iVend Completes Three Training Workshops

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CitiXsys conducted five-day intensive training sessions for partners across three continents in Houston, Melbourne and Mexico City. Our trainings were carefully designed to provide information-packed sessions, accompanied by extensive learning opportunities. Training workshops were a great success for the attending partners as they helpediVend Completes Three Training Workshop them in improving iVend Retail product knowledge.

The objective of the advanced classroom training program was to help the candidates gain in-depth knowledge of iVend Retail applications, including Terminal POS, Mobile POS, Loyalty and Passes.

During the training program, the participating consultants learnt about module implementation, configuration and overall use of the application. The ‘Consultants’ also learnt valuable product enablement processes and methodologies, including best practice techniques. Through these intensive classroom sessions, the students sharpened their skills, which all acknowledge will ultimately lead to realization of greater benefit to the end-customers, helping them streamline their businesses for greater productivity and profitability.

Training Locations:

Melbourne, Australia | Houston, Texas, USA | Mexico City, Mexico

In Melbourne the training session was conducted by David Webb, who is the Director of Partner Enablement and Client Connect at CitiXsys Technologies and Sandra Callanta Cosejo, Local Product Expert (SE Asia) – Product Consulting. David also conducted the Houston training session, where he was accompanied by Sebastien Gutierrez, the Local Product Expert – Product Consulting for North America. The training in Mexico City was conducted by Izairis Avila Lopez, the Professional Services Consultant – Product Consulting and Adriana Ramirez Romo, Local Product Expert – Product Consulting for the region of Latin America.

Participating consultants from all the training sessions achieved Certification in Implementation of iVend Retail Applications at the conclusion of the 5-day training program.

Talking about the product learning session, David Webb expressed, “It was a real pleasure running the training in our solutions for all the consultants. It was even better to experience their enthusiastic interest in every topic and see such dedication in participation to all aspects of the training activities. The high level of professionalism shown by all of our attending partners is something they can all be proud of, and is worthy of recognition.”

These classroom sessions were part of several that CitiXsys has planned for 2015. Upcoming events for Dubai in the Middle East and Bangkok in SE Asia are nearing full capacity with an overwhelming list of registrations. It is truly uplifting to see so many of our valued partners signed up for these training sessions.

In the end, (as all candidates experience!) what emerges are smarter, sharper iVend Product Experts.

How can cloud commerce accelerate international expansion?

How can cloud commerce accelerate international expansion?

It’s almost impossible to pick up an industry magazine or access a website today without seeing news of another retailer growing their business into new territories.

The saturation of mature regions and new opportunities in emerging areas is pushing the boundaries of retail wider than ever before – but not without complications.Banner-expansion1012x1012

From differing languages and currencies, to local legislation and cultural variations, international expansion is far from a case of ‘lifting and shifting’ existing models into new markets.

The same can be said for store technologies. For example, a recent report by Boston Retail Partners predicts the number of retailers using mobile POS systems will grow by 300% over the next two years, as the move towards consumer-centric encounters continues apace.

However, managing such solutions across store estates that span broad geographies can be a challenge; the greater number of mobile POS devices being used, the more complex back-end functionality becomes.

One way to innovate around these challenges is to invest in a cloud commerce solution. By moving IT infrastructure away from the premises and controlling deployment and management of back office systems remotely, retailers instantly grant themselves greater flexibility and capacity for innovation.

More than that, the ability to make upgrades or implement new functionality direct from the cloud enables companies to improve their customer offering instantly, without someone on-site, disrupting the order of business.

This level of agility is important in existing markets, but plays an even greater role when considering the expansion of retail businesses. Centrally controlling IT through a cloud commerce solution enables back-end information to be connected as soon as a mobile device is up and running – much quicker than building on-site support for every new store opening.

Storing data in the cloud also means that retailers can integrate back office information with a number of different devices, tailoring customer-facing solutions for the individual needs of each market. This is important if shoppers in different countries may not be familiar with the same devices; retailers can introduce hardware that is well known in each market, without compromising consistency of information and functionality across the company.

It’s not just shoppers who respond to different technologies, either. Running mobile POS connected to the cloud puts front line personnel – store managers – in touch with immediate information about their customers. In a new environment especially, being able to analyse consumer trends enables store associates to make decisions about what is and isn’t working, to drive profit and increase the chance of success in an unknown territory.

While cloud commerce can’t solve every hurdle that must be crossed when expanding internationally, it does give retailers a flexible, straightforward platform for building tailored customer experiences. So not only can they begin trading quickly and simply, but they can customise encounters for individual market preferences.

Six ways clienteling can win customers’ hearts (and wallets)

Six ways clienteling can win customers’ hearts

Retailers today are often faced with a dilemma: let shoppers use their own internet-connected devices in-store, and risk losing control of the journey to purchase. Give them self-service kiosks, however, and hardware can end up broken or misused.

One effective solution for bringing technology into the store is implementing clienteling solutions. Clienteling is sometimes considered a term to describe retailers using mobile POS to make orders on behalf of a customer, but its capabilities extend far beyond that.

In fact, clienteling has the potential to transform shopper/store associate relationships. How? By using mobile technology to create more impressive – and ultimately profitable – customer experiences.

Here are 6 ways in which clienteling can raise in-store expectations, to deliver more satisfying consumer encounters:

  • Extend availability beyond the shelf edge6 ways to Succeed in Retail
    One of shoppers’ greatest frustrations is knowing what they want, but not being able to see it at the shelf edge.
    Integrating inventory systems via mobile POS enables store personnel to outline not only what’s available on the shop floor, but in the stock room and even in neighbouring stores. If the item isn’t available immediately, then delivery to the store or the customer’s home can be quickly and easily arranged.
  • Answer even the trickiest questions
    With 81% of consumers researching online before entering a store, today’s bricks-and-mortar shoppers are incredibly clued-up when they arrive at the aisles. However, often they have specific questions upon seeing the product – and expect store associates to address those queries.
    Rather than relying on personally acquired knowledge, mobile POS empowers staff by linking to detailed product information, to answer even the trickiest enquiries.
  • Take service to the customer
    If there are two things consumers hate, it’s queuing and inconvenience – which tend to stem from fixed point of sale systems. The flexibility of mobile POS enables retailers to build service around the customer, both in terms of giving them what they want, and holding encounters wherever they are in the store.
  • Personalise encounters and offers
    Unlike online, where retailers have a detailed history of consumer activity, shoppers are effectively anonymous when they walk through the store entrance. Entering their details into a mobile POS system will bring up that history, allowing personnel to tailor offers based on their previous purchases or value to the business.
    It has the added benefit of enabling retailers to track activity in the store as well, to build up a complete omni-channel picture of customer activity.
  • Make customer wishes come true
    It’s not just the current sale that clienteling can enhance. Engaging with customers through mobile technology enables retail personnel to help shoppers build up wish lists for future visits. This can be particularly useful in sectors such as fashion and beauty, where consumers try several products at once but may only have the budget to purchase one there and then.
    Clienteling also gives retailers the capability to gift list these items, for others to purchase even when the original customer is absent. Wedding gift lists are a great example – the happy couple can compile their preferences, which the retailer can manage independently when guests redeem goods in-store or online.
  • Increase basket size in a targeted manner
    Upselling can be an effective and welcome customer service tool, provided it’s relevant to what customers are buying. With a mobile POS system integrated into the operational network, retailers can recommend products from the wider catalogue based on the items shoppers are browsing in store.
    By tailoring services to individual tastes, store associates are not just more likely to increase customer basket sizes during that encounter; they are creating a seamless encounter that will encourage that shopper to return again and again.

Four essential queue busting strategies for Easter weekend


Just a few days remain until the Easter weekend – one of the biggest spikes in the retail calendar.
The Easter egg market alone is worth £365 million, while many consumers use the public holidays as a time to shop. In fact, according to Experian FootFall, European consumer activity often increases ahead of the weekend and continues into the week after, creating the potential for a two-week surge in spending.

This presents a fantastic opportunity for retail businesses to boost profits, however, it’s not without Download Free Whitepaperits pitfalls. Namely, more shoppers equal busier stores, and therefore place a greater strain on operational resources.

Queuing is a particularly big challenge for retailers, who fear that long wait times will lead to shoppers abandoning their purchases.

To help you control the crowds this Easter weekend, we’ve put together 4 tips for reducing queue lengths during busy trading periods:

1. Predict when your store is likely to reach crisis point
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Looking back over previous Easter periods, trading patterns can reveal vital details on when your store is likely to be busy, enabling you to put measures in place – such as increasing workforce – to ensure customer service standards are upheld.
A good retail business intelligence tool is essential for these insights. Although it won’t stop ebbs and flows in consumer traffic, it will prepare your business for the most intense stress moments.

2. Increase your payment points
Many retailers rely on one or two fixed points of sale, so waiting lines can quickly build up during busy moments. Mobile POS technology is a very effective tool for preventing this congestion, as retailers can quickly and easily open up an alternative point of payment when queues begin to lengthen.
Not only that, but the portable nature of mobile payment devices mean retail staff can use them at any point within the store – so shoppers don’t even have to join a queue to make their purchase.

3. Keep an eye on the queue
It’s very easy for a seemingly controlled situation to suddenly become very chaotic at peak trading times; queues can go from 2 or 3 people to 7-10 in the space of a few minutes.
Again, mobile Point of Sale systems can come in very useful here, as dedicated ‘queue buster’ staff can wander up and down the lines processing payment details to quickly get the queue back down to a manageable length.

4. Speed up transactions
Another factor compounding queue times is the length of each customer transaction. While there are a limited number of things you can do to make scanning and packing goods a speedier process, there are ways to decrease payment times.
Promoting contactless payments for low value purchases is a good example. Another is integrating loyalty schemes onto an application for consumers’ mobile phones, so they don’t have to spend minutes searching through their wallet to collect or redeem points.

How can your mobile strategy stay ahead of the retail curve?

How can your mobile strategy stay ahead of the retail curve?

Mobile, mobile, mobile. It’s dominated retail discussions over the past 12 months, yet knowledge of how consumers use this technology – and how businesses should be incorporating it into their strategies – still feels as though it’s in its infancy. If anything, shoppers are ahead of the curve, quite frequently using their own devices in the store to research products or check prices. However, all that is set to change. According to a BRP special report into mobile technology, the number of retailers using mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) will increase by 300% over the next two years. So what does this mean for the industry? Well firstly, it’s going to shape consumer expectations. As mentioned, there is already a huge appetite for shoppers using their own devices as part of the journey to purchase, and these consumers will become more accustomed to relying on in-store technology as its adoption increases. While there are a few forward-thinking retailers pushing the boundaries by using mPOS for flexible customer service and queue busting, the majority of customers still expected to make transactions via a traditional, fixed Point of Sale. Mobile POS gives retailers the capacity to redefine in-store customer service, offering shoppers added value options such as:

  • Real-time stock availability updates, by linking to inventory data
  • Advice on different colours and styles, using online catalogues
  • Recommended accessories or accompaniments, again using catalogue information
  • Ability to order or reserve from anywhere in the fulfilment network, integrating operational data across the business
  • Transactions anywhere in the store, by connecting to an online payments gateway

Secondly, the more retailers incorporate mPOS into their store strategies, the more competitive it will become as a Edge_Ahead_with_mobilityEdge_Ahead_with_mobility customer service tool. This means ‘making do’ with existing equipment will not suffice – retailers will need to be at the forefront of their game when it comes to both hardware and the supporting solution, in order to innovate experiences as shopper expectations increase. In order to stay ahead of the competition, therefore, retail businesses need to future-proof their mobile engagement strategy. This means choosing a flexible, scalable mobile POS management system that can add new functionality without slowing down day-to-day interactions. The quickest, most painless way to do this is to invest in a cloud-based solution. By moving deployment and maintenance of technology infrastructure into the cloud, retailers can upgrade or roll out applications to any device within their network remotely, minimising disruption to trading.

Not only that, but moving to the cloud lifts the boundaries applied by on-site solutions. By outsourcing their mPOS management to an expert third party, retailers remove restrictions imposed by store networks, data storage and operational resources. And should the time come when front-end hardware isn’t meeting customer needs, they can easily implement new technology that plugs straight into the cloud, drawing down existing data and capabilities as soon as the upgraded devices are connected.

Mobilize the store on Cloud

Now that the retail industry is safely past the 2015 predictions and hype, let’s see what enterprise retailers and SMBs are investing to better sales and customer service. Enabling more payment options and integrating EMV before the deadline is the top priority among retailers. The Cloud has never been so sought-after, and the number of retailers migrating to it is only going to rise.

Then, integrated loyalty is one aspect that retailers are seriously investing in. Mobile POS, integrated retailing and better loyalty benefits are points that a retailer can benefit the customer with, and mine valuable customer data alongside.
The thrust is also on to bring technology to the floor for empowerment of Shop-Floor Employee. Along with back-office improvements and Cloud integration, the Mobile POS enabled employee is expected to work as queue-busters, better upsells and an overall enhanced retail experience. In short, 2015 will see the employee becoming the real face of the retail chain.

Mobilize the store on Cloud_Infographics

The multichannel movement’s arriving fast: is your business ready?


If this month’s Apple Watch launch underlined anything about today’s consumers it’s that they love technology.

Wherever you look, people are blending their online and offline experiences using connected devices – and this is changing the game for the retail sector.

The multichannel movement has created new challenges and opportunities for retailers wanting to capture customer value at every touch point, particularly online.

Over the past 12 months, the enormous increase in mobile retail has led to eCommerce’s importance soaring. Already Multichannelwe’re seeing promotional events such as Black Friday become a global retail phenomenon. In fact, according to a recent report by Dunnhumby, 20% of total growth in established markets will come from online shopping in the next 5 years.

However, it’s important to remember that online shopping is only half the story. There are very few consumers who shop exclusively through the internet. Whether the final sale is attributed to eCommerce or the store, it is likely that the buyer has interacted with the retailer across both channels, using multiple devices, on their journey to purchase.

What does this multichannel movement mean for retailers?

Most importantly, the rise of multichannel has created a compulsion to offer consumers a seamless journey however they shop. Desktop, mobile and store shopping can no longer be treated as separate entities; they are part of the same customer journey, and therefore a common brand identity and product availability must exist throughout.

For retailer eCommerce platforms in particular, this means optimising websites for use on all devices. The importance of responsive content will increase further next month when Google updates its search engine criteria to prioritise mobile optimised websites – highlighting that consumers must be able to find and view content easily, and purchase quickly, even on small screen.

It also means that the digital journey must be firmly integrated with offline activities. One of the greatest challenges for today’s retailers is integrating bricks and mortar into the multichannel experience.

More often than not, shoppers enter a store with some level of knowledge from online research. This last point in the journey involves seeing and trying the item at the shelf edge, and asking final, detailed questions that perhaps can’t be addressed online.

Equipping customer service personnel with Mobile POS technology linked to back-end systems provides access to this depth of knowledge. It also enables staff to pull up recent orders or abandoned purchases, to continue shoppers’ online journeys in the store.

How can retailers best serve multichannel shoppers?

There’s no doubting that multichannel shopping is a complicated world, with many technology solutions available to address these complexities. The key for retailers is to implement systems that enable them to flexibly serve and customise experiences for shoppers in all channels.

Good news is on the horizon for those that achieve this agility – as the Dunnhumby report notes, multichannel customers are worth 30-67% more on average than those who shop in a single channel. It seems the multichannel movement is packed with shoppers who are hard to negotiate to the checkout, but who reward great experiences richly once they get there.

Cloud-powered retailing in 2015

Integrated Retail – The Multichannel Way

Integrated Retail-The Multichannel way

Acquire. Retain. Engage. These are the three words that any retailer knows as the Holy Grail. A seamless, multichannel approach that acts upon these three tenets is what any retailer needs to consolidate his customer base. And that calls for a cloud-based retail system that works as a suite of integrated applications, rather than a patchwork quilt of disparate solutions.

A retailer in today’s world is beset with technologies aiding the customer in making smarter buying decisions, and advancements in retailing in reaching out to the customer. Engaging these diverse elements to bring value to the customer, creating a value-based image in his mind and keeping it all profitable… that is the perfect median that a retailer should be aiming to achieve.

What a new-age retailer needs is an end-to-end, multi-channel retail management suite of solutions that incorporates all processes from POS to Store Back Office to Head Office operations. The need for agility asks for the new-age retail management software suites where on-premise systems co-exist with the virtual world of Cloud, which can either be Private or Public Cloud systems. Retailers also prefer versatility in the fact that their retail operations be a ‘hybrid’ of on-premise and Cloud technology.

Integrated retail management applications contribute a lot in increasing process efficiencies. Integrated applications help6 ways to Succeed in Retail business owners to get a good idea of what’s going on by offering a bird’s eye view of daily and long-term operations. And it is because of these integrated applications that retailers today are able to effectively manage their different channels of sales. The applications today are sophisticated and advanced to seamlessly integrate eCommerce, brick & mortar and other sales channels into one holistic application set, which in the context of retail, is called Multi Channel Retail.

A true multichannel ready Cloud solution would address all retail touch-points such as front-end POS operations, inventory, merchandise hierarchy, customer loyalty, data and analytics, eCommerce/ mCommerce, and reports, in one suite of applications. This is essential in ensuring the smooth, daily function of any retailer, whether it is Enterprise-Class or an SME.

With Enterprise Mobility becoming a buzz-word, a retailer can use a Cloud-based retail solution on tablets and phones to bring the POS to the customer, flipping the traditional model. With wireless connection to the Cloud Enterprise Server, a store employee can assist a customer from selection to the billing process. What’s more, a loyalty integration will also enable the employee to either credit the transaction to the customer’s loyalty account, or redeem the ‘points’ in favor of the current transaction.

Using an integrated retail system, which converges data of all multichannel retail touch points and is able to do so in multiple languages with multi-currency facets, is vastly important for the success of any retailer.

With a Cloud-based Retail Suite, centrally-controlled automatic over-the-air updates become the word in retail operations. One click from the head-office should be all that it takes every store to update its software to the latest version. The result: No manning required for running software updates!

Facilitating smooth operations of a Retail chain is an important concern of a multichannel retail company, which is ensured by an integrated retail management solution. Each branch (if spread over nations and boundaries) must consist of its own locally-based currency and language system, in order to best service the department, and customers. Reports can then be sent back to the head office, detailing information regarding sales and other allied functions. Therefore, a retail solution today must also have multi-lingual, multi-currency functionalities that empower a retail taskforce to instantly set up a retail store at any location, and not worry about IT hassles.

Available on terminal and mobile devices, iVend Cloud-based retail management suite’s multi-store, multi-user, e-commerce, loyalty-ready abilities empower retailers to engage with consumers on an entirely new level. With iVend Retail on Cloud, enterprise retailers can look beyond disparate software solutions and achieve profitability.

For a retailer, it is easy as anything to run promotions with a multi-channel ready cloud-based retail management suite. The management team can just run it from the Head Office server, and it will automatically ‘stream’ down to each store and POS, as well as the online version, too. Engaging customers was never so seamless.

With reduced dependency on infrastructure and more stress on performance and functionality, iVend Retail on Cloud empowers the Enterprise Retailer like never imagined. Thousands of stores in over 45 countries are running iVend Retail from CitiXsys Technologies, realizing their true efficiency and profitability.

These are but a few of the changes that a retailer will experience on first-hand basis with CitiXsys’ live demos of iVend Retail on Cloud. Meet our Team at RBTE-2015 at Stand-534 to see How iVend powers retail businesses.

Engage Digitally with Customers

citixsys Engage Digitally with customer

Imagine retail customers no longer fumbling at a billing queue to drag out a crushed (or even half-torn) discount coupon, or a sale notice. Instead, visualize the same customers handing their iPhone or Android smartphones over to the store clerk to scan their new Digital Pass! That is no longer a sci-fi element, because the technology is here and now.

Now, a retail customer can be informed of a new location of his favorite store, the offers available, special events and sale timings. And to avail a sale voucher, the customer only needs to show the Pass at the billing counter, where the store clerk can scan the bar-code and process the offer. Technology has made the entire transaction, the whole process in fact, that much simpler, personal, engaging and efficient!

With this advancement, people can save information of their favorite offers or special sales, or get digital discount Passes on their phones . Passes and Passbook are, arguably, the next step in evolution of customer outreach.

Additionally, there is an option for retailers to send an image of the pass that the customers are receiving. The latter can get them via email, SMS, MMS, the web, social media, an app, and as QR codes (using the built-in Passbook scanning app).

Historically, Apple first introduced the concept of Digital Passes in 2012. Passbook is an application in iOS that allows users to store coupons, boarding passes, event tickets, store cards as well as financial information.

How Passes Work?Download Brochure

The Passbook displays Aztec, PDF417 and QR 2D barcodes, which can be triggered by location, localization, and the time of pass (validity). Being a Digital Pass, up to 10 locations can be added to each Pass, as in once a customer stores a Pass in his iPhone/Android Passbook, a location is programmed via GPS coordinates and/or iBeacon UUID. And another advantage of being digital is that up to 35 languages can be stored per Pass.

The 2D barcode in Passes can easily be recognized by a terminal POS barcode scanner, thereby removing the need to issue (and lug around) traditional passes. Going local to woo customers was never so easy!

Changes/modifications in the Pass can be pushed via the Apple Push Notification Service by the pass provider, or manually updated by the user themselves.

Geo-fencing feature in iVend Passes

iVend Passes utilizes the geo-fencing feature to specify different retail store locations. They can specify different stores coordinates while designing the template of the digital passes (it can be a gift card, coupon, or a loyalty card). The tagging of stores on the Digital Passes ensures a notification is received on the customer’s locked phone as soon as he reaches the vicinity of stores tagged in the digital Pass.

Besides the ‘valid-until’ dates of coupons, points and currency balance in Loyalty and Gift Cards are some more notifications that a customer can receive on his/ her phone.

So, what does the customer get out of this? He/she doesn’t have to check the validity on the Passes anymore. The Passbook feature automatically remind the phone owner when the due-date is near. When the customer is near a store, the relevant Pass will automatically put itself on the notification panel. So, the customer actually gets to enjoy the many benefits extended by the retailer.

The edge in going Digital

The information given above outlines what the customer gets out of iVend Passes. And in usual cases, the retailer is content with making it easier to reach out to the customer. But with Passes, there is a whole host of information that can be gleaned out of this avenue.

For one, the retailer gets comprehensive dashboards. A density map allows the analysis of the highest concentrations of Passes and where they are/have being used. That also gives the retailer an idea of where is the highest concentration of his customers. Plus, the iVend Dashboards can be configured to see the Usage Ratios. The management can see graphic evaluations to measure their Return on Investment (ROI). The retailer can see who has viewed their enterprise’s Passes, who has opened, redeemed or deleted their Passes. And this is all possible in real-time.

Integration Woes- No More!

So now, many retailers have installed third-party loyalty and Passes applications on top of their legacy software systems. In some cases, the sales till gets a new machine, adding to the clutter. And even then, there is no guarantee that the separate software can ‘talk’ to each other, easing hassles for the store employees and customers alike.

With the iVend Enterprise Retail Suite, a retailer can go beyond installation and integration issues. The Passes application is one of the complementary application in the software suite, and provides unmatched performance, safety, utility and data for the retailer.

iVend Passes is a platform for retailers to deploy Digital Passes on Apple Passbook, and Android devices as well. This gives retailers a cost-effective, long-lasting solution to engage customers with a digital Loyalty Card, digital Coupon or a digital Gift Card. It is a cloud-based application integrates seamlessly with iVend Enterprise Retail Suite to empower retailers to use the service at their point of sales, whether they be terminal or

Then, with iVend Retail, it becomes as easy as anything to design Passes, using the template designer to layout the design for a gift card, coupon or a loyalty card. The Email Designer enables the sending of customized email messages, along with your Passes.

And of course, customers would prefer the ‘greener’ version of retailer rewards, wouldn’t they?