+1 916 605 7200         moreinfo@retailpro.com        
 
   +1 916 605 7200             moreinfo@retailpro.com            
REQUEST A DEMO

Dubai Hosts Retail Pro University’s SYSxpo Training

 

IMG_6098

Graduates of the 2017 SYSxpo event in Dubai. 

 

The third stop for this year’s SYSxpo global training tour was Dubai, UAE, where attendees from Retail Pro Business Partners in the Middle East region got an in-depth view of the latest version of Retail Pro Prism.

SYSxpo is a six-day, hands-on training providing technicians with practical knowledge for deploying, supporting, and servicing Retail Pro Prism. The course covers basic installation and troubleshooting as well as Retail Pro Prism’s core features and functionality. Also included are introductions to some of the newest features like the Promotions module, which continues to generate great interest at each of the locations visited so far.

The training was facilitated by Ket Venethongkham, Director of Retail Pro University. “The students attending SYSxpo in Dubai not only had the opportunity to get some very practical hands-on experience, but they also had the opportunity to see Retail Pro Prism working in a large retail environment,” said Venethongkham. “It really reinforces how flexible and robust Retail Pro Prism is when you see firsthand how effectively it is able to handle all aspects of retail store operations.”

 

file7

Students learning about Retail Pro Prism during the SYSxpo event in Dubai

 

Students were also given an inside look at more advanced topics like:

  • Deploying Retail Pro Prism under different configurations, including the cloud
  • Leveraging REST and communications API for Retail Pro Prism plug-in development
  • Customizing the client-side user interface
  • Setting up and using the new Promotions module

Attending the Dubai conference were representatives from almost every business partner in the region including Crystal Mind, Diamond Soft, Inditech Middle East, Insight Consultancy Services, PricePoint, Retail Technology SA, and System Plus. Also in attendance was a new partner from Ghana, Cortex Ghana. Qwikcilver, a development partner for Retail Pro, was also represented.

Al Futtaim, one of Retail Pro International’s largest customers in the region, was one of many customers who attended SYSxpo. Al Futtaim also arranged for a tour of Robinsons, a luxury department store located in Festival City, Dubai. Students had a chance to see Retail Pro Prism in action at this location, which was a recent Retail Pro Prism deployment.

IMG_6103

IMG_6114

IMG_6112

IMG_6101

IMG_6100

IMG_6115

IMG_6125

SYSxpo attendees had the opportunity to view Retail Pro Prism in action at Robinsons.

 

At the end of the six-day SYSxpo class, each participant received two Retail Pro certifications: Retail Pro Prism Systems Engineer (RPPSE) and Retail Pro Prism Applications Expert (RPPAE). Attending one of the five SYSxpo events in 2017 is the only way to obtain Retail Pro Prism certification at this time. The cost of certification is included in the session registration fees.

Additionally, technicians who need to renew their Retail Pro 9 certifications can do so at the event for no additional charge.

After the six-day training, some students stayed on for a 2-day workshop on Retail Pro Decisions, the new multi-source visual analytics module for Retail Pro. Retail Pro Decisions leverages Targit methodology, foundational analytics engine used by over 5,500 companies in 60 countries. This training was led by Danilo Rufino, Market Strategy Manager for Targit. The goal of this workshop was to introduce partners to Retail Pro Decisions and provide best practices for demonstrating and selling the solution.

 

IMG_6163

IMG_6167

Danilo Rufino (seated, right) demonstrates Retail Pro Decisions for students at the 2-day Retail Pro Decisions workshop following SYSxpo in Dubai.

 

The next stop on the global SYSxpo training tour is in sunny California from October 23rd to the 28th. The final session is scheduled for London from November 13th to November 18th.

Additionally, a five-day Retail Pro Decisions certification class will be held from October 17 to October 21 at Retail Pro headquarters in Folsom, California.

To get on the registration list, email training@retailpro.comwith your name, email address, and class location preference. Registration fees vary by class.

 

 






3 Key Trends Driving Retail Innovation

 

As we enter the final quarter of 2017, let’s look at three major factors that will continue to be hot topics for leading retailers in 2018. In a world with increasing retail competition, innovation will be the key to success.

1. Data analytics will be used better to improve customer experience

 
1

Sales information is a treasure trove of information. What’s hot, what’s not and what’s coming can all be derived from a deep dive into data. For example, Amazon will rely heavily on its expertise in data-driven customer service in its grocery business. The online powerhouse fundamentally manages operations differently from traditional retail supermarkets.

Namely, Amazon has always been customer-centric: It ranks products based on popularity, it encourages interactivity with reviews and is responsive to customer input. Most supermarkets focus on the products. Likewise, many retailers in a broad variety of specialties employ sophisticated category management practices but don’t have similar customer management programs.

2. Geolocation-based tools will make offers more relevant

 

2

When retailers know where customers go to most frequently, where they linger – and where they avoid, the shopping experience can be made more intuitive. When the shopping experience is stress-free, customers are more likely to return. For example, $155 billion pharmacy chain CVS uses geolocation tools to target in-store customers with the CVS app with medication reminders and health alerts. Patients are actively encourage to manage their health through the CVS app.

3. Omnichannel synergy will help shoppers get more comfortable with the process

 

3

Mobile sites reflect what is happening at the local brick and mortar location. Customers want a seamless experience. Many shoppers use multiple channels, sometimes starting online and picking up purchases in store, and other times starting in a brick and mortar store but finishing the transaction by paying via a mobile device. Whichever way they choose to shop, the process must be easy and familiar.

To this end, Best Buy has turned around impressively and is today considered a leader in connecting in-store and online experiences. It sees itself as a multichannel retailer, which offers its customers different opportunities to research, browse and buy products that best suit their lifestyles.

 

 

 






IoT Tech Helps Retail Make Customer Connections

The Internet of Things — the network of everyday devices that can be monitored and managed over the Internet – is steadily becoming a part of retail operations. Juniper Research forecasts that merchants will spend $2.5 billion on IoT technologies by 2020. The advantage?  Linking hardware such as RFID tags,beacons and connected consumer electronics — including wearables with software — analytics offers in-depth business insight and a more personalized customer experience.

Connecting with the IoT lets retailers analyze data that can help with inventory selection.

Connecting with the IoT lets retailers analyze data that can help with inventory selection.

IoT can help bring relevant technology directly to the customer. Wireless tablets let sales associates interact more closely with customers, checking inventory for the perfect color, correct size and brand, for instance. Increasingly, more stores are equipping sales staff with wireless tablets that can scan products and perform credit card transactions. More customers can be assisted on the sales floor without going to a front-line cash register. The IoT technology keeps track of pricing and inventory, applies discounts and sales, and items are logged immediately after the transaction is complete.

The IoT benefit doesn’t end after the sale is rung, either. The data gathered from a connected POS system to analyze customer buying trends can help retailers stock smart: According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. retailers lose $224 billion because of excess inventory and $45 billion from not having inventory in stock. A good point-of-sale system can set an alert that informs retailers when a certain item should be reordered. And top-performing systems can tell you the most recent price the retailer paid the supplier, as well as the average price paid previously. Off-hours, a retailer can run reports on inventory activity for the day, week or month. For a holistic view, some POS systems can track inventory from year to year, so comparisons are quick and easily extrapolated.

The various data generated by IoT/POS transactions can provide new, valuable insights about customers, pricing, product sales trends and more. Analyzing each piece and making correlations can prove invaluable to retailers aiming to create lasting relationships with their shoppers.

 






Retail Pro University Visits Bangkok for Global SYSxpo Training Tour

 

The 2017 SYSxpo Retail Pro Prism training tour continues in September with a week-long workshop at the InterContinental in Bangkok, Thailand. Open to all IT staff servicing Retail Pro Prism, the event was populated by technicians from Retail Pro Business Partner companies supporting Retail Pro users in the Asia Pacific regions.

Led by Retail Pro University Director, Ket Venethongkham, this hands-on training was the second of five events hosted in key metropolitan areas around the world. The third training event is happening this week in Dubai.

“It’s been wonderful getting to know our partner employees one-on-one,” Venethongkham said. “These are the people that work with Retail Pro Prism day-in and day-out and need to get deep into the technical details. I’m glad we can offer a class that caters specifically to them. We’ve had a lot of fun and many great discussions.”

20 technicians from Retail Pro partners throughout the Asia Pacific region attended the event, including RES Malaysia, Insight Consultancy, Adasoft, Genie Technologies, and Changyi Information Technologies, among others.

 

MRP
SYSxpo is designed to equip technicians to operate and support new features in recently released versions of the HTML-based Retail Pro Prism enterprise POS. Students are particularly interested in the live Skype Q & A session with senior Retail Pro Developers located at Retail Pro International headquarters in California.

The class equips technicians working directly with Retail Pro Prism to successfully install and troubleshoot the software. It also covers core features and functionality Retail Pro Prism, including new features like the powerful Promotions module, which continues to generate great interest. Technicians also gain deeper skill in more advanced topics like:

  • Configuration options for Retail Pro Prism deployment
  • How to host Retail Pro Prism in the cloud
  • Retail Pro Prism plug-in development
  • Leveraging the REST and communications API
  • Customizing the client-side user interface
  • How to build complex promotions

 

Prism Class Agenda

 

IMG_6087

 

“We’re seeing tremendous support for Retail Pro Prism in the field,” Venethongkham said. “The technicians are bringing in their biggest retail challenges and want to take full advantage of what’s possible with Retail Pro Prism. I think they’re very happy with what they’re seeing.”

 

20170916_201910

 

At the end of the six-day class, each participant received two Retail Pro certifications: Retail Pro Prism Systems Engineer (RPPSE) and Retail Pro Prism Applications Expert (RPPAE). Attending one of the five SYSxpo events in 2017 is the only way to obtain Retail Pro Prism certification at this time. The cost of certification is included in the session registration fees.

Additionally, technicians who need to renew their Retail Pro 9 certifications can do so at the event for no additional charge.

The next stop on the global SYSxpo training tour is in sunny California from October 23rd to the 28th. The final session is scheduled for London from November 13th to November 18th. Spots for this workshop are filling up fast. To get on the list, email training@retailpro.com with your name, email address, and class location preference. Registration fees vary by class.

 






Helping victims of Hurricane Harvey

 

Dear friends,

Last weekend Hurricane Harvey made landfall impacting the Texas coast, devastating families and businesses. To date, the cyclone has displaced more than 30,000 people, and inundated hundreds of thousands of homes in the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the US with nearly 6.7 million residents.

Unfortunately, the storm is not over yet. Our hearts go out to the victims, including our valued customers and business partners who have been affected by the storm.

19-hurricane-harvey

 

Flooded downtown is seen from a high rise along Buffalo Bayou after Hurricane Harvey inundated the Texas Gulf coast with rain causing widespread flooding, in Houston

170828100932-62c-hurricane-harvey-0827-super-169 (1)

We are working hard to stay in touch with our impacted friends, and support them as we can. If your retail stores or part of your retail infrastructure are located in the areas hit by the storm, we want to help get you up and running again faster by waiving all license reset service fees. Please continue working with your authorized Retail Pro Business Partner on data backup and recovery as our entire tech community is committed to helping your business get back to retailing.

In this time of need, there are other ways we are helping, and you can make a difference in helping those impacted by Harvey. One of the most valuable – join ranks with generous blood donors. Retail Pro International offices will host a #RetailBloodDrive at our headquarters but all of you in faraway places can help too. Those interested in donating blood for the #RetailBloodDrive may contact the following organizations to find a local blood drive and to schedule an appointment. 30 Minutes of your time will quite literally save lives.

Find a local center and schedule an appointment now:

If you cannot donate because of health concerns or strong preferences, you can still support the communities hit by Hurricane Harvey.

Here are some organizations to keep in mind:

We are keeping all affected by the disaster in our thoughts and hope that more people from the retail community will join the ranks of supporters of Harvey victims.
 

Our help is needed now.

Kerry Lemos, CEO

 

 






All Things Retail Webcast: Promotions

 

When competing for a share of shoppers’ hearts and wallets, promotions are a good way to increase traffic and sales, which in turn can help you become more profitable. Promotions draw in new customers and infrequent shoppers, and all those socially-oblivious laggards who just don’t see the need to shop with you (until now ???? ).

To help make your customer hunt a little easier, this month’s All Things Retail webcast talks about the kinds of promotions you can create with Retail Pro enterprise retail software. Retail Pro is designed to for ultimate flexibility so you can tailor your retail management software to your business operations, and the promotions capabilities in Retail Pro are no exception.

Retail Pro promotions come with 8 types of promotions out of the box:

  1. BOGO
  2. Coupon
  3. Item
  4. Pack
  5. Quantity
  6. Rolling
  7. Tiered
  8. Transaction

These promotions can be used on their own or in any combination of promotions, which means you have total control over creating and testing as many diverse and complex promotions as your marketing team can throw at you.

When you choose the type of promotion you will run, you get to set the activation rules that will trigger your promotion to be automatically applied to a customer’s transaction. You can set the start and end date and determine to which products the promotion will apply. You can also choose to activate the promotion for all or distinct subsidiaries, brands, countries, or business entities within your enterprise.

Next, you set the validation rules. These rules validate whether the customer’s purchases qualify for the promotion. The promotion can be activated by your choice of any of the following criteria:

  • At the sale of a particular item or combination of items
  • When a set threshold amount is met at the sale subtotal
  • If the customer uses a coupon
  • If the customer meets a particular qualification, i.e. if the customer is part of your loyalty program, etc.

These validation rules allow you to cast the promotion for as broad or as targeted a group as you determine is profitable for your business.

Once validation rules are set, you can then set the reward rules, which determine what reward and how much of it the customer would get for meeting the reward rules.

Retail Pro POS tracks the redemption of the reward, helping you get a better report on the promotion’s performance.

Careful planning and solid promotions tactics can play a significant part in converting a shopper from someone who’s only ever walked past your store to a repeat customer who loves the way your products fit their life and will buy from you even when you’re not having a sale.

So how do you create the kind of promotions that encourage good shopping habits?

That may be a question for business psychologists and your marketing team, and definitely will depend on your business’ unique circumstances and brand value in consumers’ eyes – but it’s evident that promotions impact retail operations in critical ways.

Historical data sets tracking sales during and after promotions show that customers resume normal purchase habits once a promotion is complete. Whatever your promotions strategy, it’s best to think long term – creating customer purchase habits rather than simply meeting this quarter’s sales goals.

1. Promotions create buzz; buzz creates customers.

JC Penney abandoned their long-lived coupon strategy in favor of everyday low prices and experienced disheartening sales and earnings. At a time when everything is accessible for less on Amazon, JC Penney’s coupons played a critical role in generating the buzz that would bring shoppers to their stores.

Once that buzz fizzled away, so did discount-trained shoppers, and everyday low prices became everyday low sales.

2. Supply chain and replenishment blunders can cripple promotion performance.

Promotions put pressure on your supply chain operations and retailers are often left with an unprofitable inventory glut or lack in the post-promotion period. Sales exceeding your forecast sounds like a positive problem to face, but stock outs leave mean lost sales both during and after the promotion. Retailers must be responsive and on top of their replenishment game.

Of course, for some retailers, stock outs are part of the strategy to create buzz. Ty in the 1990s stringently controlled the supply of Beanie Babies available to the public, even discontinuing toys rising in popularity to spur frenzied sales over scarce supply.

3. Promotions affect sales for other products, and creative inventory management

Promotions influence sales for other products, and smart inventory management can help you maximize its positive effects. When preparing for the promotions period, order more complementary, non-competing products, since basket analysis often shows a lift in sales of these items due to the halo effect. For example, a promotion on jackets can cause an increase in scarf sales in cooler months.

The same promotion can cause cannibalization of sales for items in the same category, so order less of the competing item for the period of the promotion. The pull-forward effect can also impact post-promotion sales, especially for commodities like laundry detergent, which has a long shelf life. This occurs when shoppers stock up on the sale item, causing a hiccup in their regular purchase frequency and therefore lower sales in the months following the promotion.

Promotions are important elements in the retailer-customer relationship, and how you set expectations today can impact how your business performs for decades to come. In any case, you can count on Retail Pro to give you the flexibility you need to create the promotions strategy that makes most sense for your business.

 

Want to see it in action?

 

Request a consultation

 






3 Variables to Measure When Optimizing Customer Experience

A photo by Lechon Kirb. unsplash.com/photos/yvx7LSZSzeo

 

The number one area every company needs to improve is customer experience. Customer experience can make or break any retailer, but it is especially true with brick and mortar establishments.

Most retailers think they are doing an awesome job with their shoppers — but research shows just the opposite, and in a resounding way. One study said that more than 80% of retailers thought customer satisfaction was high, but only eight percent of customers surveyed agreed. Eight percent is very dismal.

Think online competition will lessen the importance of knowing your customers? Think again: As according to a Walker study, by the year 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

But, you say, your customers are the eight percent! Let’s see:

• Are they loyal? What is your customer retention rate?
• What are customers saying on social media and what is your strategy for replying?
• How are sales?

It’s likely that the answers to those questions indicate your customers are outside the could use improvement.

If customer experience (CX) is in a few short years going to be so important, it’s crucial to start preparing now. There is plenty of time if you start crafting a plan immediately. Here are areas to consider studying.

1. Measure loyalty

How many customers are repeat shoppers from a year ago? How many times have they shopped in the past year? If you go back two years, can you find a pattern? Good results and bad ones are both insightful. If you don’t have a loyalty rewards program, now might be the time to implement one. Make the sign-up process simple, and keep reward offerings fresh to keep customers interested. Loyalty programs should never lose money — so be careful about what is offered to customers.

2. Research the customer & competition

Look at sales details. What is selling and what is languishing? Good point of sale software can make running that type of report easy, and the payback is immense. Then, look at the competition and discover what it is offering, and at what price. What is the customer experience like at your competitor? Your customer has many choices; figure out why he or she would want to buy from you and then offer those products and services.

3. Monitor Social Media

See what is said about your company by employees and customers. Act on it. Also learn what brands are popular. Can you offer them — or a smart alternative? Respond quickly to any posts directly to your company, even if it is just to let the customer know you are acknowledging the problem and will have an answer shortly. And, be sure to answer promptly — within an hour. In November 2015, Mediapost.com reported that 83% of those reaching out to retail brands on social media don’t receive a prompt response. A slow response makes new or existing customers hesitant in contacting your brand again.

In The Loyalty Effect, author Fred Reichheld said that just a five percent increase in customer retention can lead to a huge 25% to 100% increase in profit. Even if your customers are part of the happy eight percent of satisfied customers, it’s certainly worth the effort to put the effort in to keep them happy and loyal. And if they are in the remaining 93%, it’s a no brainer.






All Things Retail Webcast: Multiple Languages and Currencies at the POS

Let’s face it – the world is still far from having a single world language.

Until then, retailers like you will likely use multiple languages and currencies in your stores across borders.

When investing in POS and retail management software, it’s important to consider whether your tech tools can support your company’s language and currency needs today and as you keep expanding globally.

In this episode of the All Things Retail webcast, you’ll hear how Retail Pro POS software’s language and currency capabilities provide greater flexibility and financial reporting ease for multi-geography implementations.

 

 

 






360° Customer View: Why Knowing Your Customer is Mission-Critical

 

img_SM_360-degree-customer-view

Retailers today need to know just about everything to stay ahead. Not only do they need to know who their customers are, but they need to know when they shop, how they shop, and what exactly they are shopping for. Understanding their customers and providing them with tailored experiences allows them to strengthen customer loyalty – a hallmark of greater revenue.
Historically, retailers based decisions on intuition, often planning campaigns around what they thought the customer wanted. Today, data and analytics has taken the place of these gut instincts, and retailers now have factual data observing patterns of behavior. Using in-store data such as past buying behavior can help retailers create targeted campaigns, and accurately cross sell and upsell.

Customer satisfaction is critical to business success. With so many options out there for customers, having accurate data about how to make customers happy is becoming increasingly important. Developing relationships with customers, and providing them with relevant promotions and discounts can help boost loyalty. Having the right tools in place to mine through data allows retailers to better understand where customers are in the purchase funnel and develop programs and offers to meet their needs.

Retail Pro International has written 360° Customer View- Why Knowing Your Customer is Mission Critical. This whitepaper provides insight into how data and analytics can help retailers create meaningful relationships with their customers. It outlines the importance of using data to drive sales by growing relationships, boosting retention and improving customer satisfaction.

Get the 360 Degree Customer View whitepaper today to discover how a 360° customer view can help you:

  • Improve campaign effectiveness with an omnichannel view
  • Create more up-sell and cross-sell opportunities with purchase history
  • Boost retention with relevant offers and special deals
  • Increase customer satisfaction — give shoppers what matters most

 

Get whitepaper

 

 






Effects of Omnichannel Promotions on Retail Profitability

 

shutterstock_100429339_640

 

Amazon is saturating the market with new ways to keep customers shopping with them. The recently passed shopping holiday, Amazon Prime Day, garnered record sales numbers, surpassing Amazon’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Results like these are causing brick and mortar retailers to think more strategically on how they compete against Amazon and other online-only sellers.

Many retailers are looking to omnichannel selling as the next differentiator. Retailers like Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Home Depot regularly leverage promotions and coupons to encourage in-store-only customers to shop their website and vice versa.

Harvard Business Review, in an article on making the most of omnichannel retailing, discussed research from a Temple University team to gauge profitability of omnichannel promotions, with special emphasis on one particular variable influencing customers’ decision to shop in-store or online: proximity to the nearest store.

The researchers randomly selected 56,000 members of a Chinese department store’s loyalty program and sent targeted coupons based on their shopping history:

  • Coupons redeemable in-store only
  • Coupons redeemable online only
  • Coupons redeemable in either channel

The control group was sent no coupons.

For a week, the researchers monitored the targeted group’s purchases and their effects on the retail chain’s profits, net of coupon costs, etc., segmenting customers based on their distance from a physical store location.

Shoppers who live within 5km of a store were found to be insignificantly impacted in their shopping behavior by coupons.

For shoppers who live further from stores and who had previously only shopped online, profits doubled with the in-store-only coupon, and increased 800% with the omnichannel coupon.
Profits fell by 51% from commuting shoppers who previously purchased only in-store but were given coupons redeemable online only.

The study concluded that omnichannel promotions are more profitable when drawing online-only shoppers to stores, where environmental influences like impulse buys and the ability to try on and experience goods like apparel, makeup, and shoes increase purchase likelihood. Comparing prices, too, is more tedious in stores than online, so shoppers are more likely to purchase what’s in front of them in the aisle.

Another effective strategy for using coupons to bring shoppers in-store, as seen at Walmart and other retailers, is offering free shipping for in-store pickup options rather than home delivery.

“If customers come to your [physical] stores regularly, you should not encourage them to shop online,” said Xueming Luo, marketing professor at Temple University who led the research team.
In light of retail commentators recommending store closures to deal with lost profitability against ecommerce, this research brings surprising good news to retailers looking for ways to optimize their omnichannel retail strategy. Retailers recognize a key factor that observers overlook: it assumes sales from a closed store will become online sales – but those sales are in fact extremely difficult to win back.

Luo point out marketplace evidence reinforcing advantages of physical retail for an omnichannel strategy: formerly online-only retailers (Amazon included) are investing in brick and mortar locations. “Online shopping is very goal-oriented and transactional,” Luo says. “Traditional retailers’ strength is the in-store shopping experience, and they need to play that up.”

###

Going omnichannel?

See how you can unify your data and retail technologies with Retail Pro to get a 360 degree view of your business and build your omnichannel tech strategy today.

Learn More






128

Countries

9000

Customers

54000

Stores

159000

Points of Sale

128

Countries

9000

Customers

54000

Stores

159000

Points of Sale

128

Countries

9000

Customers

54000

Stores

159000

Points of Sale