Top 54 Retail e-Commerce Software

2022's Best 54 Retail e-Commerce Systems

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1. NetSuite for Retail

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Mar 08, 2022
Compare NetSuite for Retail Vs. NetSuite for Retail

NetSuite multi-channel retail management suite is software for retailers from various industries. As this system is web-based, data can be accessed from anywhere and revised in real time. This retail management suite includes sales processing, inventory control, e-commerce as well as accounting appl...


2. LightSpeed

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $69 per month
  • Mar 10, 2022
Compare LightSpeed Vs. NetSuite for Retail

LightSpeed software is a point of sale solution that helps retailers run their businesses. The solution has a number of capabilities that include merchant services that manage all transactions from one place and increases security.


3. AmberPOS

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $999 per license
  • Mar 11, 2022
Compare AmberPOS Vs. NetSuite for Retail

AmberPOS software is a point of sale and retail management solution that is designed for small and midsize businesses. It offers a number of features that include a customer management function that establishes, tracks and maximizes the lifetime value of each customer.


4. Aralco POS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $99 per month
  • Mar 14, 2022
Compare Aralco POS Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Aralco POS is a cloud-based point of sale and inventory management software solution that has an e-commerce integration. Aralco POS is designed with a goal, which is to meet the needs of the small and mid-size retailers within the footwear, automotive and industrial supplies, apparel, as well as pha...


5. AIMsi POS

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $995 per license
  • Apr 18, 2022
Compare AIMsi POS Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Much more than a typical ‘off the shelf’ package, the AIMsi is a complete point of sale (POS), accounting and business, inventory management application software. This software offers, not only a way to control the inventory, management of the customers, tracking all of the sales, but also includes ...


6. GiftLogic software

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $49 per month
  • Apr 18, 2022
Compare GiftLogic software Vs. NetSuite for Retail

GiftLogic is a point of sale management solution for businesses of sizes. Its capabilities include inventory management, customer management, employee management, accounting management, and others. The software was designed and launched by GiftLogic headquartered in Florida, United State...


7. LaborVIEW

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price:
  • Jun 10, 2022
Compare LaborVIEW Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Simplify your employee management processes with Acumen employee time and attendance software. Eliminate redundant data entry by synchronizing databases using our workforce management software. Standalone, Journyx contains many employee management features, as well as HR management and employee self...


8. pcAmerica Cash Register Express

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $599 per license
  • Jul 07, 2022
Compare pcAmerica Cash Register Express Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Cash Register Express is a cloud-based point of sale system that is suitable for use by retail shops, small businesses, liquor stores, grocery stores and other types of stores.


9. Magento POS by MicroBiz

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $60 per month
  • Aug 25, 2022
Compare Magento POS by MicroBiz Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Magento POS by MicroBiz is a cloud-based retail point of sale (POS) solution with an integrated retail management solution. Magento POS by MicroBiz can be regarded as a hybrid solution between two software products, that is Magento POS and MicroBiz retail POS.


10. Jewel Mate

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $3,500 per license
  • Sep 23, 2022
Compare Jewel Mate Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Jewel Mate is an on-premise point of sale and retail management solution that is designed to help jewelry stores to automate their operations and reduce the amount of labor done. The retailers and wholesalers are also beneficiaries of the solution since it helps them process the day to day activitie...


Pricing Guide - Retail e-Commerce Software:

Retail POS Price Range

Most retail point of sale products in the market have pricing based on the number of users, physical locations, machines, or sales outlet. Most products are priced per month, and their pricing can be divided into three tiers, starting from $29 to $39, $39 to $75, and then $75 upwards.

These are the price ranges for basic offerings of most vendors; hence, premium offerings which come with more features cost more. For example, Ricochet pricing starts from $99 per month, KORONA costs about $49 per month, and WooPOS pricing starts from $29 per month. Perpetual licences can also be bought for some retail POS software. An example is RetailEdge which can be bought with a one-time fee of $449.

In addition, retail POS vendors target different organization sizes, so business size determines the price.

  • Small Businesses that are looking for a retail POS system can expect to pay between $25 to $50 on a monthly basis. For instance, Epos Now pricing starts from $39 per month, and ThriftCart starts from $50 per location, per month. Meanwhile, some products have freemium plans for small business, while some products are completely free. For example, HadePay is 100-percent free to use.
  • Medium Businesses can expect pricing points between $50 to $120 for a retail POS system monthly. For example, Heartland Retail pricing starts from around $99 per month, LightSpeed POS from $69 per month, and Realtime Cloud from around $80 per month. The number of user accounts paid for on each plan can also attract discounts, depending on the pricing terms from each vendor.
  • Large Businesses can expect prices that fall between the range of $120 to $500 for a retail POS system monthly. For example, RUnit Realtime Cloud pricing starts from $258 per machine monthly, WinWard System Five from around $125 per month, and Epicor Retail Solutions costs around $350 per month for each user account. However, many vendors do not disclose their pricing for large businesses so as to enable them to adjust their pricing based on the need of each organization.

Here are some Retail POS best of breeds and their price ranges are as follows:

  • Retail Management Software Retail management products can be divided into three tiers, and the price ranges for each tier are $28 to $39, $39 to $83, and $83 above. Also, most retail management products are priced on a monthly basis per user or physical location managed with the software. For example, Quant Retail pricing starts from $180 per user monthly, PHP Point of Sale from $39 per month, and POSExpress costs up to $190 per month.
  • iPad POS Most iPad POS products in the market are priced per user or per usage based on a monthly basis. Their price points fall into two tiers, starting from $0 to $30, and then $30 to $85. For example, TillPoint pricing starts from $29 per month, Ambur POS from around $60 per month, and Loyverse pricing starts from $0.01 per usage every month. Meanwhile, some iPad POS software have perpetual licenses that can be bought with a one-time fee; an example is Digital Dining which costs $10,000.
  • Bar POS Software Bar POS products in the market can be divided into two tiers, with each having a different price range depending on the robustness of features. The price ranges fall within $15 to $40 and $40 to $85. For example, BePOZ Point of Sale pricing starts from $69 per month, HarbourTouch POS from $29 per month, and Unicenta from $49 monthly.
  • Restaurant POS Software For a restaurant POS software, users can expect to pay between the ranges of $50 to $100 above per user, table, or managed location. For example, SpotOn Restaurant pricing starts from $65 monthly, Toast POS from $79 per month, and Upserve POS pricing is around $59 monthly. However, most products may incur extra one-time fees that fall between $2,000 to $7,000 because they require additional hardware equipment to run.
  • Retail Management POS Most Retail Management POS software in the market are priced on a per-user, per-month basis, and their price can fall between three ranges, from $0 to $50, $50 to $100, and then $100+ upwards. For example, Lavu pricing starts from $69 per month, PoinOS from $39 per user monthly, and TouchBistro from around $70 per user monthly.

11. ConsignPro

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $129 per feature
  • Apr 27, 2022
Compare ConsignPro Vs. NetSuite for Retail

ConsignPro is retail software designed to manage the operations of resale and consignment businesses. The software offers an easy and intuitive management solution for the retailers. It was developed by Visual Horizons Software and launched in 1996. ConsignPro serves to regulate the sales revenue...


12. Liberty4 Consignment

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $750 per license
  • May 17, 2022
Compare Liberty4 Consignment Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Liberty4 Consignment is a comprehensive software tool designed for the management of consignment, thrift and resale stores. Its features include account management, inventory management and point of sale operations, consignor payments, report generation, email integration and word processing, multi-...


13. COMCASH Retail ERP

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $125 per license
  • May 25, 2022
Compare COMCASH Retail ERP Vs. NetSuite for Retail

COMCASH ERP is a retail management software solution for multi-channel and multi-location retailers. The software was designed by COMCASH, Inc., headquartered in California, United States. It offers a verity of cloud-based features for efficient regulation of your retail business. 


14. Bindo POS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $59 per user/month
  • Jun 17, 2022
Compare Bindo POS Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Bindo POS is a retail and POS management system for businesses of all sizes. Its services include inventory management, order management, customer management, analytics, and others. The software was designed and launched by Bindo Labs Inc headquartered in New York, United States.


15. Lightning Online

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $139 per license
  • Jun 24, 2022
Compare Lightning Online Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Lightning Online software is a cloud-based point of sale solution that is designed for various retailers. The solution offers a number of functionalities that include key demographics tool that views purchasing patterns and builds customer loyalty with their program.


16. Restaurant Manager

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $199 per license
  • Jun 23, 2022
Compare Restaurant Manager Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Restaurant Manager is a Point Of Sale (POS) software that can be efficiently used in any food distribution points. This software can be easily tailored to fit the individual needs of any restaurant. Users can carry out a number of functions, including inventory management, ordering, mobile managemen...


17. Brightpearl Software

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price:
  • Jul 04, 2022
Compare Brightpearl Software Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Brightpearl software is an advanced inventory management solution for wholesalers and retailers. The solution offers a number of features that include a bill of material tool that tracks raw material and converts them into finished goods.


18. MyPOS Connect

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Mar 28, 2022
Compare MyPOS Connect Vs. NetSuite for Retail

MyPOS Connect is a hospitality and retail POS software that allows retailers to manage businesses POS operations. The software improves sales data access, provides business data for reporting, manages stock functions, and updates stock availability.


19. MMS Retail Management Software

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Jul 18, 2022
Compare MMS Retail Management Software Vs. NetSuite for Retail

MMS Retail Management is a point of sale and retail solution for businesses of all sizes. The services included in the package are inventory management, employee management, business analytics, and others. The software was designed and launched by Master Merchant Systems headquartered in...


20. Vision9

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price:
  • Jul 15, 2022
Compare Vision9 Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Vision9 is STORIS' newest software suite and is available in two options. For small to mid-size retailers, STORIS offers a SaaS model, which is an ideal subscription based service that provides the core business essentials with minimal IT overhead. For large retailers, STORIS' Enterprise Server so...


21. WinRetail

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $10,000 per license
  • Jul 15, 2022
Compare WinRetail Vs. NetSuite for Retail

WinRetail is a software tool for enterprise and point of sale (POS) management designed for mid-size retailers. The main features of the product are point of sale and order management, mobile POS, ecommerce, multi-sales channels, merchandise and assortment planning, pricing and promotion, purchase o...


22. StoreMaster POS

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $1,295 per license
  • Jun 04, 2022
Compare StoreMaster POS Vs. NetSuite for Retail

StoreMaster POS is a retail and POS management solution for retail and restaurant businesses. Its capabilities include accounting management, menu management, inventory management, order management, and others. The software was developed and released by StoreMaster POS headquartered in N...


23. RICS Enterprise Retail Software

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $249 per month
  • Jul 25, 2022
Compare RICS Enterprise Retail Software Vs. NetSuite for Retail

RICS Enterprise Retail Software is a software tool for point of sale (POS) service provision and retail management designed for medium and large businesses. Its main features include POS, inventory management, customer management and analytics and reporting. It has ecommerce and retail accounting fe...


24. mPower Beverage for Liquor Stores

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $120 per month
  • Jul 26, 2022
Compare mPower Beverage for Liquor Stores Vs. NetSuite for Retail

mPower Beverage is a cloud-based POS software that is designed specifically for wine stores, beer stores, and liquor stores, with features designed to solve and prevent management frustrations. Some of the integrated features include business intelligence, equipment leasing, quick cash register, rem...


25. CORESense

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $150 per month
  • Jul 26, 2022
Compare CORESense Vs. NetSuite for Retail

CORESense is end-to-end cloud based retail management software. The software offers solutions for e-Commence, order management, customer relationship and marketing all in one system. The software was developed and launched by CORESense Inc. which is headquartered in Saratoga Springs, New York. CO...


26. iVend Retail

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $160 per month
  • Jul 25, 2022
Compare iVend Retail Vs. NetSuite for Retail

iVend Retail is a cloud-based as well as an on-premise point of sale system for retailers as well as wholesalers. The software helps retailers in various industries manage their sales in one platform and makes sure that the process of selling is simplified.


27. Tylernet

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Sep 08, 2022
Compare Tylernet Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Tylernet is a fast growing cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Tylernet received a rating of 4 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (2.3/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


28. Register by AvidRetail

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $699 per license
  • Apr 25, 2022
Compare Register by AvidRetail Vs. NetSuite for Retail

AvidRetail is a point of sale and retail management solution for small and medium retailers. Its services include inventory management, employee management, accounting, and others. The software was designed and launched by AvidRetail headquartered in Ontario, Canada.


29. Retail Pro

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $11,000 per license
  • Sep 17, 2022
Compare Retail Pro Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Retail Pro software is a powerful point of sale and retail management solution. The solution has a number of features that include an end-to-end integration tool that integrates data from key retail applications.


30. PawnMaster

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $60 per month
  • Oct 01, 2022
Compare PawnMaster Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Pawnmaster is a cloud-based and on-premise business management software. Its developed to work well in small-sized businesses, medium-sized companies, and large-sized companies. The software help manage all activities in a business, thus allowing for more concentration on ensuring customers experien...


31. Cybex Enterprise Retail Suite

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $100 per user/month
  • Oct 04, 2022
Compare Cybex Enterprise Retail Suite Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Cybex Enterprise Retail Suite is an enterprise retail system that can help retailers with 5 to 300 retail stores. The complete retail suite offers inventory management, POS, distribution, warehouse management, merchandising, customer traffic, eCommerce and other necessary retail functions. The leadi...


32. MultiFlex RMS General Merchandise

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $895 per license
  • Oct 06, 2022
Compare MultiFlex RMS General Merchandise Vs. NetSuite for Retail

MultiFlex RMS is a point of sale and retail management solution for small and medium retail businesses. It offers services related to POS, e-commerce, customer management, inventory management, and other aspects. The software was designed and launched by Microhouse Systems Inc headquarte...


33. Runit RealTime

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $258 per month
  • Oct 04, 2022
Compare Runit RealTime Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Runit RealTime is hosted point of service software for retail management designed for stores of various sizes. The main features of the product include eReceipts, business intelligence, ecommerce integration, inventory management, auto distribution, security customization and seamless credit card pr...


34. OneStep POS Software

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $49 per month
  • Oct 05, 2022
Compare OneStep POS Software Vs. NetSuite for Retail

OneStep is point of sale and distribution software for business management. The software was designed and launched by Business Control System headquartered in New Jersey, United States. The software provides affordable automation solutions that are simple to implement and easy to use. 


35. ChainDrive

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,000 per license
  • Jan 09, 2022
Compare ChainDrive Vs. NetSuite for Retail

ChainDrive is a software product for point of sale (POS) services and retail management designed for businesses selling products and services. The features of the tool are POS, customer relationship management (CRM), mobile assistant, operations management, product management, warehouse management, ...


36. Teamwork Retail

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Oct 20, 2022
Compare Teamwork Retail Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Teamwork Retail is comprehensive cloud-based store management software designed for retailers with brick-and-mortar stores and online operations. The features of the product include inventory tracking and reporting, transaction functionality with management, merchandising and distribution management...


37. ShipMonk

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $3 per order
  • Mar 22, 2022
Compare ShipMonk Vs. NetSuite for Retail

ShipMonk is a leading cloud-based Inventory Management software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. ShipMonk received a rating of 4.4 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.3/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


38. Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $95 per license
  • Mar 08, 2022
Compare Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) is a a complete point of sale (POS) client server solution developed to automate POS processes and provide retailers with a centralized multiple store management system. It allows for effortless checkout, successful marketing initiatives and inventor...


39. Wireless Standard POS

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Mar 24, 2022
Compare Wireless Standard POS Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Wireless Standard POS is a leading SaaS Retail Management System (RMS) in the wireless industry. It’s a powerful tool that enables users to handle all business transactions electronically. It has several built in features such as inventory management, reporting, time & attendance, accounting, and se...


40. NCR Counterpoint POS and Retail Management

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $1,190 per license
  • Mar 24, 2022
Compare NCR Counterpoint POS and Retail Management Vs. NetSuite for Retail

NCR Counterpoint POS and Retail Management is a cloud-based as well as on-premise retail point of sale software. The NCR Counterpoint POS and Retail Management terminal can integrate with a touchscreen interface which allows easy handling of sales and products.


41. Celerant Command Retail

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $125 per month
  • Mar 28, 2022
Compare Celerant Command Retail Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Celerant Command Retail POS is a point of sale retail management system that can help users to manage all aspects of a retail organization. The software comes with built-in flexibility to work nicely with diverse, multiple business models. The software handles all the transactions in real-time and i...


42. prophetline

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $187 per month
  • Mar 28, 2022
Compare prophetline Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Prophetline is an on-premise POS (point of sale) system, which is designed to meet the needs of small businesses and medium businesses across various industries such as footwear, guns, sporting goods, and many others.


43. SpruceWare-Net

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Nov 08, 2022
Compare SpruceWare-Net Vs. NetSuite for Retail

SpruceWare.NET is an information management solution for businesses of all sizes. Other than information management, it also offers workflow management, analytics, and other capabilities. The software was designed and launched by Spruce Computer Systems Inc headquartered in New York, Uni...


44. Visual Retail Plus

  • Best for: Small businesses and start ups
  • Price: starts at $1,750 per license
  • May 13, 2022
Compare Visual Retail Plus Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Visual Retail Plus is a retail and POS management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers such capabilities as inventory management, customer management, accounting management, and others. The software was designed and launched by Visual Retail Plus Inc headquartered in New Jersey, United St...


45. VoucherMatic

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $100 per month
  • Aug 03, 2019
Compare VoucherMatic Vs. NetSuite for Retail

VoucherMatic is a growing cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support medium and large size business. VoucherMatic received a rating of 3.8 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (2.6/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


46. Vin eRetail Express

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price:
  • Oct 19, 2019
Compare Vin eRetail Express Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Vin eRetail Express is a leading cloud-based B2B software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Vin eRetail Express received a rating of 4.1 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.3/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


47. Vin PIM

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price:
  • Oct 26, 2019
Compare Vin PIM Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Vin PIM is a fast growing cloud-based IT Management software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Vin PIM received a rating of 4.1 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (2.2/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


48. Food Ordering System by Logicspice

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price: starts at $30 per user/month
  • Sep 21, 2019
Compare Food Ordering System by Logicspice Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Food Ordering System by Logicspice is a trending cloud-based Booking and scheduling software, it is designed to support small and medium size business. Food Ordering System by Logicspice received a rating of 5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.1/5) when compared to al...


49. Zero2Sixtys Interact

  • Best for: SMBs
  • Price:
  • Sep 11, 2019
Compare Zero2Sixtys Interact Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Interact is a point of sale management solution for businesses of all sizes. Its capabilities include custom retail management, digital marketing management, e-commerce implementation, and others. The software was designed and launched by Zero2Sixty Creative headquartered in New York, Un...


50. MultiFlex RMS Health & Nutrition

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price: starts at $895 per license
  • Jun 28, 2021
Compare MultiFlex RMS Health & Nutrition Vs. NetSuite for Retail

MultiFlex RMS Health-Nutrition is a growing cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. MultiFlex RMS Health-Nutrition received a rating of 4.1 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.8/5) when compared to alternative so...


51. Vin eRetail POS

  • Best for: Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business
  • Price:
  • Sep 09, 2019
Compare Vin eRetail POS Vs. NetSuite for Retail

Vin eRetail POS is a growing cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support small, medium and large size business. Vin eRetail POS received a rating of 4.1 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3.2/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.


52. Crider Solutions

  • Best for: Small, medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Aug 09, 2019
Compare Crider Solutions Vs. NetSuite for Retail

2TouchPOS is a mobile POS and retail management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers assistance in inventory management, customer management, employee management, and other domains. The software was designed and launched by Cider Solutions headquartered in Ohio, United States.


53. OmniPim

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Sep 04, 2019
Compare OmniPim Vs. NetSuite for Retail

OmniPim is a leading cloud-based Retail-POS software, it is designed to support medium and large size business. OmniPim received a rating of 3.5 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered affordable (1.9/5) when compared to alternative solutions.


54. DemoUp

  • Best for: Medium and large size businesses
  • Price:
  • Nov 01, 2019
Compare DemoUp Vs. NetSuite for Retail

DemoUp is a growing cloud-based Marketing software, it is designed to support medium and large size business. DemoUp received a rating of 3.3 from ITQlick team. The software cost is considered average (3/5) when compared to other solutions in their category.



A Buyer's Guide to Business Software Solutions

How to Evaluate and Buy Business Software
 
If you’re somehow puzzled if this article is only for a specific size of business, no, it’s not. This is for you SMEs, MNEs and start-ups software buyers. Also, we’re not talking about a specific software solution here. Whether the software solution that you’re planning to buy is for Accounting, Business Intelligence, ERP, CRM, Help Desk, Maintenance Management or other types of application, one thing is for sure; with the help of this article, you will be able to know the right process in evaluating and buying a business software solution.
 
We’ve been into the software business for years and we’re seeing a lot of nitty-gritty things that often bring confusions and hesitations to many companies looking for better software solutions. Some companies can’t afford to let go their legacy systems while a few is encountering technological snags once the new system is in place. While this is the underlying truth behind software acquisition and implementation, what’s exciting about buying a business software solution is that there is a clear and obvious proof that thousands of companies and corporations today are happy with the benefits this technology is bringing into their respective businesses.  There is a significant increase in their revenue and the growth is on-going. And it’s easy to say; many from the Fortune 500 companies are making a lot of money because of their smartly-acquired business software.
 
So, let’s get straight to the point. What should you do in order to acquire that business software that could make your organization achieve its goals? The answer to this is pretty straightforward: evaluate and buy that right business software. Yes, that’s what you need to do and here’s the best manual from ITQlick.com that could certainly help you in doing that strategically.
 
Consider the Needs of Your Organization
Let’s assume that at this point, the entire management team agreed that you are ready to invest on a certain software application. The budget has been compromised and the key persons who will be involved in the acquisition process were already identified. Therefore, it’s time to approach things the project management way.
 
Define the Project
Every business software solution is categorized base on application type, features, deployment model, market size and pricing model. Remember that our objective here is to evaluate and buy a business software product that will fit into the size and present needs of your business. So what the project management team should try to deal with first is to define the real requirements of your business exactly base on the categories set by the software industry. Moreover, by doing this activity, you are already narrowing down your search for the right solution. Now, consider bringing this list of FAQs to the project management and aim to come up with clear-cut answers.
 
  1. What type of software is needed? Is it Integrated-Suite, Best-of-Breed or Industry-Specific? Ask your CEO’s main agenda and find the perfect match from these available options.
  2. What are the core and secondary features? Are you looking for basic, advanced or hi-end features? List down the specific features per category and allow the department managers and supervisors to give their insights on this list.
  3. How are you going to deploy the system? Would it be on-premise, cloud-based, hosted, or mobile-based? Weigh these options with the help of your CIO.
  4. Are you going for Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 vendors? Their offered solutions are base on the size of their target market - SMEs, MNEs or start-ups. Seek your CFO’s advice as it is important to match your financial capacity against the cost of the solution that the providers have for you.
  5. Are you willing to pay for the perpetuity software license or a subscription-based solution is way better? How many users are there and what would be their roles in using the system? Solicit feedbacks from future end users for they know better what challenges and risks might possibly come along their way when they’re using the system.
 
Finalize the BOM or List of Requirements
After providing definite answers on the above questions, we can say that the project has already been defined. Your procurement team is now ready to do their role in the acquisition process of this solution. However, in order for them to execute their job properly, they must have the complete list of requirements - features, specifications, hardware, and the software product. In other words, the Bill-of-Materials (BOM) that is final, complete and well-prepared must be handed over to the procurement director. Needless to say, it is very important that everybody is following the company purchasing and procurement protocols at all times.  
 
Request for Proposal (RFP)
The RFP process will bring everything into formality. Since you’re more likely in a line of business that doesn’t regularly buy software products, it is of critical importance that your RFP is well-structured before you send it to your prospect solution providers.
 
Draft the RFP
An RFP that contains all the relevant information as discussed during the project management meetings will enable the providers to return back to you their proposal that is complete and substantial. Therefore, your RFP should basically contain the following:
 
Brief Introduction
  • Company Name
  • Mission and Goals
  • Purpose of the RFP (or the need for software solution)
Business Background
  • Organizational Structure
  • Current Situation (IT infrastructure, system currently in-use, system issues and desired solutions, etc.)
  • Major Objectives of the Software Purchase
Request for Specific Requirements
  • Solution Functionality
  • System Specifications
  • Vendor Company Information
  • Price Model, Service Plans, Package Options
Other Important Inquiries (if necessary)
 
Send the RFP
Well-structured RFP will bring a lot of advantages especially when the proposals from various providers are received and then subjected for review and analysis. Send your RFP to at least three to five providers (or prospects which you have already shortlisted during the project definition phase). Depending on the complexity of the solution, most vendors will send their proposal in a matter of time, which could be around 4 to 6 weeks for Integrated-Suite solution.
 
Why still send RFP?
Is there really a need for RFP if your preferred solution (like cloud-based) and the service plans or packages are already displayed on the vendor’s website? Well, yes, you still need to undergo the RFP process. For most sales people, they certainly know that those figures appearing in the vendor’s website are usually the “list price” and not the “actual price”. More importantly, the vendor’s proposal (response to RFP) will serve as your main basis for the negotiation. Therefore, sending an RFP is a strict requirement.
 
Follow up questions relevant to RFP
More often than not, questions and concerns will be raised by the vendors to whom you send the RFP. You have to entertain them with utmost professionalism. Solution providers who are seeking further clarifications relevant to the RFP are consisting of professional software experts who wants to help your organization as much as they can. Entertain them but at the same time, always be cautious when providing additional information which you know is confidential or proprietary.
 
Evaluate the Proposals
Always refer to your finalized BOM when tabulating the contents of each proposal. Part of this process is to check the features that are available from this certain vendor and to cross out those that are not. While using spreadsheet aids the tabulation process, laying down the document proposals on the table and allowing your project management team to review them one by one should always be conducted. Evaluating the proposals in full force can help strengthen your decision-making process. Have another round of brain-storming session and come with the name of your preferred solution provider.
 
When selecting the final vendor, always promote the best interest of your organization. Consider answering these questions with full sincerity.
 
  1. Which vendor can provide the long-term benefits to your organization?
  2. Which vendor can provide the best and honest service from acquisition to full implementation?
  3. Which vendor is willing to devote most of its time in better serving its client?
 
Contact this solution provider and in your own strategic approach, try to get the answers to those three important questions above. In most cases, vendor who really wants to prove its craft will offer product demos on a higher level. Others will even invite you to check their already deployed and working systems. Feel free to connect with this type of vendor. Conduct simulation and testing, be it a cloud-based or on-premise solution. Examine all aspects and angles especially those that your project management team want to really know in-depth. For as long as it could help you arrive at a better decision, consider doing all the options available – for the interest of the organization.
 
Enter the Negotiation Process
Most solutions providers can be flexible in terms of pricing. Although the final say is oftentimes on the mouth of the sales person from the vendor’s side, a good negotiation process can always deliver a win-win situation to both parties involve. While negotiation sometimes cannot be settled in one sitting session, always be honest with your intentions whenever negotiating with your provider. If it’s about your budget, justify it with clarity. If it’s about their service plans, tell them what’s lacking or missing on their solution. At the end of the day, the most important event that should happen is that both of you are shaking hands because of a well done negotiation process.
 
Seal the Contract
So what are you going to do on a contract that involves a significant amount of investment? There are three project management approaches for this.
 
  1. Pass the ball to you legal team. They know what to do and more or less they will tell you if there is something wrong with the contract. Give them enough time to review before they affix their signature and then finally seal the contract.
  2. Hire a consultant base on the technical aspect that you want to clarify in the contract. If it’s the Scope of Work (SOW), a software implementation expert is the right person. If it is related to complex legal terms and conditions, a lawyer can help. If it has something to do with money, invite an accountant to conduct a thorough review and computation if necessary.
  3. Always consider consulting your project management team. Remember that the CIO, CFO and CEO are all team members. They will be the signatories and they know what’s best for the interest of the company when signing a contract agreement.
 
From evaluation to buying stage, it is important that the project manager must take full responsibility of monitoring all the works identified and distributed among team members. This is why delegating the right project manager is also an important consideration when buying a business software solution. And again, ITQlick.com wants to emphasize that whatever the size of your company is, using the project management approach will always lead you into a better outcome – that is getting what you paid for the right business software solution. 

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Author - Shlomi Lavi

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Shlomi Lavi is an entrepreneur and founder of ITQlick.com. He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Information Systems Engineering from Ben Gurion University in Israel. Shlomi brings 17 years of global IT and IS management experience as a consultant and implementation expert for small, medium and large-sized (global) companies. Shlomi’s goal is to share the best knowledge and news about information systems so you can make smarter buying decisions for your business.