Visual Retail Plus Review

The Gist

Visual Retail Plus is a combination platform with windows-based software that also integrates with cloud services including reporting and e-commerce. It’s an ideal solution for mid-size and larger businesses with multi-site operations that need to sync data and inventory.

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Visual Retail Plus Highlights

  • Cloud-based reported for Android and iOS
  • e-commerce integration
  • Automated inventory tracking

Pros

  • Built in CRM
  • Time and attendance tracking
  • UPS shipping integration with POS
  • Purchase order and vendor management
  • Email list integration

Cons

  • Suited for retail, not ideal for food/hospitality
  • Dated and somewhat crowded interface
  • Software download required – not cloud-based

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Environment & Integration

Most Point Of Sale (POS) systems have made the switch to cloud-based platforms. The major benefit to this is that the system can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. This allows you complete access and control of your system even if you’re outside of the business, at home, or traveling.

Visual Retail Plus is windows-based software, which means you’ll need to purchase and download the software in order to run it in your business. That can limit your access to the system, especially if you want to be able to access it from anywhere.

They do offer mobile access, which can expand accessibility. Likewise, the reporting functions are at least cloud based so you can check data from other locations.

The downside to running on a local machine is that any hardware problems with your equipment, or database issues with the MySQL database, will result in an inability to run your POS system until the hardware or database issue is resolved. With a cloud-based system you would just use a different piece of equipment.

On the upside, this POS system also offers e-commerce integration and has a comprehensive suite of features to help balance out the risk vs. reward.

Reporting

Visual Retail Plus offers a variety of custom reports accessible through the cloud with no additional software to download. The reports currently provided include:

  • Sales summaries by date range with store, register and cashier filter (MultiZ)
  • Summary of sales by date range and tender
  • Fully detailed sales report by date, product, UPC, vendor and groups
  • Product reports
  • Receipt details
  • Reconciliation
  • Attendance
  • Profit
  • Pricing history
  • Invalid sales
  • Red level report for low quantities
  • Z summary reports groups by store

This is a really solid offering from Visual Retail Plus, and puts it above the majority of its competition.

Ease of Use

For the most part the system is visually driven using graphic icons, though there’s a hefty mix of text-based buttons as well on certain screens. The grouping of buttons, as well as the volume of them, makes the interface feel crowded.

Because of the generic icons used, as well as the small text positioned under the buttons, it can make navigation difficult. Having a long list of features actually works against the POS software in this regard because without a smooth, intuitive navigation system it just becomes difficult to quickly navigate through menus – something that is of critical important when you’re dealing with long customer lines.

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Cost and Contracts

There’s no contract or termination fee but there is a hefty setup cost. Because it’s a software product as opposed to a web-based subscription service you have to pay the full license fee.

While Visual Retail Plus doesn’t display the pricing on their website, the cost to purchase the license for the software was discovered through a little research online. You can also lease the equipment for $100, if you do not wish to purchase it.

That does not take into account the cost of equipment. You’ll have to pay extra for the POS terminal/server that you’ll be running the software on.

They do offer customer service/technical support but you have to purchase hours. It’s not free.

Features and Add-on’s

One of the biggest bonuses to software vs. cloud-based services is that you don’t have some features locked behind a paywall or tiered service plans. The software is packed with all the features and once you pay the license fee up front you have full access to the system, along with free updates.

Beyond the standard features of a POS system (geared for retail mind you, it’s not adequate for food and beverage or hospitality), there is a robust reporting system along with inventory controls designed to keep you synced between multiple sites or with any e-commerce platform you might be using.

There are also security and loss prevention features that give you more control over individual employees as well as flags and alerts to help prevent loss.

Time and attendance tracking make it easy to manage payroll, as well as hold team members accountable for their attendance.

The built in Customer Relationship Management tool (CRM) is a great feature as you won’t have to worry about integration with a third party platform to manage customer data. This is a nice tool for monitoring marketing efforts and segmenting customers for individual remarketing campaigns.

Conclusion

Visual Retail Plus has a great feature set that can be very beneficial to retail operations. The system is a little crowded so expect a steeper learning curve as you spend time trying to find items and get the software setup for your business. However, although it might take more time to figure out, you have a very wide selection of reporting options to choose from. Although you have full access to all features from the off, it would have been nice to see more open support, rather than making customers purchase blocks of support hours.

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