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Retail POS Software


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NetSuite logo
 
NetSuite for Retail is a cloud-based multi-channel retail management solution for retailers that combines e-commerce, POS, and order management functionalities. The software provides a unified retail system with back office management... Read More
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NetSuite for Retail is a cloud-based multi-channel retail management solution for retailers that combines e-commerce, POS, and order management functionalities. The software provides a unified retail system with back office management... Read More
 
Lightspeed Retail logo
 
Lightspeed Retail is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution that is suitable for retailers in industries such as apparel, footwear, bike, jewelry, pet, sporting goods and home decor. The solution enables retailers to manage inventory... Read More
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Lightspeed Retail is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution that is suitable for retailers in industries such as apparel, footwear, bike, jewelry, pet, sporting goods and home decor. The solution enables retailers to manage inventory... Read More
 
Epos Now logo
 
Epos Now is a retail management system for small to mid-sized businesses. In addition to its Point of Sale module, the solution also offers integrated Inventory Management, Customer Management, and Retail Accounting, including general... Read More
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Epos Now is a retail management system for small to mid-sized businesses. In addition to its Point of Sale module, the solution also offers integrated Inventory Management, Customer Management, and Retail Accounting, including general... Read More
 
Revel Systems logo
 
Revel is a cloud-based business platform that integrates operations and customer channels with point-of-sale (POS) functionality in a single dashboard. It is suitable for stores and restaurants of all sizes and provides users with... Read More
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Revel is a cloud-based business platform that integrates operations and customer channels with point-of-sale (POS) functionality in a single dashboard. It is suitable for stores and restaurants of all sizes and provides users with... Read More
 
AmberPOS logo
 
Pacific Amber’s AmberPOS offers a point of sale software solutions to a variety of retail specialties, ranging from small to midsized, in the United States and Canada. In addition to point of sale functionality, AmberPOS includes... Read More
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Pacific Amber’s AmberPOS offers a point of sale software solutions to a variety of retail specialties, ranging from small to midsized, in the United States and Canada. In addition to point of sale functionality, AmberPOS includes... Read More

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Nobly POS logo
 
 Nobly POS is supported in over 20 countries including the US, UK, and Canada. Merchants use Nobly POS to manage inventory and staff, gather business insights using more than 30 reports, set up loyalty schemes, and take credit card... Read More
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 Nobly POS is supported in over 20 countries including the US, UK, and Canada. Merchants use Nobly POS to manage inventory and staff, gather business insights using more than 30 reports, set up loyalty schemes, and take credit card... Read More
 
Springboard Retail logo
 
Springboard Retail is a web-based retail solution designed for multi-channel and multi-store retailers. Springboard’s point of sale system is fully accessible through any modern web browser on any device. The solution is designed... Read More
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Springboard Retail is a web-based retail solution designed for multi-channel and multi-store retailers. Springboard’s point of sale system is fully accessible through any modern web browser on any device. The solution is designed... Read More
 
AIMsi logo
 
AIMsi is a secure end-to-end point of sale (POS) business solution that can be used in any retail environment. This retail management solution features customizable menus and screens, inventory management, complete POS activity and... Read More
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AIMsi is a secure end-to-end point of sale (POS) business solution that can be used in any retail environment. This retail management solution features customizable menus and screens, inventory management, complete POS activity and... Read More
 
COMCASH Retail ERP logo
 
COMCASH ERP is a cloud-based retail management solution that caters to multi-channel and multi-location retailers. The point of sale module utilizes multi-touch capabilities allowing users to navigate the menu similarly to the iPad.... Read More
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COMCASH ERP is a cloud-based retail management solution that caters to multi-channel and multi-location retailers. The point of sale module utilizes multi-touch capabilities allowing users to navigate the menu similarly to the iPad.... Read More
 
GiftLogic logo
 
GiftLogic offers retailers a complete point of sale solution from initial transaction to reporting and analysis. Retailers can choose from basic and pro packages available in GiftLogic in order to build a POS system that meets their... Read More
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GiftLogic offers retailers a complete point of sale solution from initial transaction to reporting and analysis. Retailers can choose from basic and pro packages available in GiftLogic in order to build a POS system that meets their... Read More

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +61 3 8899 7476


 
Rain POS logo
 
Rain retail software is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) and integrated website solution that is Mac OS and Windows compatible. Rain is an all-in-one platform designed for small to medium sized specialty retailers that offer sales,... Read More
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Rain retail software is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) and integrated website solution that is Mac OS and Windows compatible. Rain is an all-in-one platform designed for small to medium sized specialty retailers that offer sales,... Read More
 
Cumulus Retail logo
 
Cumulus Retail by CAM Commerce is a Cloud, SaaS based retail management solution that enables small to mid-size retailers to manage their entire business in one system. Cumulus combines point of sale, E-Commerce, back office, and digital... Read More
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Cumulus Retail by CAM Commerce is a Cloud, SaaS based retail management solution that enables small to mid-size retailers to manage their entire business in one system. Cumulus combines point of sale, E-Commerce, back office, and digital... Read More
 
Instore logo
 
Instore is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution catering to small and midsize retailers that helps them to manage their day-to-day business operations. It offers features such as sales reporting, gift cards and employee time... Read More
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Instore is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution catering to small and midsize retailers that helps them to manage their day-to-day business operations. It offers features such as sales reporting, gift cards and employee time... Read More
 
ACE Retail logo
 
ACE Retail is a point-of-sale solution that is deployed on-premise. Key features include retail and wholesale sales, inventory and purchasing, customer management, loyalty programs, reporting and invoicing. The system’s retail management... Read More
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ACE Retail is a point-of-sale solution that is deployed on-premise. Key features include retail and wholesale sales, inventory and purchasing, customer management, loyalty programs, reporting and invoicing. The system’s retail management... Read More
 
mPower Beverage for Liquor Stores logo
 
mPower Beverage is an on-premise liquor store point of sale (POS) solution for single and multi-store retailers. The solution also helps to manage inventory, customers and pricing levels for liquor and beverage retailers. mPower Beverage... Read More
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mPower Beverage is an on-premise liquor store point of sale (POS) solution for single and multi-store retailers. The solution also helps to manage inventory, customers and pricing levels for liquor and beverage retailers. mPower Beverage... Read More

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +61 3 8899 7476


 
Phorest Salon logo
 
Phorest is a salon management software solution designed for small and midsize businesses that features appointment bookings, point-of-sale, inventory management and reporting. The software offers cloud-based deployment and a salon-branded... Read More
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Phorest is a salon management software solution designed for small and midsize businesses that features appointment bookings, point-of-sale, inventory management and reporting. The software offers cloud-based deployment and a salon-branded... Read More
 
Cash Register Express by pcAmerica logo
 
Cash Register Express (CRE) by pcAmerica is an integrated point of sale solution for retail stores and quick-service restaurants. CRE offers inventory management, customer loyalty, time cards, permission levels, advanced reporting,... Read More
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Cash Register Express (CRE) by pcAmerica is an integrated point of sale solution for retail stores and quick-service restaurants. CRE offers inventory management, customer loyalty, time cards, permission levels, advanced reporting,... Read More
 
ORDYX Standard logo
 
ORDYX is a cloud-based point-of-sale solution designed for small, midsize and large bars and restaurants. Primary features include online ordering, loyalty programs, inventory tracking, time and attendance and delivery management. Other... Read More
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ORDYX is a cloud-based point-of-sale solution designed for small, midsize and large bars and restaurants. Primary features include online ordering, loyalty programs, inventory tracking, time and attendance and delivery management. Other... Read More
 
NCR Counterpoint logo
 
The NCR Counterpoint solution includes an e-mail marketing tool, integrated e-commerce, mobile alerting, built-in gift card and customer loyalty programs and hardware specifically designed for the retail environment. The NCR Counterpoint... Read More
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The NCR Counterpoint solution includes an e-mail marketing tool, integrated e-commerce, mobile alerting, built-in gift card and customer loyalty programs and hardware specifically designed for the retail environment. The NCR Counterpoint... Read More
 
Stratus Retail logo
 
Stratus Retail by Celerant Technology provides tools for point of sale (POS), inventory and order management, enterprise resource management (ERP), e-commerce, business intelligence, marketplace integrations (Amazon, eBay, Walmart,... Read More
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Stratus Retail by Celerant Technology provides tools for point of sale (POS), inventory and order management, enterprise resource management (ERP), e-commerce, business intelligence, marketplace integrations (Amazon, eBay, Walmart,... Read More
 

FrontRunners® for Retail Management, January 2018

Powered by Gartner Methodology

What Is the FrontRunners Quadrant?


A Graphic of the Top-Performing Retail Management Products

FrontRunners quadrants highlight the top software products for North American small businesses. All products in the quadrant are top performers. Small businesses can use FrontRunners to make more informed decisions about what software is right for them.

To create this quadrant, we evaluated over 350 Retail Management products. Those with the top scores for their capability and value made the quadrant.

Scores are based largely on reviews from real software users, along with other product performance details (e.g., what features they offer, how many customers they have).

Is One Quadrant Better Than the Others?


Nope, Products in Any Quadrant May Fit Your Needs

Every product in this quadrant offers a balance of capability (how much the products can do) and value (whether they’re worth their price/cost) that makes them stand out in the race for small business software success.

FrontRunners has four sub-quadrants:

  • Upper Right = Leaders: Leaders are all-around strong products. They offer a wide range of functionality to a wide range of customers. These products are considered highly valuable by customers.
  •  
  • Upper Left = Masters: Masters may focus more heavily on certain key features or market segments than Leaders do. If you need a more specialized set of functionality without bells and whistles, then a product in the Masters quadrant might be right for you.
  •  
  • Lower Right = Pacesetters: Pacesetters may offer a strong set of features, but are not rated as highly on value. For example, a Pacesetter might offer greater functionality, but cost more.
  •  
  • Lower Left = Contenders: Contenders may focus on a more specialized set of capabilities that are priced at a higher point. This makes them ideal for companies willing to pay more for specific features that meet their unique needs.

Depending on the specific needs of a software buyer, a product in any of these sub-quadrants could be a good fit.

Why? To even be considered for this FrontRunners, a product had to meet a minimum user rating score of 3.70 for capability and 3.70 for value. This means that all products that qualify as FrontRunners are top-performing products in their market. They appear in the quadrant in relation to how their peers performed.

For some buyers, a specific FrontRunners sub-quadrant might be best. For example, retail software systems with an emphasis customer loyalty and marketing may be found in the Pacesetters quadrant.

You can download the full FrontRunners for Retail Management report here. It contains individual scorecards for each product on the Frontrunners quadrant.

How Are FrontRunners Products Selected?


Products Are Scored Based on User Reviews and Other Data

You can find the full FrontRunners methodology here, but the gist is that products are scored in two areas, Capability and Value.

To be considered at all, products must have at least 10 reviews and meet minimum user rating scores. They also have to offer a core set of functionality—for example, all products considered offer automated checkout capabilities and inventory control, as well as at least one of the following: accounting management, customer management and reporting/analytics.

From there, user reviews and other product performance details, such as the product's customer base and the features it offers, dictate the Capability and Value scores. Capability is plotted on the x-axis, and Value is plotted on the y-axis.

Got It. But What if I Have More Questions?


Check Out Our Additional Resources!

For more information about FrontRunners, check out the following:

Have questions about how to choose the right product for you? You’re in luck! Every day, our team of advisors provides (free) customized shortlists of products to hundreds of small businesses.

  • Simply take this short questionnaire to help us match you with products that meet your specific needs.
  •  
  • Or, talk to one of our experienced software advisors about your needs—it’s quick, free, and there’s no-obligation—by calling (844) 687-6771.

One Last Thing—How Do I Reference FrontRunners?


Just Follow Our External Usage Guidelines

Check out the FrontRunners External Usage Guidelines when referencing FrontRunners content. Except in digital media with character limitations, the following disclaimer MUST appear with any/all FrontRunners reference(s) and graphic use:

FrontRunners scores and graphics are derived from individual end-user reviews based on their own experiences, vendor-supplied information and publicly available product information; they do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.

Runners Up

Providers listed as Runners Up were considered for inclusion in the quadrant, but were ultimately not included for one or more reasons: they did not have enough reviews; they did not meet the reviews score minimum; they did not meet the ultimate Value and Capability minimum scores; or they did not meet our functionality requirements for the market.

12Return
2TouchPOS
360Pet
A&B POS
Acclivity Checkout
AccuPOS
ACE Retail
Acme Point of Sale
ACR Point-of-Sale
Action Card
Acumen
AdaPos more+
AestheticsPro Online
Agiliron
AGKSoft
Aloha POS
AmberPOS
Ambur POS
Aprego Food Service Touch Screen POS
Aptos
Aralco
ARMS USA
artcloud
Artisan POS
ASC (Applications Systems Corporation)
Authorize.Net
Banq POS
barnetPOS
BarTab
Bemacash
Bepoz
Bevo POS by Benseron
Bigcommerce
Bindo POS
BiT Dealership Software
Biyo
Blue Sky POS
Booker
Box
Boxy POS
Brandleap
Bravo POS
Breadcrumb
BRIDGE Store Locator
Brigade POS
Brightpearl
Brink POS
Business Plus Accounting Hotel
C-Store Office
CAKE Point of Sale
Candela RMS
CAP POS
Cash Register
Cash Register Express
CashFootprint Point-of-Sale
Cashier Live
CellSell
CellSmart POS
ChainDrive
ChainReaction
ChannelAdvisor
ChannelGrabber
Channergy
CheckPOS Performance
CirQ
CleanCloud
Cleanwash
cloudseeder
Clover
COMCASH ERP
Competera Pricing Platform
Computer Software Solutions
Comtrex
ConsignCloud
CONTROL POS
CORESense Connect
Countr
CrunchTime Back Office
Crystal Point POS
Cybex POS
Cyclo
Denali
Desk.com
DZHub
Easify
EasyPOS
eBizCharge
eCABS
EDGE by Abbott
eHopper POS
emFace
Emperium EPoS
ePaisa
Epicuri
Evosus Software
Expirio
ezPower POS
EZRentOut
Fieldmagic
Fishbowl Enterprise
flexTRAX POS
FoodZaps
Form.com (Suite)
Freestyle Solutions
Future POS
Gatemaster
Genesis Advantage
GiftLogic
GoAntiquing! POS
GoFrugal Retail POS Software
GOIS Pro
GoldTech Retail Manager
GoSpotCheck
Gotmerchant.com
Groovv POS
Gusto (by Dovetail )
Harbortouch POS
HDPOS smart
Heartland eCommerce
HighLine Software
Hike POS
Hubworks Suite
iConnect POS
ImSTOCK
iNCompetitor
IncoPOS
InfoGenesis POS
InfoRETAIL
Insight Salon Software
Intelligent Pharmacy Software
InterAcct
InTouchPOS
Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise
Inzant Sales
iZettle
Jazva
Jolt
JustBilling
KENMerchant
Keystroke POS
KORONA.pos
Lavu POS
Lead Commerce
Liberty Software
LiquorPOS
Logic Tools
MaitreD POS
Marketman
Merchant Account Solutions
MerchantPlay
Micro Register
MicroBiz Cloud
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics GP
Milano Retail
MINDBODY
MobileSOP
mPower Beverage
MultiFlex RMS
MultiFlexRMS
My Axis Point
MyTime
NCR Counterpoint
NCR Silver
Neto
NetSuite
NEXTAR POS
Nova POS
Novoapp
ODEIS Retailer
Odoo Point of Sale
One Stop POS
OneStep-JV
Openbravo Commerce Cloud
OpenEdge
OpenTable
Oracle Hospitality POS
Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service
Orderhive
Orderhive Plus
Ordyx
Own Group Instore
PaidYET
Paladin POS
PawnMaster
PayGo
PayPal
PaySimple
PBS Manufacturing
PeachWorks
Phorest Salon Software
PHP Point Of Sale
PixelPoint POS
POMePOS
Pomodo Tech
POS Easy
POS Maid
POS Nation
POSExpress
POSIM EVO
POSitive for Retail
POSitouch
Poster
Practi EPOS
PremierWireless
Primaseller
Prisync
ProphetLine POS
Provaya Checkout Professional
Pulse Commerce
Quetzal POS
Quickbooks POS
QuidPOS Smart Vendor
Rain POS
RanceLab FusionERP
Rapid Bev POS
Rapid Gun Store
Raptool Retail
RB Control Systems
ReadySTORE
Realtime POS
Register by AvidRetail
Rental Software by Rent it Biz
RepairDesk
RepairShopr
ReServe Interactive
Restaurant POS Software
RETAIL
Retail Answer POS Lite
Retail Anywhere
Retail ERP (RAMPS)
Retail Execution Platform
RETAIL Professional
Retail STAR
Retailbean Lite
retailcloud
RetailGraph
RetailOps
RetailPoint
Rezku POS
Ricochet Consignment Software
RockSolid MAX
ROSS - Retail Operating Software Suite
Rosy Salon and Spa
Runit RealTime Cloud POS
S2K Enterprise
Sage InfoPOS
Sage Payment Solutions
SalesVu
Salon and Spa Ultimate
SalonTarget
Sana Commerce
SAP Anywhere
SAP Business One
Sapaad
SaralPOS
SASSCO Restaurant POS
Scorebuddy
Scoria Retail Suite
Sellbrite
Sellsy
ServiceMAX1
Shopdesk
Shopxie PoS
SilverWare POS
SimpleConsign
SimpleOrder
SimpliField
SiteLink Web Edition
SkyWire POS
Smartwerks
Snappii Mobile Apps
SoftTouch POS
Solo Series
SplitAbility
SpotSync Checkout
Spruce
Square Point of Sale
Square Register
Squirrel POS
StoreHub
StoreLIVE!
Storemapper
Storepoint Store Locator
Storezigo POS
Striven POS
SUPERPOS
SupportSync
Swim
SyncMax
SynergySuite
talech
Teamwork Retail
The Assistant Manager (TAM)
Thr!ve POS
Tick-It! Trak Pro
TigerPOS
TimeForge HR
Toast POS
TouchBistro
TradeGecko
TradeMeters PoS
TylerNet
uAccept
UAS
uniCenta oPOS
UNION POS
uTouchPOS
Vagaro
Veeqo
Vendio
VersAccounts
Versum
Vin eRetail
vinSUITE
VisitBasis
Visual Retail Plus
Vivonet Cloud POS
webCRM
When I Work
Windward System Five
Winpharm
Wireless Standard POS
Worldpay
Wylie Systems Point of Sale
XERA POS
Yourcegid
Zentail
ZingCheckout
Zoey

Buyer's Guide

by Justin Guinn,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: May 22, 2018


Retail Point of Sale (POS) systems, also known as POS software, have come a long way from being bolt-on applications for cash registers. Today, the cash register as the cornerstone piece of retail technology has been replaced by PCs, tablets and mobile devices. Watch the 60-second video below to see retail software functions and benefits in action.

 

 

Retail software vendors offer integrated software programs and POS systems for "mom-and-pop" stores to large retail chains, and everything in between. Retail software applications handle any combination of checkout, inventory control, customer management, e-commerce sales, merchandising and distribution. These systems help retailers automate the point of sale, improve inventory tracking and enable more effective management of customer data to grow profits and decrease store inefficiencies.

Continuously falling hardware and equipment costs, the emergence of mobile devices like iPads and new cloud-based POS offerings have led to more choices than ever. This leaves buyers with a daunting challenge as they try to determine the best application for their needs. The goal of this buyer's guide is to help retailers understand the market as they begin their research. What we'll cover:

A Comparison of Top Retail Solutions
Common Features of Retail Software
Specialty Retail Software Solutions
Benefits of Adopting Retail Software
Report: Buyers' Top Reasons for Evaluating Retail Software
How Is It Priced?
Tips for New Buyers
Market Trends to Understand
Recent Events You Should Know About

A Comparison of Top Retail Solutions

There are many popular Retail solutions on the market, and it can be hard to understand what distinguishes one product from another and which is right for you. To help you better understand how the top Retail systems stack up against one another, we created a series of side-by-side product comparison pages that break down the details of what each solution offers in terms of pricing, applications, ease of use, support and more:

Top Shopkeep Comparisons Top Touchbistro Comparisons Top Revel Comparisons
Clover vs. Shopkeep
Shopkeep vs. Revel
Shopkeep vs. Shopify
TouchBistro vs. Shopkeep
TouchBistro vs. Shopkeep
TouchBistro vs. Revel
Shopkeep vs. Revel
TouchBistro vs. Revel

Common Features of Retail Software

For buyers that manage a single store, the most important features to look for include:

Retail software products are generally straightforward, helping retailers ring up customers, update inventory levels, present basic reports and keep track of customers.

Application Description
Point of sale (POS) Helps sales clerks ring up customers and process payments. Ensures cashiers charge the correct amount, adjusts inventory and prints receipts. 
Inventory control Automates the management of supply levels. Deducts inventory as sales are completed and provides alerts when inventory levels reach pre-defined thresholds. Also provides reports on inventory movement trends. 
Retail accounting Centralizes accounting data and provides accurate details on business performance. Incorporates inventory figures as well as other expenses, such as payroll and rent. 
Retail CRM Stores customer information and purchase history. Enables retailers to track contact information, key dates such as birthdays and anniversaries and preferred items to market to customers. 

In general, we recommend single store owners select solutions based on budget, business size and IT capabilities.

When it comes to managing a retail business, the most difficult jump for retailers comes when they transition from one storefront to two. This is also the case for technology purchases, and complexities continue to build as the number of storefronts increase. And while this traditionally meant adding new locations and real estate, additional storefronts today can be both physical and on the Web.

These retailers commonly need applications with advanced features or an enterprise application suite to help manage their business. As a simple rule, you should consider these options if you:

  • Manage multiple stores;
  • Maintain both an online ecommerce store and a brick-and-mortar presence and/or
  • Manage warehousing, distribution and fulfillment (on your own or in conjunction with third parties).

Retail buyers evaluating more advanced applications generally have two options:

Retail software suites. Buyers evaluating these solutions are generally looking for one application suite to manage the entire retail operation. These systems are typically scalable with robust multi-location reporting, centralized pricing controls and potentially warehouse or transportation management. Ideal for retailers with either a large number of stores or very large stores.

Best-of-breed retail applications. Buyers evaluating these solutions are generally looking for a stand alone application to manage one function within the retail operation, such as accounting, merchandising or warehouse management. They typically have made large investments in existing systems and are seeking best-of-breed solutions to complement them.

In addition to the core modules listed in the chart above, these application suites typically include merchandising, warehouse and transportation management and business intelligence functionality. The breadth and complexity of the technology you select should depend on your business' size, number of storefronts and number of stock-keeping units (SKUs). We've summarized the applications you will find in an enterprise retail software suite below.

Application Description
Merchandise management Enables buyers to create the optimal balance of SKUs. Provides analytical tools to plan merchandise based on sales histories, trends and forecasts. 
Warehouse management Automates inventory control within the warehouse. Functions include picking, packing, pulling and labor management. 
Transportation management Helps organizations efficiently transport inventory from distribution centers to store locations and customers. Enables enterprises to plan shipments via air, land or sea with their own or via third-party fleets. 
Business intelligence Allows retailers to make better decisions using both internal and external data. Larger retailers will often use BI tools to improve merchandising and marketing efforts. Retailers may invest in BI modules within existing enterprise suites or purchase stand alone BI tools. 

Speciality Retail Software Solutions

Retailers might want to consider software designed specifically for the unique needs of their business. For example, restaurant and food service business owners often require restaurant software to process orders, print tickets, analyze ingredient availability and determine how much to charge for meals. Or, jewelers might need jewelry POS software to manage repairs and quotes, in addition to processing sales and inventory tracking.

Here are some other examples:

Software for resale stores. Unlike other retailers, consignment, pawn shop and resale store owners don’t own their inventories. In fact, the providers may later want their inventory back. These retailers need retail software solutions with inventory management and accounting functionality tailored to these store types.

Software for cellular phone stores. These retailers need software with advanced CRM capabilities to know which phones and accessories customers have already purchased, and where they’re at within their contract periods. This information is greatly beneficial when it comes to upsells. Many of these systems also include domain-specific features, such as the ability to manage cellular data plans, phone activations and commissions tracking for employees.

Software for grocery stores. For grocers, speed and accuracy are necessary at the point of sale to help move customers through the line quickly while maintaining accurate inventory counts. Integration with scales, barcode scanners and other hardware peripherals are crucial features in these systems. In addition, grocers should look for solutions that support their delicatessen, bakery and butcher departments.

Outside of POS, there are other types of software that serve specialty retailers. Companies that sell tickets - like theaters and sporting facilities, for example - might opt for systems that specialize in that functionality. In such cases, buyers should ensure the POS they're considering also integrates with their existing or future ticketing system.

Benefits of Adopting Retail Software

A properly implemented system should help retailers increase sales, increase inventory turns, minimize unsold inventory and manage the company more efficiently. The primary benefits that can be realized by implementing new retail management software include:

More efficient transactions at the point of sale. One of the most important functions of retail software is to improve the checkout process for both employees and customers. POS applications integrate with cash drawers, external displays, printers, barcode scanners, scales and credit card terminals to reduce customer wait times and create a log of both inventory movement and individual customer purchases.

Outdoor and sporting goods store Orvis selected the Epicor retail software solution to upgrade its outdated point of sale technology. With Epicor, Orvis was able to achieve a tenfold increase in processing speeds at the point of sale and a 30-second drop in average credit card transaction processing times. The software also helped Orvis build-out its database with customer ZIP codes and email addresses for future marketing opportunities.

Improved inventory control and tracking. The goal for any retailer is to maintain proper inventory levels and never to run out of popular items. This is difficult when retailers aren’t sure how particular SKUs are performing. Inventory management functionality gives retailers this insight and helps them make sound inventory decisions.

After the Museum of New Mexico Foundation Shops (MNMFShops) implemented the WinRetail solution, MNMFShops was able to identify its most popular and slowest-moving items. MNMFShops re-prioritized its inventory around this analysis, and was able to reduce its bloated inventory of books by $25,000 in the process.

Centralized customer management. Customer relationship management (CRM) modules help retailers better serve customers through personalized interactions. These modules utilize databases that allow retailers to serve targeted email offers and regular promotions to customers, while measuring the impact of these programs. Additionally, contact management features help retailers provide a more personalized experience for both online and offline shoppers.

Guitar Center Pro invested in the NetSuite Retail CRM module to help improve its quoting process and better prioritize the assignments of its sales team. After replacing its existing applications and Excel spreadsheets, Guitar Center Pro was able to reduce its average time spent quoting from five hours to one hour per week, while achieving 12 percent annual growth in its stores.

Greater ability to cut costs. Retail technology reduces the time spent manually entering data, freeing retailers to spend more time analyzing employee, inventory and business performance. Many solutions include custom report wizards, employee commission tracking and dashboards to quickly identify top sales performers and areas for business improvement.

South Korean supermarket Lotte Mart deployed JDA Software in a phased approach to improve its pricing strategy and planning at the store level. Improved insight into how individual outlets should markdown, order and display items is one reason Lotte Mart saw a 12 percent increase in sales and a 25 percent decrease in stock levels.

Report: Buyers' Top Reasons for Evaluating Retail Software

Over the years, we've spoken with thousands of retailers considering new point of sale software solutions, providing us with unique insight into buyers' common pain points and motivations for purchasing new systems. In this report, we analyzed a sample of 385 random interactions with retail buyers to discover their top reasons for buying.

We found that the main reasons retailers are replacing their existing POS methods is to improve efficiency, modernize their systems and gain new POS functionality. Read the entire report for the full results, which you may find helpful in informing your software purchasing process.

How Is It Priced?

Cloud-based retail POS software is typically priced on a per-terminal, per-month basis, with some vendors offering discounts if you pay annually instead of monthly.

On-premise software, on the other hand, is usually priced by the number of perpetual licenses required for each terminal, with fees typically paid upfront for the right to use the software in perpetuity (rather than paying a monthly or annual subscription).

Retail Software Pricing Visualization

Regardless of whether the software uses a perpetual license or subscription pricing model, vendors usually offer packages with varying levels of functionality based on the breadth and depth of features required by retailers. 

Software Evaluation Tips

Reviewing new retail point of sale software can be intimidating because of the many available choices (here are some of the most popular solutions). We recently surveyed software buyers from a variety of industries to determine which tactics work best when reviewing different systems. Their most recommended methods include evaluating vendor references (i.e., feedback from real customers) and having an attorney review the agreement before signing.

Software Selection Quadrat

Quadrant indicating where selection tactics fall on the "impact" and "satisfaction" spectrum

Following selection methods in the "most effective" quadrant and avoiding those in the "least effective" quadrant (e.g., involving end users in the selection process) can help you make a better decision and avoid wasting valuable time.

Tips for New Buyers

We commonly hear from buyers that are evaluating POS solutions for the first time and looking at POS reviews for the first time. Questions we commonly hear include:

  • "Can I just download free point of sale software?"
  • "Is free retail POS software reliable? Are there any dangers to using free POS software?"
  • "Which vendor offers the best point of sale software for small businesses?"

From our perspective, it’s hard to label one solution as the best POS software solution for every retailer. We’ve reviewed the top POS systems for retail and found that regardless of system or buyer, there are a number of steps that can help make your point of sale software review process smoother:

Research the market first. Vendor websites are a good place to start your research and read up on retail point of sale system reviews. Understand that vendors often use phrases like "cashier software" and "cash register software" to describe their solutions, but these terms are synonymous with point of purchase software.

Prioritize your needs. While many solutions can meet your basic needs, you may need specific functionality in the new system. Do you need integrated e-commerce functionality? Is it vital that the vendor have experience supporting retail software for small business? Would you prefer to invest in open source POS software? Keep these priorities top-of-mind while reading through various POS system reviews.

Traditional vendors embrace the iPad. A shortlist should be compiled that lists the best retail point of sales systems that meet your priorities. Narrowing down the best POS systems can effectively shorten the system search and ensure that you only evaluate systems that will be a good fit. That's where we come in—we're here to help put together the right shortlist.

Evaluate solutions based on demos. POS software reviews are a good place to start when evaluating systems, but the final step should be participating in solution demos. Here, you can test-drive the solution and find the best retail POS system for you.

Market Trends to Understand

As you evaluate a new point of sales system, keep these trends in mind. How your vendor fits within these trends could have a big impact on their viability.

Mobile and digital currency. Payment options such as PayPal, Google Wallet and Bitcoin will become mainstream, allowing consumers to use digital currencies to pay for items.

Mac vs. PC. A growing number of retailers are shifting from proprietary hardware solutions and personal computers to Apple products, like Mac computers and iPads. These retailers will need to ensure that the software they select—and the specific features they want, which are sometimes not available across platforms—run on Mac, iPad- or iPod-devices.

ShopKeep offers a cloud-based solution that runs natively on the iPad

Mobile POS. As more and more retailers conduct sales at tradeshows, events and other temporary locations, mobile POS applications are becoming increasingly common. These systems enable users to process payments wirelessly and access inventory/sales data remotely. With the popularity of Apple's iPad, more vendors are developing iOS-optimized versions of their traditional applications.

Change screenshot

 Change is an iPad cash register app and mobile POS software

CRM technologies. Predictive modeling can be used to recommend items to cross-sell and upsell for new revenue-generation opportunities. Social media data will also be integrated so influential users can receive perks that encourage them to publicize a business by checking in online or uploading photos.

Order-ahead functionality. With many consumers no longer waiting in line to buy, the ordering experience will become more streamlined and intuitive.

POS gamification. POS systems will use popular technology such as Yelp and Foursquare to offer gamification incentives that provide benefits for both retailers and customers.

"Intelligent" inventory management. More advanced applications, such as merchandise management and open-to-buy, are enabling users to make more intelligent, data-driven purchasing and inventory decisions.

Recent Events You Should Know About

Lightspeed POS launched an e-commerce solution. The new offering is called Lightspeed eCom and integrates brick-and-mortar retail with an e-commerce presence and syncs the disparate inventories as well. Lightspeed eCom has been integrated with Lightspeed Retail, its cloud-based POS solution. It also integrates and synchronizes online and retail store inventory, sales figures and customer sales data while enabling the retailer to shift stock quickly between channels.

Samsung and payment processing provider Total Merchant Services released the Groovv POS Flex. Groovv is designed for SMBs and features a Samsung Galaxy Tab and an EMV-compliant, NFC-enabled payment processing device that is pre-programmed with software for inventory management, reporting and integrated marketing. The technology brings Samsung into the mobile POS space, as store associates can detach the tablet to roam a store with the consumer. The system connects wirelessly to peripherals, including a cash drawer receipt printer, barcode scanner and kitchen printer, so that retailers can customize their setup to match their environment and needs.

Fujitsu launched an innovative software solution for wearable devices. It creates a two-way, secure and collaborative digital communication platform between Fujitsu U-Scan Self-Checkout (SCO) or Fujitsu Fresco Point-of-Sale (POS) touch-screen systems and Samsung wearable devices. The software allows employees to handle their core duties, while also having hands-free access to important alerts and messages that ensure the entire store is operating smoothly. It promotes increased staff responsiveness and overall store efficiency in grocery, convenience and retail environments.

Free Download:
Retail Software Pricing Guide

Free Download:
Ten Steps Guide to Selecting Retail Software

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