September 12, 2011, 5:00 PM

Taking the mobile detour around checkout lines

ShopKeep and AisleBuyer apps bring cash register functions to tablets.

Lead Photo

The iPad app enables employees to roam the aisles and complete sales.

Two new tablet apps for retailers may make it easier for store employees to interact with consumers shopping in store aisles. No longer needed to stand by stationary cash registers, the employees could roam the aisles assisting customers.’s mobile point-of-sale app is available now and AisleBuyer LLC expects to release its tablet app in the first quarter of 2012.

Retailers using’s ShopKeep Register app for the iPad can accept payments, track sales and check inventory data, ShopKeep says. ShopKeep designed the app for coffee shops, quick serve restaurants, bakeries, ice cream shops and other small retailers, it says. The app’s primary feature is as a mobile POS system. While the app is free, the payment card reader is $99. The receipt printer costs $349 and requires a separate Wi-Fi adapter if the retailer wants to print receipts wirelessly.

The mobile POS service costs $49 a month for one tablet register at one store. The most expensive ShopKeep plan is $129 a month for up to three tablets.

The Register app can complete payment card and cash transactions. The store employee swipes a credit or debit card through a card reader attached to the iPad. Upon authorization, the app creates a printed receipt. ShopKeep says it is working on enabling merchants to e-mail receipts to customers. Cash transactions require taking the customer to the cash drawer location within the store.

ShopKeep says data from the app synchronizes with a retailer’s QuickBooks accounting software, allowing it to track sales and inventory levels.

AisleBuyer expects its tablet app, available for the iPad and devices using the Android operating system, to enable access to a retailer’s pricing and inventory. Store employees also will be able to view a customer’s past purchases. AisleBuyer says its app will take advantage of the tablet’s built-in camera to scan bar codes, which can speed the checkout process.

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