Globally retail stores are beefing up their sales capabilities ditching the old-fashioned point of sale machines and having salespeople — and even shoppers themselves — ring up sales on smartphones and tablet computers.
Barneys New York, a luxury retailer, this year plans to use iPads or iPod Touch devices for credit and debit card purchases in seven of its nearly two dozen regular-price stores.
Mobile point-of-sale devices are no longer just a tool for specialty retailers or smaller merchants to accept card payments. Increasingly, large U.S. retailers are equipping associates with smartphones and tablets that let them accept customer payments from the sales floor.
Technology has consistently been a major driver in retail but mobile POS devices are transforming the retail industry in a way that few technologies have done before. “Retailers which have eschewed cumbersome cash wraps in favor of a mobilized checkout are already reaping increased savings, sales and customer satisfaction,” said the report, written by Yankee Group analyst Jordan McKee.
Industry experts are of the opinion that year 2014 marked the transformation of Point of sale terminals as they became increasingly mobile and the trend would take Big Box retailers by storm in the coming year
The need of the hour is to look for ways to better understand customers and deliver the right products to the right channel at the right time at the right price. Customer’s reach to more product information along with a myriad of product choices has shifted power to the consumer while resulting in higher customer expectations.
Mobile POS technology helps retailers enhance their customer’s shopping experience, while reducing the costs of providing that enhanced experience. While operational efficiency remains important, retailers are leveraging mobile POS technology to close sales instantly, optimize demand side processes, attract and retain more customers and drive future growth.
To create marketplace advantages in the future, retailers already know their customers intimately, including their needs, wants, preferences, and values and are restructuring their business processes and in-store technologies to ensure customer expectations are fully satisfied.
Mobile POS has a positive impact on revenue as it doesn’t add complexity to the existing retail environment and considerably empowers the store associates.
The new POS technology that extends to mobile devices as applications, employee hand-held, new payment devices, numerous displays and customer facing systems can help fuel loyalty and sales technological com, making the job of a Store Associate more effective without adding technological complexity.
We always hear the old say that “People buy from people” and this is essentially true in context to the retail sector. If your forward workforce is happy and motivated and as a result the interaction with customers is a positive one. For any retail business, this positive experience really does go a long way to reinforcing a positive brand reputation.
Technology innovations have been fast transforming the world around us and are leaving a definitive impact on the way customers shop for products and services. Retailers are also evolving to these changing market dynamics by redefining customer experience in retail space with multitude of personalized touch points.
Digital consumers do not differentiate between these trends. For consumers, these trends are just an extension of their experience with the world around them, be it interacting with a retailer, or elsewhere. It is now an accepted fact that future success of retail lies in the convergence of physical and digital channels enabled by digital transformation. This transformation will make it possible for companies to provide an integrated, meaningful and personalized experience to customers across all relevant and critical touch points – when shoppers make their choices.
Channel Integration or convergence is one of the primary challenges for all multichannel retailers in the quest for profitable retailing. When a customer makes contact with a retailer-whether it be online, via mobile application, via catalogue, or in store- it’s important that they are treated in the same way; and that the high level of service that a customer received face to- face is replicated via other channels. To provide that service, the retailer must have an integrated platform for retail, an efficient retail management solution that ensure the right product is in the right place at the right time, which is absolutely critical.
Only an enterprise class retail application can help a retailer address the expectations of a digital consumer. An in-depth understanding of consumer behavior in-store and online with their purchasing preferences has become essential. Modern retail applications represent the key to future retail business model that reflects channel convergence. Discussed below are a few recommendations that can help forward-looking retailers’ adopt this model with ease.
Improving the in-store experience
Physical stores need to offer experiences that consumers can’t have in the digital space. The existing boundaries between digital and physical need to fade by leveraging technologies like mobile. Digital passes, Becons and geotagging are new initiatives to take mobile social consumer with tide.
Access and Discovery
Retailer’s and brands need to creatively promote all channels and applications (marketing mailers, promotions etc.) to generate traffic. At the same time, location-based applications can help retailers find customers and target them with personalized promotions and offers.
Empower your workforce
Mobile POS puts real-time customer data into the hands of your store associates, which can lead to instant in-store conversion, lesser abandoned carts, increased basket size (via cross- and up selling) and improved customer experience and satisfaction in the store.
Real time analytics for actionable insights
Retail analytics is the ultimate performance-monitoring tool, which makes it possible to promote immediate, compelling offers to customers, regardless of channel. Which item is performing, which store is performing, what sells with what etc. a retailer can run and monitor promotions and schemes in real time, enabling a consumer to get a better value for their money – whether through digital or physical channels.
Invest in the last mile
The explosion of order and delivery channels has made order management and fulfillment more important and challenging than ever. A recent study found that nearly nine out of 10 retailers say they support fulfillment through more than one selling channel. In this environment, flexibility is essential. With leading retailers making headlines for their ship-from-store programs, a new bar is being set for inventory utilization in retail, but many retailers do not yet have the infrastructure in place to meet this challenge.
The siloed approach won’t work
The consumer is in the driver’s seat and a halfhearted approach to digital media would not suffice. This convergence of shopping behavior will help make 2015 the breakout year for the digital store, unlocking new experiences and value that can only be delivered in a physical location
Some companies have captured the true business benefits of a digital transformation. Most, however, are only beginning their journey to transform. Our experience in retail points towards Digital convergence as the most sought after trend in retailing for the year 2015, imparting retail businesses an operational advantage to monetary gains for retailer’s who plan to transform themselves for future
eCommerce portals are now a mainstream channel of sales for retail interactions offering new opportunities to augment revenue and get closer to customers. They act as important retail touch point to connect with business associates and customers’ to build a steady stream of revenue. In this issue of Retail insights we discuss the features that an Integrated eCommerce solution must have to suffice the demands of modern retail.
Traditional portal platforms come with a generic and loosely coupled integration with the retail ecosystem. A consulting engagement or a large development project is required to complete the integration. These and such projects often end up as a heap of functionality that is difficult to deploy and use.
On the other hand iVend eCommerce, an integral part of iVend Retail Management Suite reduces the need for a lengthy consulting engagement, allowing a retail enterprise to deliver results faster.
iVend eCommerce therefore significantly reduces the time to Market.
Download the Magazine to learn more about iVend eCommerce
iVend eCommerce is the integrated eCommerce portal of iVend Retail Management Suite. Notwithstanding the business benefits of an integrated eCommerce portal, iVend eCommerce also extends a high level of convenience to the retailer – more from the view point of master data management. The fundamental and the most basic expectation from an integrated eCommerce portal is to not only have the transactions integrated, but also to have a common repository of the master data.
Master Data Management in the context of an eCommerce portal plays an important role in establishing a successful online business. One of the major aspects of master data management is the ability of the application suite to allow users a single application interface from where the entire master data can be managed. Specifically, we are referring to item master, their associated images, price lists, special price lists, gift cards, coupons, etc. In an integrated retail application like iVend Retail Management Suite, iVend Enterprise is the central repository of the entire master data. The configuration settings available in iVend Enterprise make it possible to either share the entire master data across the retail network or make it store or eCommerce specific.
Definition and management of images determine the aesthetics and usability of an eCommerce portal. Since the customer does not have the option of physically feeling the products, the closest an online retailer can come is to show multiple different images and profiles of the product. Moreover a product can either be displayed on the home page or the entity page or on the product page or any other location on the eCommerce portal. The size of the image at all these locations is always different. Given the different locations (on the portal) and the image sizes, managing images can be a nearly impossible task.
iVend eCommerce resizes images automatically depending on the location (on the portal) where all the image is to be displayed. It is the same image that can be shown on the home page, entity page, product page, in the shopping cart, in the order confirmation page, etc. This feature significantly reduces the overhead of master data management for images.
Not only the images, iVend eCommerce being integrated to iVend Enterprise allows seamless integration of gift cards, coupons and loyalty cards between the two applications. Similarly price lists can be made specific to iVend eCommerce.
Success of an eCommerce platform largely depends on its aesthetics, ease of use and most importantly the content management module. Content is closely tied to all of the processes such as display, order management, inventory, promotions etc. and so content management plays a fundamental role in Internet-based commerce.
The ability to easily update, add to and manage an eCommerce online store is a necessity for a successful and profitablewebsite. Content management system in iVend eCommerce allows users to not only manage products and orders, but customers, promotions, newsletters and much more. An integrated content management system puts a retailer in direct control of his eCommerce content. Intuitive functionality and modules in iVend eCommerce empowers Retailers’ without extensive programming experience to easily update and modify their portal without unintentionally affecting the overall design of a site. The portal comes with a mobile responsive skin and with the right customization from designers and developers, a user can maintain his webstore without ever writing a line of code.
iVend eCommerce allows administrators to make changes in real time, as a result, retailers have robust B2B or B2C capabilities, with personalization, and content-driven site much more quickly. iVend eCommerce has a content manager that includes the functionality for scheduling content and multi-level administrative privileges for different users, allowing retailer to customize the system based product release calendar and staff roles. User-friendly formatting, with clear fields for Meta summaries and titles in iVend eCommerce, makes it easier to optimize content for search engines.
With options for multilingual sites available, content manager in iVend eCommerce aids in reaching an international audience. iVend eCommerce has a Responsive design making it simple to create sites that users can view on any device irrespective of the screen size they view it on. Content manager in iVend eCommerce systems increases your ability to reach your full customer base with integrated Shipping and Payments.
Multichannel transformation requires adoption of technology that dissolves the boundaries that create an operational divide across various retail touch points. As retailers continue to see rapid shifts in customer demands, competitors’ capabilities and available technologies, the pressure for Multi-channel transformation has reached a tipping point.
Retailers are investing, but it is of prime importance for them to know which capabilities are most important.
The infographic below highlights the new phenomenon observed in Retail indicating that almost one-third of the shoppers of the top 10 retailers whether big or small use smartphones and tablets to make purchases. In a recent event India’s biggest online retailer Flipkart took just 10 hours to hit its target of $100 million in gross merchandise value (GMV), or the value of goods sold, , when it hosted its Big Billion Day sale
The mobile commerce trend is now picking momentum and empowering customers to engage more with retail sites, apps and transact easily. This calls for retailers to adapt to this ever-changing landscape if they wish to succeed in this realm.
COMPANY: Milano Impex Pvt. Ltd.
Industry : Footwear
Milano Impex Pvt. Ltd owns two brands EGLE & LOUIS ALBERTI and has been successfully selling them globally. After carving a niche in European market, Milano Impex Pvt Ltd introduced brand EGLE in India in 2003 followed by introduction of LOUIS ALBERTI.
Milano Impex Pvt. Ltd initially followed the dealer & distributor business model which contributed to a major chunk of their revenue. After achieving considerable success in their maiden Retail venture, company looks forward to expand their reach with an online offering.
With a successful lineage of introducing European shoe brands EGLE and Louis Alberti, Milano Impex wanted to launch a new business-to-consumer eCommerce Portal. A portal that would allow them to sell merchandise directly to the consumers and deliver an integrated brand experience to match the spirit of “Shoes for all occasions”.
The company wanted an eCommerce portal that seamlessly integrates into their iVend Retail and SAP Business One so that their. Online and Physical stores function as a unified retail unit.
Milano wanted their eCommerce portal to come alive with innovative and intuitive design, that features images, description and media to showcase their wide range of Men’s Shoes.
iVend eCommerce with SAP Business One
- Customers can quickly find products and create wish lists by selecting products in Categories / Brands or by using the shop-by filter
- Increase in the average order size with promotions, smart up-sells and crosssells
- Marketing, merchandising and sales staff have better control to manage portal content without IT intervention
- Conduct integrated sales as a result of seamless integration with iVend Retail and SAP Business One
- Eases the process of rolling out international Web sites in multiple languages and currencies
- Supports Web traffic exceeding one million page views per day, helping the company meet or exceed its sales expectations
- Ease of reporting and order information analysis to comprehend and optimize marketing, online sales, billing and customer support, returns management, shipping and product distribution logistics
- Higher customer satisfaction with engaging shopping experience
We really like iVend eCommerce Portal’s ease of access with update capabilities…it is expected to support company’s expansion strategy and provide real-time brand visibility and shopping access for our customers anywhere anytime.
Prem Raj Sharma
CEO, Milano Impex Pvt. Ltd.
Loyalty programs are known to increase both the value of customer relationships and revenue for businesses. A recent study by AC Nielsen shows that 60% of consumers consider loyalty programs an important factor in their buying decisions. And customers spend 46% more with brands that deploy loyalty programs on average.
But what makes loyalty programs tick, and how should a retailer choose the program’s value back to the bottom line?
A successful loyalty program is built around powerful rewards and incentives that encourage frequent visits and increased spending.
Increasing visit frequency or repeat footfalls is just one reason customer loyalty matters.
Attractive incentives are the main driver for buying behaviors. A good loyalty program helps retail businesses offer custom rewards. Retailers are able to assign point values and create rewards that encourage customers to come back and repeat buy. An effective loyalty program impacts customer behavior by aligning point values with the number of visits. Design rewards to entice members to return to increase revenue.
With Forrester reporting that mobile will account for 29% of online consumer purchases in 2014—up from 21% last year—it’s now imperative that a loyalty program be mobile too.
What, exactly, does mobile loyalty look like?
A Mobile loyalty program depends on the retailer’s business, his target audience and the kind of relationship retailer is looking to build. But despite all if’s and buts brands are now extending loyalty programs to mobile environments in ways that create new customer interactions and build brand value.
iVend Loyalty portal is distinct way to integrate mobility where customers enroll in a loyalty program, and see reward balances—all on a mobile responsive portal. Remarkably, many retail brands have not yet reached this point, but sooner or later most of the brands will have to: “Customers today expect a program to deliver customization, value, and relevance everywhere, all the time”
Increasing visit frequency should be the core of every loyalty program. Frequency translates to members visiting more, and increasing their spend over time. Research indicates that loyalty program members not only spend more when they visit, they also visit about 20% more often than non-members.
By designing incentives that entice customers and urge them to shop are one of the most impactful way to motivate customer decisions is to understand what they want, and to stay in touch.
Loyalty programs encourage people to Buy and then repeat the purchase. Customers like to be rewarded for being loyal — especially if the rewards program offers them a significant savings or discount. Incorporating rewards programs that connect to customers’ socially puts additional focus on the business, thereby increasing the potential for new customers.
Recognition is the Buzz-word – Acknowledge the Customer with instant Gratification
More I buy more I feel the need to be rewarded. iVend loyalty programs help in setting up exclusive level definitions for various customer categories like Silver, Gold & Platinum
One of the most valuable aspect of iVend Loyalty is that it instills among retailers the abilities to identify individual customers and to measure and understand their buying patterns. This behavioral trend far outweighs the “currency” value of providing consumers with rewards for shopping at any retail store
The Shopping behavioral intelligence of loyalty program can make retailer use it many innovative ways to tailor new promotional activities with focused and targeted campaigns. A customer loyalty program therefore becomes an ingenious marketing tool that makes a memorable statement about a Retail business.
Leveraging iVend Loyalty makes it possible for retailers to get a clear, unified view of brand interactions across channels whether online, mobile or instore. The integrated Loyalty experience enhances retailer’s ability to offer customers personalized service based on all they know about them—no matter which channel they opt to shop from. Loyalty is the crucial bridge between offline and online. And an integrated loyalty application such as iVend Loyalty that reflects all-channel view of consumer behavior is a big opportunity for retail chain owners to boost sales and increase profitability.