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3 CX improvements that drive revenue growth

 

 

For retailers looking to compete with the fast pace and convenience of online businesses, the in-store experience is an increasingly important battleground.

While historically success for retailers may have been measured by metrics such as comparable growth by store, sales per square foot, and gross margin return on investment, these no longer tell the full story.

Modern retailers need to know more than just what your customers are buying.

To succeed today, you need to understand how each of your touch points impacts the totality of your customer experience.

And the trend is one that’s catching – a recent study by the Forrester Group reports, “72% businesses now say improving the customer experience is their No.1 priority.”

 

CX improvements drive increased loyalty & revenue

For today’s retailers, the availability of point-of-sale data provides a huge range of options when it comes to building true and lasting engagement.

Creating customer experiences that are truly memorable can help drive loyalty and advocacy for your business, so it’s important to make every single moment count.

Here are 3 quick examples of how to deliver a ‘customer-centric’ approach that will spur revenue growth.

 

1: Make each experience count

In an increasingly competitive landscape, you need to focus on creating memorable experiences.

This doesn’t need to involve a radical overhaul of everything you do. As we found with one of our retail partners, the little things can add up.

The Retail Prodigy Group (master franchisee holders for Nike) is committed to providing the ‘ultimate customer experience’ with every visit.

In practice, this manifests itself in a series of relatively cost efficient, but rigorously maintained, service measures, especially at the point of sale.

Staff at RPG are trained to ask for each customer’s name and always offer multiple product selections at the checkout.

Customers are made to feel welcome with small personal touches, creating an authentic and warm experience.

This not only creates happy customers but can lead to financial gain too – we measured a 30% increase in average transaction as a result of these measures and a 5% increase in total revenue

 

 

2: Taking a ‘benefits-led’ approach to the sales process

Today’s customers expect high service standards as the norm: in order to drive return visits, you need to be able to certainly meet and ideally exceed these expectations regularly.

While many sales associates are trained to ensure that they know the features of each of their products, it can be even more powerful if your staff is able to speak to the benefits that a product will offer to each of your customers.

A benefits-led sales approach not only demonstrates expertise but also the capacity to listen well.

One retailer found that a sales associate’s ability to convey three or more product benefits led to a 20% increase in average transaction value. 

Treat your customers well, and they’ll reward you in return.

 

 

3: Make sure that you are staffed appropriately

From an operational perspective, it can be a challenge to monitor for consistency of staffing distribution and the timing of staff breaks across a day so that each customer gets what they need every time.

While breakdowns in your scheduling patterns are not always easy to spot, the negative impacts are.

If your customers aren’t getting the help they need, they’ll quickly take their business elsewhere.

By utilizing technology that enables you to track performance standards across the day, you can reduce mangers’ need to be on the floor at all times.

One specialty foods retailer using the TruRating customer feedback solution noticed their product and service scores were dipping in the evenings.

After an inspection of the floor, it became clear that there were issues in stock and staffing.

Through a scheduling reshuffle and an increased focus on product availability in the evening, the store was able to drive a 22% increase in customer satisfaction and a 12% associated increase in spend.

A low-cost fix was suddenly transformed into a revenue opportunity.

 

Point-of-Sale Insights from TruRating and Retail Pro

With simple changes like these, you can optimize toward a more ‘customer-centric’ approach in your business – and tools like Retail Pro POS and customer insights specialist TruRating can help.

Through a simple integration with Retail Pro POS, TruRating enables you to ask customer feedback questions via your payment devices, gathering insights from up to 88% of customers daily, neatly packaged in an intuitive and easy-to-read dashboard.

To learn more or to find out how you can set up your account today, reach out to your Retail Pro Business Partner or contact TruRating directly at 1(855) 285-1685 or Hello@trurating.com.

 

 

Guest post from our friends at:

 






Attract, Explore, Inspire: United Colors of Benetton

 

United Colors of Benetton's London flagship on Oxford Street marks a significant change of pace for the Italian fashion brand.

 

 

The retailer has incorporated informal, hi-tech spaces into the three-storey space, as well as a knitwear theatre which it claims will offer 'an ultimate brand experience that goes beyond the traditional idea of a shop'.

The 1,500 sq m store is located on the east side of Oxford Street, close to the new Tottenham Court Road station on the Elizabeth Line, and part of a rapidly developing area. It will be an outpost for Benetton in the UK, a market where the brand is present with 55 points of sale and where it plans to expand its activity further.

 

 

“As the world of retail is rapidly changing, the design brief specifically tackles how consumer habits are adjusting, while digital shopping is increasing exponentially, and at the same time physical experience is proving a key factor to a successful retail format, that cannot be left out,” says Michele Trevisan, global head of retail design at Benetton. “When we started the project, the brief was not just to do another flagship store; the idea was to create a brand amplifier, a place where the customers can become users of the brand’s philosophy, not just simple consumers. Therefore, we decided to use three drivers for the project: attract, explore and inspire.”

 

 

On the exterior, an arched counter-facade invites passersby to enter and dream. While the 12m-high arches recall classical architecture, the LED screen cladding will showcase interactive content curated by Fabrica, playing with colour textures, images and illustrations.

“The store façade is the main attracting element, not just a simple facade but a strong and impactful communication tool. The façade philosophy is in fact a combination of the classical architectural elements of the arcade together with a digital LED skin in which the content displayed allows interaction with the public,” explains Trevisan.

 

 

Once inside, shoppers are encouraged to explore the space around them. The store has been designed entirely by Benetton's retail design department and furnished with natural materials such as wood, iron and stone.

“The store layout and the product displays have been designed to simplify the circulation and the product exploration, while the interaction between sales associates and customer is facilitated thanks to a new mobile payment system and the presence of innovative express check out desks which allow a more friendly and queue-free service,” says Trevisan.

 

 

United Colors of Benetton is an Italian company with more than 50 years of history, and this was the real starting point of the project.

“We are proud of being an Italian brand in an international fashion world. That’s why we developed the interior design mood using a selection of warm, elegant and honest materials with Italian taste. The flooring features terrazzo Veneziano for most of the floor area, an essence of ash tree wood furnishes all the furniture in combination with natural iron elements, while the ceiling is composed of a mix of high gloss surfaces, metal mesh and an interpretation of a classical Italian cassettoni wood ceiling. In specific areas, greenery is added to complete the natural environment via the presence of live trees and plants. Colours and finishes are inspired by the Mediterranean environment,” adds Trevisan.

Staff are on hand in the knitwear theatre to present Benetton's vast knitwear collections. In the lounge area, customers can relax while reading books and design magazines. In addition, a series of touchscreen tables allow visitors to interact with the entire collection as well as with the brand's most significant contents.

 

 

Customers will be able to move fluidly across the three levels – dedicated to men's, women's and children's collections – thanks to a 'loop' staircase that extends like a ribbon across the shop floors and leads to a series of scattered stations that replace traditional checkouts.

 

 

Technology is also key to the customer experience. Inside the store, two digital applications were created with the intention to simplify the customer’s activity reducing the waste of time. The first one is the mobile payment system that, thanks to the use of Retail Pro POS on WiFi tablets, allows an exclusive payment via mobile and card only, potentially everywhere in the store, reducing the time spent in a queue.

 

 

The second one is represented by three digital interactive tables showcasing content on selected products, on the Benetton brand initiatives and, thanks to the use of an integrated RFID antenna, they release technical information about the products that are placed on the tabletop.

The new Oxford Street flagship is Benetton’s 16th UK store.

 

United Colors of Benetton leverages Retail Pro POS on mobile tablets for a modern, focused customer experience. Get this whitepaper to see if mobile POS is right for your brand.

 

 

Guest post from our friends at Retail Focus. Read the original story in Retail Focus April 2018.






Ecommerce Immersion: Retail Pro International and VTEX committed to grow the market in Fashion & Sports

 

 

Recently Retail Pro International participated in a specialized event in Mexico for the Fashíon & Sports industries.

The goal was to infuse the market with insights on digital transformation processes accelerating companies around the world.

 

 

Speakers included top brands like Under Armour, Grupo Martí, Aldo Conti.

Technology experts Grupo Ambit and Retail Pro International also shared their experiences on marketing trends, omnichannel strategies, customer experience and best practices for better performance in ecommerce.

Learn about unifying commerce with Retail Pro

 

 

Retail Pro International CEO, Kerry Lemos, offered his vision on better customer experiences through unified commerce, emphasizing that retailers need to go beyond the omnichannel goal, expanding their tactics to maximize ROI with better data-driven store management.

The audience from different industries took notes from Lemos, who gave insights on improving operations and acting on shoppers' demands to respond quickly to industry change and increase profitability.

 

 

Under Armour shared their insights on improving brand performance and creating seamless shopping experiences across ecommerce sites and marketplaces.

The Aldo Conti brand shared its tactics and experiences during the "HotSale" period, a season akin to Cyber Monday, where thousands of companies in Mexico create huge discounts exclusively in ecommerce.

 

 

Grupo Martí, the leading retailer of sporting gear in Mexico, shared the story of how they began the journey toward digital transformation and its importance for the CEO’s strategic plans.

The sports retailer talked about breaking out of cloistered mind-sets and reallocating investments for future digital efforts.

Undoubtedly, events like this, hosted out by VTEX, are creating an increasingly powerful retail community that is changing the landscape toward unifying commerce in Mexico.

 






The Personal Data Paradox [eBook]

 

 

Today’s headlines are ablaze with privacy scandals and consumer demand for transparency in data collection.

From Facebook to Amazon, we aim to bring down giants for perceived intrusions on our autonomy.

These are powerful political concepts that dominate the conversation around today’s technological advancements and our desire to apply morality to the digital world.

Equally as powerful as these headlines are the paradoxical returns and conversion rates that retailers are experiencing from data driven personalized marketing content: content that is derived from data collection unique to individual shoppers, i.e. personal preferences and tastes.

Public opinion seems to contradict consumer expectation.

Get this eBook to see consumers' perception of privacy, their expectation of personalization, and the middle ground we are all looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get the eBook

 

 

 






Want loyal customers? Gartner says: Improve their experience.

 

A recent report from Gartner found that a large majority — 81% — of customer experience (CX) leaders predict they will compete mostly or entirely on CX.

However, less than half of those responding have established the rationale for why CX drives business outcomes.

In addition, although companies believe they are improving CX, it's unclear whether they are actually doing so.

By their own metrics, 48% of respondents said their CX efforts exceed management’s expectations, but only just 22% reported those efforts exceeded customers’ expectations, according to the Gartner report.

Retailers' CX strategies are clearly falling short, but improvements can be made. Here are some suggestions from the Gartner study.

 

1: Assess capabilities

Retailers should take a deep dive and determine whether the data they capture provides a clear picture of customer wants, needs and expectations, rather than their perceptions of existing initiatives.

Once the customer data is gathered, touch points identified, and measurement systems implemented, consider demographics.

Millennial customers, for example, enjoy complicating CX matters.

Research shows that millennials don't take loyalty programs as seriously as older customers, because they bristle at the idea that a brand would take their business for granted.

While they may be regular customers at a particular retailer for a while, millennials need fresh, compelling reasons to be loyal.

 

2: Tailor customer journey maps

Provide relevant experiences at key touch points to drive customers deeper into the buy, own and advocate journey.

Brands hoping to secure loyalty need to start by putting themselves in their customers' shoes: How can a brand show loyalty to its best customers?

Understanding guests and customers across all channels and touch points is critical, no matter where they are on the customer journey.

 

3: Measure more innovative CX efforts differently

CX leaders must make sure to measure their more innovative customer experiences against adoption, perception and financial objectives.

Customer experience must evolve, but it must do so bearing in mind the successes of the past.

Understanding the differences between customer segments is critical.
If customers are primarily millennials, engage in a way that aims to satisfy their desire for recognition and status.

Provide them with a platform for standing out as trendsetters.

But if baby boomers are a majority of clientele, understand they prefer high touch over high tech: Service with a smile is paramount for those customers.

Gartner boils it down to this: understanding customer experience is paramount to success, one size does not fit all, and it's the customer's perception that matters most.

No matter how successful a retailer thinks it is in providing top notch service, the customer's opinion is still always right.






3 Ways to win back your ex-customer

 

One school of thought among customer service managers today is that it doesn't pay to wow your customer.

Instead, it is more desirable — and more cost effective — to "meet expectations."

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with that strategy for retaining customers, it is not a solution for winning back customers.

Why would you want to win back customers?

So you don't have to start from scratch.

The cost of attaining new customers is far greater than retaining them.

"Lost customers" may have replaced your company — but they were once regulars, and did at one point have fond memories of your business.

You need to rekindle the flame, and often, it's not that different.

It's definitely less expensive than cultivating a customer.

Clearly, the optimal state is to always operate in a way that naturally retains customers, so your business isn't faced with losing customers.

Such a retailer would have a solid loyalty program, innovative programming, special events and a personalized approach overall.

But miscommunication happens and mistakes are made. All is not necessarily lost, but you must be authentic in your approach.

Here are 3 ways to win the customer back.

 

1: Apologize sincerely

Saying, "I'm sorry" is anathema to some retailers.

However, some situations simply do require a direct apology: Shipments that routinely missed delivery dates, a chronic shortage of salespeople, unreasonable check out lines, for instance.

Those circumstances can and should be addressed at the moment of impact.

Some of those can slip under the radar and aren't noticed until they've created a pattern.

If a specific problem has come to your attention that has caused a significant drop in regular shoppers, you can address the situation with a positive promise in a customer communication after the fact: "We're happy to let you know about our new personal shopper program," or "We have increased our associate staffing to get you in and out of our store faster."

 

2: A coupon helps

Discounts and coupons are a common customer retention tactic, but can also work for those who have drifted off.

The best way to regain these customers and begin to build loyalty is by saving them money.

Note, you're not rebuilding loyalty, because chances are, you never had it.

You'll have to start over with the disadvantage of having to make up for a negative past.

Own up to what went wrong and offer a gesture in compensation.

 

3: Find out why they left

Data analysis can help.

Look at your customer data and evaluate past purchases.

Determine what the sweet spot is for this customer.

And, importantly, see if you can note a trend that would allow you to predict what other customers might also follow suit, so you can form an intervention plan.

If you can have a dialogue with those customers — in person, via email or chat session — try to learn what would make them return.

Not every customer is a keeper.

For example, the customer who is a bully with employees or the customer who abused return policies are not worth the time and effort to keep them.

But most customers are worth retaining, because they fit your target customer persona, spend regularly and some are vocally loyal.

Marketing Metrics says you have a 20-40% chance of winning back an ex-customer.

Simply meeting their minimum expectations means they might return another day.

Exceeding expectations means you won't have to chase after them when a "better deal"— whether for price or service — comes along.






3 qualities of authentic retail shoppers value most

 

 

Authentic.

It's a term that retailers are using increasingly to describe how they aim to be and communicate with customers.

It's also a word that customers use to describe their ideal retailer.

Shoppers' expectations have changed. It's no longer enough to just sell quality products to your core customers; the retail personality is important and extends to how shoppers relate to and interact with brands.

But what makes a brand authentic in shoppers’ minds?

 

1: Honest communication

An "authentic brand" refers to one using less marketing-speak and more honesty.

Today's customers are less impressed with fancy slogans than with accurate, interesting, and socially aware mission statements.

They want product features detailed in plain English with no "fluff." They view traditional advertising with skepticism and, often, disdain.

Millennials in particular don't want to be "sold to." Authentic retailers have integrity and demonstrate honesty as well as a certain level of transparency.

Customers are interested in learning what a brand stands for, what causes it supports and how its offerings help achieve its stated goals.

 

2: Quality & fairness

"Brandless" is a retailer that believes in "Life, liberty and the pursuit of fairly priced everything."

It appeals to customers who are price conscious but who are also interested in value.

Products are high quality, featuring low prices and no brand names.

Brandless is targeted to the savvy, budget minded shopper who wants quality but not necessarily a brand.

Brandless does not have to contend with adding markups for distribution, in-store advertising and shelf stocking.

It also provides organic, non-toxic, hypoallergenic products that aren't tested on animals. Those globe-conscious characteristics resonate with their customers.

 

3: Standing for more than just the bottom line

Now more than ever people want to know the history of retailers, what their mission is and how they conduct business.

To a degree, customers view retailers and brands as an extension of their own beliefs. Retailers are expected to have values that reflect their customers'.

For example, family-oriented shoppers may not shop on Thanksgiving, because they believe sales associates should be able to spend the day with their families. They might then shop on Black Friday at retailers who were closed the day before, thereby rewarding the stores that align with their value systems.

They want to do business with an "authentic" brand, one which has a core business strategy that evokes the virtues they themselves consider important.

A retailer must walk the walk as well as talk the talk, or customers will find one who does.






Shoppers don’t care about your POS. So why does it matter for CX?

 

 

Retail exists in an ongoing tension: how to run retail profitably without forfeiting its heart – to meet people’s needs and bring joy.

Unified technologies are integral in this balance, offering a truer picture of your business and customers so you can discover and act on opportunities to better serve your customers.

For example, having your inventory data visibility across stores means when your store is out of stock on a particular product, sales associates can check its availability at other locations.

But merely seeing product availability only goes so far.

Having actual connected data means your sales associate can save the sale by placing an order to the other store using send sale capabilities.

They can then set up the order to be fulfilled either by shipping it to the customer’s home or nearest store, or to have the customer pick it up at that location.

This way, you’re saving customers from disappointment and you’re saving sales.

Customers are happy – check.

Inventory is moving – check.

You’re increasing profitability – check.

 

How unified tech actually helps CX

So how do you do this with Retail Pro POS?

Retail Pro is a platform technology, so you can unify all your retail technologies on its foundation.

That means you can connect data from your ERP, CRM, email marketing platform, dropship tools, RFID, ecommerce, and every other tool you use.

Not only does this give your sales associates tools to better serve your customers – because they’ll have access to shoppers’ purchasing history and preferences for clienteling and they’ll be able to get them what they want every time – but it will also give you the meticulous visibility you need to really see what’s happening in your business.

With data connected in the Retail Pro POS platform, you can set up real time updates between applications and get better accuracy in stock management and order fulfillment.

You can color in a fuller picture of what’s happening in your business and use KPIs to uncover areas for improvement.

Our accessible application program interface lets you integrate all pertinent data and automate data exchanges so you’re increasing efficiency and acting on the data insights you’ll get.

With data-backed insights, you can take steps to actually improve customer experience in ways that will be meaningful to shoppers and will add to their convenience in buying from you.

 

Putting shoppers first

Retail’s goal is not just selling and upselling for profit’s sake, though yes, profitability is what keeps you in business.

But really, retail is about connecting shoppers to goods that might help them live life a little more productively, a little more delightfully, a little more generously.

Retail is about putting shoppers’ needs first, and unified commerce built on Retail Pro helps you do it better.

Talk to your Retail Pro Business Partner or request a consultation today to see how Retail Pro can help you unify commerce.

 






2019 Retail Pro Business Partner Awards

 

 

In a POS technology business built on global partnership, the path to excellence is found in each partner delivering on their promises.

In a partnership of businesses, success is discovered, created, sought out, secured, and won through ingenuity, relentless pursuit, unwavering drive, and an all-in grit that does what it takes to keep charging forward.

We commend the global and regional winners of the Retail Pro Business Partner Awards for their excellence in building the Retail Pro partnership together.

 


 

GLOBAL WINNERS

 

PARTNER OF THE YEAR

 

 

GLOBAL ALIGNMENT AWARD

 

 

JON SCUTT TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE AWARD

 

 



 

REGIONAL WINNERS

 

SALES PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR

 

 

 

 



 

BEST IN NEW CUSTOMER ACQUISITION

 

 

 

 



 

SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARD

 

 

 

 



 

RESURGENT PARTNER OF THE YEAR

 

 

 

 

 



 






Brick & mortar borrowed this from online retail and increased revenue by 5.1%

 

 

Brick and mortar has learned a thing or two from online retail, and last December shoppers took a meaningful notice.

By focusing on and improving their buying online and picking up in-store (BOPIS, also called “click and collect”) offerings, retailers experienced a never-before-seen surge in shoppers using the service.

Retailers saw the strongest holiday sales growth in six years, with revenue increasing 5.1% to more than $850 billion this year, according to Mastercard Spending Pulse.

Online shopping also saw large gains of 19.1% compared to 2017. And established brands were a significant part of that good news: Walmart, Kohl's and Macy's reported healthy sales and saw stock gains.

 

Giving shoppers anytime access to goods pays off

By offering true 24/7 access to goods, retailers were able to provide what customers wanted at a time that was convenient for them to shop.

For those who wanted to do some thoughtful shopping but were short on time during regular business hours, being able to browse selections from the comfort of a sofa or bed, pay and pick them up when convenient added some much-appreciated stress relief during what can be a very busy season.

“By combining the right inventory with the right mix of online versus in-store, many retailers were able to give consumers what they wanted via the right shopping channels,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Inc., in a release.

And Frank Layo, managing director at Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy, told CNBC in an interview that the top five "click and collect" or BOPIS retailers were Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Kohl's, Target and the Home Depot.

BOPIS was up 47% this holiday season compared with last year, according to analyst reports.

For example, Target reported that it expected order pickup volume would triple this holiday season compared with last year's.

 

Incremental sales increase from wider product offerings

During the past few seasons, brick-and-mortar retailers have worried about being bested by their e-commerce competitors and for good reason.

Online stores are conveniently open around the clock, offer a level of personalization and can provide an inventory with variety that couldn't be accommodated with the footprint of any department store.

Click and collect changes the game, however.

Many stores now let shoppers view inventory in stock, allowing them to place an order that is ready for pick up within a couple of hours.

But they also feature the ability to shop from a wider variety and have that item shipped to the store for pickup. The shopper saves on delivery charges, can see the product before accepting it and is able to take advantage of a wider selection than is offered on the retail floor.

And the stores benefit from incremental sales at pickup too. For example, Kohl's reports an average attachment rate of 20% to 25% for additional in-store purchases.

Retailers this past holiday season seem to have taken the adage, "Nothing ever changes if nothing ever changes" to heart.

 






130

Countries

9000

Customers

54000

Stores

159000

Points of Sale

130

Countries

9000

Customers

54000

Stores

159000

Points of Sale

130

Countries

9000

Customers

54000

Stores

159000

Points of Sale