Top 5 Must-Have Retail Software to Boost Business

A day in the life of administering a small retail business means a constant juggling act where you have to manage inventory, accept transactions and payments, track sales, manage employee schedules, and manage customer data.

Fortunately, there are useful retail management software tools that can help you take care of these responsibilities within a single convenient system. Most retail software solutions operate by tablet, phone, or computer, making it easy to access your data and make well-informed business decisions in a snap. 

These tools can automate employee management tasks such as managing employee schedules and performance tracking, so you can reduce human error and enhance overall operations.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about retail software, how it works, why you need it, and our top five recommendations for high-performing, easy-to-use retail software.

What is retail software for small businesses?

Simply put, retail software is a tool designed to help business owners seamlessly operate a retail business, including key functionalities like retail management. 

Types of retail software range from point-of-sale (POS) systems, payment processing, customer relationship management (CRM), ecommerce platforms, inventory management, and payroll software

These tools also facilitate the integration and management of inventory, sales, and customer data across all sales channels and stores. Many retail software tools can also integrate with your other existing business applications to keep everything in one place and provide you more flexibility.

Point-of-sale (POS) systems.

POS systems for retail are designed to handle in-person payments from your customers, calculate sales totals, and provide receipts. The best retail POS systems don’t only function as your cash register—they also have features that provide data on your goods and customers by using your recorded purchases. 

That way, you can create personalized customer experiences and targeted promotions through loyalty programs. You’ll be up to date with inventory management as well as foster better customer relationships based on their history with your store.

Payment management systems (PMS).

Also known as payment processing software, these tools handle and facilitate the financial transactions between your customers and your business. They automatically authorize, authenticate, and settle payments for goods and services in one centralized platform. 

Whether your business is in-person or online businesses, PMS tools make sure your financial transactions are handled smoothly and securely.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software.

CRM software allows you to track customer behavior and purchase history so that you can better manage interactions with existing and potential customers. 

The more you know about your customers—the products they like to buy, how often they come into the store or purchase online—the more effectively you can reach them, send promotional materials, and encourage future purchases.

CRM software essentially builds customer profiles for you that you can use to create personalized experiences for your customers, build authentic relationships, and keep them coming back time and again. 

CRM tools also eliminate blanket statement emails and marketing messages that become redundant. With this information at your fingertips, you’ll know what to send, to whom, and when.

Ecommerce software.

Digital sales have become the cornerstone of today’s retail landscape, and most business owners rely on online sales to grow their business. Ecommerce software allows you to create an online storefront where your customers can browse your collection and purchase your goods. 

Ecommerce software also helps you build a website, create a shopping cart system, handle payments, and keep track of your inventory.

Inventory management software.

Inventory can make or break your retail business, so retail store management software helps you get ahead of any stock issues.

Integrating accounting software with inventory management software helps manage financial transactions, reports, and budgeting. Inventory management software helps you track what you’ve sold, what goods you have in stock, and the types and quantity of items you need to order. 

Today’s advanced inventory management software allows you to automate ordering processes, set thresholds for low stock that needs to be reordered, and schedule other important alerts. You’ll also get a snapshot of current market sourcing prices, which allows you to pivot alongside market trends if necessary.

Payroll software.

Retail payroll software helps you automate your payroll processes so you can pay your team more efficiently and with fewer errors. You no longer have to rely on manual calculations or disorganized timesheets. 

Payroll software helps you calculate your employees’ gross pay and deduct withholdings to determine their net pay. Payroll software takes the heavy lifting out of managing payroll processes, and gets your employees paid accurately and on time.

What are the benefits of using retail store management software?

Before retail software, small business owners would have to manually manage sales tasks, enter sales numbers, create order slips, and use punch clocks or spreadsheets for employee scheduling. 

Now, retail software allows you to automate processes in a centralized system, which reduces the risk of human error, boosts efficiency and productivity, and increases profitability. With real-time information, you can stay up to date to the minute on your sales, inventory, purchase orders, and restocking/overstocking.

You’ll also gain an advantage on the consumer side—when your business runs like a well-oiled machine, it creates a better customer experience. And finally, with retail software you can automate customer engagement by using their purchase history, behavior, and feedback to meet their needs and improve your retail merchandising.

Get the 5 best retail software options.

The world of retail software is vast, but your time is limited. Here are our top five retail software recommendations so you can stop researching and start implementing.

1. Homebase

Homebase is an all-in-one people management software for small business owners with tools that help you create an optimized team schedule to eliminate manual tasks, simplify payroll by connecting directly with time tracking, and send messages to your team about inventory updates, quick requests, and more.

You can manage everything from the mobile app at absolutely no cost. Plus, Homebase integrates with all your POS systems, payroll systems, and other business tools to track labor and sales together.

2. Shopify

Shopify is an omnichannel POS and commerce platform for retail businesses. On the sales floor, you can serve customers while having a catalog in hand and use digital invoices for transactions. It allows you to close sales quickly, take payments with reliable POS hardware, and save time with connected order, customer, and inventory data all in sync. 

Shopify also handles payment processing, staff management and access permissions, and inventory tracking. Along the way, you can track customer purchases and preferences, and get comprehensive reporting and analytics to understand what’s working and what’s not.

3. Square

Square is a retail POS system that allows you to take fast payments from anywhere. Your sales are automatically tracked and you can accept returns and seamlessly process exchanges of your products. 

You can set up a Square Online eCommerce site and customize it with design themes or integrate it with your existing website. Square also has features for stock alerts, stock counts, and in-store pickup or shipping.

Behind the scenes, Square allows you to build customer profiles to track spending habits, promote your latest offers and products with marketing campaigns, and manage your team more effectively.

4. RetailEdge

RetailEdge is a POS and inventory management software that specializes specifically in the retail industry. They support secure and mobile payments, integrate with multiple ecommerce platforms for real-time quantity and price updates, and manage your retail operation’s purchase orders, transfers, barcoding, and inventory quantities. 

Another unique feature of RetailEdge is their ability to handle VAT, international currencies, and features that provide a global POS solution for international retailers.

5. Unleashed

Unleashed in an inventory management software that unifies all your buying, warehousing, sales, and production processes. They automate reordering and manage all your purchasing in one place, feature digital stocktaking and cycle counts, and have intuitive forecasting and replenishment strategies to perfect demand planning. 

They also have a built-in CRM to help you connect the pieces between the goods you buy and the customers you sell them to.

Eliminate the hassle of manual business processes with retail software.

It’s time to say goodbye to manual, time-consuming, and often costly tasks that make running your business unnecessarily difficult. Use Homebase to manage your team so that your time can be spent on growing your retail business. Our mobile app will help streamline your operations so that  you can run your perfect business.

Get started for free today.

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