Small Business Survey Results – From Software Advice ™


Software Advice(tm) annually interviews multiple retailers to determine best practices in providing customer service through Point of Service (POS) and other types of business software. A recent random selection of 385 retailers in the first quarter of 2014 found three primary key points retailers consider when making their software purchase decisions. 

 1)  Most retail software buyers are searching for on-premise, integrated software suites. On premise applications are preferred by most retailers.  Unlike many other software markets, in which buyer preferences have shifted significantly to cloud-based application, buyers in this market have a strong preference for on-premise solutions. The majority of buyers (85 percent) had no deployment model preference, but among those who did have a preference, 66 percent preferred on-premise solutions to cloud-based products.

     Additionally, most retail software buyers are interested in “integrated suite” software that supports multiple processes, especially inventory and customer management, rather than single-function software. See chart below.

 2) Thirty-three percent of buyers currently use point-of-sale (POS) software to manage retail processes, but a large number –  25 percent  –  have no system at all or are still using manual methods such as spreadsheets, to track information. Many of these, 24 percent, are planning a retail startup; they have no system because the business has not been fully developed.

 3) Thirty-nine percent of retailers say improving efficiency is the main reason for evaluating new retail systems, either because their system is outdated or unreliable, or they are looking for more robust features.

     Because many retailers use manual methods to track data, it’s not surprising that improving efficiency is the most-cited reason for evaluating new software.

    Qualities cited for upgrading include; 

    more functionality,


    new business or growth,

    technical or support issues,

    better integration and reduced cost. See chart below.

    Among buyers replacing their POS systems, the need for greater functionality, improved efficiency and upgrades to outdated software most frequently motivate the decision to buy.


Most Retailers in the Study had a Single Business Location

     Retailer sizes in the company’s sample were predominantly small. According to their results, 75 percent were evaluating solutions for single-location operations, and 56 percent had five or fewer employees. Eleven percent of buyers planned to implement software in apparel and fashion stores, followed by consignment shops (and restaurants. Software was sought least for use in mail order operations, arts and cultural centers and pharmacies. For a complete report go to


Software Advice ™ reviews hundreds of software packages and helps buyers find the right POS software for their business.  Click here to visit their website.   


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