Retail Management

Top 3 Scheduling Software for Retail Stores

By | 8 min read | Published

Retail scheduling software helps retail businesses manage staff shifts.

Manually creating schedules for staff members can be both time-consuming and complicated for retail store managers. If you manage a retail business, this problem may sound familiar to you. Thankfully, getting your hands on scheduling software can help.

With retail scheduling software, you can easily create and share work schedules with your employees. Some tools also let you track staff hours and compile the data into timesheets. This article looks at the three best scheduling tools trusted by real users from retail businesses. (Read how we selected these products.)

What features does retail scheduling software offer?

The core features of retail scheduling software are:

  • Availability management: Track and monitor employee availability and assign shifts accordingly.
  • Calendar management: Create, manage, and share multiple employee calendars for scheduling shifts and approving time-off requests.

All the products listed in this report include the features mentioned above.

Besides these core features, retail scheduling tools also commonly offer:

  • Alerts/notifications
  • Booking management
  • Calendar sync
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Mobile access
  • Online booking
  • Time tracking
  • Real-time employee shift scheduling
  • Real-time updates
  • Reminders
  • Reporting and statistics
  • Self-service portal
  • Third-party integrations

What we cover for each product

For each product, we cover the following:

How have users rated the featured products on different aspects?

We analyzed 332 reviews across all products to uncover how users perceive these products on parameters such as ease of use, customer support, value for money, and functionality.

What do users say about the products?

For each of the featured products, we’ve included some review excerpts from the trailing year.

How are the products priced?

Pricing models are generally one of the following: flat rate, usage based, per user, or per feature. Also, most of the time, the payment frequency is either one time, annual, or monthly.

Note: A product’s price can vary based on the features needed, support or training required, and customization requests. When you find a product that fits your needs, talk to the vendor to figure out what they can offer.

Are the products a good fit for your organization?

Some tools are specifically built for large businesses, while others work perfectly for small teams or midsize companies. Knowing the typical user base of these products is another differentiating factor to help decide the right fit for your organization. 

In addition, reviewers come from various industries. If a large share of reviewers is from one industry, then it’s likely that the product is niche and may not work as well for other industries. On the other hand, if reviewers are spread out across industries, then it’s likely that the product is a good fit for multiple industries.

Top 3 retail scheduling software

Note: The products are listed alphabetically.

1. Acuity Scheduling

*Analysis accurate as of September 2022
View Profile
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Ease-of-use rating:

4.7/5

Customer support rating:

4.7/5

Value-for-money rating:

4.7/5

Functionality rating:

4.7/5

Commonly used by:

Small businesses

Pricing:

$14 per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Appointment scheduling in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/128285/Acuity-Scheduling/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Acuity Scheduling</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/128285/Acuity-Scheduling/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>

Excerpts of the most positive reviews for the product:

“The thoughtfulness of the developers in anticipating the needs of the users was impressive. The ability to have a private link for the customers to schedule their own appointments saved us time and resources.”

“Both the free and paid plans are useful since they both offer you the ability to use different event types (not just one). And, the ability to charge for client meeting by connecting PayPal to Acuity is great!”

“Great for individual appointments, easy to set up and use.. Great for offering a variety of classes with limits, but not perfect for this (see cons).. Super functional.. Good user interface and very easy for clients to schedule.. Great auto email system for owner and customer.. You can attach customized forms and waivers.”

Read all Acuity Scheduling reviews here.

2. Google Calendar

*Analysis accurate as of September 2022
View Profile
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Ease-of-use rating:

4.7/5

Customer support rating:

4.3/5

Value-for-money rating:

4.8/5

Functionality rating:

4.5/5

Commonly used by:

Small businesses, enterprise businesses

Pricing:

Contact vendor

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Calendar management in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/213340/Google-Calendar/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Google Calendar</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/213340/Google-Calendar/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>

Excerpts of the most positive reviews for the product:

“Google calendar has allowed amazing opportunities to make scheduling easier for all parties involved. When I am working with my teachers, they need to be able to pick a time that works best for them. I am able to create a shareable calendar that offers time slots for teachers to select from instead of me scheduling a time for them.”

“It’s all you need to become a social person, attending every event in your social circle by using this tool. Google Calendar is my best time manager which reminds me of my daily routines. Highly recommended for other users to get the benefit from this amazing software.”

“We’ve been using Google Calendar for a long time and it helps to keep us organized.. We can have several schedules (personal and professional, for example) and manage in a single location.. The ability to share and integrate with other products helps a lot too.”

Read all Google Calendar reviews here.

3. Homebase

*Analysis accurate as of September 2022
View Profile
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Ease-of-use rating:

4.7/5

Customer support rating:

4.6/5

Value-for-money rating:

4.6/5

Functionality rating:

4.6/5

Commonly used by:

Small businesses

Pricing :

$20 per month, per location

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Employee scheduling in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/153076/Homebase/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Homebase</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/153076/Homebase/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>

Excerpts of the most positive reviews for the product:

“I am so grateful that I found Homebase. It is easy to learn and if there ever is a question I have about functionality I can easily find it in their help pages. Has simplified my scheduling and makes this part of my job so much easier.”

“Super customizable. User friendly interface on desktop, tablet, and mobile. Easy for administrators to work with on a daily basis. Nice excel spreadsheets for print. Makes my life significantly easier. Awesome way to schedule and track time for staff.”

“It is easy to use, dutifully logs hours and produces reports that are super comprehensive and easily simplified to submit to our payroll company. It’s been a huge help and streamlined everything for us. And even has many features hat we don’t have need for but are good to now they exist if we were to need them.”

Read all Homebase reviews here.

How to choose the right scheduling software for your retail business

Here are some considerations to keep in mind when looking for retail employee scheduling software:

  • Check whether the software offers self-scheduling. Retail store shifts are hectic to manage, and a solution that lets your staff self-schedule their shifts without being dependent on you can help save quite some time. Be sure to ask vendors about this feature when evaluating software options.
  • Assess whether the software has built-in time tracking. Built-in time tracking automatically records the total work hours logged by your staff and improves overall team accountability. It also helps prevent time theft.
  • Look for the overtime control feature. You should have a balanced work schedule for your retail workers and ensure they don’t overwork themselves. Check with vendors whether their software has an overtime control feature that sends you a notification whenever an employee exceeds the maximum allowed overtime hours.

Common questions to ask vendors when buying retail scheduling software

Does your employee scheduling software work for my industry?

Retail employees have tight shifts and require constant supervision. Buying a scheduling software tool that understands this aspect of the retail industry and caters specifically to the scheduling needs of your retail store would be an advantage.

Does your software provide training and support?

A scheduling solution that provides hands-on support and training for your retail store manager and staff will help them understand how the technology works and streamline the scheduling process for your store manager. Ask vendors what kind of support options they provide in case of glitches and software failures.

Does your software integrate with third-party applications?

Ask vendors if their retail employee scheduling software features integration support for your existing software stack to handle employee data migration and make scheduling shifts easier for your store employees.

How did we choose these products? We didn’t—you did

To find your ideal software match, you need information you can trust—so you can save time, stay on budget, and focus more energy on growing your business. It’s why we vet and verify all our user reviews and recommend only the tools endorsed by people like you.

In other words, our product recommendations are never bought or sold, or based on the opinion of a single individual—they’re chosen by your peers, reflecting the views and experiences of our independent base of software reviewers.

The retail scheduling tools featured in this article are the most recommended based on verified user reviews. However, if they don’t meet the scheduling requirements of your retail outlet, you can check out our scheduling software directory to find a best-fit solution.


To be considered for this list, products had to:

  1. Have at least 20 unique product reviews from users in the retail industry, published on Capterra between September 2020-22. We selected the three products with the highest ratings to feature in this article.
  2. Meet our scheduling software market definition by offering the following core features: availability management, calendar management

To determine which size businesses each product is “commonly used by,” we check if at least 20% of reviewers come from a particular business size, and only then classify the product as having customers from that business size.

Review excerpts are passages extracted from longer reviews written by verified reviewers. We obtain these excerpts by applying an algorithm that considers factors including, but not limited to, word count and topic coverage. Excerpts are evaluated for positive sentiment and receive a sentiment score.

Excerpts represent user opinion and do not represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by Capterra or its affiliates. Excerpts are not edited for clarity or grammar. New reviews may have been added since the publication of this article, so the reviews data in this piece may not reflect current conditions. Capterra makes no guarantee that the reviews will remain posted for the entire period this report is active.


Looking for Scheduling software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Scheduling software solutions.

About the Author

Ashish Upadhyay

Ashish Upadhyay

Ashish Upadhyay is a content writer at Capterra, helping small businesses identify the right software for their business needs by analyzing user reviews data for the highest rated products in relevant software categories. Prior to joining Gartner, he worked in insurtech, fintech, and real estate. Specializing in marketing, project, and IT management, Ashish’s works have been featured in MAST magazine and Medium. In his free time, he enjoys working out and playing video games.

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