There are many POS system vendors on the market nowadays, and that might make you feel confused about not knowing which product is suitable for your business needs. Square POS and Shopify POS are among the significant providers trusted by many customers. However, there are many differences between the products of these two suppliers. If you want to find out more about each strength and weakness, the paper is recommended as a good reference for you.
In this article, we will give objective views about Square POS vs Shopify, from which you can refer to choose which product best suits your business.
Table of Contents
Overview of Square POS and Shopify POS
Both POS systems provide online and offline connectivity solutions for traditional retailers to manage their business at the point of sale effectively and on the e-commerce platform.
Before delving into the comparison analysis. Let’s overview the popularity of Square POS vs Shopify POS.
The chart below shows the search interest over the period of one year, from 2020 to 2021 worldwide. The average of Square’s search interest is much higher than that of Shopify, which is 60 and 40, respectively.
The customers’ preferences for these two point-of-sale providers are represented in the following pictures
We can see that Square’s customers are outnumbered Shopify customers by the regions. Square is well-known in the US, Canada, and the UK while Shopify is only famous in Canada.
From the above investigation, it is clear that Square POS is more popular than Shopify POS. The reason can lie in that Square POS was established as a point-of-sale platform much longer before Shopify introduced its product.
Square was established in 2009 with the purpose of delivering optimal point-of-sale solutions to help brick-and-mortar businesses improve management activities. At that time, Square was the pioneer in the market for introducing new payment methods through smartphones and card readers. Square has continuously developed different features to satisfy customers’ demands in today’s digital world.
Square can be best suited for small and medium companies, as the number of small businesses using Square accounts for more than one and a half of the total number of customers using it. According to Slintel, 71% of Square’s customers are businesses that have a size of from 1 to 10 employees.
Square also works well for many industries, such as retail, food and beverage, and professional services. With specific business types, Square offers particular functionalities for each. At present, the POS system is a cloud-based point of sale and expands its business to the web and eCommerce sites to facilitate users with its ecosystem.
Unlike Square, in 2006, Shopify was first launched not as a point of sale. Shopify focuses on the retail industry; most varies of its users are retailers that have various store presence. Besides, the “Majority of Shopify POS’s customers for the pos-systems category fall in the company size of 1-10 employees” (Slintel), which indicates that Square is preferred by small-size businesses. Plus, the point of sale system is not Shopify’s flagship product, so the market share in the POS market only takes up to 0.02 (Slintel), which is very low.
The comparison between Square POS vs. Shopify POS
To compare the features of Square and Shopify POS, we will see there are not many differences. Both vendors introduce to users the basic features of the POS software. However, if analyzed, it would be some pros and cons for each functionality of the two for each functionality.
In this section, we will gather the basic features for general analysis; the remaining three features: Payment Processing, Integration, and E-commerce, which might be what you have been concerned a lot will be discussed in the following paragraph.
Basic Functionalities Comparison
|Square Vs Shopify|
|Check-out||Square and Shopify do not have much contrast regarding the “Check out” function. Two POS system provides digital receipts such as email and text and physical bills. Merchants can use various forms of payment to complete customers’ transactions. Both Square and Shopify accept split tenders, store credit, and gift cards.|
|Employee Management||Shopify provides a standard and advanced packages; with the advanced version, you can have access to track employee performance, manage register shifts, and more.
Square has a free inventory management function with a time clock, time card reporting, payroll exports, break tracking, and overtime reporting. You can also upgrade to Team Management, which costs $35 per month/ location with a 30-day free trial. It offers unlimited sets of permissions, multiple wage rates, and some advanced reporting.
|Inventory Management||Two platforms save customers’ databases through purchases so you can dive deeper into your customers’ purchase histories and contact information.
Shopify syncs your customers’ information automatically, and you can use email marketing apps to send updates on sales, promotions, or company news. Square enables customers to provide instant feedback, their shopping experience, and custom digital receipts.
|Reporting||In the Shopify POS dashboard, you can see real-time updates on sales figures, order counts, and traffic and analyze performance by employee, store, and time period.
Square offers many complete reporting features, even if you use the free version. In addition, the system sends daily summaries of your business performance in your inbox. All Square and Shopify reports are downloadable as CSV files.
Both Square and Shopify are famous for their payment method solutions. They allow users to accept customers’ payments from different ways (cash, credit cards) and channels (Online, Offline). Both services can accept payments from all major credit card networks and provide the hardware you need, such as magstripe, chip, and contactless payments.
Further, the most convenient thing is merchants do not need to open a separate account from a third-party banker. When deploying their POS system, users will be supported to have payment access to its system. Also, in terms of security, you can trust both POS systems, for they are PCI-compliant and feature fraud prevention and end-to-end encryption.
The providers gather payments from the seller’s customers and put them all into the seller’s account. They tend to deduct the service fee and the add-on packages’ cost through the seller’s account. If you do not meet the terms of service, the provider will terminate the services. Therefore, you should thoroughly research Shopify and Square’s terms of service so that this doesn’t happen to your business.
What is the difference between Square and Shopify POS systems in terms of payment processing? If you use Square POS, you must buy the company’s payment processor. This point brings advantages and disadvantages, which is if you already had a hardware system provided by another company, you must change to Square’s hardware product. However, for new businesses, you don’t have to worry about choosing hardware. On top of that, it can be said that the processors produced by Square will not let you down. They are reviewed to be very advanced, modern, and easy to use. On the other hand, Square will allow you to use third-party processors but with an additional fee (ranging from 0.5% to 2% per transaction).
Another difference is about offline payment function. Square supports users with offline payments with “offline mode” on the POS software so that the system will save and process later when the Internet is connected. In contrast, Shopify can only process offline with cash; therefore, to process payments with a debit, credit, or gift card, your system needs to connect to the Internet. Both Shopify and Square’s payment processes are PCI-compliant and feature fraud prevention and end-to-end encryption in terms of security.
|Hosted Site:||Both provide fully hosted site|
|Order Management:||Both offer the Order Management dashboard for owners and staff to monitor customer orders, shipping,, and delivery processes.|
|Web Themes||Both give various themes for merchants to customize to meet their business’s vision.|
|Web Domains:||Same as Shopify, Square offers a free Square subdomain.
Or you can get your own custom domain by subscribing with the fee of $12/month.
Another option is to connect your current owned domain with Square’s eCommerce Store.
|Shopify provides its free sub-domain name.
If you want to have your own domain, you can purchase a domain through Shopify.
If you already have a domain, you can contact for further connection with the Shopify store.
|Multi-channel||With Shopify, you can set up stores with Facebook, and eCommerce sites and manage your data through one dashboard.
It is the same as Square, and the POS system allows you to have multi-channel selling, so not only through Square’s website, you can monitor all of your sales through eCommerce sites, and social media via a POS system.
|Buy Buttons||Square has stopped allowing “Buy Buttons” on Square’s site||However, this feature remains on Shopify. Generally, if you don’t have a shopping cart, these Buy Buttons can help you generate transaction|
|Abandoned Cart Recovery:||This function has not yet been available in Square’s stores.||Shopify’s abandoned cart allows merchants to automatically send a notification to customers to remind them of an incomplete order. However, it is only available for Shopify Standard and higher packages.|
Both have excellent third-party connectivity features. Shopify and Square have a rich app marketplace that caters to all advanced features, from accounting, marketing, warehouse management, and delivery to e-commerce platforms and more. According to our assessment, Shopify has a wider variety of third-party apps than Square. On the other hand, the apps that Square allows users to integrate are tighter but with better quality.
Although the POS system providers offer a wide variety of apps, one thing worth mentioning is the integration problem. Many vendors are considering how to connect their POS software with third-party apps under the best condition, without system failure while using time. Because, after all, POS providers are only expertise in creating top-of-the-line POS software with specialized store management features.
Thus, to completely solve this problem, you need middleware to support the integration process. At present, only this option can give you the optimal solution, a middleware, and its suppliers are responsible for the integration and help you monitor and have errors/bug problems right away when the system is down. Beehexa is one of the expert units that connect third-party software and applications with the POS platform and has been very successful with different case studies across America. If you have related problems or a need to integrate intermediary software for your business, don’t hesitate to contact us!
In addition to the features of the POS system, the price of the POS system is a prerequisite when considering buying a POS system for your business. The costs of Square and Shopify POS have differences in level to understand more, you could read the below information.
Shopify offers five different pricing plans, with costs ranging from $ 9 per month to $ 299 per month. What you need to keep in mind is that there are no separate prices for Shopify’s POS and Ecommerce services. With higher-level plans, you will get more features.
|POS system||Package Fee||Price|
|Shopify||Shopify Lite||$9 per month, with a 2.7% fee on in-person credit card transactions and a 2.9% + $0.30 fee on e-commerce transactions.|
|Basic Shopify:||$29 per month, plus an additional 2% fee if you use a payment provider|
|Shopify||$79 per month, with a 2.5% on in-person transactions and 2.6% + $0.30 for eCommerce transactions, plus an additional 1% fee if you use a payment provider|
|Advanced Shopify||$299 per month, with a 2.4% for in-person card processing transactions and 2.4% + $0.30 for eCommerce transactions, plus an additional 0.5% fee if you use a payment provider|
|Shopify Plus||Varies depending on your business’s needs|
If you are just starting a business, then Shopify Lite will be the best choice for you. With this package, you can still sell online via Facebook or the website that you already have. However, if you don’t already have your own website and want to create one right on Shopify’s platform, then you are required to upgrade to the Basic or Standard plan.
For larger businesses, you can consider the Shopify Plus plan, which will allow you to personalize features on your software to suit your business line and be more flexible in managing your work.
No breaking prices into various categories like Shopify complex as many complex price tags as Shopify, Square will give you free software, and you can experience the trial for as long as you want. In fact, the Square POS system will charge you $0 in monthly fees. You will not have to pay any fee beyond the credit card transaction cost and add-on features such as email marketing, employee time management, or payroll,…
Square offers different prices for specific industries. Specifically, the amount that Square will charge for card transactions and add-on service ranges from 2,6% to the upper of 3,5% per transaction.
|POS system||Package Fee||Price|
|Square||Square for retail||Monthly fee: $0, $60, or $299 (depending on the plan you choose).Processing fees: 2.5% + $0.10Invoices and eCommerce transactions: 2.9% + $0.30Keyed-in, card-on-file, and virtual terminal: 3.5% + $0.15|
|Square Point of sale||Processing fees: 2.6% + $0.10 Keyed-in, card-on-file, and virtual terminal: 3.5% + $0.15Invoices and ecommerce transactions: 2.9% + $0.30|
|Square Appointment||Processing fees 2.6% + $0.10|
|Square for restaurant||Monthly fee: $0, $60, or $299 (depending on the plan you choose).Processing fee: 2.6% + $0.10Invoices and eCommerce transactions: 2.9% + $0.30Keyed-in, card-on-file, and virtual terminal: 3.5% + $0.15|
Technical and Customer Support
Shopify’s customer service can be said to be better than Square’s. Regardless of which subscription you’re on, you will all have access to 24/7 customer support. Shopify is known for its quick response and helpful solutions to solve problems promptly.
Also, Shopify offers a wide range of communication channels for you to find information when you need help, such as E-mail, Live Chat, Phone, Demo tutorials, and Community Forums. So there’s a good chance for self-solving technical issues without having to contact Shopify’s customer support team.
Although Square’s customer service isn’t as good as Shopify’s, Square strives to deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction. Square does not offer 24/7 phone support. If you decide to call their customer care line, you’ll have to get the code and wait for your turn until you are allowed to talk with a Square technician.
Plus, you can send a message to Square any time you want. However, you will have to wait for 24 hours for a response. Alternatively, you can post your questions on Square’s user forum called ‘Seller Community, which is full of Square merchants and customer support representatives who are generally happy to help you answer questions.
What do users’ feedback on Square POS and Shopify POS?
Each POS system has unique advantages. According to our research, the best point people talk about Square is its friendly interface; merchants and their staff does not need to spend much time learning how to use the system. Second, the free experience of the POS system brings exciting feelings for most customers to open new accounts on Square, which makes a raising in the number of Square’s customers. Besides, the feature and various add-on options are other things that users satisfy about Square.
Similar to Square, Shopify’s interface and features are also a plus as it is so easy to use. Shopify customers also love the different payment methods Shopify integrates. In addition, with the product package, the seller has also been provided with everything at a basic and complete level for a new store to start operating.
The most dissatisfying thing about Square is its customer service. Besides, the integration with third-party software often causes system errors and slows down the operation process.
As for Shopify, the price of the software and the products are considered to be quite high. Not to mention, if you wanted to extend the functionality of Shopify’s platform, you would have to purchase several plugins. Again, this can make Shopify a costly option. Shopify does not have a feature that supports offline mode when there is a lacking internet connection.
To summarize what is presented, the comparison table below will illustrate:
|Lots of integrations|
|24/7 customer service|
|No monthly fees|
|Great feature set|
4. Final words
We hope our comparison of Square and Shopify POS is worth reading. To sum up the idea, we would like to share that there are many aspects of a POS system you need to have to delve into deeply to consider the one that is most suitable for you and your business.
When it comes to Square and Shopify, the price of the Square system is more favorable for small businesses, for it is free and only cost when there are successful transactions and if you don’t need to have advanced functions. On the other hand, if choosing Shopify, you have to pay a monthly subscription fee with a lower payment processing fee than Square offers. As far as prices, sometimes it depends on your demand.
Shopify is more specializes in providing an online POS system, while Square is a full package of offline and online services. If you’re a merchant selling products online, use Shopify as your POS. You would have to pay more for the integration, but you’ll get a sleek e-commerce system for operating. We recommend you use Square for new businesses, as you’ll get the full package of POS functionality at lower prices.