Shopify’s Hardware Chip And Shopify Swipe Reader

Shopify’s Chip And  Shopify Swipe Reader

Shopify has designed its own hardware for the first time, building out a design group and coming up with a special approach to the simple card reader, that basic necessity in the real-world merchant’s toolkit.  The swipe card reader and the chip made its official debut in San Francisco at Shopify’s Unite developer conference, and it is a device with a shallow simplicity that shows just how much care went into the whole design undertaking.

Shopify POS Retail History

From around 2013 onwards, Shopify started paying attention to how much of its online-seller customer base started selling in person, through shops and also via small shops set up in their hometowns.  It released Shopify POS for the first time that year, and the difference in that was the hardware component.  Shopify was happy as it was not in its core set of skills to rely on partners for that hardware bit of the film.

“We’ve learned a ton over that period of time, in bringing people hardware and scaling point of sale to many tens of thousands of merchants,” explained Shopify VP of Product Satish Kanwar in an interview. “What we’ve seen is the evolution of the retail store as a place that was primarily a first channel for someone, to being a great experiential marketing strategy for people, and just a necessary part of the growth and evolution of any retail brand, whether you started online first or not.”

Shopify Retail Solution

Retail is currently changing as a result, which means retailers desire a solution across both online and offline parts of their businesses, Kanwar says.  That led them to set up making their dedicated hardware unit within the company around one year ago, with the aim of taking all of the lessons they have learned from their merchants’ collective experience with sales.

“What people forget is that it’s not just the merchant that’s touching the hardware, like a cash register,” Kanwar said. “When it comes to a card reader, it’s the shopper that’s interacting with the device and inputting their card as well. What we realized is that it’s really hard to get a good balance of good quality, versatility and something that provides that delightful experience in something that’s also affordable.”

Shopify retail

Advantages of Shopify’s Chip And  Shopify Swipe Reader

Shopify’s reader is a device designed to cover all these bases, with a removable reader which you can use one-handed and can deal with both swipes and chip-based “drops”.  A subtle groove delivers a good thumb rest and Kanwar revealed how a retailer can even use it piled with their mobile phone with one hand as a result of the groove, paired with a textured coating which will not slide off the back of your smartphone or tablet too readily.

The reader plugs into a foundation via USB, which is also for charging, and the connector used to plug the base into is also a power source.  The battery in the reader, if left unplugged, should deal with a complete weeks’ worth of trades, and the modular design is made to fit with mounting options to come later on, in addition to the current base.

If they do what they’ve set out to do all of the careful design work of Shopify will likely remain largely invisible to both the merchants and shoppers. Kanwar notes that device and the minimalist branding is intended to help foreground the in-person shopping experience, rather than the tech that enables it.

Shopify Hardware

The Shopify hardware works with both Android and iOS, and connects to phones via Bluetooth LE. The payments processing fees will be starting out at 2.5 percent.

 

 

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