How Digital Communication is Giving Businesses a Boost This Holiday Season

The holiday season has arrived and while we can’t expect business to resemble years prior, there is a way retailers can make the most of it.

Customer experience matters now more than ever and everyone knows it! Many retailers are running promotions to attract business, and those without a means to directly communicate these promotions will struggle.

So how do you stand out from the crowd this holiday season?

Watch this webinar to see:

  • How to creatively use the Holidays as a means to gain shopper attraction
  • How to create a safety net for your business in the upcoming year
  • How businesses using AppCard for Retail Pro are able to personally connect with shoppers via SMS and Email

3 ways to drive incremental revenue with 2020’s digital retail traffic

Image: Andrea Piacquadio

Improving digital conversion rate is always a concern of retailers.

For those with both online and brick-and-mortar presence, conversion is even more important during COVID-19, as storefronts are hit with less foot traffic and reduced store hours.

One way to increase interest in your business is to give something away.

It could be a one-month trial of a personal shopping service, or a free online fashion tutorial; it simply needs to be of interest to your customers as well as something that has “staying power” i.e., can remain on your site for a few months.

This is not how many retailers traditionally engage customers.

Door prizes are exciting, but that type of giveaway is generally a one-shot deal.

Furthermore, at a time when people are social distancing, the thought of physically going to a store and competing for a door prize is unappealing.

Giveaways can be too much of a gimmick; they increase foot traffic the day of the promotion, but they don’t promote recurring sales.

Here are 3 ways to drive revenue with 2020’s big shift to digital retail.

1: Online tutorials

Fashion tips, makeup how-tos, home style ideas are all great ways to engage customers right from your ecommerce site.

During the demonstrations, offer a discount so shoppers can immediately select the product, go to their carts, enter the promo code and place their orders.

Offer the ability to pickup their purchased items in stores via curbside pickup, to give the option of immediate fulfillment for those shoppers who want it.

On the technology side, retailers can integrate promotions data from Retail Pro Prism POS software using Retail Pro’s open API for online redemption. This lets you use the flexible promotions capabilities in Retail Pro Prism to define promotion codes and pass the data to the ecommerce shopping cart.

2: Personal shopping

Image: cottonbro

Offer consultations with your professional, talented associates who can guide customer purchases.

These meetings can be free of charge or an “insider” exclusive, and shoppers can access the service through one-to-one conversations over conferencing software or via video calls to set up their profiles.

In addition, providing online questionnaires so customers can keep multiple profiles on file is an ideal way to help them organize and to streamline gift giving.

As your personal shopper meets with new clients, they can take note of shoppers’ preferences in the customer management area of Retail Pro Prism, for use in clienteling, to make more tailored recommendations during future visits using their purchase history.

Custom fields in Retail Pro can also be created and defined to standardize the data that comes in, for cleaner use in personalized marketing.

3: Offer subscriptions

Image: mentatdgt

These have become increasingly popular in the last couple of years.

Customers can enjoy regular deliveries of goods as varied as IPAs and organic snacks to razor blades and workout clothing.  

A curated selection of product is sent based on certain customer preferences detailed at sign up.

Retailers can use deep reporting capabilities in Retail Pro to report on most popular items and determine complementary products to include in a subscription package. Transaction data from point of sale software is immensely useful here.

Payment is made in advance, and the subscription renews automatically at the end of the payment period unless cancelled. 

Recurring revenue is a reliable way of generating regular income so it can be more confident of its future.

Some segments fit more naturally on the subscription model, such as health and beauty care.

However, by thinking a bit outside of the box, almost any retailer can benefit from offering creative options that are easily accessible by customers and generate profits even in seasons with less foot traffic.


Customer data: collecting selectively for better service

Today’s retailer faces stiff competition, particularly from ecommerce.

In a world in which fewer people want to visit malls and other enclosed spaces, retailers have had to pull out the stops to provide exceptional customer service.

In addition, online retailers are fiercely competitive with one another, angling for the best way to attract and keep shoppers.

Customer loyalty is critical to success – and profitable retailers know how to foster repeat business.

Understanding customers to predict future purchases

Image: Porapak Apichodilok

Customers respond to the personal touch.

It’s one area in which in-person, brick and mortar stores can effectively compete against their online cousins.

But virtual stores can and do also provide personalization.

Data analysis is used by all varieties of retailers to predict future purchases by analyzing customers’ previous shopping history.

A “360 customer view” is used to create a strategy that considers each shopper’s interaction history and maps out an outcome for each event.

But recent research by Gartner points out that collecting the “right” data is much more important than collecting “all” the data.

Unifying data sources for a holistic customer view

The key to understanding the customer is having software that brings together certain data that is scattered throughout the business.

Combining various data sources into a heterogeneous whole in business intelligence solutions like Retail Pro Decisions helps retailers consume data to uncover customer patterns and needs and optimize processes for serving these needs.

That information may lie within other channels and includes shopping history, preferences, consents, products owned and relationships with other customers.

Many of those other channels, such as social media or mobile apps, provide rich information on customer preferences.

Brick and mortar locations use POS data as well as technology such as line-of-sight detection, which uses sensors to collect data from eye movements, allowing retailers to identify shopping patterns and tailor the customer experience to those habits. 

Collecting focused data to solve specific needs

Image: Jopwell

Collecting every shred of information is time consuming and burdensome.

It is also, according to Gartner, unproductive.

Identifying a problem first and then collecting data related to that issue is a far more efficient solution.

A number of customer experience problems can be addressed by gathering specific information and applying it to specific problems, such as long customer wait times, inadequate communication and low inventory.   

POS solutions like Retail Pro Prism that integrate CRM software can be tailored to collect certain information that provides a customer view that will help retailers predict shopping trends.

What information should be collected?

Retailers should filter their data through a lens of what will help them improve each interaction with a customer.

All information gathered should be able to be used to enhance the relationship with that customer.

The more precise the data is, the more targeted marketing campaigns for each customer segment can be.

And that will provide retailers with the ability to offer more personal, proactive customer service based on an individual’s buying habits. 


Measuring ROI of relationship building with loyalty programs

Customer retention is a huge challenge for retailers, and all recognize the advantages of cultivating a base of customers: A 5% increase in customer loyalty can increase the average profit per customer by 25% to 100%, according to fitsmallbusiness.com.

Creating a customer experience that is satisfying is a much more cost-effective strategy than constant prospecting.

Short-term value of increasing sales vs building relationships

Some businesses assume that by simply rewarding customers with discounts, shoppers will become more loyal; JC Penney discovered the unintended side effects of sale psychology too late.

However, cultivating a strong emotional bond between a brand and its customers is what makes it more likely that a customer will continue to visit the store or website in the future.

And the intangible aspects of relationship building come actually with a very clear ROI, if you’re tracking the right metrics.

For example, offering a sales discount as part of a birthday recognition personalizes the rewards experience to every member, making each feel special and recognized for being a loyalty club member.

Yes, you’re making them feel special and a little more bonded emotionally to your brand.

And yes, you see immediate ROI on those relational tactics when they redeem their birthday offer.

Watching for and leading customers to the next phase in the journey toward a higher overall CLV should be the goal of every loyalty program, and can be accomplished more effectively with loyalty and personalized marketing tools like AppCard for Retail Pro.

While well-run loyalty programs that deliver customer satisfaction clearly improve retention rates, they can also be a means to attract new customers.

First-time shoppers can easily recognize a program that makes customers a priority and that anticipates and exceeds their needs as soon as they join.

Having a well-designed loyalty program not only keeps returning customers happy, but it also grows the retailer’s customer base.

Millennial mindshare: Experiential loyalty

Millennials are the largest group of shoppers in the current market, and as a demographic, they are very brand loyal.

However, they are particular about what they are looking for in a loyalty program.

No punch cards for this generation — or trading stamps.

The key to success with millennials is building a relationship, and that’s done through offering special experiences rather than coupons.

For example, a credit card that offers advance ticket purchasing for popular events; a coffee roastery that gives members a heads up to new roasts and coffee tastings or a makeup line that provides VIP access to a celebrity Q&A on a social network are ways to make a customer feel special and want to be part of a loyalty program.

Loyalty programs are important to retain customers and attract new shoppers, as well as to help retailers forge deeper, richer, customer connections.

Happy customers spread the word, and prospective customers generally trust friends’ feedback more than advertisements or other types of marketing.

Loyalty programs help polish a retailer’s image.

Humans want to feel special, and loyalty programs help retailer provide that experience.

By doing so, retailers reap the benefits of repeat customers while attracting new ones — and enhancing their brand’s reputation.


Operational growing pains during COVID-19: Inefficiency stemming from poor data visibility

The larger a retailer becomes, the longer it takes to get simple tasks accomplished.

Whether it is an associate’s inability to quickly respond to a customer’s product feature query, or the HR department’s delay in answering an employee’s benefits question, such examples are indicative of a systemic problem in providing relevant information when needed.

Then, when a global pandemic strikes, the inefficiencies resulting from operational growing pains are made all the more evident.

A systemic information problem

Inefficiencies tend to be rooted around lack of information.

A customer service agent doesn’t have visibility into the supply chain, for example, and can’t answer a customer’s question about order status.

In addition, the consequences of those inefficiencies are generally not confined to the backroom – one inventory problem can very quickly escalate to a customer service issue when a product shows up on the computer as in-stock, yet isn’t available on the sales floor.

Attempting to solve customer problems can be a frustrating process for both the employee and the customer, which may eventually lead to loss of trust and decreased retention for the business.

That threat can’t be taken lightly; according to Salesforce, 76% of customers report that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere.

Gaining comprehensive visibility

A comprehensive suite of reporting and analysis capabilities is necessary to make sense of all the data a retail business collects through its various sales channels, including in-store as well as online and social media.

Customizable business intelligence dashboards and reporting tools like Retail Pro Decisions and Retail Pro Reporting deliver visibility of operational performance and exception alerts.

They are available on a wide range of desktop and mobile devices and provide not only decision-making data daily, but also a historical and trend view that offers strategic insights.

Selective archive search

Slow, inefficient archive operations force employees to struggle with storage and retrieval of in-formation that business analytics provides, stealing time from performing their core responsibilities.

Gathering too much information can be a major barrier to accessing the right information.

Some inefficiencies can be solved with archival systems that enable the easy application of multiple retention rules according to the document category.

For example, those HR records that require longer archiving periods than others would automatically be filed appropriately.

In addition, permissions are automatically allocated to those who require them according to skillset and authority.

All archived materials should be easy to access as needed.

Visibility into what?

Retailers are faced with gathering the answers to inventory questions, beyond what products are best-sellers and who is the target customer.

Such analytical questions include:

  • What products should be sold together?
  • What is the optimal shelf life is for certain products?
  • Is the pricing strategy impacting sales volumes?
  • What should the sell-through percentage be?
  • What is the stock-to-sales ratio?
  • What is the stock turn, and how many days of supply are there?

Best-in-class retailers head off problems from the start.

They understand the need for great reporting tools and the need to analyze the data, not just collect it.

They are proactive and require tools that alert them to potential problems, help them figure out root causes of successes as well as failures, and enable their businesses to be more agile so they can adapt when needed and profit from future trends.


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Mitigating in-store risk and acting on customer safety perceptions during COVID-19

Covid-19 Best Practices for Retail: Safety Experience

COVID-19 triggered a rapid, never before seen evolution in consumer attitudes and expectations towards retail.

While many consumers are ready to get back to stores, fears and concerns around safety and hygiene are at an all-time high.

Watch this webinar from Retail Pro International and customer experience experts TruRating to see:

  • First-hand data on the evolving state of consumer attitudes to both online and physical retail over the past 12 weeks
  • How retailers are leveraging retail-time customer feedback to adapt faster
  • Best practices and retailer examples for mitigating risk and measuring safety experience (SafeX) in store

Take a proactive approach to measuring customer sentiment across your channels. Watch this webinar to get practical steps to help you:

  • Set the standard for safety in your in-store customer experience to encourage your customer base to shop in store
  • Maximize your opportunity with the first-mover customers who are shopping with you in person right now

In times of great acceleration, those who are able to innovate and meet the moment will be most greatly rewarded.


Get the COVID-19 Safety Experience Best Practices

7 Data Insights to Shape Your Retail Decisions Post COVID-19

Finding Opportunities in Your Business Data With Retail Pro Decisions

COVID-19 forced retailers worldwide to pivot fast to survive this unprecedented and wholly unexpected market downturn.

From shifting to ecommerce-only and fast fulfillment strategies, to staying connected with customers during lockdowns, your ability to adapt and take assertive action is crucial for your business to survive.

Now more than ever retailers must turn to their data to monitor KPIs and get insights that will help you combat the ongoing effects COVID-19 will have on consumer mindsets and economies.

Watch this webinar to see 7 insights you need to search out now from your data to help you shape your retail decisions post COVID-19 and position you to make the most of the shopping season remaining in 2020.

Watch this Retail Pro Decisions webinar to hear:

  • Smart ways retailers adapted to stay connected with customers and maintain retail operations
  • Why every retailer should re-evaluate the extent of data driving their strategy for customer engagement and inventory management
  • How to monitor every KPI with data from your POS, ERP, CRM, e-Commerce, and other critical applications integrated in Retail Pro Decisions visual analytics software
  • What insights you need to glean from your data now to shape your decisions as you reopen and reconnect with shoppers for the remainder of 2020

7 Data Insights to Shape Your Retail Decisions Post COVID-19

Finding Opportunities in Your Business Data With Retail Pro Decisions

COVID-19 forced retailers worldwide to pivot fast to survive this unprecedented and wholly unexpected market downturn.

From shifting to ecommerce-only and fast fulfillment strategies, to staying connected with customers during lockdowns, your ability to adapt and take assertive action is crucial for your business to survive.

Now more than ever retailers must turn to their data to monitor KPIs and get insights that will help you combat the ongoing effects COVID-19 will have on consumer mindsets and economies.

Watch this webinar to see 7 insights you need to search out now from your data to help you shape your retail decisions post COVID-19 and position you to make the most of the shopping season remaining in 2020.

Watch this Retail Pro Decisions webinar to hear:

  • Smart ways retailers adapted to stay connected with customers and maintain retail operations
  • Why every retailer should re-evaluate the extent of data driving their strategy for customer engagement and inventory management
  • How to monitor every KPI with data from your POS, ERP, CRM, e-Commerce, and other critical applications integrated in Retail Pro Decisions visual analytics software
  • What insights you need to glean from your data now to shape your decisions as you reopen and reconnect with shoppers for the remainder of 2020


7 ideas para orientar sus decisiones de venta al detalle después de COVID-19 [seminario web]

COVID-19 obligó a los detallistas de todo el mundo a reinventarse rápidamente para sobrevivir a esta desaceleración del mercado sin precedentes y totalmente inesperada.

Desde cambiar a estrategias de entrega a domicilio y de comercio electrónico, hasta mantenerse conectado con sus clientes durante los bloqueos, su capacidad de adaptarse y tomar decisiones asertivas es crucial para que su negocio sobreviva. 

Ahora, más que nunca, los detallistas deben recurrir a sus datos para monitorear los principales indicadores de desempeño (KPIs) y obtener información que los ayudará a combatir los efectos continuos que COVID-19 tendrá en la mentalidad de los clientes y en la economía global. 

Mira este seminario web para ver 7 ideas que necesita buscar ahora en sus datos para orientar sus decisiones de venta al detalle después de COVID-19 y posicionarlo para aprovechar al máximo la temporada de compras que queda en 2020. 

Mira este seminario web de Retail Pro International y PA Latinoamericana para escuchar: 

  • Formas inteligentes que los detallistas han desarrollado para mantenerse conectados con sus clientes y seguir tocando las operaciones
  • Por qué todo detallista debería reconsiderar la extensión y las fuentes de datos que orientan su estrategia para el compromiso del cliente y la gestión de inventario
  • Cómo monitorear cada KPI de su negocio con datos de su PDV, ERP, CRM, comercio electrónico y otras aplicaciones críticas integradas en el software de análisis de Retail Pro Decisions
  • Qué información necesita obtener de sus datos ahora para orientar sus decisiones a medida que vuelve a abrir y se vuelve a conectar con los compradores para el resto de 2020 

7 Data insights to shape your retail decisions post COVID-19

Finding opportunities in your business data with Retail Pro Decisions


Save your spot for the webinar time that’s most convenient for you!

Thursday, June 4 at 11am ET (ES) — Register here

Tuesday, June 9 at 3pm GT (EN) — Register here

Thursday, June 11 at 11am PT (EN) — Register here

PS: Can’t make it to the webinar? Register now to get the recording sent straight to your inbox!


COVID-19 forced retailers worldwide to pivot fast to survive this unprecedented and wholly unexpected market downturn.

From shifting to ecommerce-only and fast fulfillment strategies, to staying connected with customers during lockdowns, your ability to adapt and take assertive action is crucial for your business to survive.

Now more than ever retailers must turn to their data to monitor KPIs and get insights that will help you combat the ongoing effects COVID-19 will have on consumer mindsets and economies.

Join us in this webinar to see 7 insights you need to search out now from your data to help you shape your retail decisions post COVID-19 and position you to make the most of the shopping season remaining in 2020. 

Save your spot for this Retail Pro International and PA Latinoamericana webinar to hear:

  • Smart ways retailers have adapted to stay connected with customers and maintain retail operations
  • Why every retailer should reevaluate the extent & sources of data that drive their strategy for customer engagement and inventory management
  • How to monitor every KPI with data from your POS, ERP, CRM, e-Commerce, and other critical applications integrated in Retail Pro Decisions visual analytics software
  • What insights you need to glean from your data now to shape your decisions as you reopen and reconnect with shoppers for the remainder of 2020