Retail Management Systems Overview
What are retail management systems?
Retail Management Systems provides end-to-end automation and process management for retailers. Some vendors offer highly vertically specific feature sets (e.g. furniture), while other retail system vendors provide tools to support omnichannel retail sales and marketing of a more general nature.
In supporting retailers with physical store locations, many retail system vendors provide hybrid offerings of hardware and software. These may combine both cloud point-of-sale (PoS) along with a cash register, kiosk, or in-store PoS that integrates with the inventory controls contained within the same system. Alternately, other retail management vendors do not provide hardware but focus on automating backend systems (e.g. inventory, warehouse, and ordering) and integrate with a multitude of PoS systems offered by partners.
Some retail software vendors provide special feature sets for retailers who wish to manage their marketing under the same platform. These retailers provide a CRM with marketing automation and retail marketing (e.g. loyalty programs) to make their retail management more appealing vis-a-vis other vendors. Additionally, some RMS vendors offer advanced financial and inventory management and controls for retailers who coordinate activities across multiple retail sites.
Retail Management Software Features & Capabilities
Retail management systems (RMS) provide subsections or in some cases all of the following features:
Cloud Point-of-Sale (PoS)
In-store Point-of-Sale (kiosk, cash register, etc.)
Mobile PoS (software and/or tablet)
CRM, integrates with PoS for customer tracking, remarketing
Inventory management (product bundling, size & color, offer management, etc)
Rental management (e.g. reservation setting, inventory updating on check-out & return, etc.)
Multichannel order management (e.g. ecommerce & in-store)
Sales order workflow, purchase order management (e.g. self-checkout)
Fulfillment and warehouse management system (e.g. barcode, shelving, restocking)
Integration or provided shipping management
Accounting & financial management
Retail Management Systems (RMS) vary as widely in price as retailers do in size. An offering may be modular, containing components needed, and it may be structured around the kind of retailer it is meant to serve. Also, many RMS vendors provide software that includes extended financial and supply chain modules to support multi-site vendors.
RMS can be deployed either through cloud or on-premise solutions, and often include hardware generally available via perpetual licensing. For smaller retailers or SMBs desiring a simple solution, some RMS or retail PoS vendors offered straightforward preconfigured subscriptions, with integrations with similar vendors to provide end-to-end automation.