Retailers: Don’t get blindsided by the Windows 7 apocalypse
By John Garvey
It’s finally happening: Microsoft is ending all Windows 7 support on January 14, 2020. That means no more bug fixes, and no more preventative upgrades to fend off malware. So what’s the effect on your retail business?
If your retail system is running on Windows 7, it may coast along for a while, but it will ultimately be more vulnerable than ever to hacks. The bad guys of the world will likely be out to get anyone still running Windows 7, and they’ll do their best to breach systems.
Some retailers may assume that a simple software upgrade to Windows 10 will take care of everything. This is tempting, given all that retailers have to deal with day to day. But for many, that assumption is wrong. And the result could be costly for retailers come January, when POS systems at their store locations could start to fail.
Why? Because of two potential compatibility issues:
- Your existing POS software might not work with Windows 10.
- Hardware upgrades will be necessary in many cases in order to utilize your new software.
That makes this “simple upgrade” look a lot more complex in some situations. But if your current POS system isn’t giving you the most bang for your buck these days, this seeming headache could actually be a big opportunity.
Why change POS systems now? Here are few key reasons:
- Security. The thing that matters most to you and your customers will be most easily achieved through modern technology. With Windows 7 support coming to an end, there’s a chance to retool in a way that could help your margins and improve your business in a way you might not otherwise be able to achieve.
- Compatibility. Newer POS technologies can roll with the punches, and still come out ahead. Where allowed, open source technology keeps them moving forward as the retail industry’s needs change, and as new functionality is developed. (This is one way our Revel system is able to stay at the forefront of the industry, with nimble solutions for all sizes of business.)
- Enhanced features. A modern POS goes much further than handling everyday transactions. It can help you:
- Improve inventory management, fraud prevention and customer service with smart alerts
- Build out a loyalty program
- Run email marketing programs
- Monitor your store’s operations remotely with cloud-based tools that track sales figures and alert you to unusual events like excessive no-sales transactions
- Eliminate manual data entry
- Seamlessly transfer inventory between multiple locations
- Add new items with multiple units, SKUs and barcodes on the go
- Facilitate creating/scanning price tags and labels on the shelf and at the point of sale
- Make better business decisions thanks to detailed reports
I like manual data entry. – Nobody, ever
In short, the end of life for Windows 7 may be more of an opportunity than a chore.
The security you need. The tools that make businesses better.
RCS has several retail systems for you to consider — and all are ready to implement before support for Windows 7 officially ends:
All these solutions offer modern capabilities. In many cases, they offer options and customizations specific to your industry. Revel, Cegid, Counterpoint and Foyer all include automatic, seamless updates and enable you to use touch-screen devices for easy checkout.
The best solution for you will depend on your industry and niche.
Need help deciding on the best one for you? Our capable team is ready, and we’re up on all the latest developments. Hit us up with your questions.
We’ll help you navigate the Windows 7 end of life, and focus on the opportunities that lie ahead for you and your business. As soon as you’re ready, we can set you up with the right hardware and software, help you improve processes — and enjoy healthy margins.