How Touch Menus Can Help Enhance Your In-Store Customer Experience

 

Welcome to another All Things Retail webcast with Retail Pro!

With each webcast we focus on a specific topic all of us in retail need to address in our day-to-day business operations.

Together, we will look at how we can accomplish these things in Retail Pro.

You can watch our previous episodes on the Retail Pro International YouTube channel.

In this episode of the All Things Retail webcast, we will look at touch menus, another capability in Retail Pro.

Touch menus are programmable menu buttons which provide fast, one-touch item selection at the point of sale.

Many retailers can benefit from one-touch menu buttons.

Top retailers today are focusing heavily on creating a customer experience.

Touch menus could also be used for customer-facing initiatives like endless aisle and clienteling.

In the example in this episode of our webcast, the retailer added a café to his apparel shop.

This helped enhance his store concept and keep customers more meaningfully engaged.

Touch menus are especially effective for shop-in-shop concepts with limited inventory items, as in this coffee shop example.

They can help increase your transaction speed with easily navigable menus and lead to more efficient POS operations.

In addition, the point of sale using touch menus is the same software as is running in the rest of your store – Retail Pro.

That means the coffee shop barista can easily scan in any other item from your store inventory, giving customers a better experience at checkout.

Watch this episode of the All Things Retail webcast and email in to share how you use touch menus in your stores! newsletter@retailpro.com

 

Retailers at NRF agree: tech needs to solve real business challenges and improve the experience

 

At NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show, retail IT leaders shared how they pushed past pitfalls in choosing or creating technologies for the business in a panel on digital transformation.

Scott Emmons of Neiman Marcus testified to greater progress once the Business Ops and IT teams became more intentional about collaboration in the ideation and planning phases.

“We had to break out of that [approach of] sitting around waiting for business to come up with lots of ideas that we couldn’t execute on,” Emmons said.

Cross-departmental communication between the business and IT teams opens the path to creating more efficient and effective solutions to bottlenecks and challenges faced on the sales floor.

Armed with a better internal understanding of needs, retailers can evaluate software solutions to find the best fit, whether an all-in-one solution or best of breed.

Some retailers are looking for a turnkey solution that will enable them to get the job done without much thought and customization.

Others are executing a more complex strategy or have unique business challenges and want best of breed solutions that will enable them to build out their exact strategy.

The ultimate consensus: tech needs to solve real business challenges, and the retail team needs to be clear on the challenges they’re trying to solve.

The more specific your challenge, the more tailored your software must be to meet that need – and the more you need to work closely with your technology partners. Retailers are making technology choices for the long term, choosing technology partners with expertise and flexibility to help them scale.

The Hershey Company’s Brian Kavanagh, senior director of insights driven performance and retail evolution, commented in an NRF session on the importance of tech companies understanding what is unique about each retailer’s brand proposition and how they approach the market.

This conversation made its way back onto the Expo floor, where technology providers, including yours truly, showcased their solutions and met with retailers to hear their needs.

 

 

The Retail Pro executive team

 

 

Retail Pro Prism has a customizable UI to help you show your brand.

 

 

From left: Kevin Connor, Mike Bishop, Ket Venethongkham, Rick Fuentes, Kerry Lemos.

 

Kavanagh reminded audiences of the bottom line for retail technology choices: sales.

“Enhancing the customer experience is important to physical retailers, but more important is converting foot traffic into sales,” he said.

One retail expert pointed out, “Of the 174 million shoppers over the five-day holiday period post-Thanksgiving, the omnichannel shopper spent, on average, $82 more than an online-only shopper and $49 more than an in-store only shopper.”

Findings from NRF’s Consumer View report, discussed in a panel featuring IBM, showed most shoppers (73% for stores, 54% for online) come with purchase intent toward a particular item, rather than just browsing. 58% ranked ease in getting what they need as their top factor for determining where to shop.

 

Source: NRF

 

Levi’s President James ‘JC’ Curleigh spoke to this culmination of technology, experience, and sales in his session at NRF:

Let’s be simple. In a world of difficult decisions picking out your favorite pair of jeans should not be one of them. We need to put you on a simplified course to either keep you in Levi’s or introduce you to Levi’s in a simple way. To deliver that simplicity, we have to take a level of sophistication – in our supply chain, in how we show up in retail, and in productivity solutions so we can continue create that simple frontside of your favorite pair of jeans but delivered in a more sophisticated way than ever before. Simple in the front, sophisticated in the back.

Retailers optimizing their technology to increase shopping convenience across channels are making progress in both customer experience and sales.

 

Experiential retail drives revenue & growth.
Build it with Retail Pro POS.

Learn more >

 

Outgrowing your POS? Go enterprise.

 

 

Jan 14 – 16 | NRF Booth #3375

Don’t limit your options for growth with a POS that’s designed to handle just a handful of SKUs and stores.

Add webstores, brick and mortar stores, kiosks, pop-ups, shop-in-shops, and franchises domestically or abroad – all with Retail Pro POS.

On January 14 – 16, visit the Retail Pro executive team at NRF booth #3375 to see the POS and retail management software that gives you the flexibility you want and the robust capabilities you need to manage your stores more effectively and keep growing.

 

Book Now

 
 


 

Take Control of Inventory

 

For growing retailers, inventory management can be a labor-intensive bottleneck.

Streamline your pricing, promotions, margins, transfers, and operations with deep visibility and control over inventory.

 
Learn more >

 
 

Empower your IT team to optimize

 

 

Test your next strategy with a Retail Pro lab environment so you can launch with zero downtime, and empower your team with detailed training resources on the My Retail Pro portal – both included in your Retail Pro Software Assurance plan.
 

Learn more >

 

Don’t settle for one-size-fits-most

 

 

Tailor your Retail Pro user interface to create the exact workflow that makes sense for your business to increase efficiency and speed.

Infuse every screen, receipt, and product label with your branding.

 
Learn more >

 
 

Whatever your plans for change in 2018, we can help.
 

Talk to us at NRF to see how Retail Pro can help you keep improving your operations to drive revenue and growth.

 

Book Now

 
 

Mobile Wallets Drive Customer Loyalty

Mobile wallets are a great way to offer customers discounts and promotions as well as to make it easier for them to pay for purchases. Discounts, promotions and efficiency are all factors that drive loyalty. Mobile wallets offer advantages that encourage shoppers to visit often, and retailers that provide their own apps with built-in wallets find that loyalty increases.

Loyalty programs play a large role in mobile wallet adoption for retailers. For years, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have had successful loyalty programs that have helped them to acquire mobile wallet users. Such programs offer drink and food specials, which leave customers feeling valued and appreciated. That, in turn, has helped stores to grow traffic and conversion rates.

Ironically, while mobile wallets are growing in popularity with consumers, some merchants have been slow to adopt near-field communication (NFC) technology, and are underwhelmed by universal mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Still, in the United States alone, there are currently 2.5 million NFC payment terminals, and that number is poised to grow significantly.

Customers are letting their preferences for mobile wallets be known at the register. A 2016 Urban Airship study reported that 67 percent of consumers want loyalty functionality in mobile wallets. By leveraging loyalty programs with mobile payment options, company sales are expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 68 percent, according to a report from BI Intelligence.

Universal wallet choices are plentiful, with digital wallet choices including Masterpass, Android Pay, Apple Passbook and Venmo. A new study from MasterCard found that social media users often mentioned that they’d like to store loyalty cards on their wallet and use their phone to pay for transit system fares. Customers want mobile wallets to be multi-functional and flexible. Apple Pay has integrated its solution into a few transit authorities in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Singapore, but availability is still minimal.

Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay support loyalty card integration in their mobile wallets, which could encourage habit formation, but many major retailers, such as Walmart and CVS, are waiting on loyalty or payments integration, hoping instead to boost adoption of their own wallets.

Regardless of whether the mobile wallet is universal or part of a store’s own app, integrated loyalty programs are a critical feature in consumers’ minds. The number of customers using smartphones to pay has steadily risen from six percent in 2014 to 17% in 2017. Furthermore, 44 percent of millennials responded to an AdWeek survey that they prefer using their mobile phones to cash when paying for small items.

Efficiency, coupled with special promos for mobile wallet users will certainly have a positive impact on boosting repeat business. Smart retailers will take seriously the need to implement and promote mobile payment options in order to satisfy customer desires.

 

Dubai Hosts Retail Pro University’s SYSxpo Training

 

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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.”

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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.

 

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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

 

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“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.”

 

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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.

 

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.

 

 

 

What Mobile 2.0 Means for the Omnichannel Retailer

Mobile 2 whitepaper

Shopper expectations impact retailer tech choices

For progressive retailers in 2017, it’s clear that the brick and mortar and traditional POS aren’t going anywhere. Nonetheless, advances in mobile technology have created an expectation from today’s savvier smart phone shopper for an omnichannel experience.

Everything from local store inventory visibility, in store pickup, loyalty programs, and social media demonstrate how the instore retail experience is being redefined.

Mobile 2.0 then marks the evolution of mobile technology from an accessory to traditional sales channel to now the driving principle within retail sector.

Redefining the retail experience

Mobile 2.0 technology is redefining POS and the brick and mortar experience for the shopper.

To be competitive today requires retailers to meet customer expectation for how, when, and where they will transact with their business.

In the whitepaper Retailers: Welcome To The Mobile 2.0 Platform, we outline expectations of the modern shopper and how retailers are leveraging mobile 2.0 to provide them with an even greater omnichannel experience.

Learn more about the mobile 2.0 technology that is redefining the customer experience so your business can achieve a successful omnichannel retail strategy.

 

Get Whitepaper

 

 

Introducing the new Retail Pro Webcast: All Things Retail

Have you wondered what will you gain by switching to the latest Retail Pro software?

Regardless if you have been a Retail Pro user for years or are a retailer looking to retire your other tools in favor of this world-class software to improve your operations – either way – our new webcast series was made just for you.

Every other week we will get together for a quick 5 minute chat on how your team can accomplish their daily retail operations more efficiently with powerful functionalities in the latest Retail Pro software.

  • Replenishment
  • Promotions
  • Orders
  • Disbursements
  • Customer management
  • Send Sale & Fulfillment
  • Open & Close Day Procedures
  • And many others….

Tune in to our Retail Pro YouTube channel, subscribe so you never miss a webcast, or just watch Episode 1 here today! First webcast is on Open Day procedure.