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Epos Now

Epos Now POS systems are an effective business management, sales, and payment solution for single-site, multi-site, and online businesses. Popular with retailers and hospitality businesses in many industries, Epos Now POS systems ...Read more about Epos Now

3.3 (391 reviews)

44 recommendations

AmberPOS

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 incl...Read more about AmberPOS

4.1 (53 reviews)

19 recommendations

Rain POS

Rain is an all-in-one point-of-sale, website, and marketing system for small to midsized retailers. Music, dive, sporting goods, paddle, craft, sewing, quilting, and clothing boutiques will find Rain is an excellent fit for their...Read more about Rain POS

4.2 (132 reviews)

16 recommendations

NetSuite

With an integrated system that includes ERP, financials, commerce, inventory management, HR, PSA, supply chain management, CRM and more – NetSuite enables fast-growing businesses across all industries to work more effectively by a...Read more about NetSuite

4.2 (1531 reviews)

12 recommendations

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Agiliron

Agiliron is an all-in-one Retail Management System which allows you to manage all orders, inventory and CRM records, from all channels, in one place. Agiliron also integrates with many of your existing business tools like Quickb...Read more about Agiliron

4.5 (41 reviews)

11 recommendations

Paladin Point of Sale and Inventory Management

For over 40 years, Paladin Data Corp. has been helping independent retail businesses run better. Paladin point of sale (POS) and inventory management software automates time-consuming inventory chores and provides business owners ...Read more about Paladin Point of Sale and Inventory Management

4.6 (21 reviews)

7 recommendations

AIM

AIM 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 about AIM

4.1 (200 reviews)

6 recommendations

iVend Retail

iVend Retail by CitiXsys is an integrated POS software application delivered on cloud. Our SaaS platform empowers retailers to provide exceptional customer experiences throughout the entire shopper journey. iVend Retail includes c...Read more about iVend Retail

3.9 (15 reviews)

3 recommendations

LS Retail

LS Central is a unified POS and ERP software solution built on Microsoft Dynamics technology. It brings together several functionalities in one application such as financials (the Microsoft Dynamics ERP), point of sale (POS), stor...Read more about LS Retail

4.3 (125 reviews)

1 recommendations

PayPal

PayPal is a digital payment platform that enables businesses and individuals to pay and accept payments through an online portal without revealing any financial details. The solution is suitable for businesses of all sizes. P...Read more about PayPal

Shopify

Shopify is a web-based e-commerce platform that offers a mobile POS (mPOS) system. The mPOS enables users to manage their business and complete transactions in-store as well as at markets, pop-ups, and trade shows. The e-commerce ...Read more about Shopify

Square Point of Sale

Square Point of Sale is a mobile POS system available for iOS and Android devices. Key capabilities of the Square POS system include online payment processing, sales reports, inventory tracking, digital receipts, email and SMS mar...Read more about Square Point of Sale

PayPal Zettle

PayPal Here is a mobile application that allows retailers and merchants to process transactions. The application uses a card reader device attached to a smartphone. This solution helps retailers and field sales staff to process tr...Read more about PayPal Zettle

Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed Retail is a cloud-based POS solution that is suitable for retailers in industries such as apparel, footwear, bike, jewelry, pet, sporting goods and home decor. The solution offers retailers tools including inventory man...Read more about Lightspeed Retail

Google Pay

Android Pay is a cloud-based secure digital wallet application designed for processing payments using tablets and smartphone devices. Designed for Android devices, this application allows users to add their cards to an NFC-en...Read more about Google Pay

Square for Retail

Square for Retail is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) and retail solution for all retailers. Key features include inventory management, customer relationship management, reporting and employee management. The solution comes with ...Read more about Square for Retail

Route4Me

Route4Me is a cloud-based fleet management solution designed for small, midsize and large businesses. Primary features include route planning and routing guides. It allows users to type-in or upload customer addresses and plan a r...Read more about Route4Me

PHP Point of Sale

PHP POS is a hybrid point of sale (POS) solution that helps small and startup retail businesses across various industries to manage their day to day business operations, interact with customers and process financial transactions. ...Read more about PHP Point of Sale

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay is mobile payment and digital wallet service for Samsung devices that allows users to make payments at retail stores. Samsung Pay uses either MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) or NFC (Near Field Communication) to comm...Read more about Samsung Pay

GoFrugal

Gofrugal POS is a hybrid point of sale (POS) solution that helps retailers across various industries, to manage their distribution and billing routines and automate financial transactions. The solution can be deployed either on-pr...Read more about GoFrugal

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

No specialty retailers have been affected more by the emergence of online superstores than book and music shops. In addition, book and music store owners face the challenge of having to compete against the e-book and downloadable music market. Many are forced to rethink their business strategy to meet growing consumer needs for books and music files that can be accessed from a laptop or mobile device.

To differentiate themselves from Internet retailers, book businesses are becoming shopping destinations instead of just stores. For example, many have started to offer an expanded selection of non-core items, such as coffee and food.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Bookstore Software?

Common Features of Bookstore POS and Inventory Software

Benefits of Bookstore POS and Inventory Software

Deployment Options

What Is Bookstore Software?

There are thousands of retail point of sale (POS) software vendors on the market to help book and music retailers with the most critical aspects of their business, such as inventory and pricing. Systems exist for large organizations with several locations, small “mom and pop” stores, and everything in between. The goal of this buyer’s guide is to help book and music retailers find the right POS software to meet their needs in this evolving market.

Book inventory software and POS are the key modules for book stores and music shop software. Book and music store inventories typically contain just a few duplicates of a large number of items, and special orders are common. Books and magazines are usually identified with a number in the form of a bar code, called the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) respectively. CDs (and albums, cassettes and 45s produced after the 1970s) have Universal Product Codes (UPCs).

Many shops also have customer service and loyalty programs built into their business strategy, so customer relationship management (CRM) is another important aspect of software solutions as music and book stores are embracing social media to attract and maintain customers.

Ideally, systems should support both traditional stores and online sales, “bricks and clicks” operations. And, if stores buy product from customers to resell, the POS and accounts payable features need to integrate for the payments to be processed properly.

Common Features of Bookstore POS and Inventory Software

Book and music retailers should consider the following functions to meet their unique requirements:

Online inventory

A book or music store should have access to an online inventory system for the latest books and special orders.

ISBN and ISSN lookup

The system should be able to look up the ISBN or ISSN for any book or magazine. The information, such as title, publisher and publication date, can be imported into the bookstore inventory software.

Non-book/non-music items

The system should support the sale of non-book/non-music items such as beverages, snacks and toys.

UPC lookup

Access to a UPC library for CDs and other inventory is critical. The system should be able to populate the inventory system with stock numbers and descriptions from the UPC library.

Online store

The system should support online sales of items through a Web storefront. If there are both an online store and a physical store, there should be an option to share the inventory between them or to keep the inventories separate.

Promotional pricing

The system should allow sale and promotional pricing. The pricing should change in the POS and inventory automatically at a specified time and date, if desired.

Customer loyalty program

As part of CRM and to further solidify customer relations, many music and book stores have customer loyalty programs. The store system should track sales history and monitor loyalty program points awarded and redeemed.

Spoilage reporting

If the store sell perishable goods; the “sell by” dates must be tracked, expired inventory must be collected and disposed of and the process properly documented.

Gift set packaging

One of the key promotions for book and music stores are gift sets. The POS system must support gift set sales for a single price but correctly decrease inventory levels for the individual items when a gift set is sold.

Book/music buying

If the store buys used books or music for resale, the system should have access to an online database to help determine the price. The POS should support the buying process and handle the transaction correctly through accounts payable and general ledger.

Online music and e-book sales

If there is an online store, it should be able to sell music downloads and e-books in popular formats. Online bookstore software should handle the digital rights management (DRM) and royalties.

Online storefront integration

Many bookstore owners will sell through other online mediums, such as Amazon, Biblio, AbeBooks and others. The system should be able to integrate with these online storefronts.

Query-based lists

Users should be able to create lists and sublists of inventory based on keywords. A very helpful feature for both store owners and customers.

Customizable fields

The system should allow users to create new fields, customize the length of these fields and vary the type of information included.

Benefits of Bookstore POS and Inventory Software

One should be able to see the operational and experiential benefits provided by the adoption of bookstore POS software. The three top benefits of the software include:

  • Accurate, automated inventory control. Any retailer would like to excel at managing inventory levels, but it’s especially the case for bookstores. Inventory features enable users to determine and never to run out of popular titles on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis.

  • More efficient shopping experiences. The organizational benefits of bookstore inventory management enables any and all employees to quickly find items for customers, rather than having to sort through the section they’re “pretty sure it should be in.” This will lead to a greater overall customer experience and hopefully encourage repeat business.

Deployment Options

Most book stores use on-premise systems. In fact, paper-based systems are still used by some. However, software as a service (SaaS) systems are available and provide an attractive alternative for book stores and music shops that are upgrading or replacing current systems.

Most SaaS, or Web-based, applications are hosted on the vendor’s servers and paid for by monthly subscription. This deployment option is ideal for buyers who prefer lower monthly payments over a costly upfront investment.

A final benefit of SaaS software is increased accessibility. Users can access these systems from any device with an Internet connection and from Mac or PC operating systems.