feature

Let's face it, retail has come a long way. We've gone from clunky cash registers and being buried under a never-ending pile of paperwork to being able to use a single electronic gadget and accessing everything we need from it.

In today's world, with a touch, swipe, and a single button, retailers can run their entire store with nothing more than a iPad. That's probably simplifying things a little too much, but it's primarily to illustrate just how far commerce has come since we first started bartering with goats and cattle however many years ago.

As a tribute to the evolution of retail, we've spent a great deal of time researching, analyzing, and handpicking a curated list of iPad apps. Though all of them are free to download, some are free to use, while others require a paid subscription plan for use after their free-trial period. Ultimately, we think they'll allow you to more efficiently run you store and increase your sales.

Here we go.


MailChimp

Free

Email marketing is a critical component for connecting with your customers and incentivizing them to drop by your store time and time again. With the MailChimp iPad app, you can not only manage your lists and add new subscribers but send campaigns and view your reports. (Tweet This)


Xero

Free

When it comes to running your business, your bottom line needs to be top of mind for your retail store to thrive and be successful. With the Xero app you can perform a number of key financial functions right from your iPad, including viewing all your accounts, creating and sending invoices, and a great deal more. (Tweet This)


Boutique Window

Free

The Boutique Window App integrates with your Shopify account and enables you to easily share your latest and greatest merchandise wherever shoppers are. That means instant sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram all in one go. Now that's a time-saver. (Tweet This)


iHandy Level

Free

When you're setting up a display, picture frame, or fixture, it can sometimes be difficult to eyeball whether it's straight or just a tiny bit crooked. Luckily for you, the iHandy Level app makes it easy to use your iPhone's built-in sensor to give your a precise angle for edges, allowing you to get that next merchandising display to look just right. (Tweet This)


MagicPlan

Free

Need a quick floor-plan to map out the store layout of your retail space? Simply take the photos as directed by the MagicPlan app and it'll create a floor-plan for you to print out instantly. (Tweet This)


ColorSnap

Free

The colors of the paint you choose to use in your store can make or break the whole look and feel of what you're going for. With the ColorSnap app you can look for inspiration through photos and explore more than 1,500 Sherwin-Williams paint colors, while being able to create your own palettes and use its in-built help center. (Tweet This)


Shopify POS

Free

Accepting payments and running an online and physical retail store together shouldn't have to be a hassle. Shopify POS seamlessly integrates with your online store so your products, orders and customers are always in sync. You also get a robust reporting backend and integration with all the necessary hardware. (Tweet This)


Dropbox

Free

Invoices, contracts, leases, policies, regulations, photos and a whole lot of documents need to be organized, accessible, and preferably in one location. Dropbox gives you all that and more while making your life easier by allowing you to sync everything across all your devices. (Tweet This)


HootSuite

Free

Keeping on top of your Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare accounts can be a cumbersome task when you add it to the list of all the other things you have to look after as a retailer. With the HootSuite app, not only can you stay on top of activity surrounding your brand, but schedule updates, and a whole lot more. (Tweet This)


Google Hangouts

Free

Whether you need to message your suppliers, chat with your staff, or do an all-hands conference call after hours, Google Hangouts has you covered, for free. (Tweet This)


Scanner Pro

Free

Digitize your paper world with this highly accurate scanning app that allows you to scan receipts, whiteboards, paper notes, or any multipage document by simply taking a photo. The scanned documents can then be emailed, printed, or uploaded directly to apps like Dropbox. (Tweet This)


eFax

Free

It might be hard to believe that the fax machine is still in use in today's day and age, but that's just the reality of business, especially when it comes to dealing with wholesalers and other vendors for your business. With the eFax app, you get the power of a fax machine right on your iPad with all the functionality you need. (Tweet This)


HelloSign

Free

Need to sign a document without wanting to print it first, then sign it, then scan it, and finally email it back? With the HelloSign app, import any PDF from you email, sign it, and send it back, all in one go. (Tweet This)


We hope these apps make running your retail store a great deal easier. However, in case we've missed a few of your favourites, be sure to let us know by commenting below.


About The Author

Humayun Khan is a Content Crafter at Shopify and is responsible for helping merchants trying their hand at pop-up shops and those running retail stores succeed. Connect with him on Twitter.