2011 Review of CAM Commerce — Retail STAR and Retail STAR Lite


CAM Commerce Solutions - Retail STAR & Retail STAR Lite


From the August 2011 Review of Retail Point-of-Sale Systems

Best Fit: Retail STAR is well suited for larger retail businesses that offer both brick and mortar and e-commerce sales. The partner product, Retail STAR Lite is a great starter product for small, single-location retailers looking to utilize many of the features found in larger POS products.

Retail STAR and Retail STAR Lite from CAM Commerce are comprehensive POS products well suited for retailers with multiple locations. Retail STAR is modular in design, offering a scalable product that can become more powerful over time. Retail STAR is well suited to larger retail businesses that offer both brick and mortar and e-commerce sales. The partner product, Retail STAR Lite is a great starter product for small, single-location retailers looking to utilize many of the features found in larger POS products.

  • Scalable, with the ability to add modules as needed
  • Available as a single-location product for the cost of shipping
  • Easily customized with an excellent selection of add-on modules
  • Solid inventory/warehouse management capability
  • E-commerce capability
Potential Limitations
  • Product setup can be time-consuming
  • Extended product training may be needed
  • Pricing levels vary by user licenses & add-on modules


Retail STAR navigation is done through the office module, where access to all system functions, including the POS module is completed. The Retail STAR screen is split in two, with system modules on the left and access to frequently used functions listed on the right. A training mode is available for new users to get a feel for the product without entering data into their working database. The POS interface is simply designed and allows users to enter a product style number, product number or simply scan the item barcode. Products can be added on the fly, and the product search function allows users to easily search for products using a variety of criteria including style code, vendor code, description or even size. Touch Screen POS is arranged somewhat differently, but both are fully customizable. Simply hit the F12 tab to tender the sale.

Retail STAR Lite can be used in single-location retail businesses and contains much of the same features as Retail STAR. If users upgrade to the more powerful product, there is no re-entering of data involved. Users can choose the modules they wish to use, and add others as needed. Available modules include AR, AP, GL, External Accounting, Sales Order/Invoicing, Job Tracking, Remote Operations, i.STAR (e-commerce), Inventory, Purchasing, Maintenance and Reports. Newly added modules include Gift Card, Frequent Buyer, Franchise Consolidator, Real Time, and Open to Buy. All employees are set up in the Retail STAR system with a unique username and password, and security profiles are then assigned to each employee. Granting rights or privileges for POS employees allows managers to grant rights such as cash register access, paid ins and outs, processing sales transactions, accepting returns, and processing voids. Managers can also create security groups for sets of employees that will require the same type of system access.

Retail STAR’s user interface is easily customized during system setup, with numerous user-defined fields available for customization. ScoreCARD provides managers with a real-time look at each store’s performance. Lookup fields are found throughout. Retail STAR also offers multi-store capability using the optional Real Time module, which stores all data in a centralized database, making it easy for all locations to access records. Multiple product pricing levels allow users to create as many variations of price levels as they desire. Products can also be assigned a pricing range, and price changes can be made based on percentage markup or markdown.

Retail STAR easily manages multiple warehouses and handles inventory distribution including Fill In/Restock, and inventory adjustments. E-Commerce is handled through i.STAR, and remote orders are processed using the remote operations function.


Retail STAR offer touch-screen technology, with monitors easily customized. i.STAR allows retailers to fully integrate their brick and mortar stores with a robust web presence, with the same level of tracking, lookup and inventory management that is found in the regular POS module. Multiple tender can be accepted including cash, checks, credit cards, gift certificates, gift cards, coupons and foreign currency. Customer information is easily managed, with numerous user-defined fields available for additional tracking purposes. Historical data, including purchasing history and credit/payment detail, is also easily accessible. Layaways, Special Orders and Sales Orders are easily processed from the regular POS screen. Users can also quickly change a regular sale into a layaway at any time while entering the sales transaction. The optional Gift Card module provides an easy way to increase store revenue, and the Frequent Buyer program allows retailers to offer loyal customers special pricing, while tracking sales information and buying habits for all customers enrolled in the system. Managers can easily utilize customer statistics into various marketing and email sales campaigns.


Retail STAR offers excellent reporting, including the Report STAR option, which provides users with the ability to create custom reports using a variety of data criteria. The POS module offers excellent sales reports including the Sales History report, which provides excellent detail on each sales person, vendor, day of the week and department. Using Retail STAR’s Real Time module means that all reports processed will display current information, not just from one store, but from all locations. The Product Sales Review report contains valuable information such as product quantity on hand, quantity on order and quantity sold. The Best/Worst sellers report provides managers with detail on every product in stock and how it’s performing. The Management Overview report provides important data such as slow and fast movers, and can be processed for any timeframe desired. Customer demographics are easily managed using the Frequent Buyer module, where all customer detail is maintained for easy targeted sales opportunities. A system-wide audit trail is in place, which tracks and displays on-demand all transactions processed in the system, including time, date, cashier and transaction detail.


Retail STAR is a completely modular system, and modules and add-ons integrate seamlessly. The External Accounting feature provides integration with various accounting products, as well. Files can be imported for easy file integration, and specialty packages are available for various retail types including clothing, footwear, team sales, pets, pharmacy, sporting goods, and gift shops & museums. Retail STAR also offers complete integration with UPS Shipping and supports a variety of POS hardware peripherals including touch-screen monitors, cash drawers, thermal receipt printers, keyboards with magnetic stripes, and display poles. The vendor also offers an all-in-one system that includes everything needed to get started. Retail STAR also provides time clock support for all POS employees, easily tracking login and logout time.


Retail STAR provides solid Help with all system functionality. System updates are easily obtained from the CAM Commerce website and can be downloaded at the user’s convenience. Technical support is available Monday through Saturday, with emergency service available on Sunday. Various hardware and software training is available, and the vendor’s website provides an extensive amount of valuable information.


Retail STAR is a robust POS product that also offers excellent back office capability. Ideal for larger retailers with multiple locations, Retail STAR also offers Retail STAR Lite for single-location retailers to get a feel for the product. Subscription Plan agreements for Retail STAR Lite start at $59 per month. This is a bargain when the true power of this product is realized. 

2011 Overall Rating: