It’s difficult to be a buyer nowadays, especially one looking for charity retail software. There are so many companies out there who say they do a lot of the same thing, but the proof is in the pudding. Ensuring you’re well-equipped to ask the right questions will help you make the best decision for your charity, whether you’re a large national, a regional charity, or a small local charity.

1. How easy is it to use?

Oftentimes it won’t be just the head office staff of a charity who will be using the charity retail system, but also volunteers who may come and go often and have little training. It’s essential that key business process are easy to pick up and remember.

We ensure charities – both in head office and in-store – can use the Cybertill charity retail software. Our user friendly till interface reduces manual till and Gift Aid processes and has proven to help boost morale and retain staff and volunteers. Over the years, we have trained over 45,000 volunteers in the sector, all with varying IT skills. We offer a variety of training formats, one-on-one training, in-person or virtual classroom training, or “train the trainer” programmes, and e-learning. Our charity clients also get full access to our free help site which lists modules broken down by functionality, with quick reference guides, manuals, videos and step-by-step guides so staff and volunteers can upskill with minimal input and resource from Head Office. We also offer e-learning and Cybertill certification tools.


2. Is telephone support included and is there a limit on the number of calls?

Many EPoS providers hide charges within their support offering, so this question is vital.

Our help desk is UK-based and operates 365 days a year, Mon-Sat 7.30am-10pm and Sundays/Bank Holidays 8.30am-6pm. Software, hardware and integrated chip and pin queries is one call into our help desk on the same number, or you can log by email or a help portal. We offer a full triage service through 1st line, 2nd line, 3rd line and 4th line support which is backed by a service level agreement (SLA). If necessary, point of sale operators can temporarily allow the Cybertill Support team to view and even control the point of sale remotely.

86% of calls to the Cybertill helpdesk result in a first time fix, and average speed of answer is 40 seconds. There is no cap of usage or calls to the help desk, charity retailers have unlimited access. Each customer also is assigned an Account Manager, a key contact for all non-support related issues.


3. How accessible is your data?

Make sure you ask your charity retail system vendors questions about how data is extracted for reporting and integrations. Ask how up-to-date that data is when it’s requested.

For Cybertill, each client has their own customised database and has access to their data in real-time, at all times. The system provides multiple methods for easy data extraction including a configurable, filterable in-store reporting suite, a user-definable Data Export module for exporting data from the system to a spreadsheet, an Enterprise Crystal Reporting Suite or MS SQL Server Reporting Services for bespoke reporting, or an ODBC cloud-based server available for data mining and Business Intelligence which is 50 milliseconds behind the live database. Cybertill has capabilities to integrate into third party eCommerce/selling platforms, fundraising, CRM and finance packages.


4. How easy is it to analyse business data?

It’s not enough to simply offer hundreds of reports in a charity retail system, that information needs to be easy to digest. A charity retail executive or shop manager doesn’t have the time to build complex spreadsheets or analyse the minute details in order to draw out insights. The data in a charity point of sale and retail management system should be easy to access and visualise, and therefore lead to better decision making and increased value for the charity.

Make sure that the vendor has visual and interactive business intelligence that you can access and digest easily and highlight the key performance indicators. Don’t just let them tell you about it – ask to see it!


5. Does the system offer IT and development services?

Many SaaS products today provide great options in terms of features, but the support model doesn’t cut it, therefor adversely affecting the value they get from their investment.

Cybertill is a service-focused business with the customer at the heart of what we do. Each relationship with our charity customers is important as we become their development partner. In addition to the feature-rich, product, Cybertill wraps that functionality in a wide range of services so customers can get the best from our knowledgeable staff. We offer free IT advice and also offer a Retail Health Service that provides machine management and monitoring for IT systems such as Antivirus Management, Pro-active maintenance, Microsoft Patch Management as well as much more.

Our Account Managers deeply understand a charity retailer’s business and configurations, and can engage trainers, and service delivery agents, and work with our services teams during roll out to make sure implementation are managed efficiently. If you’re transitioning from one point of sale system to another, managing the migration of data from old system to new system is important to some of our customers. Full hand holding is provided throughout with expert retail knowledgeable staff. The service doesn’t stop at the point of purchasing a charity retail system.

Depending on the customer’s requirements we may be asked to build custom software or build interfaces into existing applications to fulfil a specific need, and we can accommodate this with our in-house development team.


6. What options will I have for multi-channel selling? Does the system link with ecommerce and marketplaces?

Cybertill is a true multi-channel solution and we provide a number of services for connecting online channels and marketplaces into the centralised platform. In house we build Magento 2 websites which are designed, built and supported by us at Cybertill. We can integrate into a 3rd party website using an ecommerce API and we have our new Marketplace platform that allows charities to sell on multiple marketplaces and have it integrated into Cybertill Charity store and also capture Gift Aid which is a key function for charities.


7. Is it easy to add new locations or cancel without significant fees?

Some charity epos systems lock charities in to long contracts or charge significant fees to cancel.

We have recognised that in this post-covid environment, retailers need to trade back the deficit that store closures have caused. We are also now offering a SaaS pricing model which will help retailers do that, by offering retailers all of the service, but on a subscription basis rather than using capital outlay. Cybertill offers a flexible and scalable solution with the ability to grow at the pace your business does. We provide our software on a SaaS, or subscription model, which means you get a premium product and service, but for a simple monthly cost. And, with only a 90 days cancellation notice period, this means that it’s easy to add and remove stores and EPoS from your Cybertill setup — perfect in this ever-changing retail environment.


8. Does the system have automated Gift Aid processing? Does the company charge commission on Gift Aid?

Many charity retail systems charge commission on Gift Aid, something Cybertill doesn’t do. We believe that 100% of the Gift Aid belongs in the charity’s bank, not ours!

The Gift Aid module within Cybertill streamlines processes, removes paper trails, and provides an electronic form for Gift Aid sign-up including an electronic signature. It is completely GDPR and HMRC compliant which reduces risk to charities. The software includes a centralised donor database for quick Gift Aid processing, validation of data and loyalty for new and repeat donors, an automated barcoded solution for processing Gift Aid donations, automated donor welcome emails and an automated quick step Gift Aid claim process which integrates directly into the HMRC portal, thus resulting in more successful claims and an uplift in Gift Aid revenues. Did you know, it takes less than 60-seconds to securely sign up a donor which also extends to a tablet for an electronic Gift Aid declaration!


9. Is there a built-in CRM that captures all customer details, even non-Gift Aid?

The platform provides a centralised CRM/database that allows you to capture customer details for Gift Aid, non-Gift Aid and loyalty. The system can be customised to collect data and can also link into the loyalty module which has proven to be a huge success, having issued a couple of million of our supporter/loyalty cards which have multiple functions to work across Gift Aid, Loyalty Schemes, Lottery, Purchase of goods, Fundraising Transactions and Credit Notes. The loyalty scheme is for all supporters not just Gift Aid-ers and as loyalty is captured it can be as points which can then be converted into loyalty credits and assigned from there. You can also out customers into groups and different promotional parameters. The CRM and loyalty function has proven to increase footfall and increased average basket spend.


10. Is the business established with many well-known customers?

A new business offering charity retail software will likely not have the know-how of more established businesses in the industry. Make sure that you also ask for details about what companies have delivered for. We’ve delivered thousands of successful roll-outs over the years and you can hear from other customers sharing their learnings and success with using Cybertill’s charity retail software through our case studies.

In addition to all of this, make sure that the company you choose has an innovation plan. We are constantly adding new features, our most recent innovation is Round Up, which helped a charity raise thousands of additional funds in under a month. Charities need to innovate in order to continue to raise funds for their causes, and asking to see a vendor’s 5-year plan will help you to align that to your own future plans.

For more help with your charity retail system research please schedule a demo.


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