Use WordPress WooCommerce as a Point of Sale

Finally, you can use WooCommerce as a POS. I had a client website build last month and was asked if there was anything I could recommend that could be used as a Point of Sale (POS). Its then that I found out that the average cost for POS software (forget about the hardware) was upwards of $1,500 and can fetch as much as $3,000 for specialist industries.

Once I started probing for more details I uncovered that all the hype is for nothing and all it is; a cloud based database of products and a way to checkout, manage inventory, and a payment gateway.

You might also enjoy:

  1. How to grow your new blog / website following using the rule of 10.
  2. How to write kick ass headlines that get results.
  3. Why your Facebook organic reach is declining.

This is when I realised that one could easily take a basic install of WooCommerce, strip the host template of all the unnecessary and viola you have a cloud based database of products, checkout, inventory management, reporting, and payment methods.

My Journey to Making WooCommerce and TwentyFourteen a POS.

Customer requirements was to have an easy way to manage products and stock, have detailed reporting, and checkout via cash or card (they have a device that processes cards).

To be clear, the customer did not want ecommerce on her website. This can work with ecommerce and you would be able to use the same database but checking out will happen via the POS plugin.

Phase One– I setup a subdomain store.yourwebsite.com where I installed a fresh instance of WordPress running TwentyFourteen and WooCommerce.

If you wanted to integrate this into your existing ecommerce site and share the same database (for obvious reasons) then you would simply skip to Step 4.

Phase Two– I wanted the site to remain blocked to users other than those logged in whilst keeping it from being indexed by search engines.

I searched long and hard to find the best plugin for this and found an amazing solution called Hide My Site.

This plugin creates a login roadblock for your entire domain. Download it if you want to keep the POS for internal use only.

Phase Three– Plan and map out my site map and functionality needed. This is where you can get pretty creative.

I basically needed to have a store front for the POS (in this case the /Shop/ page), a message board (stock standard blog setup), customer signup form (linked to MailChimp) and a access to the backend to add products, view reports etc…

Having chosen TwentyFourteen theme has made it super easy to add cart widgets to the side bar, and use the top menu for the POS (we will get to it soon) and checkout. This seemed logical and faster/ easier to navigate.

I also tweaked the settings on WooCommerce payments to suit the client’s needs. In this case its mostly cash and card payments. So to get it to work I simply used Bank Transfer (changed the name to Card) and Cash. This meant that the sale can be processed on the spot.

Phase Four– Start adding products. In order to manage stock and find products more efficiently I used the product’s SKU code (unique product identifier) as the product name. This way the sales rep could simply take the items off the customer, punch in the SKU code found on the tag and the product is found.

You can use another method and will entirely depend on what products you are selling.

Phase Five– Installing the brand new WooCommerce POS plugin. This was the most exciting find as stumbled upon it after the build. What it is in short is simply an easier, better looking, and more familiar POS checkout for WooCommerce. It uses the same database, products and functions as a standard install but adds a sort of “checkout on steroids” feel.

The plugin is still in its infancy and there are things that could be improved by as it stands now- its pure brilliance.

Download the plugin here.

If you were running this parallel to your ecommerce store then you probably want to create a hidden page or link where only you can access the POS part of the store. The rest is easy.

Putting it all together and the Result.

  1. I have two ways to checkout as a sales rep adding the extra level of surety knowing that if one fails there is the other way to go.
    1. Via the POS (using the slick interface)
    2. Via the standard WooCommerce checkout
  2. POS can only be accessed via login so it is secure. Payments are geared to work fast and process an order on the spot.
  3. Sales reps can process an order on an iPad or tablet from anywhere in the store.
  4. Looks good, it’s light weight, costs next to nothing, and gets the job done.
  5. With a bit of creativity one can build in loyalty programs (customer signs up to place order) where you track sales per customer and offer discounts etc…

 

Good luck trying this and hope it is as much fun for you to build as it has been for me. If you have any thoughts or ideas please share it below with the rest of us.

Image thanks to WikiMedia Commons.