inventory stock levels, making inventory management a breeze.

When an order comes through your Shopify POS system, it is automatically checked as “Fulfilled” in the Katana workflow, and this will automatically adjust your inventory levels.

Going a Step Further with Your Shopify POS Inventory Management

Katana has been designed to work as the complete package for manufacturing businesses. It goes beyond just being Shopify POS inventory management and actually works to streamline your inventory, production, and sales together.

Katana has been designed to work as the complete package for manufacturing businesses. It goes beyond just being Shopify POS inventory management and actually works to streamline your inventory, production, and sales together.

There can be no doubt about the benefits of selling in person, especially when it comes to particular types of goods which are best seen in person. After all, there’s a good reason why 60% of consumers prefer to buy clothing in a store.

But beyond increased sales, the value for selling in person goes to creating that personal touch that so many crave for now. You can create trust, and ultimately loyalty, amongst your customer base which can do wonders for your brand that all the digital marketing in the world could never do.

Having a solid base for your Shopify POS inventory management is key to securing the growth that this opportunity provides.

Because Katana goes beyond inventory management and acts as the foundation for your entire manufacturing business.

You can manage your inventory, production, and sales from a single dashboard. Everything is visually color-coded for the maker’s eye and designed so that you can manage your business without having to depend on inefficient spreadsheets.

Here are just a few of the benefits Katana offers small manufacturers:

  1. Integrate with Shopify and other e-commerce channels;
  2. Manage your product and material inventory;
  3. Use as a production scheduling software/;
  4. Sync accounting with Xero inventory management software and Quickbooks MRP;
  5. Plan your purchasing efficiently;
  6. Ditch inefficient excel spreadsheets forever; and
  7. Keep your entire business workflow on a single dashboard.

These are going to allow you to run your Shopify store both online and offline without having to exert yourself on menial tasks.

Now you can make sure that your Shopify POS inventory management is running smoothly in the background, and instead focus on growing your manufacturing business.

And if you want to know more about the details of how Katana works then check out this video for an overview:



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