ShopKeep: elegant, versatile point of sale solution for both restaurant and retail.
Updated July 04, 2015

ShopKeep: elegant, versatile point of sale solution for both restaurant and retail.

Mark Johnston | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • iPad register
  • iCMP credit card scanner
  • 7Mi bluetooth barcode scanner
  • iDynamo5 lightning credit card swiper
  • 1416 cash drawer
  • TSP100 ethernet receipt printer
  • SP700 kitchen printer

Overall Satisfaction with ShopKeep POS

I consulted with a local small business to qualify, commission, and install a new point-of-sale system for the company's two retail locations. Previously the company was using a stand-alone cash register and credit card swiper. The new system needed to not only provide point-of-sale register functionality, it also needed to provide tools for managing inventory and employee hours and reporting basic business metrics like sales and margins, as well as having the ability to export data to Quickbooks and Excel for further analysis and use.
  • ShopKeep provides solid pre-sales support. They did a pre-sales screen-share demo that helped us ensure that their system would handle the needs of the business, and they assisted us in making decisions around which hardware would be appropriate.
  • ShopKeep's hardware seems well thought out and well integrated. One exception is issues with the connection between their recommended iCMP credit card scanner and the register. Other than that, the hardware works well together.
  • The register has excellent configurability and customization capabilities, and handles a large variety of products easily. High-volume products can have their own buttons on the register. Products can be added to a purchase by using these buttons, by scanning a bar code with an integrated bar code scanner, or by doing a live text search.
  • The register is also easily configurable to handle product options - either multiple options like pizza toppings, or exclusive options like regular or decaf coffee.
  • The ShopKeep system can handle hybrid retail/quick serve/restaurant scenarios with grace. This was a factor that eliminated many other systems that are optimized for one or the other, or where the products for handling retail are completely separate from the products for handling quick serve/restaurant operations. Since this customer has a location where there is a quick serve counter, a restaurant, and a retail gift shop all in the same location, ShopKeep's ability to handle all of these kinds of transactions from the same platform is a powerful advantage. ShopKeep also recently added functionality to transfer open tickets between registers, so that if a customer starts out with a cup of coffee at the quick serve counter, their ticket can be picked up and added to at the gift shop if they wander in there to purchase items.
  • ShopKeep has a Back Office system that can be accessed through any Web browser, or through their mobile app. The Back Office system is used to import and export data, manage inventory, configure the iPad registers, set up product options, manage employees, and report transactions, sales, product costs & margins, and other data.
  • Discounts, returns and credits are relatively easy to handle from the register, and the system can be configured to require a manager to approve these kinds of transactions, or not.
  • Bulk imports and exports are handled well by ShopKeep's Back Office. When setting up initial inventory, products can be added through Excel, then imported as comma-separated values (CSV) files by uploading them through the Web browser. Once inventory is established, adding or modifying items can be done directly through the Web interface.
  • ShopKeep has a mobile app that can be used by owners or managers to remotely access real-time snapshots of sales and other important data whenever they wish.
  • ShopKeep's recommended iCMP credit card swiper has been a source of trouble. It regularly drops its Bluetooth connection to the register and needs to be "warm rebooted" to be detected again by the register. This reboot take about 20-30 seconds and this is a complete productivity killer when there is a line of customers at the register. It also causes loss of confidence in the system on the part of the cashiers. While the warm reboot usually works in restoring functionality, occasionally we have had to go to the iPad's Bluetooth settings to forget the iCMP device, and then go through the process of pairing it again to the iPad. This is a time-consuming process that further reduces productivity. Shopkeep has acknowledge the problem and says that an upcoming software release will improve the situation, but has not committed to a time frame.
  • ShopKeep could use some additional control with respect to the roles that can access the Back Office. Currently, those who have been provided credentials to access the Back Office can see and do everything, from managing inventory and modifying product info, to getting detailed financial reports. A better scenario would be to have at least one more role, so that for example, a store manager could handle inventory-related operations but not see financial reports - the latter would only be accessible by the business owners. One could also envision another role for the accountant, who could access selected financial data, but not have complete access to everything.
  • ShopKeep sells a cradle for the iCMP card reader, but this cradle provides not mechanism for locking the card reader to the cradle, so in some environments there might be concerns about theft of the card reader, which is about the size of a hand-held calculator.
  • ShopKeep's options for having customers sign directly on the iPad register or on a paper receipt for credit card transactions should be able to be configured on a per-register basis. A per-register setting would allow customers in the restaurant to sign directly on the iPad being carried by the waitstaff, while allowing customers at the counter to sing a paper receipt. Currently there is one setting for the whole store.
  • ShopKeep brings significant benefits to small businesses in the way of real-time sales reporting, extensive Back Office reporting, inventory and employee management, and ease of use.
  • Employees - some of whom had never used an iPad - had no trouble learning register functionality and cashier operations. The register is very intuitive, well-labeled, and easy to use.
  • For the business owner, being able to remotely monitor activity in real time through the mobile application, to export data to Quickbooks or other tools, and to track product sales, margins and inventory levels, is a significant benefit to improving business performance, and reducing capital tied up in slow-moving inventory.
  • NCR silver,touchbistro,Aloha,Lightspeed
We also looked at NCR Silver, another leading POS vendor. However, Silver has separate products for retail vs. quick serve/restaurant, and those products do no work the same or share data with each other. Same issue with Lightspeed - separate products for restaurant vs. retail. We also looked at solutions such as TouchBistro and Aloha which do not really have much functionality for anything but a restaurant operation, and were disqualified because they could not handle the retail side of this business.
ShopKeep POS really shines where there is the need for one system to support quick serve, restaurant, and retail operations. If the iCMP card reader connectivity issue were solved, I would give ShopKeep an "8" rating, and highly recommend it. As it is, the elegance and power of the platform is seriously compromised by this single hardware issue. If ShopKeep's BackOffice also had slightly more flexible and configurable access roles, I would not hesitate to give it a "9" or "10".

Using ShopKeep POS

15 - Quick serve counter cashiers, Retail shop cashiers, Kitchen staff, Wait staff, Business managers, Business owners, and Consultants.
1 - Basic "computer literacy" skills on desktop web browser and iPad.
Understanding of data import/export, basic Excel operations with comma-separated-values [CSV] files for bulk data operations.
Basic understanding of wired and wireless network troubleshooting.
Logical problem-solving skills.
Ability to communicate issues clearly to vendor technical support staff via telephone.
  • Managing inventory. Being able to track, add, adjust, and cost inventory items.
  • Monitoring business activity, including employee clock-in/clock-out, shift openings/closings, sales transactions.
  • Recording customer transactions - sales, returns, credits, discounts, etc.
  • We are using Shopkeep to do some simple inventory management at the warehouse. Even though we have no need for a register there, we can use the Shopkeep Back Office functionality to track incoming products and share the data to our retail locations.
  • We are adding another location for the warehouse. We will still need to manually adjust inventory levels when we move items from the warehouse to the retail locations (Shopkeep does not yet have capability to automatically move inventory from one location to another), but we will be able to track inventory in and out of the warehouse.
Because we expect the current issue with the credit card reader disconnecting from the register to be solved with an upcoming software update, and we like many of the features of Shopkeep.

ShopKeep POS Implementation

If moving from a "dumb" cash register system, spend all the time needed to get starting inventory and product costing and pricing correct. Shopkeep has good tools for reporting inventory, margins, and other critical business info, but the information is only useful if the starting figures are accurate.
  • Professional services company
An experienced platform integrator, IntSysInt did the qualification, consulted on hardware, installed, commissioned, tested, and verified the platform.
Yes - Phase 1: Inventory count and data import
Phase 2: Employee setup
Phase 3: Hardware installation
Phase 4: System test
Phase 5: Go-live
Change management was a minor issue with the implementation - Cashier training was minimal - Shopkeep has a very intuitive register interface, and even somewhat "technophobic" cashiers readily learned the system. Revising shift opening and closing procedures was slightly more significant, but a "cheat sheet" for opening and closing procedures was prepared that described steps in detail and enforced consistency.
  • Getting an accurate starting inventory.
  • Setting up variations and options for products.
  • Installing network cabling and routing to the various locations in the facility to support the hardware configuration.

ShopKeep POS Support

Occasional long waits [5 minutes or more] or call-backs needed for telephone support. Email support replies usually take several hours. Support personnel are generally friendly and knowledgable.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Yes - Significant bug: credit card reader disconnects from register. Evaluating beta software that is supposed to fix the bug, but released software that is confirmed to resolve the issue has not yet been released.

Update: Shopkeep has released a new software update (2.6.2) that seems to resolve this issue.

Using ShopKeep POS

The register functionality is excellent, both from a learning standpoint and an operations standpoint. Cashiers learn how to use the register quickly, and the registers can be configured with hot buttons for fast-moving products. Setting up product variations and additions is straightforward. The web-accessible Back Office has good features, but lacks enough granularity to provide a store manager with the ability to modify inventory settings without giving them access to all of the financial reports as well.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Finding products: cashiers at a register can do a live-text search, use a pre-configured hot button for high-volume products, or scan a bar code with the integrated bar code scanner.
  • Returns: pulling up a ticket from the current shift and crediting customers for a returned item is very simple. Items purchased during previous shifts can still be looked up if the [fairly long] transaction serial number is available [for example, from the customer's purchase receipt].
  • Bulk operations: Shopkeep supports import and export by using data files in CSV ["comma-separated-values"] format, allowing bulk updates to product data by using Excel or other spreadsheet software. The system provides downloadable blank files that have the correct columns for most bulk operations.
  • Shopkeep does not allow automated transfer between separate accounts. Since the most logical way to configure Shopkeep is to use a separate account for different physical locations [for example, different retail stores], transferring inventory requires manually decrementing the inventory at one location, then manually incrementing it at the other.
  • There is only a single setting for how credit card transactions are signed by customers within a particular account or location. Therefore, if there are multiple registers, the system cannot be configured so that customers sign directly on the iPad for some registers [for example, a mobile register carried by a waitperson in the restaurant] and other customers sign a paper receipt [for example at the retail or quick-serve counter].