Microsoft Debuts Software For Small Retailers

Microsoft Point Of Sale replaces the cash register and gives small businesses more analysis of customer and sales transactions
The Landing Music Ltd. has found a new manager in software that tracks hourly financial transactions and inventory, and records each time the cash register is opened and closed.

The Landing is an early user of Microsoft Point Of Sale, a Web-based application unveiled last week by Microsoft for small businesses looking to bring more automation and analysis to customer and sales transactions. The software runs on a PC and replaces the traditional electronic cash register. Elizabeth Geist, who owns the Seattle music store with her husband, Rick, believes it's important, for example, to keep track of those customers who prefer vinyl records over compact discs. It also has given Geist insight into her best customers. "It's interesting to see the people who buy one or two things every few days spend more [over time] than those who come in and drop several hundred dollars at once," Geist says.

All items at The Landing now have bar codes. Once they're logged into the system, a list of top sellers and inventory status is available at a touch of a button. Information gleaned from the application also provides analysis as to why sales slumped. And since the application is Web-based, Geist can access the information from either the store or her home computer.

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