Shopify POS vs Zettle explained – Payment processing comparison

Updated on 8 December 2023

In today’s fast-paced digital era, adopting a robust and efficient Point of Sale (POS) system is pivotal for businesses of all sizes. The POS system not only facilitates transactions but also streamlines the management of sales, inventory, and customer relations. For businesses operating in the UK, two popular choices stand out – Shopify POS vs Zettle.

 
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This article presents an in-depth comparison of these two platforms to help businesses make an informed decision about which suits their needs better.

Shopify POS vs Zettle

Features/ FeesShopify POSZettle
CostSubscription-based (£29 – £2,000+ per month)Pay-as-you-go (Card reader costs around £59)
Transaction FeesCard reader transactions: 1.7% (basic plan)
Online credit card transactions: 2.2% + 20p (basic plan)
Flat rate of 1.75% per transaction
HardwareWide range of hardware (card readers, receipt printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners)
Compatible with iOS and Android (some features iOS-exclusive)
Primarily card readers, with limited support for receipt printers and cash drawers
Compatible with iOS and Android
Inventory ManagementDetailed analytics and real-time tracking across all channels
Advanced product categorisation and SKU tracking
Basic inventory features
Product categorisation and sales tracking
Basic stock level alerts
Customer Management & Loyalty SchemesDetailed customer profiles and purchase tracking
Targeted discounts
Loyalty programme (with higher-level plans)
Basic customer tracking
No built-in loyalty scheme (can be added through integrations)
E-commerce IntegrationSeamless integration with Shopify e-commerce platformNo built-in e-commerce capabilities
Can be integrated with various e-commerce platforms
Support24/7 support via phone, email, and live chatEmail and live chat support during business hours
Shopify POS vs Zettle

Please remember that these details are subject to change and it’s best to check the latest information on each provider’s website. It’s also recommended to thoroughly evaluate each system according to the specific needs of your business before making a decision.

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Overview of Shopify POS and Zettle

Shopify POS

Shopify, a Canada-based multinational e-commerce company, offers an all-inclusive POS system. Shopify POS is an extension of the Shopify platform, enabling businesses to sell not only online but also in physical locations. It’s a powerful system designed to integrate seamlessly with your Shopify e-commerce store, providing a unified platform to manage both online and offline sales.

Zettle

Zettle, previously known as iZettle, is a Swedish fintech company owned by PayPal. It’s known for its mobile card readers, but it also provides a complete POS system. Zettle is designed for small businesses, making it easy to accept card and contactless payments at a physical location. It doesn’t offer built-in e-commerce capabilities like Shopify, but it integrates well with various e-commerce platforms.

Cost comparison

Shopify POS

Shopify POS operates on a subscription-based model with several plans to choose from. As of 2024, the ‘Basic Shopify’ plan begins at £29 per month, and the most advanced ‘Shopify Plus’ plan can cost upwards of £2,000 per month. Each tier includes access to both the e-commerce platform and POS system, differing in advanced features and lower transaction fees for higher tiers.

In terms of payment processing, Shopify charges a fee based on your subscription plan. For the basic plan, the fee for card reader transactions is 1.7%, while online credit card rates are 2.2% + 20p. These rates decrease with higher-level plans.

Zettle

Zettle follows a pay-as-you-go model, where the initial cost includes purchasing a card reader priced at around £59 (though frequently discounted). There’s no monthly subscription fee, making it an attractive option for smaller businesses or those with lower sales volumes.

For card transactions, Zettle charges a flat rate of 1.75% per transaction, regardless of the card type or where it was issued. There are no additional costs or hidden fees.

Hardware and compatibility

Shopify POS

The Shopify POS system works with a range of hardware, including card machines, receipt printers, cash drawers, and barcode scanners. You can buy these directly from Shopify or use compatible third-party hardware.

Shopify POS is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, offering versatility. However, some features are exclusive to iOS, limiting functionality on Android.

Zettle

Zettle offers a more limited range of hardware products, mainly focusing on card readers. It also supports some receipt printers and cash drawers, but it lacks the comprehensive hardware ecosystem of Shopify.

Zettle’s card readers work with both iOS and Android devices, providing a simple, user-friendly interface.

Inventory management

Shopify POS

Shopify POS excels in inventory management. It provides detailed analytics and real-time inventory tracking across all sales channels. Products can be categorised, and SKU numbers are tracked meticulously.

Zettle

Zettle offers basic inventory management features. It allows for product categorisation, tracking sales, and basic stock level alerts, but it lacks the advanced analytics and detailed tracking offered by Shopify.

Customer management and loyalty schemes

Shopify POS

Shopify POS shines in customer management. It allows businesses to create customer profiles, track purchases, and offer targeted discounts. With the higher-level plans, you can also create a loyalty programme to reward regular customers.

Zettle

Zettle offers a simple customer management system. It can keep track of customers and their purchases, but it doesn’t offer the in-depth analytics or customisation options that Shopify does. There’s no built-in loyalty programme feature, although it can be added through integrations.

Conclusion

Both Shopify POS and Zettle offer robust POS solutions, but they cater to different business needs. Shopify POS, with its more comprehensive features and seamless integration with an e-commerce platform, may be more suited to businesses that want a unified solution for online and physical sales. On the other hand, Zettle, with its simpler approach and lower cost, may appeal more to small businesses or those primarily operating in physical locations.

When choosing between Shopify POS and Zettle, businesses must consider their sales channels, budget, and the level of functionality required. A trial period is also recommended before making a commitment to either platform.

FAQ – Shopify POS vs Zettle

What is the main difference between Shopify POS and Zettle?

Shopify POS is an integrated POS system that ties seamlessly with your Shopify online store, providing detailed inventory and customer management. Zettle, on the other hand, is a simple, straightforward mobile POS system designed for small businesses to accept card payments with ease.

How does the cost of Shopify POS compare to Zettle?

Shopify POS operates on a monthly subscription basis with different tiers (£29 to £2,000+ per month), whereas Zettle follows a pay-as-you-go model, only charging a flat rate of 1.75% per transaction and an initial cost for the card reader.

Can I use my existing hardware with both Shopify POS and Zettle?

Both platforms work with a range of third-party hardware. Shopify POS offers more extensive compatibility with various devices, while Zettle primarily focuses on its mobile card reader.

How do Shopify POS and Zettle handle inventory management?

Shopify POS provides real-time inventory tracking across all channels with advanced analytics, whereas Zettle offers basic inventory management with product categorisation and sales tracking.

Does Shopify POS offer better customer management features than Zettle?

Shopify POS does provide a more detailed customer management system, allowing for customer profiles, targeted discounts, and loyalty programmes. Zettle offers basic customer tracking without a built-in loyalty scheme.

Can I operate both online and offline stores with Shopify POS and Zettle?

Shopify POS is designed to operate seamlessly with your online and offline stores. Zettle primarily caters to physical locations but can be integrated with various e-commerce platforms for online operations.

Which platform, Shopify POS or Zettle, provides better support?

Shopify POS provides 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat. Zettle offers email and live chat support, but only during business hours.

Are both Shopify POS and Zettle compatible with iOS and Android devices?

Yes, both Shopify POS and Zettle are compatible with iOS and Android devices. However, some advanced features of Shopify POS are exclusive to iOS.

Which is better for small businesses, Shopify POS or Zettle?

Both can work well, but the choice depends on the specific needs of the business. Zettle, with its lower upfront costs and simple interface, may be more suitable for smaller businesses, while Shopify POS could be better for those that also operate online or require advanced features.

Can I process contactless payments with both Shopify POS and Zettle?

Yes, both Shopify POS and Zettle allow businesses to process contactless payments using their card readers.

Which has lower transaction fees, Shopify POS or Zettle?

Zettle has a flat transaction fee of 1.75%, while Shopify POS has varying rates depending on the subscription plan. For the basic plan, Shopify’s card reader transactions are charged at 1.7%.

Do both Shopify POS and Zettle offer receipt printing options?

Yes, both Shopify POS and Zettle support receipt printing through compatible printers.

Can I manage multiple stores with both Shopify POS and Zettle?

Yes, you can manage multiple stores with both systems. Shopify POS allows you to manage multiple locations from a single account, while Zettle offers multi-account features.

Do Shopify POS and Zettle allow for employee management?

Shopify POS offers more advanced employee management features, including setting individual permissions. Zettle allows for employee tracking but lacks detailed management options.

Which provides better reporting features, Shopify POS or Zettle?

Shopify POS offers more detailed and customisable reporting features, while Zettle provides basic sales reporting.

Can I offer gift cards with both Shopify POS and Zettle?

Shopify POS allows for selling and redeeming gift cards. Zettle does not have this feature built-in but it can be added through integrations.

Do both Shopify POS and Zettle accept all major credit and debit cards?

Yes, both Shopify POS and Zettle accept payments from all major credit and debit cards.

Which is easier to set up, Shopify POS or Zettle?

Both systems are designed for ease of setup, but Zettle, with its more straightforward features and functionalities, may be quicker to set up than Shopify POS.

Can I track sales in real-time with both Shopify POS and Zettle?

Yes, both Shopify POS and Zettle offer real-time sales tracking, although Shopify POS provides more detailed analytics.

Do Shopify POS and Zettle offer integration with third-party applications?

Yes, both platforms offer a range of integrations. Shopify POS provides more comprehensive integration options, particularly with Shopify’s own suite of tools and apps. Zettle also offers various integrations, particularly for e-commerce through its parent company, PayPal.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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