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.

Invitation to Retail’s Biggest Party in 2014

NRF 2014 blog

CitiXsys invites you at NRF and experience how iVend Retail Management Suite can help your business turn profitable and your customers happier. Thousands of stores in over 45+ countries are running iVend Retail from CitiXsys and are more profitable and efficient.

Retail industry has matured over the years and grown exponentially but retailers have found it difficult to keep up with the pace of modernization and automation required at the systems level. Home grown solutions, legacy systems and proprietary systems within the ecosystem of the retailers have resulted in inefficient and disconnected systems.

CitiXsys enhances the whole retail management experience by combining cutting edge technologies and the best practices prevalent in the industry in its iVend Retail Management suite. The application suite not only treats the entire landscape as single holistic enterprise but also seamlessly integrates the key functions of retail through iVend Loyalty, iVend eCommerce, iVend Mobility and iVend Analytics that are integral parts of the suite.

Be sure to stop by and visit us at Booth #3539 to:

Learn how to enhance customer’s shopping experience and maximizing returns to the retailer’s investment How integrated Retail management solutions can help retailer’s improve efficiency How digital passes negate the need to have plastic gift cards, loyalty cards, gift coupons ad help them engage with customers and simultaneously Go Green. Benefits of having a flexible Mobile POS that operates with a common view of inventory, order management, payments etc. in both Online and offline mode Strategies to enable Retailers of all sizes to deliver a mobile integrated Instore Experience through Android and iOS devices

Retail’s Biggest Show begins on 13th January 2014 and CitiXsys gives you a chance to Grab your free Expo pass worth $750 here.

Free Expo Pass

Let’s Meet Again – iVend Retail Summit 2013

It was a grand one at Thailand last year and continuing the trend let’s meet again at New Delhi, India this year. CitiXsys invites all its partners to iVend Retail Summit 2013 with a focus on Strategizing Sales and Team Enablement. Along with exhaustive sessions on Retail Sales, Implementation Learning and Knowledge Sharing, we would showcase our hospitality and passion to the attending Partners.

A once in a year opportunity for your Sales force and Implementation teams to learn about iVend Suite’s newest products & features, share best practices, experience the latest product innovations, and learn new skills and techniques. Series of meetings, group discussions, product demonstrations, and welcoming partner meets made this event a grand success.

Let’s meet, interact and rediscover our passion to excel in the world of Retail. CitiXsys is overwhelmed to have a global network of committed, reliable, and trusted partner Network and who deliver ‘Quality’ software services to the Retail & Wholesale Distribution space of the ERP segment globally.

The event shall be abuzz with activity where CitiXsys employees & proud Partners from USA, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Thailand and India shall be attending parallel Sales & Implementation Tracks where the products will be showcased and the roadmap ahead will be shared.

We look forward to meet all the associates and anticipate their valuable participation and their inputs to improvise and further strengthen our systems.

Not to miss the cocktail dinner party towards the end on 19th April 2013, looking forward to see you there..

What can Retail Integrated Ecommerce do for your SME’s

eCommerce_Blog-Banner

These days, the whole world is online and e-commerce is changing the way that SMEs do business. Making use of efficient and effective retail integrated e-commerce models, you can significantly grow your business into something more successful than you could have ever imagined. Here we will take a look at just four of the many ways that integrating e-commerce into your retail enterprise can be to your benefit.

Benefits of Retail Integrated E-Commerce

1. Attract New Business

Gone are the days when small businesses had to hope for passerby’s to notice their boutique or rely upon word of mouth in order to make sales. In the online world, it has never been easier to attract consumers through successful keyword optimization strategies. Because every single one of your products, categories, departments, etc. can have their own customized search engine meta tags (ie: titles, keywords, descriptions), your business is far more likely to show up in your potential customer’s search results and capture their attention. With integrated e-commerce programs you can also monitor which key words seem to be drawing in the most clientele so that you can maximize the usage of those tags.

2. Keep Customers Coming Back

Once you have attracted customers to your page, it is important that you keep them browsing through your products and returning for more. The beauty of retail integrated e-commerce is that it simplifies the process of keeping consumer’s attention. By utilizing features and coding that suggest related or alternate products, product upgrades or add-ons, verbiage like “Customers who bought A also bought B”, customer ratings, ads for coupons and special offers, etc. are all great ways to keep consumers browsing through your online store. It’s also a smart idea to allow customers to obtain “e-coupons” that can be utilized within your actual retail location via their smart phone or tablet.

3. Operate in “Real Time”iVend eCommerce Banner

In this fast-paced society, your consumers expect quick transactions and real time operation. By integrating e-commerce models into your retail business you can instantly make updates to your product inventory, descriptions, availability, and prices. Not only is this ideal for making online sales, but it also plays a huge role in your ability to make on-site sales at your physical retail location. 73 percent of consumers have admitted to utilizing their smart phones or tablets while shopping and 47 percent of these use them to more closely investigate a product prior to purchase. More surprising is that 93 percent of those people who utilize apps in store will make a purchase on-site, the same day. These figures make it clear that quick and accurate product updates and descriptions are critical to making sales.

4. Understand Your Customers

One of the greatest attributes of retail integrated e-commerce is that it enables you to continuously get to know your customers better. Each time your consumers log into your website, you will get a better picture of what it is that they are interested in and how to better meet their needs. By “remembering” previously viewed or purchased products, your online system can present buyers with customized suggestions and offers that will yield a higher response rate – leaving both your business and your customers satisfied. Online purchases and in-store purchases can also be integrated through web based customer loyalty programs that will enable your buyers to accumulate points that lead to further savings by making purchases either on the internet or at your physical location. By being able to access their loyalty points through mobile apps, your consumers will also be more likely to spend more while visiting your store.

For details on Integrated Retail solutions and how can it help your business write to us on info@citixsys.com

Era of Modern Retail (in India) begins with FDI

The Indian Retail Industry is the 5th largest retail destination and the second most  attractive market for investment in the globe after Vietnam as reported by Global Research firm AT  Kearney‘s Era of Modern Retail begins with FDI. The  growing popularity of Indian Retail sector has resulted in growing awareness of  quality products and brands

All Indian households have traditionally enjoyed the convenience of calling up the corner grocery/ Mom & Pop or the “kirana” store, which is all too familiar with their brand preferences, offers credit with door delivery. New Mall based shopping formats are gaining popularity in most cities today, the price-sensitive Indian shopper has reached out to stores such as Big Bazaar mainly for the steep discounts and bulk prices, although most shoppers still prefer the convenience and access offered by the local store.

So how would these Western multi-brand stores such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour strategize their entry into the country and gain access to the average Indian household?

Wal-Mart has already entered the market through its partnership with Bharti, and gained opportunity for some early observations. The company’s entry into China sure must have brought some understanding on catering to a large, diverse market, and perspectives on buying behavior in Asian households. Carrefour on the other hand has launched its wholesale cash and carry operations in the country for professional businesses and retailers. The only ways we see these retail giants gain some quick wins while reaching out to the Indian consumer are-

For one, they will effectively harness their expertise with cold storage technologies to lure customers with fresh and exotic vegetables, fruits and organic produce.

Secondly, they will attract Indian consumer with a range of inspirational global foods and household brands.

Thirdly, by supporting domestic farmers will try ensuring supplies of essential raw materials to them.

Surely, these should engage shoppers’ and farmers interest–but what needs to be seen is whether they can effectively combine these benefits, with the familiarity, convenience and personalized shopping experiences that the local Mom & Pop  or “kirana” stores have always offered.

In emerging markets where FDI has been allowed, it has been observed that organized retail can’t grow beyond a point. The average share of Modern Retail in China is about 25%. Back home where it is open to large Indian corporations, only about 25 to 27% of trade is through Modern Retail. Extensive Market research indicates that an average family does three kinds of Shopping- daily, weekly and monthly. In monthly shopping, people usually buy groceries in bulk from larger stores for better deals. Weekly & daily purchases are top-up purchases and the key driver here is convenience. This is largely driven by door-to-door delivery. Modern Retail will struggle to offer such a facility.

Indian organized retail industry is one of the Sunrise sectors with huge growth potential.

Total retail market in India stood at USD 350 billion in 2007-08 and is estimated to attain USD 573 billion by 2012-13.

India is the second most attractive retail destination‘s globally from among thirty emergent markets. Foreign companies ‘attraction to India is the billion-plus population. Also, there are huge employment opportunities in retail sector in India. India‘s retail industry is the second largest sector, after agriculture, which provides employment. FDI in Retail is a blessing which would lead to massive job generation, inflow of foreign investments in villages, reduce farm wastage, provide farmers’ their due in form of higher prices for their produce and will not have any impact on a traditional Mom & Pop store or ” kirana” merchants in any way whatsoever. The strong back-end infrastructure of organized Retail would help reduce wastage from farm production and improve efficiency of a highly-fragmented food supply chain in India and give the much needed push to small & medium scale manufacturers where they can utilize multi-brand Retail chains as marketing interface to promote their brand among masses.

iVend Retail Management Suite is a complete solution from CitiXsys. The suite provides retailers a real time view of their operations with centralized control enabling effective and faster decision-making. It helps retailers succeed in their business by providing connected modules including: in-store management, eCommerce, Customer Loyalty Programs, Pricing & Promotions, Inventory Management & Planning, and Business Intelligence & Analytics

How do I manage Retail operations to delight customers?

There’s just no getting around the fact that in today’s retail environment, keeping past customers, and attracting new ones, increasingly revolves around an operation’s
buying Integrated Retail ability to engage, and enchant shoppers across an ever expanding spectrum of contact points.

The playing field of retail operations is changing rapidly in response to the many revolutionary technological advances that have impacted every aspect of commerce over the last decade. Successfully staying abreast of these advances, and creatively integrating them into an overall retail marketing strategy, has become vital to capturing customer attention and maintaining commercial viability.

Be There Waiting
Managing a retail operation in a way that maximizes a customer’s user experience is increasingly the key to pleasing and keeping shoppers. Especially in an environment where your competition is often a simple computer keystroke away. Two of the biggest factors influencing shopper decisions and loyalty are ease of use and variety of choice.

Creating a dynamic and successful marketing strategy today hinges on understanding how existing and emerging technologies are shaping customer behavior, and incorporating this knowledge into an integrated retail plan that engages shoppers where they really are.

  • Point of Sale one of the latest trends in retail is giving the customer the ability to pay for products with a smartphone app. – known as mobile wallets. This brings added convenience to the shopping experience – and customers love easy.
  • Enhanced Loyalty Component – mobile wallet technology expands loyalty programs beyond a membership card, and sends attractive promotions and discount offers to customers via the electronic payment application of their choice. And every customer’s chief loyalty is to value.
  • Networking via the Customer – incorporating easy to use social media components into every venue where customers access your operation is crucial to a successful integrated retail plan. Giving your customers a concrete vehicle for spreading the word makes them happy – and your bottom line too.
  • Mobile Apps – shoppers use their phones to search, and buy, more and more each year. Having your own smartphone app simply puts your operation where the shopper is increasingly likely to be too. When they see your app – they’ll smile.

All for One
One of the key, and somewhat hidden, aspects of the increasing complexity we’re witnessing in the technological bells and whistles available to retail operations today, is the pervasive simplicity and ease of use it delivers to your customers. With each addition to a modern plan of integrated retail components, another layer of customers is incorporated into your network.

What seems rather confusing and complex when viewed as a whole is actually the picture of simplicity from the customer’s perspective. They don’t care that you have several elements to your marketing web that do not apply to them – they only care about the one that does. And since each one of these components delivers increasing ease of interaction to someone – your integrated retail plan constitutes a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Keeping an engaged and delighted customer base is one of the keys to the success of any retail operation. Developing an intelligently designed plan of integrating tools customers already love into the very structure of your retail operations will provide a steady stream of shoppers, and sales.

Retail Mobility – Improve shopping experience & Customer satisfaction

iVend Mobility

With the explosive competition growth that almost defines the retail sector, a multi-faceted approach such as that provided by integrating your retail systems is no longer a luxury, but an imperative. This is especially true in light of the fact that even successful retail companies miss out on a substantial amount of conversions at their mobile POS, due to their inability to identify their most loyal conversions. Indeed; the number of missed opportunities can be staggering, given that these consumers are quite frequently repeat buyers.

Integrated retail systems have been shown to play a huge part in driving more people into your network, from which they continue on to your mobile POS, or other platform of lead conversion. Today’s software has grown ever more powerful to meet the demand, highlighting convenience for the user with such novel and time-saving improvements as touch-screen interfaces to match the speedier processors on the market now. Statistics show that the importance of mobile marketing is skyrocketing, and is expected to surpass all other forms in the coming years. This means that everything you do with your company, from the human resources angle of ensuring customer loyalty, to the establishment of retail innovations, will all need to converge on a mobile POS for maximum effect.

It isn’t possible to overestimate the importance of customer engagement directly at your mobile POS. In the past, it was all about traffic, because traffic led to an acceptable percentage of conversions given the right long-tail keywords. Today, however, this isn’t enough; since retail keywords are so competitive, you now have to treat every visitor as a valued consumer, which is done mostly through the offering of deals tailored to any previous purchases they might have made; contests and prizes to keep their interest and interaction with your brand piqued, and metrics that gauge their satisfaction with each product.

With the rise of social media in the past few years, it is clear that customer loyalty is synonymous with customer engagement. Besides the things your retail outfit should keep in mind for the mobile POS, well before they get there, people like to be informed about products and services in a way that doesn’t seem like advertising. After all, consumers are always looking for the product you and your competitors are pitching; the key is getting them to yours first and keeping them there. Constructing informative posts that do nothing but update offers extensively, encouraging a comments section to help foster ideas for amendments for your future posts – it’s the best way to engage with the potential consumer and enter into a dialogue.

Integrated Retail software can help your business with keeping track of the multi-channel retailing that will ensure your company’s competitiveness on all Retail touchpoints. Business Intelligence dashboards that lay everything out at your fingertips will facilitate Analytics, which aren’t just a tracking method, but also an improvement mechanism, allowing you to identify and hone in on especially lucrative areas. Retail management software frees up time to pursue retail innovations, since you will no longer be bogged down with the minutiae that often accompanies manual tracking. What better way to present yourself as an attractive and loyal enterprise than new solutions that benefit your growing customer base? Your integrated systems will be a beacon in the sea of similar enterprises, driving up your mobile POS numbers without sacrificing customer satisfaction.

Elvy Lifestyle increases topline revenue with iVend Retail

Company : Elvy Lifestyle

Country : India

Industry : Exclusive Lifestyle Retail

Elvy Lifestyle Private Limited is India’s exclusive lifestyle shopping Catalogue Company. Elvy Lifestyle gives contemporary, exclusive and stylish options to set up a great home and office thereby reinforcing the brand values of uniqueness, exclusivity, convenience, lifestyle, value, international quality and easy shopping.

elvy lifestyle products

Elvy launched its first stylish shopping catalogue on 23 March 2006. Elvy’s has a prime network of self-owned showrooms in the National Capital Region – New Delhi and other cities, in addition to a fully functional internet mall, to support the catalogue with its Corporate office located in commercial hub of Gurgaon. Being in business for over six years now, elvy has notched significant achievements by forging strategic alliances and tie ups with major airlines, MNC banks, hospitality partners and restaurants, real estate conglomerates. It has opened up stores in New Delhi & NCR (National Capital Region) and has expanded to different cities. Elvy also runs loyalty programs for its customers across all segments.Elvy Lifestyle showroom

Challenge  

Elvy wanted to take advantage of the latest retail technology in order to offer its customers the most efficient and streamlined purchasing experience, with a focus on fast, effective, and efficient service to each customer. In addition, the company needed an Integrated solution that facilitates control on their stores & showrooms across geographic allocations from their centralized hub located at Gurgaon.
Catalogue sales were another area that Elvy aimed to integrate with iVend. elvy is engaged into inflight catalogue sales where, customers demand efficient, convenient and consistent shopping experiences from retailers by catalogue. By using iVend Retail, Elvy could compile all the customer sales data at the warehouse, leading to cost savings while retaining customers. iVend Retail helped elvy manage efficient warehouse & inventory management functions to meet customer expectations to deliver a consistent experience at all Retail touch points. As the demand for the merchandise grew during the festival season, the scalable iVend Retail assisted well in coping with the added demands. More points of sale terminals were added to consolidate the mounting sales & faster order processing to meet the stringent delivery schedules. To support its aggressive expansion plans the solution they chose had to be scalable so that it grows as the company grows.

Some challenges that required immediate attention were-

  • Inefficient stock monitoring & movement
  • Inadequate Customer Information
  • Scattered MIS reporting
  • Non-integrated financial system

Solution & Services : iVend Retail Management Suite 

Benefits 

iVend Retail sufficed ElVy’s need of an unified solution that leverages ever customer touch point and connects the entire retail operation—with a goal of knowing, engaging with, and serving their customers better. They no have real time management of stocks at their centralized Gurgaon hub. In addition to the regular sales transactions, using iVend Retail, Store employees can use sales executive points situated in the store to check stock position and other information and create sales orders that are automatically sent to SAP Business One for further processing.

Some immediate benefits that Elvy noticed were-

  • iVend Retail Management Suite with SAP Business One
  • Increased employees’ overall efficiency by eliminating work duplication on disintegrated processes
  • Improved cash tracking and stock and replenishment planning
  • Achieved faster order processing
  • Standardized business processes based on industry best practices

“ CitiXsys has successfully implemented iVend Retail and Elvy is pleased to have a functional experience of integrated Retail at its store. iVend Retail has been a perfect choice for our Retail business, since it leverages Right Technology in the right manner to maximize customer & Inventory service levels
Mahender Sharma
COO-
Elvy Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd.