Create schedules quicker, reduce labor costs, and enhance workforce management with one of the 8 best retail scheduling software tools.

Scheduling your retail store can be a hassle. Managing employee unavailability, vacation, sick days, and overtime limitations can turn employee scheduling into a major headache.

Retail scheduling software can make the process much easier. It’s the key to ensuring that every shift is covered while considering requested time off, employee availability, and overtime compliance.

In this article, I’m reviewing the 8 best retail scheduling software solutions on the market today so you can choose the best one for your business. 

If you don’t have the time to read through our research, jump down to our quick comparison table.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best all-in-one retail scheduling software solution

  2. Good for seasonal stores

  3. Good for minimizing labor costs

Why trust us?

Our team of unbiased software reviewers follows strict editorial guidelines, and our methodology is clear and open to everyone.
See our complete methodology

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Tools considered

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Tools reviewed

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chosen

How I Chose the Best Retail Scheduling Software

There are many retail scheduling software solutions on the market, so here are the key features I looked for while doing my research:

Important core features

  • Drag-and-drop employee scheduler: A drag-and-drop scheduler with the option of customizable or preexisting templates makes the scheduling process more efficient. Other important features include custom shifts to optimize shifts and reduce overtime costs, the ability for employees to accept, reject, or trade shifts, and time-off request features.
  • Auto-scheduling: This feature automatically generates schedules based on availability, preferences, and business needs to speed up the scheduling process and eliminate manual scheduling.
  • Integration with payroll: To streamline operations, retail scheduling software should automatically create employee timesheets that integrate with your payroll software.
  • Forms and checklists: The best retail scheduling software allows you to include shift-specific checklists, notes, and documents in the schedule to ensure employees have all of the information they need to do their jobs. 
  • Time tracking: An employee time clock accurately tracks retail employees’ hours and records them in digital timesheets. 
  • Geofencing: Tracking hours isn’t enough. I looked for a retail scheduling software that comes with GPS-technology to ensure employees are clocking in once they’ve actually arrived at work.  
  • Oversight on overtime: The software should provide clear oversight as to which employees are working approved overtime.
  • Communication features: Employees should easily be able to communicate with you and with each directly from the retail scheduling software. I looked for solutions with in-app chat and a people directory so your team can easily discuss shift-related matters and scheduling conflicts.

I also looked for usability features like:

  • Affordability: Find a retail scheduling software that most fits your needs but won’t break the bank.
  • Ease of use: The scheduling software should be intuitive for both management and employees to set up and use. 
  • Advanced notifications: Managers should be able to automatically notify users with all schedule-related matters, like shift requests, new open shifts, manager approvals, etc.

The 8 Best Retail Scheduling Software Solutions of 2024

  1. Connecteam — Best all-in-one retail scheduling software solution

    Connecteam is an all-in-one retail scheduling software designed for easy and efficient schedule creation and management. 

    Let’s take a closer look at how Connecteam can help your retail business simplify the scheduling process:

    Smart scheduling saves time and effort

    Connecteam’s employee scheduler allows you to create fully customizable schedules or take advantage of pre-existing templates. Then, you can duplicate schedules and set them to repeat for as long as you wish, saving you time and energy.

    Assign shifts based on your retail staff’s availability and qualifications, ensuring that the right employee is assigned to the right task. Employees can also drop shifts, pick up open ones with or without manager approval, and submit time off requests directly through the app. 

    Auto-scheduling to eliminate manual scheduling

    Connecteam’s auto-scheduling feature allows you to make employee schedules in seconds. You can predefine in the app how many staff you need per shift as well as which roles, and the auto-scheduler will create the schedule for you, taking into consideration employee availability, preferences, skillsets, and business need.

    You can also easily make any changes manually if you need, drastically speeding up the scheduling process.

    🧠 Did You Know?

    Connecteam integrates with Google Calendar so your employees can transfer their shifts right from the app into their personal calendars on their phones.

    Get alerted to scheduling conflicts

    As you’re creating your schedule, Connecteam alerts you immediately if there are conflicts and inconsistencies. For example, if you’re creating your weekly schedule and mistakenly schedule the same employee as cashier and to work the floor, the system flags it right away so you can correct the issue. 

    Include shift details to streamline processes

    Set your staff up for success and give them all the information they need to maximize their productivity by including shift-specific notes, tasks, or even digital forms and checklists directly in the schedule as shift attachments. 

    Simplified time-off management

    Say goodbye to manually tracking employee time off. Connecteam’s time off management features allow you to view all leave requests from a single dashboard, create clear time-off policies, track balances, and easily manage all things ‘time off.’ This is a particularly useful feature during the holiday season and the summertime when you have lots of employees requesting time off at different times. 

    Automatic notifications ensure your team knows what’s going on

    Automated notifications are a great way for retail managers to make sure employees are aware of company operations. With Connecteam, you can send notifications to employees when the schedule is published, to accept or reject shifts, complete shift tasks, or if they don’t punch in or out of their shifts on time. Employees are also alerted with scheduling updates, changes, open shifts, or requests.

    Eliminate time theft with a time clock with geofencing

    One of Connecteam’s greatest features is the employee employee time clock. It allows your staff to clock in and out of their shifts directly from their phones and keeps meticulous records of their hours down to the second.

    You can also set up a time clock kiosk app in your store so employees can clock in and out from the same device. 

    Connecteam’s geofence time clock lets you set a GPS perimeter around each store to ensure your employees can clock in and out only once they’ve arrived at work. This reduces inaccurate clock-in times and time theft. Then, working hours are automatically recorded onto digital timesheets for payroll, where they can be reviewed and integrated with payroll. 

    Streamline communication

    The online team chat is easy to use right from your phone and incredibly efficient. It’s accessible directly from employee schedules so your team can instantly connect from anywhere. Managers and employees can easily message each other privately, publicly, or in job-related groups to discuss scheduling changes or conflicts, simplifying work-related communication. 

    Simplified payroll with employee timesheets

    With scheduling and timesheets that are consistently kept up-to-date and to the second, you have the gift of worry-free payroll–especially with Connecteam’s integration to QuickBooks Online.

    And so much more…

    In addition, Connecteam offers a complete employee management app with excellent customer service, a user-friendly interface, robust workforce management tools, and complete customizability.

    🧠 Did You Know?

    Connecteam’s paid plan starts at just $29 per month for up to 30 users, and small businesses with fewer than 10 users can access the app completely free

    Connecteam also offers a free for life plan – Get Started Now!

    Key Features

    • Customized schedule for jobs, sub-jobs, clients, etc.

    • Chat built into scheduling feature

    • Add tasks directly into shifts

    • Attach notes, files and forms in shifts

    • Clock in directly from schedules

    • Recurring, ongoing and duplicate shifts

    Pros

    • Easily spot scheduling conflicts

    • Quickly plan and dispatch teams

    • Manage multiple locations/departments

    • Intuitive and user-friendly

    • 100% free plan for up to 10 users

    Cons

    • Needs internet or wifi access to work

    Pricing

    Free-for-life plan availablePremium plans start at $29/month for 30 users

    Join Connecteam's Scheduling App for Retail

    Start Scheduling Now
  2. ZoomShift — Good for seasonal stores

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Zoomshift webpage

    With ZoomShift, your retail team can access their schedules at any time, right from their phones.

    Why I chose ZoomShift: Employees can manage availability, time off requests, events, and even swap shifts. With its excellent scheduling features, ZoomShift ensures nothing slips through the cracks and employees are always aware of when they’re meant to work.

    ZoomShift allows you to:

    • Copy work schedules and set them to repeat
    • Share schedules via text and email
    • Easy find shift replacements when someone calls out
    • Manage overtime
    • Communicate with your team via group chats and direct messages
    • Customize supervisor and manager permissions 
    Learn more about ZoomShift

    Key Features

    • Duplicate schedules
    • Shift replacements
    • Team communication
    • Request management

    Pros

    • Seasonal shops can put their ZoomShift plan on hold
    • Shift requests and time off management

    Cons

    • Minimal live support
    • No third-party integrations available

    Pricing

    Starts at $2/active team member/month Trial: Yes — 14-day Free Plan: No

  3. Humanity by TCP Software — Good for minimizing labor costs

    Screenshot of the Humanity webpage

    Humanity offers data-driven forecasting so you can match your specific scheduling needs against the traffic demand of your store. That way, you know exactly how many staff to schedule for particular shifts based on how busy your store is predicted to be each day. 

    Why I chose Humanity: This retail scheduling app auto-fills open shifts by reviewing employee availability, skillset, overtime, and overlapping shifts, helping you create schedules quicker and maximizing your team’s potential. 

    Humanity also allows you to:

    • Communicate easily with staff about shift changes and scheduling updates
    • Approve or decline shift requests
    • Create schedules based on employee availability, skills, and sales trends
    • Sync employee data from your HCM platform for optimized monitoring, reporting, and transparency
    Learn more about Humanity by TCP Software

    Key Features

    • Shift trades
    • Shift notifications
    • Conflict warnings
    • Auto scheduling

    Pros

    • Compliance tools
    • 24/7 live chat support

    Cons

    • It’s pricey, with plans starting at $80/month
    • Limited integrations

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  4. Deputy — Good for ensuring legal compliance

    Screenshot of the Deputy webpage

    Deputy is a retail scheduling and time tracking software that helps automate the scheduling process.

    Why I chose Deputy: You can create error-free schedules, track wage costs, and manage last-minute changes. One of the best benefits of Deputy is that it integrates with a long list of other softwares, including Square, Shopify, Quickbooks, bambooHR, and more. 

    Deputy also offers the following features:

    • Sync sales and foot traffic data to better forecast demand over weeks, days, or hours
    • Send scheduler via the Deputy app
    • Easy shift swapping
    • Attendance details like who’s clocked in, running late, or on break
    • Schedule mealtimes and rest breaks to ensure legal compliance
    Learn more about Deputy

    Key Features

    • Duplicate shifts
    • Availability management
    • Shift replacements
    • Mobile app

    Pros

    • Auto-scheduling available
    • Good customer service

    Cons

    • Time tracking additional fee
    • Forecasting is only available on the enterprise plan

    Pricing

    Starts at $4.5/user/month, for Scheduling or Time & Attendance Trial: Yes — 31-day Free Plan: No

  5. ScheduleAnywhere — Good for filling open shifts

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the ScheduleAnywhere webpage

    ScheduleAnywhere is a great scheduling software for retail stores.

    Why I chose ScheduleAnywhere: It’s used by a variety of retailers including discount stores, convenience stores, variety stores, supermarkets, e-tailers, and more. This retail scheduling software allows you to create custom schedules, notify your staff immediately when there are open shifts to claim, and post schedules and make changes. 

    With ScheduleAnywhere, you can:

    • Manage time-off requests
    • View availability directly from the app
    • Communicate with your staff
    • Employees can submit time off requests from the app
    • View and print schedules
    Learn more about ScheduleAnywhere

    Key Features

    • Customizable schedules
    • Open shifts
    • Self-scheduling
    • Schedule rotation

    Pros

    • PC friendly user interface
    • Easy set-up

    Cons

    • Not so mobile friendly
    • Time-consuming log-in process over multiple pages

    Pricing

    Starts at $25/month Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  6. Sling — Good for reducing time theft

    Screenshot of the Sling webpage

    Sling allows you to optimize staff scheduling, time tracking, and communication in one single solution to help increase sales in your store.

    Why I chose Sling: The accurate time clock with geofencing makes it possible for employees to clock in and out from their phones only after they’ve arrived to work, helping to reduce time theft. 

    Here are some other benefits of using Sling:

    • Manage time off, availability and shift trade requests
    • Manage overtime, reduce absenteeism and late arrivals
    • Get notified of overlapping shifts 
    • Allow employees to pick the shifts on a first-come, first-served basis, or approve the applicants yourself
    • Create scheduling templates for future use
    Learn more about Sling

    Key Features

    • Time clock
    • Shift notifications
    • Time off requests
    • Internal communication

    Pros

    • Geo-fencing
    • Scheduling templates

    Cons

    • Free version doesn’t include time-clock or shift-swapping
    • Auto scheduling only available on business plan

    Pricing

    Starts at $1.70/user/month Trial: Yes Free Plan: Yes

  7. ShiftForce — Good for streamlining communication across your team

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the ShiftForce webpage

    ShiftForce is all about improving retail operations, streamlining team communication, and creating work schedules fast.

    Why I chose ShiftForce: The employee time is easy to use and workers can submit time-off requests with the click of a button. Another highlight of this retail scheduling software is its reporting and analytics tools. ShiftForce provides payroll reports, scheduling reports, and compliance reports for better data-driven decision making. 

    These are some of the other awesome benefits of ShiftForce:

    • View schedules from your mobile phone
    • Forecast sales and labor
    • Manage overtime and overstaffing
    • Send emails or texts about schedule changes
    • Employees can request shift changes 
    Learn more about ShiftForce

    Key Features

    • Drag and drop scheduling
    • Schedule templates
    • Employee notifications
    • Shift swapping

    Pros

    • Schedule templates
    • Auto scheduling

    Cons

    • Not so user friendly
    • Customers say it's a bit pricey, but must contact for pricing

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  8. Homebase — Good for managing HR and payroll

    Screenshot of the Homebase webpage

    Create employee schedules using sales forecasts and labor targets with Homebase.

    Why I chose Homebase: This retail scheduling app also lets you set rules for black out dates, manage all your time off requests in one single dashboard, and send automatic shift reminders to your team. Retail staff like Homebase because it’s incredibly easy to use and has an intuitive interface.

    Other benefits of Homebase include:

    • Efficient time clock that integrates with payroll
    • Create paid time off policies
    • Automatically add PTO to timesheets
    • Easy to trade shifts 
    • Built in messenger
    Learn more about Homebase

    Key Features

    • Drag and drop calendar
    • Time off requests
    • Shift swaps
    • Adding shift details

    Pros

    • Easy to use
    • Easy to track employee hours

    Cons

    • Less expensive plans lack important features
    • Setting availability is problematic

    Pricing

    Starts at $20/location/month Trial: Yes — 14-day Free Plan: Yes — For a single location & up to 20 employees

Compare the Best Retail Scheduling Software Solutions

Topic Start for free
Reviews
4.8
4.5
4.3
4.6
4.6
4.6
4.4
4.6
Pricing
Starts at just $29/month for the first 30 users
Starts at $2/active team member/month
Contact vendor for price
Starts at $4.5/user/month, for Scheduling or Time & Attendance
Starts at $25/month
Starts at $1.70/user/month
Contact vendor for price
Starts at $20/location/month
Free Trial
yes
14-day
yes
14-day
yes
yes
31-day
yes
yes
yes
yes
14-day
Free Plan
yes
Free Up to 10 users
no
no
no
no
yes
no
yes
For a single location & up to 20 employees
Use cases
Best all-in-one retail scheduling software solution
Good for seasonal stores
Good for minimizing labor costs
Good for ensuring legal compliance
Good for filling open shifts
Good for reducing time theft
Good for streamlining communication across your team
Good for managing HR and payroll
Available on
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android

What is Retail Scheduling Software?

One of the reasons managers prefer retail scheduling software over manual scheduling is that it streamlines the entire scheduling process. Software may include drag-and-drop schedulers, customizable shift templates, employee time clocks, time off request features, and automatic forecasting. 

How Does Retail Scheduling Software Work?

With retail scheduling software, managers can make schedules quickly from their phones or computers. It notifies managers of scheduling conflicts before they publish, reducing errors and inconsistencies. Once published, all employees are notified of the upcoming schedule and reminded of upcoming shifts.

Some retail scheduling apps come with a time clock with geofencing to ensure employees are clocking in and out from a specific store rather than on their way to or from work. As employees clock in and out, the data can be exported to payroll, eliminating human errors and significantly cutting down on wasted time and overpay.

Benefits of Retail Scheduling Software

There are numerous benefits that come with using retail scheduling software in your store. These include:

Staff are always in the know: Digital scheduling means retail workers have access to their schedules directly from their phones at any time. This way, they’re always aware of when they’re expected to work.

Efficient and faster scheduling: Retail scheduling software automates and optimizes the scheduling process. Managers can create schedules based on multiple factors like staff availability, skill sets, and preference in less time than it would take to do manually. This cuts down on administrative workload and ensures that the right number of retail workers are scheduled at all times.

Better team communication: Software with in-app chat and an employee directly improves team communication. Workers don’t need to worry about saving contact information and they can contact each other directly from the app instead of in their personal chat apps, leading to better collaboration and less confusion around who’s working when.

This is particularly useful for retail stores that have staff working at multiple locations. When team members feel more connected, they’re more likely to be engaged at work, resulting in better employee morale

Enhanced transparency: Managers have oversight over scheduling gaps, inconsistencies, and overload, promoting transparency and accountability.

Reduced labor costs: When you create schedules faster, labor costs go down. Some retail scheduling software also come with optimization features so you can schedule shifts based on forecasted foot traffic so you don’t overstaff your store.

How much does retail scheduling software cost?

Scheduling software for retail stores can vary in price depending on the number of employees in your business. Prices can range from $2/month per user to $15/month per user. These price structures can get very expensive very quickly when you have more than 50 employees.

Fortunately, more affordable options, like Connecteam, offer all the scheduling features you need to manage your store at a fraction of the cost. Connecteam’s premium plans start at just $29/month for up to 30 users, and there’s even a forever-free version.

>> Get started with Connecteam for free today! <<

FAQs

What are the best practices of retail scheduling?

  1. Create predictable schedules for your employees.
  2. Share schedules at least a week in advance.
  3. Give employees some autonomy by allowing them to swap shifts and submit time-off requests.
  4. Use digital solutions to schedule employees instead of pen and paper.
  5. Review staffing needs and employee preferences before creating the schedules.
  6. If an employee calls out last minute, make sure you can accommodate by having backup or on-call staff or cross-training employees.
  7. Maintain clear channels of communication with your staff so you can always reach each other.

Are there free retail scheduling software solutions?

Some retail scheduling software solutions, like Connecteam, offer free plans with certain limitations. If the app doesn’t provide a free plan, there’s a chance that users will be able to sign up for a free trial for a limited period of time.

Do I need retail scheduling software for my business?

Yes. This software helps retail businesses create schedules more efficiently and provides employees more autonomy over their schedules by allowing them to easily swap shifts and request time off. Retail scheduling software also reduces labor costs and creates a centralized solution for everything related to your businesses. 

The Bottom Line On Retail Scheduling Software

Retail scheduling software has revolutionized the way retail businesses manage their teams. With automated and flexible scheduling tools, employee time clocks, and integrations with payroll, retailers can achieve much smoother operations and enhance employee satisfaction, ultimately creating better customer experiences.