MerchantOS is an Internet based Point of Sale (POS) software system. It operates within a web browser that connects through the Internet to the MerchantOS web servers.
This is quite different from conventional POS systems, where the software is installed on the machine at the business owners site. One immediate advantage is that this means there is no software that the user has to bother installing or maintaining. MerchantOS has over 700 retail locations currently using their system. Updates are handled automatically by the company every few weeks and conducted on their own servers. No one touches your computers to install or update the POS software. Another beautiful thing is that the store owner does not have to worry about backing up data; it is done automatically by MerchantOS on their servers. For any business owner who has every lost data due to a lack of backups, this feature alone can save more than a few hairs from turning gray.
MerchantOS is geared for numerous types of markets such as bicycle stores, liquor stores and sporting goods stores just to name a few. Their browser based software is compatible with computers running Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh and Linux based Operating Systems (OS). Browser support for POS operations, in order of support, includes Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome and Microsoft (MS) Internet Explorer Firefox is the preferred browser of choice and is available for free. Browser based hardware support for POS systems (cash drawers, card swipes, etc.) include Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and MS Internet Explorer.
MerchantOS also includes a few built-in applications you can easily access to make your POS system even more powerful. This includes integration with FreshBooks for professional looking invoicing (for retailers with service/outbound sales). They have MailChimp integration that provides robust email marketing. Plus Shopify integration to provide true ecommerce capabilities. More packages/integration features are planned in the near future including vertical market applications.
MerchantOS can work with most existing POS hardware. They also sell hardware bundles guaranteed to work seamlessly. They can provide computers, touch screen monitors, receipt printers, cash drawers, label printers, bar code scanners and encrypting credit card readers. These are available as bundled packages or as “A La Carte.” (Details can be found here: http://www.merchantos.com/tour/hardware/)
MerchantOS also has the usual built-in features such as a cash drawer calculator to speed opening a register. They also incorporate employee clock-in, clock-out features direct from the POS position. MerchantOS' web based software package is packed with many more features than possible to list here.
Support for MerchantOS comes in many varieties; phone, email, blog, online videos and User Forum. This is a great blend of resources that can be broken down by critical needs and lower priority needs such as learning new features. A forum is always a great resource for exploring options that other end users have already discovered. The videos are of good quality and quickly cover the most common topics.
MerchantOS can support multiple locations and multiple registers.
The software can be used free for 30 days on a trial basis. After that there is a fee based system that is billed monthly depending on your plan, number of locations, number of POS positions and users at each location. There are no long term contracts, no cancellation fees. An in-depth fee matrix is located on their web page that describes in detail each plan. (Please note: If you sign up for the free 30 day trial you will see an area to enter your credit card information. If you only want the 30 day free trial you can bypass the billing info and proceed directly to the free trial screens.)
The MerchantOS setup screens present a number of detailed options. What is nice is you can fill in as much or as little as you want. The more time you take to fill in each option the more power you will have as you use MerchantOS.
MerchantOS can import your existing inventory, customer data and vendor data for a small fee. Usually a $100 US setup fee is required for each data set to be imported. They maintain numerous catalogs of existing vendor data they can import into your POS system to help get up and going faster. You can also manually add individual items yourself into their system via their web interface in the Inventory tab in MerchantOS. There are plenty of options available such as the ability to enter numerous types of codes such as UPC, EAN, Custom SKU and Manufacturer SKU.
What makes MerchantOS truly shine is their total redundancy of essential services that work seamlessly under the hood. MerchantOS maintains two completely separate server sites that mirror each other in real time. What does that mean for you? It means extremely reliable fault tolerance – especially considering this is a web based system. If for any reason the main servers are unreachable because of a problem on their side (i.e.: Server crash), through the magic of the Internet you will be automatically rerouted to a second “mirrored” site in a different physical location. You should be able to effortlessly access your last successfully completed transaction. All of this is accomplished by the well planned MerchantOS infrastructure which frees the business owner from all of the messy and confusing details.
In summary, MerchantOS is an easy to use, extremely powerful and robust entry into the POS market. It has been around commercially since 2006 and has fully matured into a complete POS package.
Most POS use: Most popular web browsers such as Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer
For hardware support: Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer
Internet Connection: Broadband is recommended (Suggest dialup, 56k or better, as backup)
Web Site: www.merchantos.com
Phone: (866) 554-2453
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