How to use WooCommerce as Point of Sale for Retail (bypassing issues with POS plugin bugs and losing money)

WooCommerce is a great way to offer customers purchasable product through your eCommerce website. Not only that, but WordPress and WooCommerce are user-friendly for people who do not have the time to code or the money to pay for an elaborate eCommerce website.

So, what happens if you want to offer a Point of Sale option but 1) you don’t yet have the money to purchase an expensive POS plugin, or 2) you do have the money, but one day a plugin update renders the plugin useless and you lose tons of money because the plugin shows the transaction processed but didn’t?? (Long story, but this happened to a friend recently with a plugin that had worked well, for the most part, for about two years. Then an update to fix a lot of little issues basically broke the plugin and it wasn’t discovered that it had stopped processing credit card transactions for several business days!)

There’s an answer! You use WooCommerce as your Point of Sale. How? A real person is right now using WooCommerce as a point of sale at a retail store by doing the following:

  1. Make sure your store is fully stocked with correct inventory and pricing,
  2. Run everything through the site as if you are the customer buying remotely from the website,
  3. Use coupons to add discounts (including Free Shipping if you are checking out a walk-in customer),
  4. Use your own retail store address, phone number, etc. if you need the order to reflect sales tax in your state,
  5. Copy and paste everything from the invoice minus the billing and shipping info into a Word or text document and print as their receipt.

I, personally, find it so reliable, it’s hard to convince myself to use a POS plugin at all. When website orders post almost immediately to the merchant account, it’s hard to take a chance on anything else. WooCommerce is so established and well-integrated with WordPress it’s really a no-brainer. But what about taking Cash and Checks? There is a plugin that’s fairly new that I tested and works like a charm! Payment Gateways by User Roles for WooCommerce allows you to sign in under say, an Editor role, and Cash and Check options appear!

I certainly don’t want to trash POS plugins and their developers, but the plugin that prompted this post cost my friend a lot of money. Small businesses already have a lot to contend with without losing money over faulty plugins. It’s one thing when it’s new and you have to test it first to make sure it works, but when it’s worked for two years and just stops and no one tells you, well, you can imagine…

You may worry that it doesn’t look professional, or there are too many steps, but if your WooCommerce and payment gateway works perfectly, you can use it as a Point of Sale. Bottom line, if a customer wants your product, they’ll take your 8.5″ x 11″ document as a receipt. It’s at least a workaround until you can afford a nice working POS plugin.

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