Microsoft Business Solutions today announced the availability of retail vertical bundles of software and hardware designed for small and medium-sized retailers specializing in beer-wine-liquor, apparel, sporting goods, gifts and hobbies, and specialty retail. Not alone in this market, Intuit’s Quickbooks Point of Sale is an ideal SMB tool for retailers also.
At the core of the Microsoft’s newest packages is MicrosoftÆ Business Solutions Retail Management System 1.2, which has a track record for easily automating inventory management, speeding up card transactions, creating effective productivity reports, tracking customer purchasing habits and giving retailers more control over their business ó all of which help save time and increase profits. The packages, which will be distributed by ScanSource and Tech Data Corp., allow independent merchants to invest in information technology at a lower cost than if they purchase the components separately.
“One of the biggest barriers to entry for small retailers is price,” said Brendan O’Meara, general manager of the Microsoft Retail Management System at Microsoft Business Solutions. “Microsoft Business Solutions, together with its partners and distributors, is responding to small retailers with a complete POS offering that includes four industry-specific hardware and software packages available at a low total cost of ownership.” Pricing for the industry packages starts at an estimated retail price of $2,999* (U.S.), which is more than 30 percent less than the average cost if the components were purchased separately.
The hardware component of the packages includes a retail-hardened point-of-sale (POS) terminal with monitor from manufacturers such as Pioneer and IBM Corp. Keyboard, receipt printer, cash drawer, bar-code scanner, magnetic stripe reader, required cable and accessories, and a mouse are provided by manufacturers including Symbol Technologies Inc., Cherry, Epson and APG Cash Drawer, a division of UMI Company Inc.
Microsoft’s retail management web site is full of useful information.