Category Archives: Point of Sale

Choosing a SaaS Solution

I’ve spent a lot of time researching SaaS apps that can help you manage your business, and it’s certainly a big and often confusing market.  It helps to have some guides and while I haven’t found a single one that covers it all, there are a few I found that are really useful.  Here they are, with a few of my own comments.

Getapp – one of the best, with lots of customer reviews.  Broad set of product categories.

ISV World – Cool service, covers all software vendors not just SaaS apps.  Useful for those in the analyst & investment arena as it aggregates financial data on the vendors.  Thanks to their machine learning capabilities the database is very large.

Merchant Maverick – More focused on the transaction and financial apps, especially merchant accounts and POS.

Capterra – Decent number of customer reviews and 300+ categories to help you search.

Cloud Showplace – Run by SaaS thought leader Jeff Kaplan, this directory splits up providers into the SaaS/PaaS/IaaS stack so it provides a view on the “cloud services” market that some of the others don’t.

IT Centralstation – A bit more of an enterprise focus with more input from “IT pros” as opposed to SMB owner/operators who lack IT staff.  You can create a free account or sign in with your LinkedIn account.

And there you have it.  A few really helpful resources to help you navigate the SaaS world.

 

Inventory data and customer expectations

A few news bits in the last couple of weeks have caught my eye.  Springboard announced a solution which takes inventory management to the cloud and integrates online & brick and mortar sales.  This has always been a pain point and in reality there have been solutions for it for years – I had the two sales channels integrated when I was a store owner 6 years ago using MINDBODY Online.  But the solutions have not been as clean or as advanced as you might like, so it’s good to see this getting addressed by more and more vendors.

Increasingly, inventory management matters not just for the traditional reasons (cash management, keeping hot sellers in stock, etc.) but also because accurate inventory data is a prerequisite for meeting customer expectations in the omni-channel world.   This is brought home in this summary from Mozu which highlights steps retailers can take to meet customer expectations (you need to submit your email to download the free report).  In some way they all depend on accurate, real-time inventory data.

Same day delivery is one area that I am really focused on, and you can’t do it successfully without accurate inventory data.  It’s where customer engagement meets operational business data.  I’m really interested in rideshare/crowd-sourced delivery  options and I’m working with one client on this now.  I’ll write more on this later, as there’s a lot going on the space as Uber/Lyft/Sidecar et al try to differentiate themselves and carve out their niches.