Shopify POS Go Review – Everything You Need to Know

A look at Shopify's flexible POS device for selling anywhere.

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Shopify recently launched its POS Go product: a solution that many merchants have been waiting for. In this Shopify POS Go review, we’ll explore how the device solves past issues with mobile sales and go into detail with use cases for retailers to implement Shopify POS Go into their current setups.

In short, Shopify POS Go serves as a simple yet powerful device for small, medium, and large businesses to connect to their point of sales anywhere to sell products to customers. This means quick access to customer information, extremely reliable hardware, and the flexibility to sell how and when merchants need.

Keep reading our Shopify POS Go review to learn all about this exciting new development!

What is Shopify POS Go?

shopify pos go homepage

Launched in September 2022, Shopify POS Go is a hardware device from Shopify that expands the functionality of Shopify POS to a handheld device. This connects mobile-centric merchants to the entire Shopify POS ecosystem from the convenience of a smaller device provided by Shopify.

It’s not an app that you would install on your phone or tablet, but rather a standalone handheld device with Shopify POS preinstalled and optimized. The goal is to provide full POS (point of sale) capabilities to merchants who need to sell to customers away from their physical or online stores, essentially providing access to a point of sale wherever customers want to buy—whether that’s at a trade show, for a long line, or along the curbside.

Who Can Use POS Go?

During our Shopify POS Go review, we found it to be an exciting new development for merchants who require more advanced point of sale systems while on the go. However, there are some requirements to consider before signing up for the new POS device.

Here are the Shopify POS Go requirements:

  1. You must be a merchant based in the United States
  2. Merchants must be eligible for (not necessarily using) Shopify Payments

These requirements may change in the future, since Shopify tends to launch products in the US and eventually expand them elsewhere. But, for now, only US merchants and Shopify Payments eligible sellers can apply to receive the Shopify POS Go device.

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Shopify POS Go Features

shopify pos go review - features

You may wonder, “why not stick to a mobile app for merchants to add to their own devices?” That’s precisely what the Shopify POS Go device is trying to avoid, since it’s designed for the utmost reliability, high-performance processing, and connectivity at all times. There are far too many potential issues when adding an app to a phone; not to mention, everyone’s phone/tablet is different, so there’s no control over performance.

So, what can merchants expect in terms of features from the Shopify POS Go hardware and software?

Multi-faceted Payments and Scanning

Shopify POS Go accepts all types of payments, from credit card taps to chip inserts—and you can accept standard credit card swiping. This expands upon traditional card swipers that plug into phones or tablets, since you’re not stuck with something that doesn’t accept methods like chip or tap payments.

We also found in our Shopify POS Go review that the scanner includes tactile buttons for more reliability and speed throughout the scanning process.

High-performance Processing and “All-day-selling” Battery Life

A major pain point for mobile merchants involves the reliability of their selling devices. Stories of batteries dying too early or devices lagging are all too familiar.

So, Shopify attempts to mitigate such issues by including a powerful 3960 mAh battery with quick charging capabilities and what they call an “all-day-selling” battery life.

But the processor also needs to be reliable; otherwise you’ll have to deal with lagging software right when you have to make a sale. To help with these problems, Shopify POS Go comes with a Qualcomm SDM 665 processor for high-performance computing throughout the entire day of sales.

Reliable and Fast Connectivity

Although it’s ideal to have a wired internet connection for the most foolproof internet transmission, Shopify POS Go does its best to ensure merchants rarely lose an internet connection.

The device connects to both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands, meaning you can choose the one that’s most reliable. Many competitor devices only stick to 2.4 GHz, which has slower speeds and fewer channels to pick from.

Finally, our Shopify POS Go review showed that the Wi-Fi connectivity comes in at 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, which is the fastest, most accessible Wi-Fi standard for the 5 GHz band.

Enhanced Durability without Hindering the Screen

Mobile selling requires a sturdy POS. More often than not, a cheap case on an iPhone won’t cut it. The Shopify POS Go device is built to withstand dings, drops, and all rough handling due to its thicker build and Gorilla Glass 5 shielding its screen.

In addition, all merchants can get a protective POS Gocase with a hand strap.

Finally, that added strength doesn’t cause trouble with the device’s usability or screen performance. The Shopify POS Go screen provides a beautifully clear and bright view of your POS interface thanks to its 5.5” HD display.

Native Shopify Point of Sale, Seamlessly Connected

The entire reason Shopify built the POS Go was to natively run Shopify POS, their point of sale software. This means that your business’ point of sale is built into the POS Go device, offering a seamless experience for everything from inventory scanning to collecting payments from customers on the go.

Its native build also means that merchants can scale their businesses with multiple POS Go devices. You’re able to run several POS Go devices in one location, all of which sync to your overall point of sale from an online store, retail shop, and any other sales channels you use.

With all of those devices and channels, Shopify makes it easy to view and manage devices from one simple dashboard; so, you’re able to check on statuses of devices at multiple stores at once.

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Who is Shopify POS Go For?

During our Shopify POS Go review, we found the device suitable for:

  • Small businesses that require the ability and flexibility to sell whenever and however they want
  • Medium and large businesses that want professional-looking mobile selling hardware that’s both reliable and functionally rich

Overall, the Shopify POS Go device is meant for merchants of all sizes, particularly if you need to quickly access customer information while in a warehouse or on the floor.

It also seems to solve pain points by:

  • Helping merchants close a sale anywhere: The Shopify POS Go device offers a personalized shopping experience, and a way to email the cart for closing a sale after the fact; it’s particularly useful for browsing your inventory while conversing with customers, all due to the easily viewed interface.
  • Taking payments everywhere: You can easily pick a preferred receipt type from the Shopify POS Go device, and take payment with the integrated card reader—there’s also functionality for scanning inventory barcodes to bring them into the POS.
  • Staying connected to your business by offering access to inventory, customers, staff, and locations—you can view everything from both in-person and online stores, from all sales channels.

We also like Shopify POS Go for:

  • Scaling with an affordable POS solution across multiple locations, or in one location
  • Seeing which devices are live and running at all locations
  • Managing all of your POS devices from one integrated dashboard
  • Selling an experience, considering you can tap into customer information and chat with people knowing exactly what they like and how they have interacted with your brand in the past
  • Selling curbside or throughout lines of customers
  • Staying connected at all times, and reliably linking to your entire inventory collection
  • Minimizing the worry that comes with breaking a POS device
  • Seeing real-time sales information that comes in from all over your POS infrastructure
  • Running your entire point of sale operation from one small device

Use Cases for Shopify POS Go

We’ve told you which types of merchants may benefit from Shopify POS Go, but it helps to see it all in action. What are some use cases where Shopify POS Go makes life easier for retail and online sellers?

shopify pos go use cases

Due to its extreme portability and scalability, we recommend configuring your point of sale like this:

Step 1: Add POS Go Devices

It makes sense to build the foundation of your point of sale infrastructure on the Shopify POS Go; it’s portable for use anywhere (including the curb), and it connects right to your Shopify software right out of the box.

All that’s required is a Wi-Fi connection, so we find it suitable as a go-to POS solution for sales associates to collect customer information and close sales while roaming the floor.

Step 2: Consider a Countertop Kit

If you’re interested in also having a traditional checkout counter, you can layer a countertop kit from Shopify on top of your POS Go system.

The countertop has benefits of working with Bluetooth (so as not to always rely on the Wi-Fi connection), and it offers a centralized location for customers to migrate to when they’re ready to buy. It’s not as portable as the Shopify POS Go, but there’s the option to remove the tablet and card reader from their docking systems.

Keep in mind that you must download the Shopify POS app to any device used for the countertop kit.

Important: You can currently run POS Go and the countertop kit in tandem, but they will not connect with each other. There may be plans in the future to see a direct link, but that’s the main reason we recommend starting with the POS Go for your overall infrastructure—they all connect with each other.

Use Case 1: An Engaged Business

The “engaged business” often involves the owner and employees being all over the floor, chatting with customers, taking requests, and even accepting payment without having to go to the traditional checkout counter.

Shopify POS Go works well for this setup since employees can offer personalized customer service with information from the POS. They’re able to roam the floor without ever having to worry about remembering customer information, or being too far from a register.

We also like this use case for checking things like inventory levels and customer sizing options on the go. When using Shopify POS Go, this configuration is particularly useful for midsized retailers and large retail chains with sales associates that provide personalized experiences.

Use Case 2: A Barebones Operation

Best for small and stable businesses, large retail chains, and growing businesses, the barebones use case involves merchants only having 1 or 2 selling devices.

You may stick to the barebones operation due to limited space, price sensitivity, or to make the aesthetic more appealing.

Shopify POS Go is ideal for the barebones retailer since it’s a significantly cheaper setup, but you’re able to have enough POS devices to cover the entire store. And when compared to competitors, you’d need additional equipment like a phone or card reader (whereas Shopify POS Go already has everything you need built into it for the barebones operation).

Use Case 3: A Flexibility-first Business

Some business owners would rather have full flexibility when it comes to making sales. They may find their next paying customer on the curbside, in a long line, at a pop-up shop, or in the usual retail store setting. With all these possibilities for making sales, you require a device that goes with you no matter the situation.

We would argue that the Shopify POS Go is the perfect device for the flexibility-first business; you’re not restrained to a countertop checkout, so you can make sales, access inventory, and check on customer information (all while still staying connected) regardless of where you are.

It’s fully integrated with the Shopify platform and gives you all the essentials like email receipts, printing integrations, scanning, checkouts, and payments. So, when you’re at a trade show, or when a friend randomly says they’d like to purchase a product, you’re able to take out the Shopify POS Go device and complete the sale. There’s no more reason to pass along a business card or write down their payment information.

This type of setup works for a wide range of businesses, but we particularly recommend it for large retail chains and midsized retailers.

Use Case 4: A Hybrid of Traditional and Mobile

shopify pos go review - traditional mobile

Merchants aren’t always ready to give up that reliable old checkout counter—and it does still have benefits, like offering a centralized location for people to check out, and connecting to the internet through ethernet.

Yet, it’s hard to deny the advantages of a personalized mobile selling experience, especially considering you can bring the Shopify POS Go device wherever you want.

That’s why it’s entirely possible to run a hybrid, with the traditional point of sale running alongside the Shopify POS Go.

This works best for mid-sized to large chain retailers, where you can still have a fixed checkout counter for a centralized, familiar checkout experience for some customers. However, you would add Shopify POS Go to the mix for the flexibility that comes with a mobile checkout, whether those sales come from the floor or out on the curbside.

For hybrid configurations, each point of sale unit—whether the Shopify POS Go or a traditional countertop POS—syncs with the overall Shopify POS, giving merchants access to inventory, customers, and payment processing. Furthermore, these devices include everything from payment swipers to email receipts, and scanners to printer integrations, making the hybrid solution a realistic, and affordable, configuration for running any retail store.

Overall, our Shopify POS Go review showed that the traditional countertop checkout experience gives customers what they’ve grown used to. However, lines can get long, and the countertop POS lacks the ability to take line or curbside payments. That’s where the Shopify POS Go device comes into play. So, you can use it as a backup POS, or build the foundation of your retail point of sale around multiple Shopify POS Go devices. We actually recommend using the traditional countertop as the backup, or the old reliable that’s always there just in case you need it.

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Shopify POS Go Pricing

We recommend purchasing the POS Go and Case package to ensure the device’s protection, especially considering the case comes with a carrying strap for easy handling.

Here’s the pricing:

  • POS Go and Case: $429 + Tax

Each individual Shopify POS Go device (without the case) sells for a one-time fee of $399 + tax.

There are add-ons to consider that increase the price a bit:

  • POS Go Case (offered in black and white): $39 + tax
  • If needed, you must pay for an external printer
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How to Get Shopify POS Go

If you’d like to get your hands on a Shopify POS Go device, there are some key dates to keep in mind:

  • September 27, 2022: Merchants can pre-order Shopify POS Go devices
  • October 11, 2022: Shopify will begin sending Shopify POS Go devices to those who pre-ordered, and anyone who didn’t pre-order can make a standard purchase of the device

Reminder: In order to order a Shopify POS Go, you need to meet eligibility requirements: Must be a US-based merchant and be eligible for Shopify Payments.

If you need any clarification on our Shopify POS Go review, or you have thoughts on the new device, share your comments in the section below!

Joe Warnimont

Joe Warnimont is a Chicago-based writer who focuses on eCommerce tools, WordPress, and social media. When not fishing or practicing yoga, he's collecting stamps at national parks (even though that's mainly for children). Check out Joe's portfolio to contact him and view past work.

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