How to take Your Shopify POS inventory management up a level

Selling Shopify products in person can help boost sales and your brand. Explore the difference a Shopify POS inventory management can have on your business.

Worker in warehouse smiling while checking inventory with their Shopify POS system.
Last updated: 02.05.2022

Selling in person allows your Shopify store to make the connection that many consumers crave. 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.

Once 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 (POS) system.

Shopify’s POS system gives you the ability to quickly take payments and sell products on the spot with cutting-edge hardware directly connected to your Shopify store. Despite these advantages, Shopify POS inventory management isn’t always easy. If you want to continue running a tight ship back in the workshop while you sell, you need to have your inventory management running efficiently in real-time — and 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.

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What is a Shopify point of sale (POS) system?

Generally speaking, a POS system refers to the tools you use to process a sale at the location or point it happens. In your local supermarket, this includes a cash register, basic receipt printer, electronic scales, and barcode scanning software.

When it comes to selling online, a Shopify POS is an application that allows you to process orders and payments directly to your Shopify store in a physical location from an iPad or iPhone. If you are selling at a tradeshow or a pop-up store, you can continue to keep all of your data and processes in one place. 

The application is included in 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. And there are a few more limitations to your POS app if you use Shopify Basic. For example, you will lack the register shifts feature, which helps hold your staff accountable for the cash they handle. And the same goes for unlimited Shopify POS staff PINs.

But the main problems arise when you think about your Shopify POS inventory management. 

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.

The Shopify POS hardware you’ll need

There are plenty of great software options out there to help you improve your Shopify inventory management. But everything starts with having the right hardware to keep sales operations running smoothly.

Say your customer is browsing your products at a craft fair and comes across an item of choice. They pick the product up and are ready to pay — but you struggle with processing their payment because you don’t have the equipment you need. For starters, you may want to browse the Shopify POS hardware store for any tools that will help you process physical sales more smoothly. Because without the right hardware, you’re not going to be making the most out of your Shopify POS.

Technically, you only need an iPad or iPhone to use the Shopify POS app. So as long as you have one or the other, you can process offline payments with ease. But there are plenty of other great items in the hardware store, you may want to get your hands on to make your payment process even more smooth. Here are just a few:

  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
  9. Scales

You definitely won’t need all of them, but a card reader will probably be the most valuable piece of hardware on that list.

Remember 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. The main point here is to focus on what you need and build from there. 

The advantages of using a Shopify POS system

The whole point of Shopify is to get away from brick-and-mortar selling and take advantage of decreased overheads — but that doesn’t necessarily mean ditching in-person sales entirely.

There’s also no denying that consumers are still looking for that personal touch, and 88% of marketers agree that customers expect a personalized experience when shopping for products. Trade shows, pop-up stores, and craft fairs are all great routes for drawing in local customers. You can put a face to your product and make your customers 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.

PRO TIP: Manufacturers using Shopify + Xero can take their business to the next level by learning how to:  

How to get started with Shopify POS

Files and other inventory are stored on two shelves separated by an isle.

Getting your Shopify POS inventory management set up is a much simpler process than some may have you believe, but make sure you do your tax research first.

As long as you have an iPhone or iPad at the ready, you can be good to go in five minutes — here’s how:

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

Note that you don’t need to start creating products all over again — but you do need to select which ones are available for purchase via POS.

When it comes to the payment provider, you won’t have to do anything more than before. Shopify Payments is a solid choice, and unless you’re running a Shopify CBD store, you don’t have to worry about changing to a third-party provider. The only thing left to consider is getting your inventory aligned between your online and offline stores.

If you’re running a workshop as well as a sales unit where you’re going up close and personal with customers, getting a real-time overview of your inventory is vital. 

Shopify inventory software

Managing inventory for your Shopify store can be tricky. Manufacturers use Katana to help them manage different types of stock across different storefronts. Find out how here.

Shopify POS inventory management

Time to address the elephant in the room — managing your inventory efficiently while selling both online and in the physical world. Note that Using a Shopify POS is already a massive improvement on what many e-commerce stores did in the past: having two separate systems when dealing with online and offline inventory management.

But the reality is that Shopify’s inventory management system is rather limited for manufacturing business needs. You cannot track detailed product recipes that give you accurate costing, and there is certainly nothing in the way of raw material inventory management. One great thing about Shopify is that it allows you to use software and apps to tackle the areas where it falls short.

When shopping around for a solution you want to find something that allows you to:

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

These features are essential to running a smooth operation when selling in person while simultaneously running a workshop. With software like Katana, you can integrate your Shopify account, and your sales and inventory movements are updated accurately in real-time.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say that alongside your Shopify online store, you also have two retail stores that use the Shopify POS system to process sales. 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 way, you can centralize and manage your e-commerce and offline sales from one visual and easy-to-use platform. 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.

Take your Shopify POS inventory management a step further

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 goes beyond just being Shopify POS inventory management to streamline your inventory, production, and sales in one place. Here are just a few of the things you can do with Katana as a manufacturer selling on Shopify:

  1. Integrate with Shopify and other e-commerce channels
  2. Manage your product and material inventory
  3. Use a range of production scheduling features
  4. Sync your accounting with our integrations
  5. Plan your purchasing efficiently
  6. Ditch inefficient excel spreadsheets forever
  7. Keep your entire business workflow on a single platform

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