Optical retail business is changing and today it has become very competitive as well as complex. In present time if you do not have the best software and technology in your optical retail business it will become very difficult to manage and grow your optical retail business.
Why it is difficult to choose:
It is very difficult to choose the best software which is the cost-effective and it has all the latest features / modules. Most of the optical retail stores keep changing their software’s because they found it costly as they started using it, they have to pay annual maintenance cost, they have to pay costs for new features (upgrade), they have to pay costs for technical support etc. Also, they do not find all features in single software and they tend to buy multiple software’s such as Accounting software, inventory software, bar-code software, SMS software, etc. These challenges are common with most of the optical retail software’s available in the market.
Tips to choose software for your optical retail store:
With our experience and through a research done with many optical retail stores; we suggest that you should follow the below given tips to choose the best software for your optical retail business.
1. Initial cost or investment:
When you decide to buy any software, make sure its initial cost or the total price of purchasing the software is very low. Survey shows that that high price software will also come with high maintenance costs and other hidden costs
2. Working cost or maintenance:
Once you buy any software; you have to keep paying maintenance costs; this is one of the biggest mistakes made by most of the retail store owners. Before you make a purchase of software; try to get an understanding of the maintenance cost. Also, try to get all terms for maintenance in writing.
3. Features or module:
Software that you want to buy should have all the features related to inventory, billing, bar-code, accounting, cash management, staff management, business promotions (SMS/EMAILS), auto reminders, PDF invoices, eyewear prescription or contact lens prescription management etc. Before making a purchase, you should take a complete software demo to learn about all the features provided in it.
4. Upgrade frequency:
Software upgrades and new feature development are the basics of any good software. You have to check with the company on how often they are giving new upgrades and their cost for such upgrades. Also, you can check their records to check their frequency of new changes and features. Good software should also have the latest and new features for your optical retail business.
5. User friendly or easy to learn:
Optical retail software is mostly used by your staff and they may not be very good with computers; this is the main reason most of the optical retail shops are not able to use software in their business. You have to make sure the software you are purchasing should be very easy to learn so that your staff can operate it without your support. If they find the software difficult then they will not use it and your investment in software will go in vain.
6. Security of data:
Since the software is going to work on your business and it will be storing all vital information and sensitive data of your business; data security is the most important aspect that you should look into before making any purchase. Whether you are buying offline software or online cloud base software; data security issues are almost the same. You have to make sure that software has advanced technology to secure your data before it gets stored into the software. Also, you can do a bit of research about the company who is developing and managing the software; their brand name and service feedback will be very helpful in making the right decision.
7. Data availability (export to excel):
If your data are in the software that doesn’t mean that you can get access to all of them. We have seen that most of software’s that are sold in the optical retail business has data locks and they do not want customers to download all data in excel. Specially, customer and prescription records are available on a search basis and there you can get only 1 record at a time; if you want to download all your customers and their prescription data in excel it would not be possible in most of the software’s. It is done intentionally so that you are forced to use their software and you do not migrate to any other software.
8. Software company brand image:
This is one of the most important factors that you have to consider before making a purchase. Since software is a service industry and whatever software you buy, you would need service, training and upgrades in the future. You can google or check with your contacts about the company who has developed or who is selling the software to you. You can save your money and time by doing some research before making a purchase decision. It is not necessary that they should have vast experience or a large number of customers in Optical business; even if they have a good experience and professional team it would be fine.
9. Timely and friendly support:
It is also very important that you should get timely support from the software company because your entire optical business is dependent on the software. Also, there should be no cost for phone or email support. You should prefer to buy software from the company who has sufficient staff to handle support. If they are able to communicate in your regional language such as Hindi, Telugu, Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi, Malyalam, kannada etc it would be an added advantage.
To overcome all the challenges that is faced by these optical retail software; we have developed OPTICAL CRM SOFTWARE for optical retail stores with the latest cloud technology, it also combines multiple software into a single system. There are NO hidden costs such as maintenance cost, upgrade cost, technical support cost, training cost etc. It has become very popular among the optical retail stores worldwide.