Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped thousands of retailers choose the right retail management software so they can collect and analyze sales data and automate transactions.

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Epos Now

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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Recent recommendations: 133 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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ShopKeep

ShopKeep is an iPad and Android POS system for retail businesses, restaurants, bars, franchises and quick-serve businesses. The POS software offers a touch screen interface, when used on an iPad or Android tablet device, which allows... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 99 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Talech Register

Talech POS is a cloud-based retail, restaurant & bar and professional services solution that offers point-of-sale (POS), inventory and customer management, appointment scheduling and deep, real-time analytics. The solution stores data... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 57 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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NetSuite

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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Recent recommendations: 46 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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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 includes... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 44 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
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Rain POS

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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Recent recommendations: 43 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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KORONA POS

KORONA provides point of sale software, inventory management, and CRM services for all types of retailers, such as convenience stores, liquor shops, and QSRs. The POS software also caters to museums, theme parks, and wineries with... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 40 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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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 management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 28 recommendations

Platforms: MacWin
Deployments: Cloud
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COMCASH Retail ERP

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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Recent recommendations: 28 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Agiliron

Agiliron cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution is designed to serve both in-store and mobile businesses as well as online sales channels. The system offers a host of features that work in tandem with the point-of-sale solution,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 27 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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BPA Restaurant Pro

BPA Restaurant Pro is a retail management solution designed to help small to large enterprises manage accounting processes and streamline point-of-sale operations. Key features include time tracking, reporting, inventory management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 27 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
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Retail Pro

Retail Pro is a specialty retail management software platform featuring POS, replenishment, inventory management, promotions, customer management, back office, performance, and KPI reporting capabilities. Retailers can use Retail... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 26 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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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 customer... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 23 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
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Epicor Retail Solutions

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 locations. Epicor... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 22 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Retail MARKET

Retail MARKET is a cloud­-based point of sale (POS) solution built especially for independently-run grocery stores and retailers. Key features include inventory management, customer management and mobile device support. Retail MARKET... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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BottlePOS

BottlePOS is a cloud-based POS system built specifically for liquor stores. Primarily, this solution aims to help store managers automate inventory management. BottlePos can integrate with several distributors across many states,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Acme Point of Sale

Acme Point of Sale by Total BusinessWare is an on-premise POS solution that helps businesses across various industries including grocery stores and supermarkets, sporting goods shops and pet supply stores to manage POS, transactions... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 15 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
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HungerRush

HungerRush is a food delivery solution that enables restaurants of all sizes to streamline operations related to online ordering, loyalty programs, reporting and more. Professionals can utilize the platform to create custom order types... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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SpotOn Restaurant

SpotOn Restaurant is a cloud-based point-of-sale solution that enables businesses to streamline processes related to food ordering, tableside payments, customer retention and more. The online ordering functionality enables businesses... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Envision Salon & Spa

Envision Salon is a cloud-based salon management solution that provides hair salons, nail salons and spas with tools and functionalities to manage their staff, booking, inventory, client interactions and more. Envision Salon offers... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Buyers guide


Last Updated: September 15, 2020

From a technology perspective, it’s a glorious time to be a retailer. Even the most basic retail point of sale (POS) systems on the market today have evolved into full-fledged retail management systems. In fact, "retail management system" is probably a better name for today’s POS systems, given the many features they offer.

Here’s what we'll cover:

What is Retail Management Software?
What Are the Common Features of Retail Software?
What Are the Benefits of Adopting Retail Software?
Essential Hardware for In-Store Retail Management Systems
Retail Management Software Tips for New Buyers
Recent Events You Should Know About

What is Retail Management Software?

Retail management software is technology that helps business owners drive more sales with applications that include point of sale features, inventory management, retail customer relationship management and more. These solutions often include hardware for payment terminals and can support mobile devices.

Common Features of Retail Software

There are some core features that all retail management systems offer. The complexity and breadth of these features varies between systems, but in some capacity, a retail management system should offer the following five features:

Core Retail Management Software Features

POS/Transaction automation Automates the assignment of prices to items at checkout and processes payments. Mitigates some human error from cashiers. Adjusts inventory levels accordingly.
Inventory management Tracks inventory levels and makes real-time adjustments as products are purchased. Alerts retailers when stock amounts drop to defined level. Allows for more efficient and detailed organization of inventory. Offers reports on inventory movement to spot trends.
Reporting and analytics Records and analyzes sales data and business performance and turns it into easily understood reports and dashboards. Incorporates inventory figures as well as other expenses to provide accurate snapshot of revenue leaks or opportunities.
Retail customer relationship management (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.
Employee management Completes tasks such as shift scheduling. Often provides ability to clock in and out. Keeps track of employees’ hours for payroll. Can also assign sales commissions.

For single-store retailers, a retail management system offering these core features is likely more than enough power to get you going.

For retailers with an online store or more than one brick-and-mortar location, there are some extra features you might want to consider folding into your retail management system. These additional feature could include:

Advanced Retail Management Features

Merchandise management Enables in-depth structure and organization of inventory management, often broken into assigned stock keeping units (SKUs). Provides analytics for pinpointing purchasing trends. Interacts between multiple stores to create one master merchandise repository.
Warehouse management Automates the tracking, locating and management of inventory within a warehouse. Commonly includes capabilities such as positioning/locating system for products, order receiving and invoice management.
Business intelligence Similar to the retail reporting and analytics capabilities of a POS system, but with increased detail to accommodate larger businesses, e.g., multi-store data integration and analysis.

Benefits of Adopting Retail Software

A properly implemented retail management system should help business owners drive more sales, better manage inventory, efficiently direct employees and get back more time in the day due to process automations.

More specifically, the benefits of using a retail management solution include:

Increased efficiency at checkout. Perhaps the most important benefit of retail software is the improvement at the point of transaction for both employees and customers. Retail systems integrate with credit card processors, cash drawers, digital displays, receipt printers and barcode scanners to minimize transaction completion times.

Improved inventory and merchandise management. As you and your retailer peers know, maintaining proper inventory levels is a delicate dance. This is especially difficult with little or no software support for tracking and controlling inventory. Insights gained from inventory and merchandise management features provide unparalleled transparency for managing stock levels. For example, bakery software helps manage inventory for ingredients and products used at a bakery.

Actionable customer management insights. Retail CRM applications enable you to learn about and track customers, so you can offer more personalized interactions. Customer databases that house purchase histories, contact information and even loyalty program profiles allow for targeted emails and other marketing promotions. Developing a strong repeat customer base is often dependent upon the effectiveness of your CRM.

Overall increased efficiency and transparency into business. Retail management software eliminates much of the grueling time spent completing tedious manual processes. This gives you time back to spend deepening relationships with customers, monitoring and training employees and optimizing inventory and business performance.

Essential Hardware for In-Store Retail Management Systems

In our breakdown of what exactly a POS system is, we outline some key hardware features that should not be overlooked. These same must-have tools apply to new retail management software as well. Don’t let consideration for the following retail hardware slip through the cracks:

Crucial POS Hardware Components

Hardware components necessary for a retail software system

 

If you’re looking to upgrade from a POS to a system with more retail management features, you likely already have most of this hardware. If so, you’ll want to make sure any existing hardware is compatible with a new retail management solution.

If this is your first system, you need to get all of these pieces in place.

Retail Management Software Tips for New Buyers

When it comes to reviewing and choosing your new retail management system, the many considerations and options can make it a daunting task. Our survey of software buyers (from a variety of industries) uncovered some effective, commonly-used tactics that work best for building a case and making a decision between systems. The most recommended methods from the survey include:

  • Research what’s available in the market. Begin by building a baseline understanding of what the market looks like in terms of common features, additional applications, prices, deployment models etc. Keep an eye out for industry terms or jargon that you’ll need to understand when working with vendors. Software provider websites are a good resource for this initial research.
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  • Define and prioritize your business needs. Make a detailed list of what you want your new system to accomplish. Begin by gathering common pain points of current software or processes. Task managers with reaching out to employees to learn what would make their roles easier. Create a formal needs document you can share with vendors to keep the scope of conversation focused on your specific requirements.
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  • Evaluate solutions based on demos and user reviews. Consulting retail software reviews is a fantastic way to start evaluating and eliminating specific systems from the running. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a list of three to five systems, you can start participating in software demos to get a snapshot of the different solutions in action and assess the usability and functionality firsthand.

Recent Events You Should Know About

Shift in fraud liability with EMV payment standard. After the deadline set in late 2015, the liability for covering fraudulent charges has shifted from banks and card issuers to those retailers that are not compliant. For retailers with significant average transaction amounts ($100+), it’s important to ensure your payment process meets the EMV standard.

Adoption of beacon technology still on the rise. Beacon technology has been around for a while. Macy’s, Target and GameStop rolled out beacon technology-based projects between 2014 and 2015. The number of beacons in the retail marketplace are continuing to grow and retailers could have around 3.5 million active beacons working in their stores by 2018.