Best Retail Software in 2018

Software solutions in this category help eCommerce and local retail shops manage their business operations. These products help automate certain tasks in inventory and financial management, orders and sales management, payment and invoicing, etc. In addition, you can market your products, create B2B stores, grow sales by using competitive price monitoring and track the supply chain. You can manage sales channels across multiple platforms and integrate resource planning under overarching retail software. All of these tasks can be tracked, analyzed and used for better understanding of the business and increasing the profit margin.  Read the full software guide...


Retail Management Software Guide

What is Retail Software?

Retail management is the process of managing a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities associated with a retail establishment. It includes taking control of business processes and strategies to help customers find and obtain the products and/or services they want.

Retail management also covers the task of making sure customers get the best experience possible when shopping for a product or service, whether they’re in a physical establishment or online in digital retail stores.

But, performing retail management effectively requires specific tools and applications that facilitate key processes in both physical and digital retail stores. This is where retail software solutions become a valuable asset to any organization in the retail industry.

Retail software, also referred to as retail management systems, are specialized software solutions that specifically deal with key retail operations, including inventory management, sales order management, a point of sale (POS), staff management, customer relationship management (CRM), purchasing and receiving management, reporting and analytics, and more.

Some retail software solutions on the market even offer more functions and capabilities, such as eCommerce applications, email marketing solutions, and route and fleet management for retailers offering delivery and door-to-door services.


Types of Retail Software

Retail software solutions generally handle a wide range of processes, including checkout activity, customer relationship management, eCommerce activity, inventory flow, and more.

Some of these solutions can also be categorized based on several related software verticals. These are the systems that branch off from the retail management side to other aspects of business like accounting, employee management, and so on.

The different types of retail software include inventory management software, merchandise sales data and analytics software, accounting software, CRM software, business intelligence software, eCommerce software, warehouse management and logistics software, as well as employee management solutions.

The role of each of these software solutions is to facilitate the day-to-day processes of your retail business and to make tasks easier and more efficient for you and your staff, regardless of the size of your business or whether you are managing a physical establishment or an online retail store.

One important thing to note is that even though each of the retail software types mentioned above may seem different altogether, they all offer features and capabilities that often overlap. A CRM-orientated retail software solution, for example, may include POS features and other functions that cover different aspects of your business process.

In addition to these different types of retail software solutions, there are a couple of options available as well when it comes to deployment. There is the conventional on-premise retail management system with POS, inventory management, and staff management solutions. There’s also cloud-based retail software, which allows you to handle all your retail management processes via a cloud service.

On-premise solutions are ideal for retailers managing an actual physical establishment. These types of systems come with software that allows them to manage inventory, payroll, POS, orders, employee shift schedules, and more. They also typically come with hardware that accommodates certain features, especially for the POS aspect.

Some of the crucial POS hardware components you need include a credit/debit card reader, receipt printer, barcode scanner, register screen (usually in the form of a tablet or any mobile device with Wi-Fi connectivity), and a cash drawer.

Cloud-based retail software solutions, on the other hand, are managed, maintained, and implemented via a cloud service. In most organizations nowadays, not just in the retail business, cloud-based solutions have become the more popular option in managing a wide variety of business processes for the simple fact that they generally have a low operating cost, are highly efficient, and are easy to manage and operate.

Additionally, cloud-based retail software solutions do not require you to maintain or constantly update your system locally. Users don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of the platform, as the service provider will manage that for them. This type of retail software typically utilizes the subscription model, where businesses simply have to choose the subscription package they want and can terminate the subscription anytime they want.


How to Choose Retail Software

When choosing a retail software solution, there are a few core features you need to look at to make sure you get the best value for your subscription or purchase of the product. Some of these core retail management features include inventory management, POS and/or transaction automation, retail CRM, employee management, as well as reporting and analytics.

A decent POS system accompanied by transaction automation should be a standard in any retail software solution. It allows users to automate the process of assigning prices to items during checkout and payment processing. It also helps to minimize human errors from cashiers and adjust inventory/stock levels accordingly.

Retail CRM is a good feature to have if you want to engage customers through promotions, loyalty programs, and by giving special discounts, which in turn enhances customer satisfaction and drives loyalty. It’s also a tool that allows you to store crucial customer data like purchase history, contact information, birthdays, anniversaries, and more.

Inventory and employee management features will enable you to manage your store inventory and staff schedules more efficiently. In particular, inventory management functionality lets store supervisors and managers track inventory levels and allows them to make real-time adjustments as products go out to customers. Inventory management is also often directly integrated with the POS system.

Employee management, on the other hand, allows employers to effectively manage the shift schedules of their entire staff, as well as track the hours of overtime, absences, sales commissions, bonuses, and payroll for each employee.

Finally, the reporting and analytics feature helps retailers and store managers to record and analyze sales data and overall business performance. The tool essentially turns seemingly incomprehensible data into reports and dashboards that can easily be digested by any individual, whether they have a strong business background or not.

This particular feature is invaluable to business owners with multiple store locations as it combines data from all store branches and transforms it into more manageable reports and analytics. It will give you an idea of which branches are performing better than others, as well as how and why the performance differs. The tool will also provide you with information regarding the most popular items in your store, allowing you to know which products in your inventory are selling and which ones aren’t.

In addition to these basic features, there are more advanced features you might want to consider as well when choosing retail software. These advanced features include merchandise management, warehouse management, and business intelligence. These features, however, should be optional. If you don’t have a clear use of such tools and applications in your retail business, then just focus on the core features you actually need.


Benefits of Retail Software

A well-implemented, effective, and feature-rich retail software solution should have a positive impact on your retail business in a big way, especially when it comes to managing day-to-day tasks and attracting more customers to your physical establishment or to your online store.

A good retail management software solution can help to maximize efficiency at checkout, increase the productivity of your entire staff, fine-tune customer relationships to enhance their shopping experience and satisfaction, and help to improve your bottom line as more and more customers shop at your store.

Through its various features such as CRM, POS, and reporting and analytics functionality, retailers will be able to gain valuable customer insights, become more efficient in payment processing, and get a better understanding of the overall performance of the business. All these and more are what retail software solutions can bring to the table.


Common Features of Retail

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
BitCoin BitCoin support - a digital currency operating independently of a central bank.
Contact Management Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.
Customer Management Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Inventory Tracking Stay on top of inventory levels, to manage the storing, reordering or production of stock items.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Order management Manage the fulfilment of sales and orders for goods and services.
PayPal PayPal support allowing for the transfer funds electronically or online payments.
Sales Motivator Gamification or motivation features within sales and CRM software to increase sales performance.
Shipping Management Automate time-consuming shipping issues for goods manufacturers and vendors.
Stripe Stripe support as a payment gateway allowing you to accept payments online and via mobile apps.
Supplier Management Manage suppliers and purchases required in the day-to-day operation of a business.
Third-Party Plugins/Add-Ons Offers additional features or integrations built by third-party developers in form of plugins or add-ons.

Latest User Reviews of Retail

Competera
Aynar Aslanov, PA to Founder - OMG International
"Effective price optimization tool for onli..."

Our company collaborates with Competera from 2016. I am a new user of Competera repri...

Cin7
Mary Angela O'Connell, Office Assistant - Dharf.com
"Cin 7 is one of few inverntory management ..."

Cin 7 is one of few inverntory management systems that has a light manufacturing syst...

Cin7
Jash SHI, -
"Great software"

I have use Cin7 for nearly 1 mouth. Cin7 is very effective for large inventory manage...

Cin7
Mike Tyrrell, Principal Officer - Department of Justice NSW
"Great help "

Cin 7 and Chandni have been great in assisting with the on boarding and transition fr...