Shopify unveils a new lineup of retail hardware

Shopify is expanding its efforts in brick-and-mortar retail with the launch of its brand-new retail hardware amass.

The company is best-known as a platform for construction online stores, but it also offers point-of-sale program for physical stores, and it launched a credit card reader a couple of years ago. With the brand-new amass — which includes a redesigned touch & Chip Reader, as well as the Dock and Retail Stand — Shopify has created a more comprehensive solution for offline retail.

majesty Product Officer Craig Miller told me that Shopify is taking benefit of an “industry-wide trend,” where online retailers knocked
a “tipping point” and realize that “the next stride to scale your business is opening an offline store.” He pointed to bedding and home decor company Parachute as an instance — after all, Miller and his faction were demonstrating the hardware in Parachute’s brand-new York City store.

He suggested that Shopify’s biggest benefit is the ability to bridge a retailer’s online and offline businesses — among other things, allowing them to track all their inventory in one place, or to offer customers the ability to order a product online and pick it up in-store.

“Consumer expectations are just going through the roof,” Miller said. And while these kinds of capabilities “might be available at some of the larger stores, when you think about smaller retail, they don’t have access to that enterprise stuff. We’ve been able to create one package that does it all.”

Shopify touch and Chip Reader

a bit more about the hardware itself: The Stand allows retailers to mount and charge a tablet, which can also swivel across a counter to allow the customer to check out. The touch & Chip Reader, meanwhile, has been redesigned to fit in with the rest of the brand-new hardware lineup, and it can be mounted and charged on the Dock.

The whole setup can be placed on a traditional checkout counter, or simply carried and used around the store.

As a shopper, the experience might feel similar to paying at one of those familiar Square stands and card readers. While Miller didn’t mention Square specifically, he acknowledged that Shopify isn’t the first company to create this kind of product.

“We’ve always been a believer that first-to-marketplace is not always the winner,” he said. “Just as a company, we’re philosophically inclined to taking our moment just to understand what the marketplace is looking for, to compete some assumptions — like whether there even needs to be a checkout counter.”

The brand-new hardware can be purchased individually or in a combined retail kit that costs $229.


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