Although many smaller retail businesses are now opting for expensive, all-in-one systems for their Point of Sale (POS) solutions, there are hundreds of software programs engineered to work with conventional computer systems that are a cost-effective and more convenient alternative. The majority of them can also be linked with POS terminals too so that ‘out front’ the terminals could be running the same software as the computers ‘in the office’.
With so many options to choose from though, it’s understandable that you might feel a little bit overwhelmed when it comes to which software solution is most suited to which business. Just because it’s a great piece of POS software for restaurants for example, does not necessarily mean it’ll be a great piece of software for a corner shop.
Here we’ll be taking four of the very best POS software solutions through their paces and matching each to an ideal situation, which should help give you some idea, as to which piece of software you might want to consider for your businesses point of sale system.
Lightspeed (once known as ‘Xsilva Systems’) uses the peerlessly stable Apple OS X operating system as its platform and offers an incredibly powerful and attractive software solution for those retailers who value power, speed and aesthetics.
It’s also incredibly intuitive as it has been designed to work in much the same manner as Apple’s own ‘iTunes’, a software program that the majority of the populous will no doubt be familiar with. Lightspeed operates in an ingeniously easy to-follow ‘drag and drop’ manner and the ‘cover-flow’ interface lets customers browse products graphically, leading to fewer potential sales errors.
This complete, retail management system is also compatible with the Apple ‘iOS’ so it can be connected to customers’ iPhones and iPads. Best of all, this visually stunning and flexible interface can be downloaded now from the company’s website for a completely FREE 30 day trial!
Suitable For – Lightspeed would be perfectly suited as the pos software for a variety of retail industries such as clothing and electronics.
For the last 15, AmberPOS has been one of the most popular pos software solutions for small retail stores across the USA and Canada. So much more than just a pos software solution, Amber includes a set of advanced customer management features, which allow it to keep track not only of customers’ traits, but their personal details.
This makes it an incredibly helpful marketing tool, as well as a fully functional and easy to use piece of software that can manage inventory with the very best of them. There are also remarkably powerful e-commerce modules that can be integrated seamlessly with the system and it has the flexibility to work as either a pos system for one store or as a primary controller for a wider chain. Amber is windows based too, which means that most PC users will be able to run it without upgrading.
Suitable For – It is primarily suitable for smaller businesses, so would be ideal in a corner shop.
Microsoft’s own POS software is amongst the easiest to use and most popular pos software solutions on the planet for small the medium sized retailers. The software is basic and quite clinical looking but incredibly effective, especially for companies that might have a large amount of stock so would prefer a less intensive platform from which to manage their sales.
The software can be purchased in two different packages, each one tailored to suit a different retail situation. The ‘store operations’ package is engineered for individual stores, whereas the ‘headquarters’ package has been developed with chains in mind. The headquarters package includes all of the same software as the store operations package, but allows data from numerous stores to be processed and analysed from a central location.
Suitable For – Microsoft’s software solution isn’t particularly flexible or attractive, but it would be perfect for an office supplies store or any store that sells hundreds of individual, ‘small ticket’ items.
Though it might lack massive consumer scale of the software programs above, Bepoz is a flexible software solution for businesses that was almost custom built for the restaurant trade. Where Bepoz really stands out is in its operation. Its ‘cloud-based’, which means that it can be effectively run from anywhere on any compatible device and it has been developed to take full advantage of modern touch-screens and smart devices.
In fact, the interface itself works in a very similar manner to an iPad and there are numerous modules that can be added to it, to further expand its flexibility. As far as pos software for restaurants goes, Bepoz is one of the most powerful and forward thinking software solutions on the market and although it is optimised to work over an internet connection there is always the option of running it ‘locally’, in case your connection is lost.
Suitable For – Primarily suitable for the restaurant trade though in all honesty, it could quite easily also work in any larger scale retail operation.