The Point of Sale industry is in for a rude awakening. Similar to the newspaper and magazine industries, it’s too big and too far away from what’s really going on to stay relevant. It seems easier for old companies to just modify their current models to try and stay in the game, rather than paving the way by being agile and open to what people are actually doing or what new developments technology is allowing.
As the owner of coffee shops and other retail stores, I have been on the lookout for the perfect POS system over the past 11 years. I want a good-looking terminal, good graphics and online access to my polling and analytics for multiple locations—all while staying affordable.
My ongoing search has left me continually disappointed by all major POS companies, whose similarities include over-priced, clunky terminals, user interface that’s an eyesore and over-complicated software.
So I was determined to build my own. In helming seven coffee shops in Chicago, it seemed most beneficial to help solve our own problem, especially with a bad-ass team like Doejo working with this coffee/office chain.
Cashboxer: “Fighting for the small business.”
(It started with Coinboxer, but then Darren suggested Cashboxer. Ding!)
I spent many days and nights researching all the ways we could possibly bring this Doejo-influenced POS system called Cashboxer to life. After weeks of driving my team crazy with questions and links and possibilities, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey announced an easy to use, aesthetically-pleasing iPhone / iPod / iPad Point of Sale application called Square.
Well, almost. Here’s a quick breakdown of the Doejo team’s impressions of Square:
- Going paperless—Ditching the receipt printer and paper is smart, especially if you can digitize the entire experience with a touch screen signature into email record.
- Cash drawer—But how do I connect to a cash box? People are used to punching in the sale and having the cash box pop open. Not with Square. Instead, cashiers would have to manually open the cash box for each transaction.
- Credit card processing—Terminal Swipe, Square’s patented swipe via audio jack is not only free—it’s brilliant. If you use the Square swipe jack you are forced to use the Square processing services. But they do have decent fees. However, you can always use your own processor instead of the software and just punch in the transaction as an credit card transaction for polling purposes.
- Wi-Fi Internet connection only—The iPad does not have any ports for wired connectivity. The first edition iPad Wi-Fi connection stinks, so the new Wi-Fi + 3G model is highly recommended, especially with such a time-sensitive exchange and responsibility in running your operation.
Additionally, Apple does not make it easy to add third party accessories (i.e., credit card terminal, receipt printer and cash box).
Then I found this book by Ken Maskrey (no relation to in house Doejo SEO expert Ken Mazursky)
Building iPhone OS Accessories: Use the iPhone Accessories API to Control and Monitor Devices
Available for Pre-Order.
This item will be available on May 31.
Wait, so does this mean that in June we can add a keyboard that has USB ports so we can plug in a cash box that will talk to Square or Cashboxer?
Only time will tell.
For now we will continue planning out the Cashboxer build and work with Jacob Shapiro on a custom wood cash register for the iPad, hoping that eventually we can work with Square and/or Cashboxer.