Our rating(4/5)
Hike POS is on par with other affordable retail software, but works on computers too.
Hike POS is an Australian till system that works on iPad, PC and Mac computers. It suits small retailers looking for a no-fuss POS system with functions to manage stock, customers, employees and more.
  • Highs: 24/7 messaging support. Works on (non-touchscreen) computers as well as iPad. No contractual lock-in. Offline mode.
  • Lows: Limited till licences on every plan. Not for Android tablets. No integration with traditional card machines.
  • Best for: Small, busy retail shops looking for a cost-effective POS system that works on computers too.

What is Hike POS?

Hike is an Australian, cloud-based retail POS system that also works in the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand and Europe. The software works on iPad, Mac and PC and integrates with iZettle and PayPal Here for card payments.

The POS system is comparable with similarly-priced UK options for retailers, with round-the-clock support on all plans.

Pricing

As with most cloud POS systems today, the Hike POS pricing is a monthly or annual subscription without contractual commitment. Paying monthly is more expensive than paying every year upfront (see below table), but you won’t get a refund for subscription payments, so there is still an element of commitment that way. Moreover, the subscription cost is charged for in US dollars, not GBP.

SubscriptionPay-monthly*Pay-yearly*
Start-up
(1 outlet, 1 till)
US$69/moUS$708 upfront (US$59/mo)
One store
(1 outlet, 1 till)
US$99/moUS$948 upfront (US$79/mo)
Multi-store
(unlimited outlets, 2 tills)
US$169/moUS$1,548 upfront (US$129/mo)
Per extra till
(any plan)
US$39/moUS$348 upfront (US$29/mo)

*Pricing excludes VAT.

Pay-
monthly*
Pay-
yearly*
Start-up (1 outlet, 1 till)
US$69/moUS$708 upfront (US$59/mo)
One store (1 outlet, 1 till)
US$99/moUS$948 upfront (US$79/mo)
Multi-store (unlimited outlets, 2 tills)
US$169/moUS$1,548 upfront (US$129/mo)
Per extra till (any plan)
US$39/moUS$348 upfront (US$29/mo)

*Pricing excludes VAT.

The ‘Start-up’ plan covers one outlet and one till licence, but you can pay for any number of extra till licences on this plan. You are, however, limited to using Start-up at one outlet only.

The ‘One store’ plan also covers one outlet and one till only, but extra tills can be added here too.

The ‘Multi-store’ plan covers unlimited locations, but only includes two till licences, so you still need to pay per extra till beyond this.

As for card payments, Hike POS does not charge you for this. Instead, you pay the transaction fees applicable to the your chosen payment provider, which can either be iZettle or PayPal Here.

iZettle doesn’t have monthly costs, just a fixed 1.75% rate per transaction accepted. PayPal Here’s card rates vary depending on monthly card turnover and card type, starting at 2.75% for domestic Mastercard and Visa cards, fees lowering when you sell for over £1,500 a month. There’s more to PayPal’s fees, but no monthly costs.

Setting up and ease of use

Setting up Hike POS is like setting up most POS solutions today – sign up for a free 14-day trial by submitting basic personal details via a simple online form. Then you’re free to download the POS app on an iPad or use the checkout screen on a computer.

Now, we’ve tested a lot of POS systems on iPad, and this is one of the few platforms with dummy products already entered (if you choose to use dummy data to test) to save you time from creating new products to test-run through the checkout.

Some settings are predetermined, but you’re not pressured to decide on all the settings in one go. Right at the start, you pick your choice of currency for all prices and sales reports. Choosing British pounds automatically adds VAT as the default tax in the system, but you’re free to add more taxes.

Image: Mobile Transaction

Hike POS side menu

Hike POS side menu on iPad.

Admin settings can be accessed in the back-office account accessible through any internet browser or the side menu in the iPad app (pictured above). Whatever device you’re using, the same breadth of features are accessible, which is user-friendly in itself.

The checkout screen is pretty standard – not that beautiful, but the grid layout of products with images makes it easier to quickly grasp what to add to the cart than POS systems with simple colour coding in place of product images. Some text elements are small and thin, so those with poor vision may struggle to read certain buttons and lines of text.

The Hike POS checkout is faster to manoeuvre on iPad compared to laptop, since it is optimised for touchscreens, but if you use a barcode scanner with a computer, you can work your way through sales pretty quickly too.

We didn’t have any issues understanding the admin account or POS interface – in fact, the till app seemed quite simple. It is only when you add all your products (which can be bulk-imported from a CSV file), customer data, payment options, outlets, till hardware, till users and so on that the system’s full complexities show.

POS features

All Hike plans allow you to add an unlimited number of products, users and customers to the system. The following Hike POS app features are included on all subscriptions:

Product management: Bulk-import products from a CSV file or add them manually to the Hike system (can also export products from Hike). Variants and composite products can be added, as can product types, tags, brands, SKUs, barcodes and supplier codes.

The system can track all or individual products, and you can decide whether to allow sales of inventory despite being out of stock. Stocktakes, purchases and returns can be recorded.

Checkout options: Offer discounts, refunds, gift receipts or lay by a sale from the checkout screen. Taxes will show automatically, but can be set in the back-office account. You can create custom sales too, including product description, custom price and additional details.

Image: Mobile Transaction

Hike POS checkout payment

Hike’s payment screen is similar to other retail POS checkouts.

Payment options: Pay by credit and debit cards (with an integrated or non-integrated card machine), cash (with management of cash drawer float), and custom payment types.

Customer management: Customers can be added to the system as ‘customer profiles’, allowing you to group them into appropriate categories and track their sales.

Staff management: Keep an overview of rosters and create user accounts with passcodes for the POS software. Divide users into admin, manager and cashier accounts with differing permission sets.

Image: Mobile Transaction

Hike POS customer profile

Customer profiles can be viewed (incl. purchase history), added and edited from the checkout screen.

The above features are all on the cheapest plan, ‘Start-up’. What additional features do you get on the pricier subscriptions? Here’s where the plans differ:

FeatureStart-upOne storeMulti-store
‘On account’ sales
Credit notes / store credits
Delivery dockets
Gift cards
Customer loyalty features
Customer-tiered pricing
Advanced user permissions
Custom reports
Detailed analytics
Multiple stock locations
Stock transfers
Multi-outlet user permissions
Start-
up
One
store
Multi-
store
‘On account’ sales
Credit notes / store credits
Delivery dockets
Gift cards
Customer loyalty features
Customer-tiered pricing
Advanced user permissions
Custom reports
Detailed analytics
Multiple stock locations
Stock transfers
Multi-outlet user permissions

In short, the One Store subscription has more elaborate stock management options, payment options, user permissions, customer loyalty features, sales reports and analytics than Start-up. The only additions to the Multi-store subscription are the multi-store functions required to manage several outlets.

What about add-ons? All plans allow you to integrate with ecommerce (Shopify, BigCommerce or WooCommerce), cloud accounting software (Xero or QuickBooks) and MailChimp, but only One Store and Multi-store connects with Amazon Marketplace. No other integrations for additional features are officially available, but Hike says they may be able to set up alternative integrations if you get in touch.

Online and offline use

Hike POS works best online – that is, your iPad and computers are updated in real-time via the internet while online so all transactions and stock information are correct regardless of which device you’re checking it from.

You can, however, also use the software offline. When next connected to the internet, all transactions will then be saved in the cloud and resume being synced in real time.

That said, card payments will require a WiFi or network connection to be processed through one of the compatible card readers. Some traditional card machines can process cards offline, which is an option if you don’t need the card terminal to work automatically with the till.

Hardware and payments integration

In the UK, Hike can be integrated with the following two card terminals:

  • iZettle Reader
  • PayPal Here card reader

Integrated card payments mean that when at checkout you choose cards as payment option, the connected card reader will automatically turn on and display the correct transaction total. When the customer has inserted or tapped the card, and entered their PIN if relevant, the POS system will register that payment automatically.

You can also use any card machine in conjunction with Hike POS, but then you have to enter the transaction total on the card terminal and manually confirm in Hike when the card has been processed.

Photo: Hike POS

Hike POS hardware

Hike POS app on iPad, connected with an mPOP cash drawer-and-receipt printer and barcode scanner.

What about other hardware? The Hike POS interface works on iPad or iPad Mini, but also computers (both PC and Mac). The latter is a real bonus, as many low-cost POS systems do not work on non-touchscreen computers. With Hike, you can process transactions straight from your laptop if that is all you have.

Furthermore, you can connect the software with receipt printers (Star TSP143LAN or Star TSP650 Bluetooth), cash drawers (APG Vasario Series, Star mPOP), barcode scanner (Socket Mobile S700) and a Bluetooth keyboard. Make sure to check with Hike whether a piece of hardware is compatible if it is not one of the mentioned models.

Ecommerce integration

All the Hike subscriptions allow you to connect the POS system with an online store built via one the following platforms:

Any of these integrations are ready to implement for free, after which both online and in-person transactions, customer records and stock information are synced across platforms in real time. It differs how complex the synchronisation is between the various platforms, so do check with Hike if certain features, such as store pick-up from online purchases, are perfectly aligned.

Shopify normally charges an additional transaction fee for card payments that are not done through their own system, but not with Hike. So even if you use iZettle Reader or the PayPal Here card reader, you only pay the transaction fees applicable with iZettle or PayPal, if you use Shopify with Hike POS.

BigCommerce does not charge any extra fees for transactions or setting up, nor does WooCommerce. In all cases, you’ll need to pay the normal subscription costs applicable to the chosen ecommerce platform.

Reports and analytics

Standard reports for sales, inventory, cash registers, payments and customer analytics are included on all Hike POS plans. Custom reports and more detailed analytics are only accessible on the One Store and Multi-store plans.

Image: Hike POS

Hike slaes report

You can filter what aspects to analyse in Hike’s sales reports.

If this isn’t enough, you can integrate the POS system with Xero or QuickBooks Online accounting programmes for accounting features, and payroll too if using QuickBooks.

When you set up Hike POS at the beginning, you decide which currency to use for prices, so that would be GBP if based in the UK. Reports will thereafter display  sales in £, although there were a few screens where we noticed $ was shown as a signifier of money in general. When integrating with Xero or QuickBooks, transactions are seamlessly synced in GBP.

Customer support

A nice thing about Hike is the round-the-clock customer support via email and chat messaging. It appears from customer reviews that Hike’s UK staff would sometimes need an Australian team member to resolve an issue, which in that case may delay an issue due to the difference in timezones.

Some users complain of glitches when integrating with accounting software, unhelpful customer service and certain features being limited, but compared to similar POS providers, this is not unusual.

There’s also a comprehensive Support Portal with step-by-step, illustrated guides and video tutorials to help you set up and resolve issues yourself. Some answers seem to be missing, such as a complete list of compatible hardware (Hike only “recommends” equipment models), but overall, you can get a lot out of the resources.

Our own experience of Hike POS’s free trial was smooth, and user reviews indicate an overall very positive experience with the software and customer service. Some users complain of glitches when integrating with accounting software, unhelpful customer service and certain features being limited, but compared to similar POS providers, this is not unusual.

Who is Hike best for?

Hike POS is made for retailers, whether small and single-store or larger with multiple outlets. That said, Hike is not the most feature-rich of all retail POS systems – but it may be one the best-value ones for a small-to-medium business.

Since Hike can only be integrated with a few mobile card readers made for small businesses, we cannot whole-heartedly recommend it to large retailers unless they are okay with manually entering card payments in parallel with the till register.

If you’re just starting out and can’t afford an iPad just yet, Hike allows you to use any laptop for the checkout. That’s not an option for many low-cost POS solutions today, so Hike could easily be your entry POS system in that scenario. If you create a comprehensive product library and want to move to another POS system later on, you can then export the products when it comes to that.

Except for the one or two till licences included on each subscription, you pay extra to license each additional till using Hike POS, so costs could rack up with many till points. Although this is normal, you should compare Hike POS with other retail systems to decide whether the breadth of features are worth the cumulative cost of multiple Hike POS tills if you’re a larger business.

Our verdict

There’s nothing particularly unique about Hike POS, but it has the important features for retail and offers good customer support. The software isn’t complicated, but can perhaps be seen as too simple in some areas.

Price-wise, it is competitive with other POS software for iPad, and is really good value if you prefer a PC or Mac till (it’s rare for affordable cloud POS systems to be compatible with this).

A downside is the limited options of integrations. You can only connect with a few accounting programmes and ecommerce options, albeit some of the most popular ones in the UK.

If you’re looking for the most flexible POS system with the most features, we therefore recommend testing the app thoroughly first before relying on Hike as a long-term solution. Most small retail shops, however, should find Hike POS a decent option for their point of sale needs.

Name of Reviewed Item: Hike POS UK Rating Value: 4 Image: https://www.mobiletransaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/hike-pos-review-uk.jpg Review Author:Review Date: