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As the first company to ever offer a completely free POS system, Imonggo is a significant player in the world of POS applications. Imonggo offers both Free and Premium versions of its cloud-based point of sale system, geared towards small to mid-range retail businesses. Imonggo is based in Singapore and Manila, Philippines, but its users span across the United States, Spain, the Philippines, Singapore, India, and South Africa.
Simplicity is the Imonggo theme. Imonggo developers designed the POS interface with the history of the iPod in mind. When the iPod MP3 player first entered the scene it quickly became revolutionary for its simplicity and clean design. Imonggo aims to mimic the strengths of the iPod in its business application. Wherever possible, it pares POS functions down to the basics without sacrificing capabilities and power. Imonggo’s design philosophy is formed around entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking for practical and straightforward solutions in their POS system. By eliminating a complicated interface and confusing technology, Imonggo encourages business owners to personally take ownership of their retail software.
Ideal for brick and mortar stores, mom-and-pop shops, and specialty boutiques, Imonggo is capable of handling both a small home business and a mid-size retail operation with multiple locations. The only real hardware requirement is a computer and an Internet connection—all the rest is optional. Apparently, Imonggo takes this simplicity thing really seriously.
Imonggo has two price points: Imonggo Free and Imonggo Premium. Both levels are pretty straightforward: no setup costs, no contracts, and no cancellation fees. Downgrade or upgrade at any point.
- Imonggo Free – Yeah, it’s free! The free version supports a single-user with a single-store situation. There’s a maximum of 1,000 products and 1,000 transactions per month.
- Imonggo Premium – The premium version of Imonggo costs $30/month/branch. See “Product Features” below for a complete breakdown of the features housed within its interface.
Web-Based or Locally-Installed:
The Imonggo POS is web-based and can be accessed with most mainstream browsers such as Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. It will even continue to function in the case of an Internet outage, even the browser-based version. Imonggo also has a dashboard app available for iPhone and Android devices, and there is a new POS app for the iPad in development.
Imonggo is designed to meet the needs of a range of retail industries. Boutiques, bookstores, kiosks, clothing stores, salons, wholesalers, and duty-free shops can all use Imonggo as a complete point of sale and inventory management system. With the introduction of their Nueca app, restaurant service has also been added to Imonggo’s repertoire. However, I every time I tried to log into this application it crashed so I can’t really speak to whether or not the restaurant functions are up to par.
Specific Size of Business:
From retail chains to small home businesses, Imonggo claims it can handle any size production. However, I think the Imonggo POS software is ideally geared towards small to medium size businesses. Larger operations would probably run into problems due to the limitations of software that is intended to be very basic and straightforward. An easy user interface comes at the cost of more complicated functions.
Ease of Use:
It really doesn’t get much simpler than this. A child could set up shop with the Imonggo interface. While I don’t know what an “imonggo” is or why a chameleon is crouched on the edge of the logo, the questionable design elements are more than compensated for by the easy, intuitive navigation and layout. Move effortlessly between the stockroom, store and office with a single click. The Imonggo developers say they actually count the number of mouse clicks it takes to do any one task and their goal is to always keep that number low.
The Imonggo POS program splits retail elements into three different categories: Inventory, Store, and Office. Add products, monitor stock levels, and create purchase orders in the Inventory area. Process sales with the simple checkout interface. In the office you can analyze sales data in both graph and report formats. As a cloud-based system, Imonggo operates within your web browser. There are no downloads—just an initial sign up that is as simple as opening a Google account.
Hardware and Operating System Requirements:
Imonggo prides itself on the fact that you don’t have to have an array of expensive hardware to operate your POS. At bare bones minimum, all you need is an operating system and an Internet connection—and with the offline capabilities, you don’t even need an Internet connection 100% of the time. While this might be fine for some small businesses, chances are that most will need to work with receipt printers, cash drawers, card readers, and barcode scanners. The Imonggo operating system supports these too.
Because Imonggo is compatible with such a broad range of hardware, your biggest concern is just making sure that your receipt printers, cash drawers, and barcode scanners are compatible with your device and that the two are speaking to each other correctly.
- Receipt Printers – Imonggo states that it will work with any receipt printer that has software drivers that are compatible with your computer. They recommend some of the well-known receipt printers: Epson, Star Micronics, IBM, Samsung, Ithaca, Cognitive, and Citizen. Prices on these printers range everywhere from $200-$800, depending on your needs.
- Cash Drawers – Same story here: as long as your receipt printer is set up to handle a cash drawer and the cash drawer drivers are correctly installed on your computer, then Imonggo will work with just about any drawer on the market. Cash drawers run from around $100-$300.
- Barcode Scanners – Imonggo supports any barcode scanner that acts like a keyboard, which is most of them. Typically, barcode scanners don’t require extra software. Depending on your setup, barcode scanners can range anywhere from $50 to $400.
- Magnetic Card Reader – The barcode scanner rules apply to magnetic card readers too: any magnetic card reader is fine as long as it behaves like a keyboard when it records a number. Keyboard emulation mode is fine too. A basic card reader will cost you about $100 on average.
Note: Imonggo does not support pole readers, barcode printers, or chip card readers.
Imonggo is a cloud-based POS software that is divided into Imonggo Free and Imonggo Premium. The free version of Imonggo is limited to a single user with a single store. Only 1000 products and 1000 transaction lines per month are allowed, and the user functions are limited. Unless your retail needs are extremely basic, you’ll probably want to take advantage of the features available in Imonggo Premium, which is still a very cost effective option at $30 a month. It only takes minutes to sign up for Imonggo Free and get a feel for the interface. If you’re interested in comparing the differences between Imonggo Free and Premium, you can sign up for the 30-day Premium trial without a credit card.
One thing to keep in mind with cloud-based POS systems is that you are putting yourself at the mercy of the Internet gods. If your Internet connection goes down you could go from a modern retail shop to closed-for-the-day in a matter of seconds. Imonggo has made an effort to bypass this issue with their Premium feature called Storev3. Storev3 allows stores to continue selling even in the event of an Internet outage. I tested it in Chrome by shutting down my Wi-Fi connection and beginning a sale. The results were impressive. I was able to process the sale just as if I had been online. None of the other Imonggo management areas work, but the most important feature—sales—is covered. The interface prompts you to click a “sync” button once the Internet is back online. Even with this great service, it’s not a bad idea to take precautions against Internet crashes with a backup Internet connection or a dialup service.
A lot of the advanced features listed below are only available through Imonggo Premium. The Imonggo website is not all that clear on which features are available to both Free and Premium users. On the FAQ page, it highlights the ability to process credit cards, download data, and run your store offline as some of the advanced features that delineate the Premium subscription from the Free one.
- Multi-Tender POS:
- Split a purchase between multiple forms of payment. Customers can pay for their purchase with any combination of cash, credit card, debit card, or gift card. An “other” option could work for checks.
- Add items to a sale by scanning the barcode or manually entering the barcode. You can also lookup an item in the directory and add it to the sale. Type in a partial code or item name and the system will find product options without leaving the POS screen.
- Add fixed price discounts or percentage discounts to both single line items or to the entire purchase. Discounts are clearly shown in the office sales reports.
- Customize taxes based on local, state and federal requirements for your geographical location. You have the ability to create tax-free items and tax-free statuses.
- Control the design elements of your receipt header and footer. Print your receipts on a regular printer or on POS receipt printer. You can even email receipts to customers.
- Handle returns and exchanges with simplicity. Returned items are easily updated in inventory counts.
- Create layaway purchases for high-dollar items.
- Inventory Management:
- Add product images and thumbnails to every item.
- Assign multiple barcodes to a single product.
- Detailed stock card and transaction history for every item.
- Keep track of which inventory items are in stock, out of stock, or in back stock. Also, monitor which items are moving quickly, slowly or not at all.
- Monitor purchase and return orders from multiple vendors.
- Adjust item numbers with physical count support.
- Bypass entering all items by hand by uploading product CSV sheets. Also, export product inventory in CSV format.
- Add multiple tags to every product for extensive product tracking. Search products by tags.
- Employee Management:
- Create unlimited users with different levels of access to the inventory, store and office.
- Track the sales history and performance levels of individual salespeople. This is great for shops that pay commissions.
- Customer Relationship Management:
- Build a customer database that records address, email, and birthday. Monitor customer purchase history over the course of time.
- Create a customer rewards program where customers can accumulate rewards and discounts.
- Reporting Functions:
- View Today’s Summary with a single click in the POS store window.
- Review sales in a variety of ways: top products, monthly sales, daily sales, hourly sales, payments collected, and monthly profits. All of these reports can be viewed as reports or visual graphs.
- Analyze sales by tags assigned to products.
- Compare the performances of sales at multiple branches.
- Check on the performances of salespeople in both report or graph form.
- Monitor basic sales reports on an iPhone with Imonggo’s dashboard app.
- Payment for Imonggo Premium users is processed with SSL technology that ensures credit card information is encrypted and undecipherable.
- All Imonggo data is backed up every 24 hours. The backups are kept at separate geographical locations for maximum security.
- Multi-Store Functions:
- Combine and review consolidated store sales at the head office.
- Transfer products from one branch to another.
- Every branch can maintain its own inventory and sales reports.
Integrations and Add-Ons:
Imonggo has a few add-ons that can be integrated by turning on the API feature in your account. More add-ons are reportedly in the works:
- Peoplemine – Peoplemine is marketing software that helps you better monitor your customers and their shopping patterns. You can group customers by purchase preferences and create specific promotional campaigns for those groups.
- POS-Sync – POS-Sync is a cloud-based software designed to integrate Imonggo with your e-commerce store. If someone purchases something in your brick and mortar store, then inventory levels for the website are adjusted as well.
- Nueca iPad App – This is an application that can be used in conjunction with the web version of Imonggo. Since I wasn’t able to open the app without it crashing, I can’t really speak to what features it offers. All I know is that the iTunes store lists it as a retail application while Imonggo’s website says that it is specifically designed for the restaurant industry with table management capabilities, a tipping feature, and the ability to sort inventory.
Compatible Credit Card Processors:
This is one area where Imonggo is limited: they are only setup to process payments through Authorize.net. Authorize.net is the biggest player in payment processing, which is both good and bad. The good news is that you can sleep pretty sound at night knowing that your sensitive data is in safe hands. The bad news is that you won’t have as much flexibility in negotiating processing fees since your only option is Authorize.net. However there is some variation in rates as there are many Authorize.net resellers. You can check them out here.
Customer Service and Technical Support:
- Phone – Phone support is only available in the case of an emergency (server failure or website unavailability).
- Email – There is supposedly a 24/7 email support service, but after sending in a couple support tickets, I never received any response from support or even any acknowledgement that my question had been received.
- Help Pages – Each page of the interface has a “help” button at the top with detailed information about whatever area you happen to be in. For example, when I am on the “Inventory” page, pressing the “help” button brings up a concise report on all the functions on the Inventory page: on-stock inventory, out of stock inventory, sorting, filtering, etc. It’s very simple.
- Tutorial Videos – Imonggo users can also visit the main Imonggo website to view the array of tutorial videos covering most of the POS functions. The videos are helpful and well made, but the narrator is a weird computer voice that is a little off-putting at first.
- Knowledge Base & FAQ – You can access this list of frequently asked questions to get a pretty good overview of Imonggo and the services it offers. Imonggo also offers a fairly extensive and searchable knowledge base with information covering basic and advanced POS functions. You can also access a public discussion area where Imonggo employees respond to customer’s questions and comments.
- Social Media – Imonggo also features a blog with updates about the various aspects of the Imonggo system as well as some helpful articles offering tips and advice to business owners. Their social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, basically feature the same information.
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
There aren’t many complaints about Imonggo to be found. Below I’ve listed a few of my own concerns to keep in mind.
- Weak Wireless Device Support – In this day and age, POS software geared towards small businesses, kiosks, and pop-up-shops needs to have some capabilities for processing on a wireless device. Imonggo does have a POS app called Loopee that was evidently designed for quick service restaurants, but I couldn’t even get the darn thing to open without crashing. There is a new Imonggo iPad app in development that will hopefully broaden Imonggo’s wireless device capabilities, but in the meantime, Imonggo’s falling a little flat.
- Limited E-Commerce Integration Capabilities – If you’re a business owner with a brick and mortar store AND an online shop, Imonggo might present a bit of an integration challenge. Imonggo does support the POS-Sync add-on that manages a shared shop/eCommerce inventory. However other features like overall sales analyses are not present. You would need to respectively download sales data from Imonggo and your eCommerce platform and review them in a third party accounting software like QuickBooks.
- No SSL Coverage with Imonggo Free – It’s free, so I can’t complain too loudly about this one, but free or not I wouldn’t feel comfortable processing payments without SSL encryption.
- Not EMV Compliant – Though Imonggo is certainly not the only company that has yet to offer EMV-compliant credit card processing options (as they are quick to point out on their blog), I’m still going to have to count this as a point against them. The deadline has come and gone, and I’d be wary of signing up with any company that isn’t ready for the liability shift considering you’ll be the one paying for it if anything goes wrong.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials:
Imonggo has a lot going for it. Here are some of the reasons you should consider using this POS system.
- Low Cost/Big Delivery – Imonggo Premium costs $360 a year. This is an incredible price for a cloud-based software with so many capabilities. Plus, Imonggo is more than just a POS—it is also an inventory management system and an office. Imonggo strikes a good balance between being a basic everything-to-everyone software and offering sophisticated tools that can be tailored according to business type and size.
- Offline Capability – Accepting the risk of downtime that comes with an Internet crash is often the tradeoff that comes with the freedom of cloud-based POS systems. Not so with Imonggo. The fact that Imonggo has developed the capability for offline sales is a huge count in its favor.
- Fast and Easy – With software that you can master in 3 minutes, Imonggo places more power in the hands of business owners. This is something that anyone with very basic technological skills can setup. You can recycle those giant employee manuals, because your POS training time is going to take about 15 minutes.
It’s difficult to find reasons not to take a chance on Imonggo. With no contracts and no cancellation fees, there’s very little risk involved. You can get a great feel for it without investing a single dollar. Even if you were to purchase a month’s worth of Imonggo Premium, you’d only be out $30 if you decided it wasn’t for you. Since it supports such a wide range of hardware, you’re also not going to be shelling out thousands of dollars for specific POS-compatible systems.
For small to medium retail businesses, Imonggo is a powerhouse of capabilities for a great price. However, for larger businesses, Imonggo may not cut it. Inventory functions, while good, are basic and may not be complex enough to handle large-scale operations. Similarly, the employee management options are pretty bare bones. There is no clock-in/clock-out function that other POS systems have. All you can really do with employee management is monitor individual sales performances and define individual parameters for Imonggo access. I’d also be wary of the less-than-stellar customer support. Just be sure to test that out with the free version before deciding to invest in the Premium version.