RetailSTAR POS Software by CAM Commerce has been an industry leader for specialty retail shops for more than 30 years.
CAM Commerce serves thousands of retailers across various markets. The company is one of the biggest names in retail software. RetailSTAR is targeted at small to mid-sized retailers. Clothing stores, shoe stores, sporting goods retailers, gift and hobby shops, and health food stores are some of RetailSTAR's best segment fits.
RetailSTAR offers a full suite of applications. We are big fans of RetailSTAR's simple POS interface. The single-key or touch-screen input methods are easy for cashiers to use, even with limited computer experience. A CRM module can track purchasing history, customer comments, or anniversary notifications to improve your customer service. Other applications include inventory management, retail accounting, e-commerce, merchandise planning, warehouse management and supply chain management.
Recently, RetailSTAR added mobile inventory applications. Their physical inventory app is especially helpful because it allows users to add and track inventory from your iPodTouch or iPhone 4 without an internet connection.
We think RetailSTAR's robust customer support is one of the key differentiators this system has to offer. A North America-based customer service team offers real-time support. On-site or online software training is also available.
RetailSTAR is an on-premise software solution, and is compatible with Windows servers. Retailers looking for a complete software and hardware solution can purchase HP POS terminals pre-installed with RetailSTAR directly through CAM Commerce.
Anna from Village maternity
Specialty: Apparel & fashion
Portfolio size: 2 to 5 users
The reporting is much better than any system I have worked with previously. I also like that you can search for products with multiple search search terms.
Overall, I have not had a good experience with Cam Commerce. Their training is terrible and they will try to get you to buy things every step of the way (my sales person told me I had to have stands for the swipers for them to work, which after buying them overpriced from Cam, I realized is not true). It is incredibly difficult to get ahold of the support team - even on our launch day, they wouldn't call us back so we had to turn away customers because the system wasn't working. The sales team will promise a lot of features that don't actually exist (they are all in 'development').
I read some reviews that say the company is a scam and it does feel a bit like that when working with them. They try to lock you into contracts by promising a lot, but don't reveal that those promises cost more money.
The actual system is incredibly complicated. It seems there have been so many developers working on it that nothing is consistent - one module will tell you to hit RETURN, while another you will have to hit ADD. Overall, it has increased my checkout time significantly.
I would say avoid this company at all costs. I was really disappointed to see what terrible people there are in the world during this process and they all seem to work at Cam Commerce.
I would say RUN. I feel like I got sold a lemon from a used car salesman. There are a lot of other products out there that will perform much better! I walked away from a lot of money to go back to my old RMS system because it worked so much better and I couldn't handle talking to the support team.
Joyce from George Bush Presidential Library Museum Store
Specialty: Museum / park / zoo
Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users
It is very easy to train new employees to use this software. The tech support is wonderful. They will stay with you until your problem is solved.
Only thing I would change is there are some minor differences in the way different modules work which is most likely because a different programmer wrote it. I notice it because I have been using it over 15 years but none of my staff do so probably not a big deal.
Look not only at the software, but also at the tech support which I have found is very important in POS systems.
Kellsie from Mobil gas station
Specialty: Quick service
Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users
The ease of using the touch screen makes transactions quicker then a keyboard.
There is nothing I can think of that I do not enjoy about this product.
I like the ease of use and very simple icons that are easy to train new employees.
Parrick from Delta
Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users
Ease of use. This product is really easy to use which makes for good work.
The interface is a little clunky and hard to understand at first.
Compare the interface with the ease of use of the different products.
Nicole from ABC Corp
Specialty: Building & garden materials
Portfolio size: 2 to 5 users
It's pretty easy to use and has good service. All my employees are able to use it.
Sometimes there are glitches, and I am not very tech savvy.
Look at what you neeed and how many people will be using it and what thier technological capabilites are.
Daniel from Rock N Ride
Portfolio size: 2 to 5 users
Simple to use, and at a good price because we got it from a friend's old stock.
Setup is long, and takes a while for the first time.
Make it simple, put all info in one place.
Jill from Questcor
Specialty: Health & personal care
Portfolio size: 51 to 100 users
It's easily customizable to do what I wish to do at all times.
Sometimes, it takes longer than necessary to perform key functions.
Make sure you can easily learn to conduct your daily functions or ask about customizing it.
bryan from Berman DeValerio
Portfolio size: Single user
I like the customer service and their willingness to respond to complaints.
Response time was not as quick as I wanted to have in a vendor.
Make sure you ask a lot of questions so you understand the product.
Neil from My Pet Naturally
Date: November 2013
CAM offered their single user software; it's so reasonable, and we really like it for our Pet Store!
The software has improved the way we run our business. The use of software comfort level is extremely high with employees. It works seamlessly for us. Once SKU’s are set up, it is so easy to look up vendors and products quickly.
We use the integrated credit card processing which works seamlessly as well as the customer loyalty key tags.
UPC codes are one of our favorite features; for example, it is easy to keep track of different models and colors. If we are looking for a 6” leash that comes in five different sizes, ten different colors, or five different widths, it's very easy to look up!
Very happy with our software!
Dawn from Courtney Enterprises
Date: November 2013
We were not using a software system and we desperately needed one. One important feature we needed was a size and color grid. We do a lot of clothing!
RetailSTAR has improved our business 100%! We cannot image not using our software program. Our business runs proficiently, and we love being able to track inventory, track our best sellers and worst sellers and orders easily.
Our favorite function of RetailSTAR is the report writer. The reports are really great. We also love the purchase order module.
We love CAM tech support. It's one of the main reasons we stay with CAM. When we mess things up, they are just great, so patient and kind, efficient!
Doug from Tobin's
Date: November 2013
This POS system is very user-friendly and much better for our sales associates; they are very happy with it!
Working on reports using the report writer is excellent; every report created in ReportSTAR has worked well, very easy!
EDI set up with the pharmacy interface, so I don't have to place orders online. Very easy to use. Retail STAR saves a lot of time! Simplified the whole EDI process. I have Clinique & Estee Lauter set up for ordering via EDI through RetailSTAR as well. I love it!
I really like the look of the purchase order screen, and it has easy navigation.
Another big advantage to Retail STAR is that product maintenance has the fields for color and size, classes and sub classes categories. There are so many different fields to organize your reporting for more effective results. My wife takes a Mac Air Book to the shows, and I export the reports and bring them into her computer. When she’s at a show, she can see everything that she needs to see by vendor. Then within that, she can see order fabric, size, etc.
When ordering a product, Doug can see what sold in spring 2013 or fall 2013. He can have it organized to see what was sold in a particular season. He can have the report organized. Gift buyers and clothing buyers are going to be able to figure out what was sold and what was sold by season. I am very excited about this.
I am looking forward to using i.STAR in the future for my eCommerce.
Support has been great; I love all the help and assistance with upgrading our software!
Mike from Northwoods Outfitters
Date: October 2013
We have used this system for over eight years and have been frustrated for most of that time. Perhaps what frustrates us the most is the customer service, which is available for a pretty steep fee. We just called last week to work out a paralyzing bug issue with the system. It was a known bug issue to the tech team, but we felt that their primary concern was getting our credit card number. The fix took less than fifteen minutes but still cost us considerably.
Updates are very buggy. This is a hard system for a small business to learn and use with the limited time we have. We find the interface to be primitive and counterintuitive; simple tasks are overly complicated. Online store integration is expensive, and the hosting seems overpriced. We are shopping for a new system.
Patti from Belles Choses
Date: September 2013
We started out as a one store antiques/gift/home decor/children's clothes store and bought Retail Star in 2002. Since then, we opened a second location in 2004 and have just closed the second store at the end of 2011. We had never used another system before, so there was a learning curve. If I had it to do all over again, I would have bought something else.
The same negative comments I have read here sound like a broken record. Lacking customer support, multiple bugs in the software, sitting on hold sometimes for more than 30 minutes just to get a live person during a major crash, no return phone calls, and varying levels of expertise in tech support. If I called and left a message that I wanted to buy something, then I received a call back quickly. If I just wanted support, no one wanted to listen.
The supplies they offer as a "convenience" are outrageously expensive, and can be found much cheaper online from multiple other sources. They nickel and dime you for everything. And, when the company was sold, they insisted that I purchase additional licenses for thousands of dollars if I wanted any of the updates. So, I didn't do it and haven't updated in quite awhile. We can still ring up sales and run a few reports. Since I stopped the updates, I went from having to call my IT company from every week to now about three or four times a year.
The barcode software that they sold me was extremely complicated. I had to use outside IT companies to install it and maintain it, and it was not user friendly. Then just when we thought we had learned it, CAM stopped supporting it. Naturally, they wanted to sell me something else. Now it has bugs in it. When I go to enter a PO, it not only enters the items from the company I am working with, but it also enters about 30 items from a previously existing PO. So when I print out, all these barcodes that I don't need print with the others. New equivalent software would cost me about $1,000. So we are just not using barcodes anymore.
I still pay for "limited" support (just weekdays), because if you ever have to call tech support and you're not on a support plan, you have to pay hourly. So, you can imagine if it takes 30 minutes or more just to get a live person what this would cost. Also, if you want a hand held mobile inventory gadget, you have to pay not only for the gadget, but you pay additional support fees just for that.
Before I bought this software, I went around to about 20 different retail stores in the metro Atlanta area. I could not find one clerk who actually liked the POS software they were being required to use. I thought I was really getting something special when the CAM sales rep sat in my living room for about 3 hours demonstrating all the bells and whistles of RetailStar. He made it sound so easy and so reasonable. They know that once you have invested all that money (thousands of dollars) and you have all that customer history and all that time put into barcoding the zillions of items in your store, you really can't afford to ditch them anytime soon. Now that I am 10 years plus, I am investigating other software. Good luck out there. It's not easy being in retail, and RetailStar doesn't make it any easier.
Bunna from Linne's Boutique
Date: September 2013
I have two stores and online e-commerce I already paid over $10,000 in software. Not to mention, I have a monthly fees for tech support that doesn't include the weekend. Right now I'm in the market for a different POS company and I will switch. If you have to call in the weekend and get the tech support, you will get hit with a huge hourly rate charge.
Just a few things - the polling is not in real time, it's delayed and sometimes doesn't work at all. A return cannot be done on the same receipt; and upgrades will cost you an hourly rate.
Michael from Neilâ€™s Corner Spot Inc.
Date: May 2013
Our old system just didn’t do what we needed to do, it didn’t have all the options that Retail STAR offers. Retail STAR makes it easier to look up information, and quickly compile an email list. Easier for sales people to look up their customer’s history and easy to look up inventory.
Our favorite function of RetailSTAR is to be able to look up someone’s credit to tell them when it was used and what it was used for, even if it’s been 5 years ago that they used the credit.
We love, love CAM’s tech support; it doesn’t matter who answers the call, the person always remains calm, can read what has been done on prior support calls, and always repairs all issues - they are great! Our sales person, Dina, gives us great support she really cares about her customers. Dina is absolutely great, believable and non-salesman like. Dina gets involved in all their issues and gets them resolved. Dina is amazing, we could not say enough about Dina. Love Dina!
Customer check out is so easy, receipts are easy to read. We can see what the customer bought in the past - sizes, and quantities. When the customer doesn’t remember what they liked, we can look back and check for them, cause it stores their history.
RetailSTAR is simple, easy to use, and user friendly.
Roger from Heartland Resources Inc.
Date: May 2013
The software does not work as their sales people advertise. None of the management keep their promises to return calls, although the support folks seem to know to make some of the problems go away.
If you accept their terms "all sales are final after delivery, without return rights per section 11 limits of liability of the contract". They refused to address the fact that the software does not calculate or report sales tax correctly, or even consistently. Their sales manager made promises to address the problem, nothing happened. Their Support Manager promised to address the problem; still nothing changed. No calls returned, no updates to the software. They promised at installation time an update in the Receiving section right after the first of the year, it's now May, and no evidence of any updates.
I made a mistake doing business with them. I replaced a 10 year old system that worked better, without any updates. I can't even print charge account statements for in-house charge accounts. Their management response to my numerous complaints is simply to ignore me.
Jim from Pequannock Feed
Date: April 2013
Cam has been helpful in addressing our problems. They were interested in getting a list of all of our problems and have now written new programming. They have asked us to test the new version to be sure it works well before releasing it to the general population. Bad new travels quickly and your website can have a big impact. Cam has been working continuously on this.
Jay from J's Tacker Shop
Date: December 2012
I am shocked those complaining and providing low marks on their reviews of this software and it's company the way they have. You received free software and now you are complaining that you have to pay at some point to continue and grow.
I've looked, researched and priced them and their competitors. They are not only reasonable, but lower in most areas. I am very proficient at IT work and do much of it for my Retail Store, yet I paid to have my systems professionally installed and have that peace of mind because this is my business. They offer Training and Installation onsite as well as over the phone, you can save some money by doing it via the phone.
They are after all, a business of their own. It boils down to this - this is how I make my money and pay my bills. It's not a hobby, it's my business, cutting corners is usually and most often not a good idea.
This company that has bent over backwards to help me and this past Christmas was no exception. When one of my systems died, they were on the phone with us resolving it as best and as quickly as possible. It's not their fault I have been running that specific system for the past 5 years without ever cleaning it or updating it, it's hardware - it doesn't last forever. In fact 5 years, it paid for itself and ten-fold.
I swim in the smaller pond, CAM has enabled me to swim well. The fact is, it takes money to make money, it costs to run a Retail Store, and in order to be successful at anything you have to invest time, effort and money.
Take care of the store, it’s equipment, and work with their support people to get resolutions to the problems. No software is perfect and without bugs. Invest the time to learn it so you can effectively use it.
I’ve had other POS from other companies and trust me, I’ve never had a better experience than I have running my POS from CAM Commerce. Their people have shown me time and time again that they actually care and do their best to overcome anything and everything.
Chris from Ziibwing
Date: November 2012
I made the mistake of purchasing CAM software for the gift shops I oversee. Unfortunately because of the size of the business and the website component we have been forced to continue with this system. CAM has not only been the worst company regarding customer service and fees, but in addition, there software has so many problems that it is a daily task to try and keep this system running. Thanks god I have the help of 2-3 highly trained IT people that work for this organization in other areas who have been able to help. However, every time there is an upgrade to fix all of the current problems more problems are created. Countless error reports, Error messages, Random shut downs, Polling/communications issues leading to additional incorrect reports.
Response: Sherrie, CAM Commerce Solutions
Date: January 2013
I am extremely sorry to see that Chris has had such a negative experience with our company. In addition to restoring our partnership with Chris, our staff is working very hard to provide Ziibiwing with the very best software and support possible. We would not be in business if it weren’t for satisfied retailers finding success with our products and services. We are looking forward to helping Ziibiwing find that success.
Mihir from Touchdown
Date: November 2012
I have a sports apparel store and when I opened back in '04, I picked up their Retail ICE sw for free, this worked fine for three years with limited capabilities and since I was new and not really running reports, this did the job for ringing people up and basic inventory. Then came the time to network on two computers so naturally I signed up for their Retail STAR licensed version and forked over $2700.
Again not running reports and just ringing people up continued for another few years. Trouble started when I went off-support at the end of the year after the upgrade, the smallest problem would be completely catastrophic and believe me there were quite a few of those.
I endured this for a couple of years, paying $100 here a $150 there as and when stuff kept going wrong, having really got tired of this and needing to upgrade another of their super-duper shiny new now-everything-fixed versions, I forked over another $1800 for this so I get the upgrade and a yearlong support contract. This version was so badly bug-ridden that I was on the phone at least once a week for weeks on end. A few weeks before the end of my contract, I made sure I got another one of their now everything-fixed upgrades and still having problems related to the purchasing function, networking, data integrity etc. etc.