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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

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)

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 (1535 reviews)

14 recommendations

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

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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)

8 recommendations

Epicor for Retail

Epicor retail POS and business management solutions are designed to help independent retailers work smarter, not harder. With more than 45 years of experience built-in, Epicor retail solutions help retailers in nearly 8,000 locati...Read more about Epicor for Retail

4.0 (5 reviews)

8 recommendations

Rapid Garden POS

Rapid Garden POS is a point of sale (POS) solution designed to assist users with managing their greenhouse, garden centers, nurseries, and landscaping businesses. Key features include multiple pricing and promotion schemes, plant ...Read more about Rapid Garden POS

4.4 (8 reviews)

6 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)

5 recommendations

Windward System Five

Windward Software's Windward System Five helps small to midsize businesses manage their operations by providing an integrated point of sale and accounting solution with real-time inventory management. Windward System Five is ...Read more about Windward System Five

3.8 (189 reviews)

5 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

MyPOS Connect

Designed for independent and enterprise retailers, MyPOS Connect is a SOC2 compliant, cloud-hybrid POS solution that allows businesses to create a POS experience for any retail business function and optimize customer engagement, s...Read more about MyPOS Connect

4.5 (41 reviews)

2 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

Fishbowl

Fishbowl is the #1 manufacturing and warehouse inventory management software! Its powerful inventory control system gives your small or midsize business the exact tools needed to transform your inventory management and scale your ...Read more about Fishbowl

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

Odoo

Odoo is the #1 open-source integrated business apps suite. Main apps include Website Builder, eCommerce, CRM, Accounting, Project Management, Warehouse Management, Manufacturing, Human Resources, and Marketing. There is an app for...Read more about Odoo

Cin7 Omni

Cin7 Omni is a highly configurable inventory management and order management solution with built-in EDI and integrations to all the popular ecommerce platforms, marketplaces, and 3PLs. It's best-in-class for all combinations of B2...Read more about Cin7 Omni

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Hardware stores specialize in the retail of household goods and materials, including:

  • Tools

  • Lawn and garden equipment

  • Plumbing and electrical

  • Cleaning supplies

Specialty hardware stores may also sell items such as farm or ranch equipment and even hunting supplies.

POS software for hardware and building materials stores helps business owners automate nearly every aspect of their business, from managing inventory to customer checkout and balancing the books.

These systems offer increased visibility into business operations, allowing owners to track trends and relationships that impact profitability. As such, these systems play an integral role in the success of retail stores of all size, from mom-and-pop hardware shops to enterprise-level home improvement retail chains.

With the emergence of new digital technologies such as iPads, credit card processors and electronic barcoding solutions it’s easier than ever for hardware and building materials stores to maintain accurate shop records.

We’ve created this guide to help business owners evaluate and compare the various solutions on the market and make a more informed purchase decision.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is Hardware POS software?

Common Features and Capabilities of Hardware POS Software

Expected Benefits of Using Hardware POS Software

What is Hardware POS software?

Hardware POS software supports the business processes unique to hardware stores, such as:

  • Unified point of sale (POS) dashboard: Track sales made in both brick-and-mortar and online stores

  • Inventory management: Know the status of every piece of merchandise, whether it’s in stock or on backorder, and be able to pull up the price and available discounts upon request

  • Physical inventory counting process: Some of the products sold by a hardware store must be accompanied by a material safety data sheet (MSDS)

  • Reporting and trends analysis: Create customized dashboards to track sales and profitability, customer trends and more or export data as a report to take a snapshot of current standing.

Point-of-sale-dashboard-in-RetailSTAR

Point of sale dashboard in RetailSTAR

Additional “back office” or administration requirements include:

There are some peculiarities for the customer relationship management (CRM) and POS. These are primarily in the areas of job costing and estimating. They affect both contractors and do-it-yourselfers.

Common Features and Capabilities of Hardware POS Software

When evaluating POS software, hardware store owners should keep the following functions in mind to ensure the new system meets their unique business and industry requirements.

Common Hardware POS Features

Integrated parts database and UPC catalog

Because of the large number of hardware items, the system needs to provide a catalog of products and UPCs. The catalog must be updated frequently or better yet, available online.

Sell by measure

Hardware stores sell many bulk items that are sold in cut portions. Examples include lumber, chain, rope and wire. The system should handle selling by measure for these items. The inventory should be accurately tracked, including accounting for all scrap.

Shelf and bin location

The inventory and POS systems should support locating products by shelf and bin location. In addition to providing better customer support, having inventory location assists with the physical inventory process.

Estimating

The POS and inventory system should allow estimates to be prepared. If the customer accepts the estimate, the system should be able to generate a customer order easily. It should generate orders for stock not on hand and special orders as necessary.

Contractor sales

The system should support contractor sales. It should calculate discounts, track terms and provide billing. It should also track lines of credit and notify the customer and back office staff when credit thresholds are reached.

Job costing

The system should be able to track multiple jobs, for both contractors and do-it-yourselfers. The job costing should be part of the POS. A single transaction should be able to be split over multiple jobs. The job should include the customer’s job number. Each customer should be able to have multiple jobs concurrently.

Seasonal orders

The system should recommend or order seasonal merchandise; for example, salt and holiday decorations for the winter and barbecue grills in the summer. The system should also support inventory sell-versus-store decisions at the end of each season.

Kit sales

Hardware stores often sell plans and materials as single kits; for example, to build a storage shed or a play set. The system should correctly decrease the individual parts inventory counts when a kit is sold.

Special orders

The system should handle special orders. It should track deposits, integrate with order entry to place orders and notify the customer when the order is received.

Work orders

Many hardware stores offer special services. Examples include rescreening and engraving. The system needs to track the work orders, post deposits and notify the customer when the work is complete.

Material safety data sheet (MSDS) handling

OSHA requires that the required MSDS for a product to be delivered by the seller, but only for certain customers. The systems should have a repository of MSDS The POS and CRM systems should printout required data sheets at the time of sale.

Common Hardware POS Capabilities

Gift registry

For a variety of reasons, hardware stores are starting to maintain gift registries. Customers should be able to register for desired merchandise by name and event. The system should track which items have been purchased and what is still on the list.

Rental management

The system should have a rental management module. It should track costs, billing, maintenance and equipment lifecycle management.

Lookup by description

Since many hardware items are similar, the POS needs a look up by description, which can narrow the range of items. The the clerk or customer then can select from a limited list.

Inventory images

The system must show pictures of the items. The images should be available during ordering, receiving, selling and physical inventory.

Case/unit breakdown

Many hardware parts are ordered in cases and sold in as cases, boxes or singles. The POS system should decrease the inventory properly how ever the items are sold.

Physical inventory system

The system should support physical inventory. It should interface with handheld devices to record the count. It should create physical inventory sheets by location as well as item number. The count sheets should have the option to display the image.

Expected Benefits of Using Hardware POS Software

Investing in POS software can benefit your business in several ways, including:

Improved workflows: Prior to POS software, sales associates had to physically check the stockroom and sales floor to answer customer inquiries about pricing or inventory levels. Now, associates can respond to questions about product levels, cost and more simply by checking their POS dashboard. This not only creates a smoother customer experience, but employees can special order a part for a customer or check inventory levels at other store locations on the spot.

Better employee management: Using your POS for scheduling can help ensure proper staffing levels so employees are neither over or under worked. Use historical staffing data to anticipate increased staffing needs around holidays to ensure you have enough people scheduled to work at that time.

Enhanced customer service: Create a customer database to provide a more personalized shopping experience. Sales associates can use purchase history to help with current sales. For example, if the customer is looking for a lawn mower part, the associate can look up what model lawn mower they bought to help locate the part more easily.