Best Fit: Retail Star, from CAM Commerce is a good fit for specialty retailers with multiple locations that desire excellent customer management and e-commerce capability. Single location retailers can benefit from the availability of Retail Star Lite that offers many of the same features found in the full version of the product.
- Excellent selection of modules and add-on applications
- Product is highly customizable
- Offers complete eCommerce integration
- Over a dozen vertical markets available
- Not a quick start solution – product requires extensive time and money for successful system deployment
- Product may be too robust for the mid-market retailer
Retail Star, from CAM Commerce offers mid-sized to large retailers and specialty shop owner’s comprehensive point of sale and front/back office management software. Offering over a dozen specialized versions of its popular product, Retail Star is also available in a ‘Lite’ version for smaller businesses.
BASIC SYSTEM FUNCTIONS: 5 Stars
Retail Star’s navigation page contains a divided screen, with system modules listed on the left of the screen, and the corresponding functions found within each module displayed on the right side of the screen. Choosing a module will automatically update the screen to the right, making navigating within the system very easy. A recently updated POS interface offers users more customization capability, including the ability to use varying options for creating custom buttons and color options. Processing a sale is easy, with users able to quickly scan items as needed.
Users can also search for an item, locate a customer, or simply enter a product description or product number to process the sale. Customers and product information can be added on the fly, and Retail Star offers users a great selection of user-defined fields for tracking additional information if desired.
For new users, the Getting Started Wizard makes it easy to setup store detail, and stores can be set up as the main location or as a remote location as needed. Along with the Point of Sale module, Retail Star offers an excellent selection of modules, including GL, AP & Bank, AR, Inventory, Purchasing, Maintenance, Reports, Pricing, Sales Order/Invoice, Utilities, iSTAR, Job Tracking, Getting Started Wizard, External Accounting, RX, the new Open to Buy, and several other options that are designed to bring more functionality to the product.
All system users are assigned a unique user ID and system password, with managers assigned each user a specific system level. Employees can be assigned to a group of similar employees, such as cashiers, salespeople, managers, etc. Users can easily customize Retail Star to suit their needs, with each user able to create an interface that suits their job and their preferences.
The Remote Options module allows all remote store locations to easily communicate with the main store location. The product also offers excellent management tools such as Business Snapshots, which provides vital data from each store location. Users can easily process multiple transaction types including standard POS transactions, customer data, look up products, process layaways, and create special orders, holds, and estimates. Users can also create a unique customer experience, printing customer specific discounts and special offers. Users can also email invoices and statements directly to customers if desired.
The product easily handles multiple pricing levels, with the ability to customize pricing even further if desired. The Distribution/Warehouse Management module allows users to easily monitor inventory levels and movement for all store locations and the eCommerce module offers integration between brick and mortar stores and online sales. The Purchasing/Receiving module offers electronic offers and electronic ordering option, and the mobile POS system allows users to sell products from remote locations.
SPECIALIZED FEATURES/SERVICES: 5 Stars
Retail Star works well with both standard monitors and touch screen devices, depending on the needs of the retailer. The Integrate eCommerce module provides retailers with complete integration between physical locations and their online presence. Layaways, special orders, refunds, discounts, and voids are also handled in the product. Retail Star accepts a variety of tender types, including cash, checks, credit and debit cards, gift and loyalty cards, gift certificates, in-house charge accounts, foreign currency, and coupons. Custom tender types can also be set up in the product as well. Retail Star contains excellent CRM capability, which allows users to monitor customer buying patterns, track sales, general target mailings and emailing, create special offers and incentives for customers. Retail Star easily appeals to the niche market, with retail verticals available for over a dozen markets including Clothing, Sporting Goods, Liquor, Gift, Footwear, and Pharmacy.
TRACKING/REPORTING: 5 Stars
Retail Star offers an excellent selection of predefined reports that are easily processed. Users can also create custom reports using the Report Generator, which offers built in report writer capability. A report wizard makes it easy for users to create custom reports, with all reports processed in real time. Users can easily track inventory levels at each store location, with products tracked by product code or by a specific promotion. There is also an excellent selection of sales reports, including inventory levels, product movement, and vendor performance for each product. Other reports available include the Best/Worst Sellers, so managers always know what’s selling, and what isn’t. And the Best Customer report makes it easy to determine exactly who should be marketed to. Marketing managers will appreciate the ability to track the success of specific campaigns, and the CRM and Loyalty program track customer buying habits, payment history, buying history, and even favorite products. The Open-To-Buy module provides management with the ability to create more complex budgets at any level, while providing year-to-year performance comparisons in an easily viewed format. Retail Star also contains excellent audit trail functionality, with managers able to print audit reports as needed.
INTEGRATION/IMPORT/EXPORT: 5 Stars
Retail Star is a completely integrated system, with all modules designed to work together. The product will also integrate with a variety of third party applications. The availability of the Data Bridge module ensures that users can easily move data into and out of the core product from other applications, handling data conversion and data mapping as well as standard import/export capabilities. The product offers easy shipping integration with UPS shipping, and easily supports all common point of sale hardware peripherals including card readers, cash drawers, touch screen monitors, signature capture devices, pin pads, and receipt printers.
HELP/SUPPORT: 5 Stars
Retail Star contains good help functionality throughout the product, with website resources available with the click of a button. Standard telephone support is available seven days a week. Users also have access to online user forums and other community support options at any time. Various training options are also available, including phone training, onsite training, and the availability of various product tutorials and training videos.
SUMMARY & PRICING
Retail Star is well suited to specialty retailers with multiple locations. Retail Star Lite is also available for one-location retailers that desire a robust front office/back office point of sale solutions. Pricing for Retail Star is available by request, with Retail Star Light running $100.00 per month for a single user system.
2016 Overall Rating: 5 Stars
See inside March 2016
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