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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.

 






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.

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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

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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

 

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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

 

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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.”

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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






3 Tips to Simplify Omnichannel

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More than ever before, today’s multi-channel retail environment is becoming increasingly faced with tougher competition and technology constraints. To add to the pile, the prevalence of online shopping means that growing retailers must also deal with changing buying behaviours and customer attitudes.
 
Customers expect to get product information, consider their options, and make their purchases with ease. They bounce between channels throughout their shopping journey, so they want an experience that is complete, seamless, convenient, engaging and consistent.
 
It’s a tall order, but one that needs to be filled. Otherwise, customers will find another retailer that will deliver exactly what they need. With all these challenges in play, how can you manage to concentrate on closing sales and driving profit for your business? The answer is, by creating and maintaining a consistent customer experience and across all sales channel.
 
Get the 3 Tips to Simplify Omnichannel whitepaper today to see three important questions to ask when you are evaluating and implementing an omnichannel strategy, and most importantly, how you can do it in a streamlined and efficient manner.
 

Get whitepaper

 






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.

 

 

 






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