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CAM Commerce — Retail STAR

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Retail STAR from CAM Commerce is a solid all-in-one POS product designed for single- or multi-location retail businesses with a strong web presence. Modular in design, the system allows retailers to choose the modules they need now and add the rest when necessary.


The user interface is easily navigated with a list of installed modules on the left side of a split screen, providing access to the functions that are available within the respective modules. A Getting Started wizard provides assistance with everything from initial system navigation to entering vital business information such as departments, products and vendors.

The default POS interface features a simple design with an area to scan or manually enter the appropriate product barcodes. Once products have been entered, the F12 button will complete the sales transaction. Clerks can clock in/out at the register and access sales detail for all customers. Inquiry screens are located throughout.

Retail STAR offers a solid selection of modules, including Sales Order/Invoice, AR, AP & Bank, GL, Job Tracking, Remote Operations, i.STAR, External Accounting, Inventory, Purchasing, Maintenance, and Reports. All modules work together to form a powerful POS/financial management product. As previously noted, Retail ICE is available for smaller retailers and offers many of the same features as Retail STAR. Scaling up to the more robust version is easily accomplished, with no need to rekey information.

Each employee is given a security profile, which either grants or revokes system privileges. Security is then assigned for each module and for features/functions within that module. For employees with similar access rights, security groups can be created, with employees assigned to that particular group.

Retail STAR is fully customizable. The POS interface uses interchangeable colors, and the touch-screen option offers excellent customization. Up to 18 user-defined customer fields can be utilized to track just about anything. Clerks can easily access product lists with detailed item search capability within each list that displays sizes, colors, varying price levels, and quantity (both on-hand and committed). Clerks can also quickly access customer information and update information if necessary.

Retail STAR supports multi-location stores and offers features such as transfer of goods between stores and inventory transfer suggestions based on sales at each location. Data is communicated between stores nightly by polling information.

Multiple transactions are easily processed directly from the POS transaction screen, and unlimited product pricing levels can be set. Retail STAR contains warehouse management capabilities, helping retailers maintain the correct level of inventory at each location. The system also supports e-commerce, with direct integration between web stores and the POS/office. Mail and catalog orders, special orders and on-hold items are easily processed. 5


Retail STAR supports touch-screen functions and offers excellent customization capability. e-commerce functionality is available through i.STAR, which easily handles both brick-and-mortar and Internet sales.

Retail STAR can easily process multiple tender types including cash, checks, credit cards, gift certificates, credit memos, coupons and foreign currency. Gift cards can also be used as payment, as can debit cards.

The system manages a significant amount of customer information that is easily accessible during any system transaction. Standard contact information is easily recorded and maintained, along with 18 user-defined fields. Other information such as last visit, YTD purchases and YTD return totals is also displayed. As previously noted, layaways, on-hold purchases and sales orders are easily processed. Frequent buyer programs can be implemented and tracked separately from the regular customer database. Gift registry and gift card programs can also be implemented, with the ability to use cards in the store or on the business website. Email marketing can be utilized by accessing the information stored within customer management. 5


Reporting options are excellent, particularly when utilizing Report STAR, which allows users to create custom reports utilizing a variety of criteria, including store, level of detail, columns, subtotals and sort options. POS reports include the sales history in graphical form, the hourly sales summary, and the register summary. All reports can be exported to Excel, and each contains real-time system information, as transactions are posted immediately to the GL.

Retail STAR contains a comprehensive inventory module. The Inventory Activity Matrix Report gives retailers a heads up about specific products with the ability to define date ranges. The Best/Worst Sellers report reveals information about the most popular products for each particular location, as well as those products that have not sold. Customer demographics are easily tracked by setting up user-defined customer fields with data that needs to be tracked. The Management Overview report provides indispensable data such as slow and fast movers sorted by department, class or even subclass. 5


Retail STAR integrates with all modules and available add-ons. The External Accounting feature allows users to interface with QuickBooks or Sage MAS 90 ERP accounting software. With multi-location capability and e-commerce integration, the system can easily import or export files as needed. Retail STAR integrates with common POS hardware peripherals including touch-screen monitors, barcode scanners, cash drawers, receipt printers and pole displays.

A Help function is available throughout the product. System updates are available from the CAM Commerce website and can be easily downloaded when needed. The product website also offers a variety of customer support options, including Web Communities, where users can contact other users with questions. All product support is handled from CAM Commerce’s corporate site. 5


Retail STAR is an excellent product and is suitable for multi-store environments with a strong web presence. Depending on the needs of any type of retail business, CAM Commerce has an all-in-one solution to fit their needs. The software starts at $1,495, but CAM is offering a single-user Retail STAR term license when a customer signs up on one of its support agreements for as little as $59, $79 or $99 per month, depending on the types of service they need.

2010 Overall Rating

See inside September 2010

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