Choosing Software: 4 Common Questions Retailers Ask Before They Buy

May 23, 2017 — Brayden Gervan
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Is it just me or do you get that nervous feeling in your stomach when you are about to pull the trigger on software program or tool for your business?

You’ve done your due diligence and evaluated all the options, but you’re not sure whether you’ve asked all the right questions to understand if the product is right for you.

The fact of the matter is, buying software for your business is never easy. Sure, some software choices are easier than others, but choosing the right retail management software is a very important decision, that involves multiple stakeholders with multiple problems and needs from the software; each of whom has a different opinion on which software will be best for the business. 

Inevitably, as you are evaluating your options, questions will arise. Before choosing software and making that big purchase, you want to be comfortable that the product in question will not only meet your business’ needs but the needs of your colleagues, your staff, and consequently, your customers.

You are not alone. Many of the questions and concerns you are feeling are commonplace in the wireless industry, particularly for launching retail management software. To help you out we have put together a few questions that we have been asked and what you should look for from companies answering those questions.

How much does it cost?

When it comes to any software, price will always be a factor. But in the software game, you truly get what you pay for. There are Ferraris and there are Ford Pintos. Sure, the Pinto will get you from point A to point B, but how many times will it break down, before it just blows up?

Is it in your best interest to try and save your organization $100 if that means 100 hours of your time setting up, fixing problems, or losing sales? Try to understand how the product features and functionality will affect your bottom line. Ask about the product integrations and how it could connect to or replace your existing systems. The price of the product should reflect what you need it to do, and as the professionals, it’s your reps responsibility to help you get the right price for the right feature. If they are not consultative, we are simply used car sales people trying to take their money.

Who are the other players in the market and how does your product compare?

Inevitably, this question will come down to ROI. When you are comparing the product, it’s important to ask about where the product will help you save vs. how much the product will cost. Software in competing markets have similar features and functionality, and if not for branding, would accomplish similar goals. Where comparing becomes important is examining how the product impacts sales and profit. How easy is it to learn and use day to day? What is its effect on the customer experience? How easy is it to complete a sale or refund? How is the product supported when something goes wrong? These are the things that truly differentiate a product, and a company that excels in those certainly has the upper hand.

How fast can you get us up and running?

If you’ve ever been involved in implementing new software, you’ll likely identify with the description of the process involving a "long, dark tunnel of despair." Implementation comes with a certain degree of angst before you emerge in the bright sunshine of a new day filled with sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows of extravagant color and beauty. Before you buy, it is paramount that you know what the implementation period entails. It should be outlined at the onset that your hand will be held through the entire dark implementation process.  Make sure your sales reps know it is imperative to understand and fully grasp that the company you choose are the experts. They have done this a thousand times, and each time it ends up a smooth process; ensuring you and your team, (executive, back-of-house, and frontline staff) can hit the ground running when you go live.

Can we continue to exist with our existing solution?

Eventually, as you go through this process, you may start to think, what you have isn’t so bad. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. However, if you are at the point of requesting a demo, or talking to a sales rep, it’s important to recognize that you wouldn’t be looking to fix it if it wasn't already broken. So, the message is, don’t ignore the signs that your business needs help. Don’t try to MacGyver together systems to give you the necessary information you require. Don’t try to fight it; take action to get better, leaner, faster, and more profitable.

The intuitive and user-friendly design of RQ, our full-suite retail management system (RMS), allows your team to serve customers faster, more effectively, and with greater confidence than ever before. Follow the link below to learn why our customers love it. 

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Topics: Retail Operations, POS

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