Shopkeep Backoffice: Worth A Try?
There was a time when you wouldn’t hear a negative word said of Shopkeep Backoffice, but a number of negative reviews have been popping up here and there regarding the system. Does this mean that it’s not worth the investment, or is it just a few people who have had a bad experience with the software? Shopkeep remains a popular choice, and by and large, most users do report being generally satisfied with the experience of using it in their stores and restaurants, but there are some problems that need to be addressed. The question is whether these downsides are deal breakers for you and your business.
Shopping around for the right POS software is a bit like hiring the right staff. The candidate you wind up hiring might not be the one with the most experience, but maybe they’re great at working within your team, or maybe their skillset could be limited, but it’s limited in such a way that they’re really focused on whatever it is that you need them to do. The same goes for POS systems. When you select a POS system for your business ,it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be right for you.
This is to say that while some people may regret investing in Shopkeep Backoffice, that doesn’t mean that their experience will wind up reflecting yours in any meaningful way. They may simply be asking the software to do something that it’s not really designed for, and it may not be what you need the software to do. The only way to know for sure is to see for yourself. Evaluate what people are saying, check out a live demo and judge for yourself whether or not Shopkeep Backoffice succeeds where you need it to, even if it isn’t perfect for everyone.
Shopkeep: What Are People Complaining About?
One of the main issues that the negative reviews have been focusing on: Poor customer support. Many users have reported having a hard time getting in touch with a representative and having their concerns addressed. However, it should be noted that in many of these reviews a representative of the company has left a comment in an attempt to get in touch with the user. Whether this is simple PR work and damage control after neglecting serious customer concerns, or the company has experienced a legitimate issue with their communications, one that can’t really be held against the brand itself, we’ll leave for you to judge.
What does not have to be left up to the individual’s judgment: Shopkeep Backoffice charges for you to use their customer service help. This is a big problem. Even if the error was on their part, you have to pay to have it addressed. If for no other reason, this alone makes it difficult to wholeheartedly recommend Shopkeep Backoffice unless you really like the interface and features more than those found in any other system.
Users have also made a note of processing fees that can quickly grow out of hand. When you are trying to work within a budget, being nickel-and-dimed by extra charges that you were not accounting for can be a problem. These fees may come in small amounts, but they add up. Customers have also noted that the monthly fees can jump without warning. This is a major issue even if you can afford the new payment without sweating spending a few extra bucks. The problem is simply that it’s hard to switch over to a new POS system, and the makers of Shopkeep know this. It can feel a bit like you’re being taken advantage of because they know that you’re more likely to grin and bear it than you are to go looking for a new POS system to switch over to. In one sense, you could say that POS software makers maintain monopolies of a sort, like cable providers. Once they have you using their services, they can do what they like because it’s so hard to switch to a new service provider.
Some brands will take this into account and still treat their customers fairly. Others will boost their prices without warning and add on extra fees that you would have to read deep into the fine print to educate yourself on. Shopkeep is far from the worst offender in this regard, but before investing in the system you should know that the price you think you’re agreeing to might not be exactly what you’re going to be paying every single month. Even so, Shopkeep Backoffice comes out to being one of the more affordable systems out there, but you should consider setting some extra money aside each month just in case you have to pay a little more than you were expecting to pay.
When using Shopkeep Backoffice, you have to use the hardware that they provide you with. On the upside, getting outfitted with this hardware is fairly affordable, in fact, it’s cheaper than buying it all separately from different manufacturers. However, if you already have hardware in your shop, then this is an expense that you might prefer not to have to pay. This comes down to your own personal situation. If you don’t have your store outfitted yet, then buying the Shopkeep Backoffice package is a nice all-in-one solution, but if you already have your hardware all set up, then this is just more money you have to pay to get started.
There are some more technical issues that people dislike, as well. For instance, all cards are processed as credit, and there is some lag when ringing a customer up at times, leading to customers becoming annoyed and impatient. Many of these issues are just the technical hang ups that you can expect with just about any system. The technology isn’t perfect, POS systems are still a work in progress, so you can’t expect perfect performance one hundred percent of the time.
However, many of the issues surrounding Backoffice absolutely need to be addressed. It is a major turnoff for many users to have to pay for customer support, and there are concerns surrounding transparency and reliability. That is to say, many users simply don’t trust the makers of Shopkeep Backoffice, and the brand needs to put some work into rebuilding that trust. With the money that you need to put down in order to use a POS system, you want to feel that you are in good hands, and many Shopkeep Backoffice users simply don’t see it that way anymore.
So Why Do People Still Use It?
The issues that we’ve laid out above seem pretty severe. Certainly, it’s enough to have many users canceling their accounts and switching to other systems, even knowing the expenses and effort involved in switching to a new POS system. The question that remains is why so many people are still using Shopkeep Backoffice when there are such serious concerns that are shaking people’s confidence not only in the software but in the brand itself. Hidden fees, paid customer service and an unresponsive help desk should be enough to put this one on the definite “no” list for many business owners. So, why do some people swear by it?
The big draw with Shopkeep Backoffice is that it’s just about the most easy-to-use, intuitive POS system available right now. That said, it’s not as in-depth as some, but it’s very easy to learn. In fact, more servers than not might just be able to figure it out on their owns. This can ultimately save time and money as you don’t need to spend as much time and effort on training your staff on how to use the new software. Adding custom options is easy, and so is taking orders, and the reports are easy to read.
The system is very easy to set up, as well. This perhaps owes in part to the dedicated hardware. With many POS systems, you’re going to have to set aside a weekend to get the whole thing up and running. With Shopkeep Backoffice, if you show up for work a half hour early, you might just have it out of the box and up and running before you open your doors for the day. This is especially handy if you are setting up a new location and want to get it up and running in a hurry.
The wireless hardware is nice, too. If you don’t already have some hardware that you’re kind of attached to, then we can’t knock the dedicated hardware. It’s very easy to set up and very easy to use, and you won’t have to dangle cables and wires all over the store in order to keep it running. This might not sound like that big of a deal, but if you’ve ever tripped over a cable on your way into the kitchen, then you know that this is a major boon for any busy store or restaurant with a lot of behind-the-counter foot traffic.
This leaves us with a big question:
Do The Shopkeep Pros Outweigh The Cons?
The downsides to using Shopkeep Backoffice are pretty severe, but the system has quite a bit to offer. The system probably has just about the shortest unboxing-to-doing-business time of any POS system out there. The intuitive user interface, the easy to use customization options and the easy setup all earn the system itself an easy five stars. If it weren’t for the downsides, the system would be a contender for best POS system available today. But, the downsides do need to be addressed.
For many small businesses, having to pay for customer service is, alone, a reason to look elsewhere for your POS software. It might not be a big deal for a larger company that is willing to pay extra now and then for what Shopkeep Backoffice has to offer. But, if you’re still finding your feet, if you have good months and bad months, then being hit with an extra fifty, sixty, eighty dollar charge each month can be kind of a big deal.
Our final verdict? Shopkeep need to get it together. They are, overall, one of the better platforms available right now. But if they don’t address some of these concerns, if they keep charging customers to use the help desk, then they’re not going to remain a top-tier solution for very much longer. The software itself is easy to replicate, and getting easier. Gone are the days when a developer could put out a great app and monopolize the market on the strengths of their product alone. Today, users want to buy into a service, not just a product. Shopkeep Backoffice succeeds with flying colors in the product department, but as a service, they still have a long way to go. Bottom line: We can recommend this POS wholeheartedly if you have the money to spend, but you might want to look elsewhere if those extra fees are a major concern.