10 tips to choose right Retail management software.

1. Open Hardware

It should run on any type of hardware. You have to be careful about choosing a proprietary based technology. Hardware is generally PC (computer) based and the software should support any PC.

2. Integrated Solution

In old days, for most retailers, POS was a category of software that is chosen separately from back-office and other in-store systems. But today it is extremely important that most of the different systems should be in-built.

3. Flexibility

Flexibility means being able to respond to business requirements on the fly. Flexibility means a retailer can adapt the software at their head office and then instantly download changes to the stores so that the store systems are updated in minutes rather than months.

4. Operating System

Although DOS and the various desktop versions of Windows are still frequently found at the point-of-sale, Windows 2000 and XP seems to be widely regarded by retailers as the operating platform of the future. The momentum behind XP as the operating system of choice for POS has been building.

Because of its higher levels of stability and security, XP is penetrating the store level both at the POS and the in-store processor much more strongly than the desktop versions of Windows. In short, the software should be a windows based and should support 2000 and XP.

5. Scalability

You never know what can happen in a retail business. A new format may be developed, or a merger or acquisition may take place, changing the strategic direction of an entire company overnight. It’s important to be prepared, and to have a POS system that can scale to accommodate the very largest or the very smallest of stores. Retail management software should be modular. It should grow with you.

6. Multiple classes of retailing – (Garments, Grocery, IT, Food)

POS software should be able to accommodate different classes of retailing. The applications should run in multiple retail environments varying in format, size, volume, product assortment, and promotional structure.

7. Out-of-the-box usability

For the vast majority of retailers, it’s a much better idea to buy out-of-the-box POS software than try to develop home-grown systems. Buying an out-of-the-box software offers substantial cost benefits, since the software vendor is able to distribute the development costs over multiple clients. Vendors can also typically do a better job with support. But that doesn’t mean retailers should be satisfied with a “one-size-fits-all” solution. A packaged software product should be easily customizable by the retailer, without the need to alter internal source code.

8. Vendor reliability – Evaluating a retail management software company

As discussed earlier, buying retail management software is no time for experimentation. A retailer should choose a vendor with a proven track record of installations and a large enough organization to be credible. A retailer should also want to have confidence that the vendor will be around for long, and that it will be able to respond to needs quickly and provide custom development services when necessary.

Along with product cost you must ask for any hidden cost like training and support charges, Software Updation charges, and Annual maintenance charges (AMC) and Data conversion charges.

Do they provide barcode and pos hardware? If yes what are available options.

How much time they take to respond a service call?

What if the software has a bug and they don’t fix it?

9. Ready for Future - Ongoing Upgrades

Retail management software vendor should be continually enhancing its product, driven both by its expertise in how it sees the marketplace unfolding and by customer requests. When he does this, the result is significant advantages to its retail customers.

“Future vision” is another important aspect of long-term vendor reliability - the ability to anticipate development needs in advance of their becoming critical.

A good Retail management software vendor should demonstrate enough “future vision” to have already committed substantial resources to support new forms of technology such as data synchronization.

10. Easy to install, learn and use

Finally, a Retail management software should be organized in such a fashion that it shoulders the responsibilities of a retailer. Despite the power and scope it must be easy to adapt, learn and use. That means you save money on the training and implementation. You save huge money on manpower and employee turnover can be handled easily.

Author:.

Nilesh Shah nileshshah@rancelab.com Over 10 years of experience in the field of software development, sales and marketing. He has assisted over 500 Retailers and Restaurateurs in implementing the Retail and F&B software with barcode & pos hardware for their business. He holds a designation of Director, Marketing in Rance Computer Pvt Ltd. He holds the certification from Microsoft Corporation and NIS. His current research focuses on developing and implementing intelligent retail systems...

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