Shopify extends point-of-sale hardware to Canadian retailers after initial US launch

Shopify POS Go
Shopify continues physical retail push as online sales fall from pandemic heights.

Shopify is making its point-of-sale (POS) hardware solution available to Canada as part of its broader product strategy for both online and offline commerce.

The Ottawa retail tech giant’s mobile selling device, called “POS Go,” was first rolled out to retailers in the United States (US) in 2022.

POS Go is built to run Shopify’s POS software, which launched in 2013 and came out with a “new” version in 2020. The hardware is part of Shopify’s renewed plans for brick-and-mortar sales tools as the reduction of social distancing and restrictions due to COVID-19 have brought back foot traffic for businesses.

Shopify’s decision to expand into physical retail comes after its initial focus on e-commerce, which CEO Tobi Lütke has called the wrong bet to make as online retail sales have descended from pandemic-driven heights. The company has since made layoffs and key executive changes, and sold its logistics arm.

Shopify claims that in the first quarter of 2023, sales made by merchants using its point-of-sale solution grew 31 percent year over year.

Arpan Podduturi, vice president of product at Shopify, told BetaKit that Go’s initial launch in the US allowed the company to “better understand the demand from merchants” as it plans for additional international rollouts.

Go is meant to help businesses maintain more control of their stores, allowing them to access real-time sales information, monitor operations, and deliver on-the-spot personalized experiences for customers on the sales floor.

According to Shopify, merchants with presence across the US and Canada can now combine various aspects of their offline selling experience into one handheld device.

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Other features in Go include a built-in barcode scanner that allows retailers to process transactions wirelessly, build carts in-store and email them to customers for completion later, and take payments confidentially.

With this Canadian launch, Shopify said Go now comes with a French translation option for its merchants in Québec.

Despite consumer trends changing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, brick-and-mortar stores have remained the primary point of purchase for consumers, representing almost 70 percent of total retail sales, according to the US National Retail Federation.

As a relatively new product, Go faces heated competition in the POS space with other companies offering solutions for physical retail.

Montréal-founded Lightspeed Commerce, for example, offers its POS solutions to both retail and restaurant industries. Nuvei, which is also based in Montréal, offers a cloud-based POS integration. There are also incumbents in the US, such as Clover Network and Square.

Featured image courtesy Shopify.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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