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

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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.

 

 

 

Use Mobile In-Store To Combat Online Competition

 

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Do you have mobile technology that your associates can use to help find products in different store locations, or to order an out-of-stock selection? Great, but if that’s the only reason for the technology, you’re stuck in 2014.

To keep up with the times and the online competitors who give your shoppers ultimate control – and attract Millennial shoppers – share that technology to beef up their customer experience.

Here are 2 ways to do it.

 

1. Self-serve mobile

First off, it’s an ideal way for the shopper who’s a “loner” – the one who wants nothing to do with associates and shops online for a reason!

A retail touchscreen lets these clients self-serve entirely. Think of it as an update to kiosk technology. This is more user-friendly, mobile and definitely full featured: Customers can search for items and complete the buying process independently.

And, with permissions levels easily set by your retail IT group, you can rest secure knowing shoppers won’t accidentally wonder off into your confidential retail records.

 

2. Mobile clienteling & endless aisle

Second, mobile technology can not only be used to locate products by the salesperson, it can also be used by the customer and associate together, for some human suggestive selling.

The salesperson can use a touchscreen as a tool to share items that are in the “endless aisle,” – products available but not physically in the store. In addition, the touchscreen can be a useful aid in retail clienteling.

Although Millennials are known to be rather aloof with salespeople and prefer a do-it-yourself approach to shopping, they do share purchase decisions and seek input from friends and perceived experts when shopping.

So, an associate might find something within the “endless aisle” and share it with the customer by physically handing him or her the screen. Customers could then add the suggestion to a cart or wish list, or begin a consultative conversation with the salesperson if the product didn’t quite hit the mark. At best, it’s a sale; at worst, it’s a solid conversation starter.

 

Supporting in-house mobile technology allows retailers to adapt readily to shopping preferences of consumers accustomed to taking control over their experience with online shopping.

Many shoppers complain of overbearing associates – when those salespeople have actually been trained to do many of the behaviors the customer finds annoying. By providing a mobile option, retailers are offering an alternative that will facilitate customer engagement in-store,  yet has more of the independence many of today’s shoppers want.

 

Want to learn about mobile POS options from Retail Pro?

Learn more about Retail Pro Prism

 

 

 

Understanding Key Performance Indicators

As a retailer in a competitive marketplace, a major focus should be monitoring the health of your business. For most retailers this means getting a handle on your Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs.

Defining KPIs

A KPI is a metric that is designed to give you a quick snapshot of some aspect of your business. A KPI might be a measure of sales, customer activity, or financial strength.

More than simply a bottom line number, a KPI is usually expressed as a comparison with some other factor. For example, looking at the average sale per customer gives you an understanding of the potential value of each customer.

Which KPIs should I track?

There are hundreds of KPIs that a retail business owner could be using at any one time. If an activity can be tracked and measured in your store, a KPI can be developed to provide you with business intelligence. One of the challenges is to decide on a handful of KPIs that provide you with the most valuable information based on the goals and objectives of your operation.

Every retailer will have a different set of KPIs. For example, a business that uses commissioned sales associates to sell to customers may place a heavy emphasis on KPIs that track the effectiveness of an individual sales associate while these KPIs may be irrelevant for another retail business.

You may want to track KPIs related to your customers. Simply knowing the number of customers who enter the store each day may not be enough for you. You may want to gain a deeper understanding about your customer’s shopping patterns and what converts them from a casual shopper into a dedicated, returning customer. To do this, you need to carefully consider what data you should collect and analyze.

Choosing the right data

Data, by itself, is not a KPI until it’s arranged in a meaningful way. A list of sales transactions throughout the day is good data to have but it’s not the whole picture. The next step might be to calculate the total dollar amount of sales for the day. You can arrange the data in any number of ways:  sales by department, sales by item, or sales by cashier. At this point, you still only have data to analyze.

The strength of KPIs is knowing how to use data to gain a competitive advantage. It all comes down to the goals and objectives you set for your business.

For each goal you establish, you must also create the metric that will determine if you are successful in reaching that goal. Your KPIs become the method by which you track your progress.  If your key performance indicators do not reflect progress toward your goal, you must change the tactics you are using in your business.

Using raw data to optimize your retail operations

Retailers assess KPI performance indicators to determine how to optimize their business.

Let’s look at one simple example of how your goals and KPIs come together to give you a competitive advantage.

Marlene runs a small clothing store in a mid-size urban market. Lately things have been going good but the business has leveled off. She would like to increase her business over the next year.  She creates a goal to increase her sales by 10%.

Marlene realizes that an obvious KPI is her total sales. She can also break down her sales on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis to compare with the previous year. This gives her the maximum degree of flexibility especially since her sales tend to fluctuate according to well-defined fashion seasons.

Marlene decides that a good strategy would be to do more advertising on radio and television during the coming year. To find out if the advertising is bring customers into the store, she decides to track footfall, the number of people coming into the store. Fortunately, she tracked her traffic last year but if she didn’t, she could use the new data by correlating store traffic with the dates and times that advertising is running to see if the ads have an immediate effect.

If she notices that store traffic increases for a few days after a television ad appears, she may make more strategic choices about when to run television ads. Or she may be sure to have a special sale during the weekend following a big flood of advertising.

By tracking average customer spend, Marlene can determine how much the average customer spends during each purchase transaction. In order to increase sales, she decides to place some displays with accessories – scarves and jewelry – close to the cash registers. The strategy works and she notices that her average customer spend amount increases due to impulse purchases while customers are waiting in line.

Although her total sales KPI indicates some overall growth, Marlene is not satisfied with the progress she is making. She begins to track her conversion rate, the number of transactions throughout the day divided by the number of people who enter the store. This seems to indicate that a lot of people are coming into the store but not many are making purchases.

Retail conversion rate

To combat this, she could implement a number of new strategies. Perhaps she should take a look at rotating her inventory more frequently so the styles are kept fresh. She might decide that she needs to add new merchandise. Eventually, Marlene decides to hire additional staff to take more time with the customers and help them pick out merchandise.

To maximize the effectiveness of her new employees, she tracks shopper to staff ratio.  This KPI lets Marlene determine if she has the appropriate number of employees on the sales floor to handle the volume of shoppers. Monitoring her wage costs, which is wages paid divided by the total sales will also help her monitor her costs.

As her business grows, Marlene may decide to implement different strategies or develop completely new goals for her business. These goals and strategies may necessitate new KPIs to help her determine if they are effective. As her needs change, so will her data collection requirements and so will the way she analyses that data.

Tracking KPIs in Retail Pro

Retailers using Retail Pro have several built-in tools to help them track important KPIs easily and automatically including 160+ pre-designed reports that can be accessed using the Retail Report Viewer tool.

Filters allow you to easily report on different aspects of your operation and break down your data into different segments to allow you to take a bird’s-eye view or get down into the weeds.

Retail Pro reports can also be completely customized using an ODBC-compliant report writer like Crystal Reports. This allows you to save time and money by adapting an existing report to show exactly the information you need without a lot of work and effort.

From inside Retail Pro, you can use customer or inventory statistics to gain more perspective.

X-Out and graphical reports allows you to look at sales activity throughout the day and get instant analysis.

Happy tracking!

Want to learn more?

See how Retail Pro can help you improve visibility into your data using KPIs.

Contact us today

New year, new retail! 5 ways to use mobile in your stores

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Each new year comes with new excitement, new potential, new initiatives – like mobile in your stores!

Start 2017 off right – see how one fashion retailer uses mobile in their stores. Then, book your NRF meeting to talk with us in person about how Retail Pro can help you go mobile!

Book my NRF meeting now

 

How to Build Your Tech Strategy

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Technology empowers efficiency in your retail operations, so building a solid tech strategy is critical to effective execution.

See how Earthbound Trading Co is increasing operational efficiency by building their tech strategy with Retail Pro.

Then – book your NRF meeting to talk with us in person about how Retail Pro can help you optimize your retail tech strategy.

Book my NRF meeting now