7 Ways to get your store tech and staff ready for the holiday rush with Retail Pro POS

 

 

Holidays are fast approaching. With them the masses flock to your stores and website.

Every retailer’s goal is, of course, to capitalize on the increase in foot traffic and do whatever it takes to be in the black by New Year’s Eve.

The pressure is on – especially given the retail industry’s globally lackluster YTD performance.

But the happy increase in foot traffic to your stores and sales opportunities inevitably brings with it a not-so-favorable descent in chaos and disorder, even to the sharpest of managers.

Entropy at its finest.

But a little preparation goes a long way in combat against chaos. It’s in finetuning the details that you’ll find compounding efficiency gains, and a little sanity in the staff goes a long way toward keeping up good customer experiences.

So here’s a quick checklist of ways to get your store tech and staff armed and in shape for the holiday rush.

 

1. Think through your POS workflows

Tighten up your POS workflow for faster, more efficient checkout. Shave off critical seconds from each transaction by getting rid of unnecessary clicks and integrating steps you need for smoother returns with tracking for return reasons, easier customer and inventory lookup, and faster loyalty enrollment.

In Retail Pro POS, you can use HTML files to customize your workflows in the user interface to mirror the workflows your staff would use in real life. Tailor both the transaction workflow and pop up prompts for your staff to hit all the points on your customers engagement check list at checkout.

 See documentation: Customize workflows with HTML files | My Retail Pro 

 

2. Ramp up employee training for faster checkout experiences

Build up employee product knowledge so they can be quicker at looking up items by their alternate names or numbers at the POS.

Retail Pro Prism gives sales associates flexibility to look up inventory using not only the SKU but by description as well.

 

 

This will help associates save time and find the product in the system if a barcode is missing, rather than having everyone wait while another sales associate finds the product on the sales floor.

 Watch video: Advanced Item Lookup | My Retail Pro 

 

3. Train employees to collect customer emails

Incentivize your employees to collect emails for in-season and post-holiday deals. Now is the time to capitalize on the increased foot traffic to build connections with customers and invite them back for more after the holidays.

You can train your associates to a workflow that includes taking down a customer’s number in the integrated AppCard for Retail Pro loyalty and personalized marketing platform.

 

 

Because the technology is integrated, your staff won’t need to navigate between applications to enroll customers, saving time for your team and for everyone else in line.

 Watch video: POS flags setup | My Retail Pro 

 

4. Simplify inventory lookup on the sales floor

During the holidays the store fluctuates daily between chaos and order, so having a centralized inventory system that keeps detailed accounts of what is on the sales floor, in the back room, or in transit will help associates get customers what they need.

They can easily look up what the customer needs and place an order for them if the item isn’t in stock. You’ll save the sale and your customer will go home with one more person checked off on their holiday gift list.

 Watch video: Checking On-Hand Quantity | My Retail Pro 

 

5. Set up stations for self-serve inventory lookup and send sales

Set up a mobile POS station for self-serve or staff-assisted inventory lookup and send sale. If a customer needs something you don’t have in store, help them find and order it on your website or at a different location.

Send sale functionality in Retail Pro lets your sales associates send the sale (just like it sounds) to a nearby store that has what your customer needs in stock, so that item is put aside for them when they come to pick it up.

 Watch video: Creating and Fulfilling Send Sales | My Retail Pro 

 

6. Get your best staff on mobile POS for clienteling & line busting

Clienteling is extremely effective for engaging with customers in a way that leads to loyalty and a better overall experience with your brand.

Help customers find what they need faster and finish the transaction on the spot, without waiting in line. You can email receipts to decrease the need for ancillary mobile hardware like receipt printers.

And when checkout lines start to wrap around through the store, ramp up more points of sale on mobile to ring up transactions faster and get customers on their way before frustrations rise.

 Read blog: 9 tactics to borrow from luxury retail’s clienteling strategy to improve your omnichannel CX

 Get whitepaper: Is Mobile POS Right for Your Enterprise?

 

7. Track sales performance with KPI reporting

Use real-time KPI reports to stay on target and ramp up sales efforts when you’re falling behind. With Retail Pro Decisions, powered by the Targit BI and visual analytics platform, you can analyze your data from every angle based on KPIs important to your strategy.

And with Retail Pro Reports, you can pull the data you need to monitor performance on the go. With clear dashboards and easy filtering, you’ll have an on-the-minute update whenever you need it, so you can keep your finger on the pulse and make sure you’re hitting targets.

 Read blog: What are the Most Important KPIs for Retail?

 Get whitepaper: From KPIs to Profit 

Yes, there’s very little time left, and more to do than there are scheduled hours to do them. Focus on implementing a handful of optimizations that will help your team most to work more efficiently and ring in more sales.

They might not thank you for it, but your bottom line will.

 

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Need access to the My Retail Pro user portal?

As part of an active Retail Pro Software Assurance plan, you have full access to all training, documentation, and knowledgebase resources available on the My Retail Pro user portal. Get access from your company MRP administrator or contact mrprequest@retailpro.com

Not current on Software Assurance? Contact your Retail Pro Business Partner for a quote today, or email in to customercare@retailpro.com to get connected with your Business Partner.

 

 

3 Ways to build better customer profiles using Retail Pro POS

The elusive omnichannel shopper: she leaves her tracks everywhere but is yet to be understood.

Shoppers’ path to purchase today beelines from your store to your website on their computer at the office (used only during breaks, of course), to your mobile site on their tablet, to your app on their smartphone, and back.

Companies with strong omnichannel engagement are able to keep 89% of their customers, compared with 33 percent of companies with weak engagement.

But how can you keep customers and improve customer experience for shoppers whose journeys you’re still struggling to pinpoint?

Learn about your shoppers

One way is to build steps into your operations that will help you learn more about your customers. Basically, train your team to build customer profiles as they interact with shoppers.

But when you can give customers good reason to share their information with you online or in stores, you are in a better position to gather accurate data that will help you draw more useful, actionable insights from your company performance.

For example, if there’s something a customer wanted that’s not in stock, retailers can turn a bad experience into a positive one by placing an order for them from the store — with free shipping — delighting the customer while gathering additional shopper data.

Answers to a small number of carefully targeted questions can have a big impact on a business, whether in survey format or simply asked by an associate at the POS itself.

Of course, the simplest way (though not always the easiest way) to learn information about shoppers is to collect it directly from the source: Ask them. Here are 3 ways to build better customer profiles using Retail Pro POS.

 

1: Get feedback at the POS

Take time to chat with customers while ringing them up at the POS, and take notes.

POS flags in Retail Pro POS allow you to add quick-action buttons or fields to take note of shopper details at the POS, which you can then analyze and use to shape more effective decision making, or for their marketing campaigns, depending on the information you choose to capture.

Because workflows in Retail Pro are entirely tailorable to yours, you can automatically prompt sales associates to ask preset questions and record the answers.

This kind of information, collected incrementally over time, will help you build a truer understanding of your customers and draw conclusions to improve their experience.

 

2: Engage with shoppers on the sales floor

Having mobile POS available for your sales associates empowers them to do build customer profiles while they’re helping them on the sales floor. Retailers with a more consultative approach to customer engagement can create quick workflows to help associates create new customer profiles and start filling in the details while they assist: shoe size, scent preferences, skin tone.

Skincare brand Aesop uses Retail Pro to track, manage, and access customer data all over the world, ensuring the same experience for a particular customer regardless of location, because every store shares the same customer and inventory details.

“Our store consultants often work cross-country but the experience of working with the software is the same. We have one consistent thread through Retail Pro, though each store is entirely different,” said head of Aesop’s ICT, Troy Smith.

Over time these profiles will help your associates continue the conversation knowledgeably, making recommendations relevant to their needs because you see them through the customer’s history in the POS.

 

3: Invite your top shoppers to VIP in-store events

Inviting your top shoppers to exclusive in-store events not only rewards them and deepens their affinity for your brand, but also gives your team opportunity to keep learning about your shoppers.

Form your guest list using Retail Pro’s built-in reports on customer KPIs like total spend or Customer Lifetime Value. Then, get to learning about your customers’ preferences as you mingle over cocktails at your new product drop.

Or, use Retail Pro POS to collect information about visitors to the launch of your new pop-up store.

Designer brand Akris uses POS flags in Retail Pro POS to capture email addresses or phone numbers of customers attending their exclusive in-store events and then contact them for future events.

 

As you take advantage of these kinds of opportunities to build customer profiles, you’ll start learning more about your customers and can then more successfully unify your operations and customer engagement to place customers’ needs at the forefront of your business strategies.

 

3 Ways to Improve Your In-Store Experience with Retail Pro

 

 

How a customer experiences your brand when they visit your stores is a strong indicator as to whether they will become a repeat customer or leave you for competitors with better service.

Elements of customer experience range from baseline solid replenishment so customers get the products they want, all the way to the heights of experiential retail where they get to test your products in the store – and you can use Retail Pro capabilities to improve each phase.

Here are 3 ways to improve your store experiences with Retail Pro.

 

1. Give them the goods

 

First and foremost, shoppers come to you for products.

If you don’t have what they way, shoppers may go for brand alternatives in your store.

Or, they might choose an alternative retailer to meet the need you couldn’t.

We know your team is doing its best to keep shelves and racks stocked with the latest and the best, and Retail Pro can be a strong help in this area.

To help you minimize lost sales due to out of stocks, use replenishment capabilities in Retail Pro.

For every item in your inventory, you can set minimum and maximum quantities.

These quantities specify the minimum and maximum amounts you want to have on hand at any given time.

The Best Replenishment utility allows you to automatically create purchase orders or transfer orders to ensure you have enough stock in each store when your quantities are above or below these numbers.

You can define formulas for different stores, departments, vendors, or styles.

Formulas use sales history records to ensure you have enough stock on hand for the period of time defined by the formula.

The wizard tool in Retail Pro helps you set up formulas quickly and easily.

You can read more about this on the My Retail Pro user portal blog: Automate Inventory Replenishment with Retail Pro® Auto Utilities

 

2. Show customers they’re worth your time

 
When you have enough personnel on the sales floor and at the cash wrap, shoppers intuitively get the message that they are worth your time and staff investment.

You can train your sales staff to keep an eye on queue length and whip out Retail Pro POS on a tablet to open up additional check stands so you make sure your customers get a good last impression.

Another way you can show shoppers they’re worth your time is by training your team to actually take time with customers before they get to the POS.

If the Min/Max features failed you or you just sold the last pair of high rise skinny jeans in your customer’s size, your sales associate can use Retail Pro to see if your other locations have those jeans in stock and place an order from the mobile POS.

That way, you can do a stock transfer from another location and the customer can pick up those jeans at your store in a few days.

Or you can place the order from your online store and have it delivered to the customer at her home.
 

Lyn Evans

 

Retailer Lyn Evans created that kind of no-disappointment experience for their customers.

Every store is equipped with iPads that show their company website at all times to allow for cross-selling from other stores.

If a customer wants a certain style or color that is not available at their location, a store associate will save the sale by helping the customer place the order from the store’s iPad before they go.

A good customer experience starts with giving your customers what they need without friction or disappointment.

The next step up is to get to know individual customers so you can pinpoint what else they might need and want.

So, while your sales associate is looking up stock availability from Retail Pro on an iPad or iPod Touch (or any other mobile device), they can also look up the customer’s transaction history and make recommendations for cool sweaters or tees to complete their look.

It’s extra little steps like these that show your customers they’re worth your time, and they leave happy.

 

3. Get Creative

 

When you’ve got the basics of good inventory management and great customer service in place, you can devote mental energy to creating an immersive, interactive experience in your stores.

And Retail Pro is honored and humbled and grateful to be a part of what awesome retailers like you are doing in your stores.

 

Oakley

 

VP of Oakley Retail, Erik Searles, shared with Chain Store Age how Oakley is using technology to draw customers into the brand’s innovation.

Oakley uses digital technology and mobile devices to give customers a more active hand in creating a product personalized to their needs in its new in-store custom and prescription eyewear centers, which are launching in all Oakley stores.

The eyewear is built on the iPad and then right in front of the customer, ready to take home.

Oakley is also utilizing mobile POS to help customers via quick transactions on the spot, rather than having them finish an interaction with an Oakley expert and then go elsewhere to pay.

 

United Colors of Benetton

 

Global head of retail design at Benetton, Michele Trevisan, shared with Retail Focus how they’re infusing beauty and color into their retail experience – and how it’s facilitated by the use of modern technology.

“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.”

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 WiFi tablets and mobile POS, allows an exclusive payment via mobile and card only, potentially everywhere in the store, reducing the time spent in a queue.

The second is represented by three digital interactive tables showcasing content on selected products, on 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 table top.

 

Do something amazing

 
These are just three ways you can improve your customer experience with Retail Pro.

But retailers like you are creative, visionary people with many idea of how to improve your in-store experience.

Retail Pro is ready to go there with you.

Doing something amazing with your Retail Pro? Tell us about it!

Write in to newsletter@retailpro.com to share how you’ve been improving your customer experience.

Haven't experienced Retail Pro for yourself yet? Request a demo today.

 

 

 

Images: Oakley, United Colors of Benetton

 

 

It’s the one that everyone talks about

A chat with Retail Pro International, provider of the gold-standard retail management software, on trends, platforms and retail.

By Chris Petersen | Retail Merchandiser

Retail Pro Prism

Before the Internet, multichannel retailing was something known to only a handful of major national retailers, and the channels were limited to primarily brick and mortar and catalog sales. Today, however, consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to how they interact with their favorite retailers. The prevalence of m-commerce and e-commerce purchasing has become commonplace right along with stopping in at their favorite stores.  This new consumer landscape has created some significant challenges, as well as generated numerous new opportunities for retailers.

The new basis for retail interaction with today’s consumers spans all channels for the retailer including, brick-and-mortar stores, catalog sales, a website or even through their smartphones. A retailer is now challenged with providing the same user experience across all channels to provide a seamless experience regardless of where the consumer may be engaged. At the same time, as more retailers court international customers through their online presence, they are exposed to added complexity in terms of international tax structures and fulfillment. Navigating this complexity alone, especially in today’s omni-connected world can be daunting to say the least. Having a partner in the game like leading global provider of retail management software, Retail Pro International(RPI), can make the task much more palpable.

For more than 25 years, RPI has provided retail management software solutions and platforms which cover point of sale, customer engagement, store operations and back-of-store management, and e-commerce, through its Retail Pro® products.  In recent years, Retail Pro International has become an even more important partner to its retail customers as retail strategy complexities started growing in geometric progression. “As businesses evolve in response to market needs and rapidly changing consumer expectations it becomes critical for the retailer to evolve their business, break down operational silos and adapt; that’s where we come in,” said Director of Marketing for RPI, Alexandra Frith.

 

Flexible Solutions

The native adaptability in Retail Pro is the reason Retail Pro International’s software platforms are used in more than 54,000 retail stores in over 95 countries, and the company continues to evolve to address the expansion and needs of retailers as they grow their businesses. Frith says the Retail Pro software is a perfect fit for growing retailers. Whether a retailer is just starting out or has an operation that spans many regions, including expansions as franchises, Retail Pro can address the complex needs the retailer will encounter across their business models.

Director of Product Strategy at RPI, Kevin Connor, says retailers have traditionally been forced to maintain one software platform for each ‘channel’ of their business – one platform for point of sale, one for e-commerce sales, one for mobile sales, etc. The Retail Pro platform, on the other hand, gives the retailer a platform that can support each of the channels with one integrated product suite. Retail Pro offers platforms that are both environment-agnostic and hardware platform-agnostic, allowing one product to create a more efficient management experience for the retailers and a more pleasant and predictable shopping experience for customers.

Frith says another major component of RPI and its expansive Partner service network for their customers is helping them translate trends into actionable retail strategies. For example, she says, last year many of the company’s customers and prospects were abuzz with the idea of omnichannel retailing. The concept surfacing everywhere in the media was the new buzzword then, without much more information about the details. “We found ourselves in many conversations about this new trend. It was almost an exercise in quelling fear because everyone wanted to know that they had the capability, but only a hand-full of retailers knew how it related specifically to their business,” Frith says.

The idea of omnichannel was prevalent in the retail world but had many definitions. For some of its major customers, Retail Pro worked closely with them to develop a concise definition of what omnichannel meant for that retailer. Then taking this plan, they developed a software experience using the Retail Pro platform that erased the borders between channels to create a seamless experience for shoppers that also fit the retailer in the most effective way.

Connor says the company’s flexible approach to retail management software allows the retailer to have the system that serves the needs across all environments. Whether a retailer is enlisting endless-aisle kiosks or embracing mobility to serve the clienteling needs of their customer engagements, they can do so. This is made possible by the company’s commitment to delivering one holistic system that ties together all aspects of retail into one seamless platform.

 

Global Reach

The company’s international DNA serves as a perfect platform for business. Frith stresses the company’s international expertise, saying Retail Pro provides world-class solutions to its customers around the globe, enabling borderless retailing. “That proves to be a huge strength to any retailer who aspires to be international,” she says.

Further highlighting this point, Connor says the majority of domestic retail software is based on the local tax regulations, limiting their applications in other markets. Retail Pro International’s solutions can support all tax structures around the world, he says, making it possible for retailers using Retail Pro to maintain one system for all geographies. “Something that we pride ourselves on, is seeing ourselves as part of the global retail community,” Connor says.

 

Still Growing

The retail community is a unified community. Today, the concept of borderless retail speaks not only to retailing across geographic borders, but also to disappearing borders between online and brick-and-mortar.  Brands want consistency of presence across markets; customers want the completeness of the shopping experience across channels.  Both require ongoing effective innovation. In addition to optimizing experiences, effective innovation also encourages adopting more efficient operations and procedures, positioning retailers to add value in two directions at once by streamlining costs and improving customer loyalty simultaneously.

“What we found was that our retail customers are adapting business models, adding retail channels, acquiring other brands, and otherwise expanding aggressively throughout North America and beyond,” Frith adds.  “We see this evolution as a primary catalyst for retail growth, and brands willing to take leadership in this area will be the most competitive over time.”

 

Posted in the March/April 2015 issue of Retail Merchandiser magazine.

See the original post  here.

ASICS Chooses Retail Pro® for Its South East Asian Expansion Strategy

Retail Pro International (RPI), global provider of flexible retail management software, is pleased to announce that ASICS, a popular footwear retail brand, chose a Retail Pro® platform over its previous POS solution for their expansion in South East Asia.

Dubai, UAE March 4, 2015  ASICS Asia Pte Ltd, the SEA regional arm of ASICS Corporation, a leading designer and manufacturer of running shoes, is expanding in South East Asia and needed retail point of sale software that would:

  • Centralize store operations
  • Ensure pricing transparency and supply chain visibility
  • Guarantee the consistency of product availability across the markets.

ASICS chose Retail Pro® for its all-in-one, feature-rich POS software platform, with its easily customizable workflows, security and central control.

“Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, meaning ‘A Sound Mind in a Sound Body,’ is the old Latin phrase from which ASICS is derived and the fundamental platform on which the brand still stands,” said ASICS Group Financial Controller, Maureen Neo. “Retail Pro is clearly a sound product in a sound company with its quality and global presence--over 54,000 stores with impressive clientele in over 95 countries.”

[caption id="attachment_1673651" align="alignright" width="300"]ASICS chooses Retail Pro to centralize its store operations. ASICS chooses Retail Pro to centralize its store operations.[/caption]

Retail Pro’s® flexible design, easy setup and fast roll-out capabilities, combined with the local expert team at Integrated Retail, a Retail Pro Business Partner in the region, allowed for a quick implementation. With aggressive roll-out targets and region-wide support requirements, RPI’s proven support network across Asia with accessible locations in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand is critical for ASICS’s retail expansion strategy. Other retail software providers are unable to guarantee the same adoption speed and level of support.

“RPI’s global support network of Business Partners helps our customers tailor Retail Pro to their particular operations, so it’s an exact match for their business needs,” said RPI’s VP for MEA and Asian Markets, Bevin Manian. “As market needs evolve, our customers respond, and local Business Partner experts are there to guide them through the adaptation process, so they aren’t abandoned in their customizations or expansion across channels or geography.”

Retail Pro International and Integrated Retail look forward to many years of supporting ASICS for their continued success in footwear, fitness apparel and accessories retail.

For more information about ASICS, visit www.asics.com

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About Retail Pro International

Retail Pro International (RPI) is a global leader in retail management software that is recognized world-wide for rich functionality, multi-national capabilities, and unparalleled flexibility. For over 25 years, RPI has innovated retail software solutions to help retailers optimize business operations and have more time to focus on what really matters — cultivating customer engagement and capitalizing on retail’s trends. Retail Pro® is the chosen software platform for omnichannel strategy by serious retailers everywhere. To learn more, visit www.retailpro.com

Local Gift Shop Continuously Evolves with Retail Pro Analytics, Gives Back to Community

In the historical town of Lexington, Mass., retailers walk a fine line between respecting tradition and embracing modern business practices.CY_WhiteSignLg Crafty Yankee, a fine gift shop located right where “the shot heard round the world”was launched, started using Retail Pro as its retail management solution in 2000, leveraging its robust functionality to transform what originally was a sleepy little business into a vibrant, charitable part of the community. Kathy Fields, owner of Crafty Yankee, has a rich background in retail. She had worked in senior positions at Dillard’s and Federated Department Stores before taking a (very) early retirement in her mid-forties. But her retirement didn't go quite as planned. Kathy Fields bought Crafty Yankee from its founders in 1994, wanting to take on a business that would free up her time and allow her to give back to those less fortunate.

 

Embracing Modern Business Practices

Shortly after the acquisition, she recognized the need to put in a computer system. Initially, she opened a couple satellite stores and networked computers so she could be away from the store—perhaps enjoy a vacation—and still be in touch remotely. Business was growing but Fields eventually realized she needed to consolidate her business into one location and, to be successful, have a thorough understanding of which merchandise was selling and when it was bought. Knowing those sales trends would give her a concrete understanding of what was going on in her business so she could offer popular products and streamline inventory. CY-SpringStoreFront.Best (1024x683)

 

Using Analytics to Reshape the Store

Crafty Yankee found Retail Pro’s analytical capabilities exceptionally valuable in accomplishing this end. “By having good computer information, I can constantly reshape the store,”said Fields. “We must change with the customer: Patterns, age, tastes.” Retail Pro 9 gave Fields tools to analyze Crafty Yankee’s $1 million business by key segments. The store has been using Retail Pro 9 since 2012 and Fields credits the software with contributing to the store’s consistent, healthy growth despite a stagnant overall economy. Knowing what sells—and what doesn't—is critical to every retailer and Crafty Yankee has adopted an analytical method with Retail Pro.   No guesswork here: “I like to analyze my business in lots of different segments. It’s important to me to start from the top. Let’s say we had a 20% increase last month. Where did that come from? Jewelry? Glass? Pottery? Once I see the trend in the data, I can break it down by vendor or resources. And I can compare that data to last year’s.”

 

A Technology Update that Made a Difference

None of that could have happened if Crafty Yankee had remained with its original retail management platform, CraftShop, which she started using in 1995. Much of the data was difficult to extract and it required quite a bit of manual work. “What I liked from the beginning with Retail Pro was that they saw what I had with the CraftShop system. It was pretty complicated,”said Fields.  Realizing she needed a more robust system, she started researching other software solutions, finally determining that Retail Pro was the best fit for her needs. “I have thousands of items and people would tell me, ‘You’re going to have to re-enter all that information.’And I said, ‘I don’t think so!’” CY-Interior Scarves

 

Targeted Growth that Enables Philanthropy

The Retail Pro platform, together with Fields’ business acumen, positioned her gift emporium for rapid, targeted growth. “I can learn about my business on any day of the week, as well as a specific date of business. I can compare Mother’s Day, Easter, wedding seasons.” I’m looking across the information in a lot of different ways: Top producers by vendor. Who is downtrending? Who is trending up? Our other system was just not as granular; jewelry for example, can be subcategorized. I can put more criteria in the system, which allows me to analyze each item,”Fields said. “We've been so successful because of the good computer information I can analyze. We are able to constantly reshape the store. If I hadn't changed it, year after year, based on the information I get from the Retail Pro solution, the store would be out of business.” And what about the idea of giving back to the community? Crafty Yankee sells a number of items where most, if not all, of the purchasing price is donated to charity. Sometimes, retirement is overrated.

To learn more about Crafty Yankee, visit http://www.CraftyYankee.com.

To learn more about the Certified Retail Pro Business Partner supporting Crafty Yankee, JD Associates, visit http://www.jdapos.com/

Announcing Swarm Portal: World’s First iBeacon Device for Retail SMBs

With the rise of ecommerce and connected consumers, it has become crucial that brick and mortar stores be equipped with similar tools that have helped ecommerce stores easily measure their success. Our partner Swarm recently announced the Swarm Portal foot traffic counter, the newest addition to its portfolio of smart devices. Portal measures customer traffic entering your store, delivering the data instantly to the Swarm mobile app and web dashboard. Designed with the small to medium business owner in mind, Portal works right out of the box and syncs over Bluetooth to deliver insightful data on any device, anytime.

For Retail Pro customers, Portal automatically syncs your point-of-sale data to Swarm's app. This means you'll be able to monitor not only foot traffic, but also conversion rates. With Swarm and Retail Pro, you'll also be able to set traffic or revenue goals and monitor results in real time.

Here are three ways measuring foot traffic can help grow your business:

1) Understand if you're not getting all the sales you should be by comparing sales results to the traffic opportunity in your store

2) Help you schedule staff better by knowing exactly when your store is full of customers and when it might be slow

3) Know if your training, merchandising and advertising efforts are making a difference by watching their impact in real-time

Portal is available from participating Retail Pro Business Partners.

Retail Pro showcases full-function Retail Pro Prism POS at NRF Convention

At the National Retail Federation's (NRF) Annual Convention and EXPO, nicknamed "Retail's BIG Show," Retail Pro is showing off the most comprehensive mobile point of sale system in the industry - Retail Pro Prism. Unlike other mobile POS software, Retail Pro Prism offers full POS functionality across all devices, including both mobile and desktop machines. For the first time, businesses don't have to sacrifice features for mobility.

Multifunctional and flexible POS retail management systems
With all the capabilities of a desktop system, full-featured mobile POS systems enable clerks to be away from the sales counter without leaving behind any tools. That frees them to complete other tasks, like arranging displays and assisting shoppers, while still being fully available for all patrons. One of the key drivers of mobile POS systems is the increasing need to interact with people in the aisle for the purpose of better customer service and to be more competitive for sales, concluded Joe Skorupa for RIS News.

As the leading POS software, Retail Pro Prism gives businesses the greatest flexibility to tailor a system perfectly to their needs and business model. Retail Pro Prism can be deployed across iOS, Windows, Android and even mini devices, which means that companies can select hardware based on their image and needs, and they can implement Retail Pro Prism without needing to train employees to use new platforms. 

Retail Pro Prism fulfills retail industry needs
According to the 2014 IHL/RIS Store Systems Study, 30 percent of retailers plan to adopt tablets or non-rugged handheld devices for POS in the next 12 months, and one of their main priorities is a unified transaction engine. In other words, it's essential for retailers to have a POS system that provides an integrated record of all purchases, including ecommerce and mobile POS commerce. The expansion of omnichannel retail marketing has caused unified POS systems to be a necessity.

Mobile POS systems are redefining customer engagement in stores, according to a separate RIS study. The study found that retailers expect measurable benefits in terms of saving sales, improving customer convenience, reducing long lines, and increasing customer engagement. The biggest areas of need include connectivity, device forms, security, and easy adoption, according to the source - and these are just the problem areas that Retail Pro Prism mitigates.

The NRF Convention takes place in New York City from January 12-15 and the EXPO is held January 13-14.

Most millennials will perform Internet research this holiday shopping season

Black Friday recently swept through multiple retail locations, and more so than ever, shoppers were ready with facts about their favorite products - millennials in particular. According to a recent Google survey, 95 percent of the generation likely researched items online before arriving at stores or completing their ecommerce transactions, and this practice will continue throughout the rest of the holiday shopping season. Many of these young consumers sought information online, but some (40 percent) looked into discounts and more in-depth knowledge even as they browsed through brick-and-mortar stores.

Meeting the needs of these savvy, ecommerce-friendly customers may take a shift in how merchants run their businesses, from how they approach their marketing to in-store operations. Unlike years past, TV and catalogs are growing less important, while a strong Web presence might improve sales. 

To better understand the millennial customer and how retailers are engaging with this growing demographic, Retail Pro and Merchant Warehouse will be holding the Millennial Holiday Shopping Trends Survey. By pairing this with a survey focused on millennial respondents, Retail Pro will help merchants derive greater insight into the generation's thinking and habits in order to improve the overall shopping experience.