2012 Review of CAM Commerce Retail STAR Lite

CAM Commerce — Retail STAR Lite
800-726-3282
www.camcommerce.com

Best Fit: Retail Star is best suited for larger retailers that have very specific needs. Retail Star contains excellent customization capability and retail-industry specific applications. For single location retailers, they may wish to try Retail Ice, a comparable version of the software available for use in one location.

Strengths

  • Complete front/back office POS/financial management system
  • Scalable, with users able to choose only the modules needed
  • Direct interface with e-commerce technology
  • Complete systems available for specialty stores such as apparel, sporting goods, pet stores
  • Solid customization capability

Potential Limitations

  • Steep learning curve for some
  • Cost may be prohibitive

Retail Star, from CAM Commerce is a comprehensive POS product that contains both front and back office financial management capability along with an excellent POS function. Retail Star is a modular system, with users able to customize the system to suit their needs.

BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS: 5 Stars

Retail Star’s navigation screen is split in two, with all system modules listed on the left side, and all corresponding features within a chosen module listed directly to the right. Retail Star’s POS interface is spare in design, allowing users to scan an item, enter a product code, or a product number as needed. Products and customers can be added on the fly, and cashiers can easily search for products by utilizing a variety of criteria including vendor, description, style code, color, size, etc. Touch screen entry is slightly different, but both screens are easily customizable during system setup. Retail Star contains numerous user-defined fields, and a training database helps new users learn the system prior to going live.

Retail Star offers a long list of system modules including complete GL functionality, AR, AP, External Accounting, Sales Order/Invoicing, Job Tracking, Purchasing, Remote Operations, i.StART e-commerce module, Gift Card, Frequent Buyer, Maintenance, Reports, Franchise Consolidator, Real Time, and Open to Buy. Users can pick and choose the modules they need and add the rest if and when necessary.

All company employees are given a unique user ID and password for system access. Supervisors and managers can grant specific rights to each employee, such as cash register access, sales transactions, and the ability to handle returns and process voids and discounts. Security groups can be created for groups of employees such as entry level cashiers, cashier supervisors, and managers, making it easy to provide access rights.

Retail Star is a highly customizable system, with users able to set up the system during installation. Users also have the option to purchase a pre-programmed system that is designed specific for a particular industry, such as sporting goods, liquor stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, etc. Using CAMPOS Software, CAM Commerce can easily provide retailers with a complete customized system specific to their market.

The Product ScoreCARD is a dashboard that provides managers with real time information about the performance of each location. Retail Star is easily adapted for multi-location usage, with data from each store saved in a central database, eliminating the need for polling or data uploads. Retail Star easily allows users to process multiple transactions simultaneously, with cashiers able to look up product details, add a product when needed, locate customer data, process a sale, and enter a layaway as needed.

Products can have multiple price levels assigned, with users able to create endless price variations depending on need. Inventory management using multiple warehouses is easily accomplished, and the i.STAR e-commerce module provides an easy interface between web stores and brick and mortar locations. Orders can be handled remotely using Retail Star’s Remote Operations module, making it easy to process orders from just about anywhere.

SPECIALIZED FEATURES/SERVICES: 5 Stars

Retail Star offers users solid touch screen technology, with touch screen monitors easily customized to suit the needs of the retailer. Mentioned earlier, the i.STAR e-Commerce module offers easy integration between brick and mortar stores and web sales. Retail Star accepts all types of tender, including the standard cash, credit cards, debit cards, and checks. It will also accept gift cards, gift certificates, and foreign currency.

A complete CRM system allows users to easily track customer sales, analyze customer buying history, and target shoppers via email and other marketing campaigns. Historical purchasing data is also available for review, including a detail payment/credit history for each customer. Special services such as layaways, special orders, voids, returns, sales orders, exchanges, and product discounts are easily processed from the main POS screen with the option to edit transactions, change transaction types, or process discounts during a regular sale.

The optional gift card module allows retailers to sell specialized cards for their store, and an excellent loyalty program tracks customer purchases, assigns discounts automatically, and allows managers to set up reward levels as they desire. Using the CRM module along with the customer loyalty function, retailers can easily target shoppers based on buying habits as well as process specialized marketing and email sales campaigns. The work orders module gives cashiers the option to create a custom order directly from the register with the option to alert the customer via email when the item is available for pickup.

TRACKING/REPORTING: 5 Stars

Retail Star contains excellent reporting capability. Users are easily able to create custom reports utilizing the necessary criteria. Reports such as the Sales History report contains all of the necessary information any manager may need, including sales levels for each sales person, vendor detail, and department performance levels.

All reports are processed in real time, and store managers can easily create store wide reports, while area managers can run reports detailing sales level and performance for every store. Inventory movement is easily tracked with a multitude of inventory/product reports including the Best/Worst Sellers, which looks at every item in inventory and provides a performance level based on sales activity for the defined period.

Management reports provide an excellent level of detail including sales performance, department performance, and slow and fast movers. Customer demographics are easily tracked and managed in the CRM module, and an excellent audit trail function tracks detailed information on all system transactions entered.

INTEGRATION/IMPORT/EXPORT: 5 Stars

Retail Star is a modular product, with retailers able to purchase the needed module immediately, and add others as needed. ETL Star (Extract, Transform, and Load) enables users to easily move data to and from Retail Star, while allowing for easier conversion of existing data. ETL Star also allows users to interface with just about any third-party business application on the market today. Retail Star offers specialty packages targeted to retail specialties such as apparel, team sales, pet stores, pharmacy, gift shops, and museum stores.

Complete integration with UPS Shipping allows employees to easily process and ship orders quickly. A partnership with HP provides all the necessary hardware peripherals including magnetic card readers, cash drawers, monitors, printers, and any other hardware devices needed.

HELP/SUPPORT: 5 Stars

Retail Star contains excellent ‘Help’ system functionality throughout the product. The Retail Star website also contains a great deal of resources for system users including immediate access to short demos and product videos, which are extremely helpful to new users. System Performance Pro offers IT professionals a set of tools to proactively manage their computer(s) or networks from just about anywhere, eliminating costly downtime. Technical Support is available during regular business hours as well as Saturdays. Emergency service is also available on Sunday. Retail Star also offers regular training classes in both hardware and software usage.

SUMMARY & PRICING

Retail Star is a powerful POS system that is ideal for large retailers with multiple locations. Complete back office functionality reduces duplicate data entry and ensures a more accurate, smooth running system. For small, one location retailers, Retail Ice is worth a look. Conveniently, all system data entered into Retail Ice can be easily transferred to Retail Star, if the basic product is outgrown.

2012 Overall Rating: 5 Stars

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