Cloud-Based Point-Of-Sale That's Smart And Simple
NYC startup ShopKeep wants to make it simple for small retailers to start, run, and grow successful businesses. They’re doing so by providing simple but powerful cloud-based point-of-sale software. Businesses across the nation use the service to set up their registers, accept cash and credit cards with their choice of processor, view real-time sales from their phone or web browser with the dashboard app, and easily track inventory and staff.
ShopKeep POS was founded by Jason Richelson. Richelson opened a specialty food and wine store in 2004, which he grew to employ more than 70 people in the Brooklyn and lower Manhattan branches. After experiencing server crashes and other problems with his POS system, he realized there was a need for a more reliable, cloud-based point-of-sale system. Today, ShopKeep has more than 80 employees and serves nearly 8,000 brick and mortar retailers nationwide.
POS systems aren’t cheap, Richelson tells me. “A traditional POS system can cost up to $12,000 or more for two registers, licensing fees, Windows server, installation, configuration and staff training. That doesn’t include ongoing maintenance fees or the hourly price tag for help if something goes wrong.”
The cloud and iPads help to solve that problem. ShopKeep costs retailers $699 for all the essential hardware (users supply their own iPads), and because everything is done in the cloud, there is no need for maintenance. The subscription is $49 per month, including unlimited customer support.
Because ShopKeep is cloud-based, there’s no need to worry about servers going down. It also works offline, so retailers can keep making sales even if they lose their Internet connection. Users can also access business analytics from anywhere, including via a smartphone app, so they can monitor sales and staff anytime.
“Small business owners are not technology experts, and typically find point-of-sale technology complicated and intimidating,” says Richelson. “ShopKeep’s mission is to make point-of-sale easy, approachable and friendly. Retailers typically set up ShopKeep on their own and are up and running in minutes. Most people have used an iPad, so staff need minimal training. To take a recent example, all payments at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado this year ran on ShopKeep, iPads and the cloud. 100 volunteer cashiers rang up $12,000 sales in four days with 30 mins of training.”
ShopKeep recently raised a combined $12.2 million from local VCs in 2011 and 2012.
According to Richelson, ShopKeep’s future consists of looking for new ways to help their small business customers make smarter business decisions. “Whether it is putting data at their fingertips, automating all the processes in their restaurant or retail shop, or making it easy to integrate social media and marketing into their daily store management, ShopKeep will continue to focus on the core needs of our retail and restaurant customers.”