Cloud-powered retailing in 2015

Retail in 2015, and Beyond

Retail in 2015, and Beyond

As always, technology would be a major contributor in reducing the gap between manufacturers and consumers. But the major trend is around the retailers’ acceptance of what has been launched previously. That, will be the face of retail technology in 2015. Whether it is contact-less payment options, chip-card standardization, or virtual stores, the consumer will be engaging with the retailer like never before.

The usage of smartphones has opened the doors to newer ways to transact through embedded technology, NFC devices (Near Field Communications) etc., which can be used in contact-less payment systems like Google Wallet and now, Apple Pay. Also, online transactions, virtual payments hDownload iVend Cloud Whitepapaerave gained edge as popularity of non-cash payments has grown as people make the shift towards cashless digital transactions.

By 2020, customers will certainly be using their smartphones and mobile devices to pay for a wide range of goods and services in this way. When the consumer has embraced the mobile (and how!), it would be retrograde for the retailer not to do the same. From contact-less payment acceptance, to beacons to the mass-acceptance of the Mobile POS, it has become imperative for the retailer to reach out to the customer via the mobile.

In an extension of the retailer using mobile technology as a bridge to reach out to the customer, beacons will play an instrumental role. Simply put, this enables the retailer to literally ‘guide’ the customer around the store, down the aisles, right up to the product, all using a Cloud based retail management system. And ping him with a discount coupon on the way, along with an upsell item of interest (which would be gleaned from his historical purchase data!).

Secondly, this year will also see retail integrations in a big way. Gone are the days when retailers picked the best individual application for merchandise hierarchy, a separate one for inventory management, and yet another one for transactions at the point of sale . The flip side was, despite doing their jobs well, these units failed to serve the company as a single integrated unit as all the processes churned out data in siloes.

The need, therefore is of an application that integrates all retail processes into one , a single all-inclusive ‘suite’ of retail management applications, which would be on virtual servers (and therefore, reducing the IT spend of the retailer). And the answer to it all is the Cloud. This technology can reduce a retailer’s IT spend to a fraction, quadruples the dependability and provides fail-safe operations like nothing else. Plus, hybrid Cloud systems provide greater control over retail operations, while keeping costs low.

2015 will also be the year when customers will want loyalty to be an integral part of the retailer. He or she should be able to check his loyalty point balance on the move from his tablet or phone, and the retailer should have provided a loyalty portal to indulge the former.

Conversely, the POS operator should also be able to access a customer’s historical purchase data, loyalty points and make a smart upsell without hassles. A customer having a loyalty account with a retailer provides a very valuable mode of communication, where he or she allows the retailers to contact the person with early-bird offers and value-additions. Either way, having a loyalty system as a component of your Integrated Business Management multichannel retail setup will make this part of customer retention more efficient and less labor-intensive.

Over the years, we have seen more and more physical retail businesses opening e-stores. This means they need well-designed e-commerce systems, new methods of merchant credit card processing, and better visual marketing. Security is also a major concern for many businesses with an electronic footprint. A Cloud-based Retail management suite can seamlessly integrate with your Retail application, managing your retail chain as well as your vendor platform over the Internet.

With such uninhibited influx of technology and data from distinct sources, what a retailer needs is an Integrated Retail Management Solution with a robust back-end enterprise which can work in tandem. This would have the capability to can ease the challenges in retail processes, along with providing clear visibility through the entire supply chain. To maintain the customer service provided in the retail market, it is an imperative to adopt retail management solution that easily runs simultaneous operations.

Essentially, what a retailer needs is a one-stop solution for his retail management needs, which is Cloud-capable and which can integrate all retail functions into a seamless whole. 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 optimum profitability.

Know more about iVend Cloud on http://www.citixsys.com/ivend-cloud/ or write to us on sales@citixsys.com

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.

CitiXsys December Newsletter 2014

iVend Retail on Cloud
Achieving competitive advantage in Retail with Cloud
Utilizing applications on the Cloud is the latest buzz across industries and has compelled retailers to evaluate the potential of the cloud to capitalize on the benefits that it offers.Enterprise LARGE or SMALL are moving quickly to adopt cloud based applications & services that could enhance their competitive landscape.
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Retail Moving on Cloud
In the business of Technologically Transforming Retail Landscapes, CitiXsys Technologies has been involved in bringing valuable content to readers for some years now. This white paper is intended for all who have experienced, observed and appreciate the value of Modern Retail Technology, Integrated Store experience and are keenly looking forward to commit to the concept of Cloud in Retail.
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Retail Moving on Cloud | Download Whitepaper
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Upcoming Events
NRF 2014 | January 11-13, 2014 | New York City
Social Retail Summit | January 15, 2015 | Brooklyn, New York City
RBTE | March 10-11, 2015 | London, UK
Recent Partnerships
Hit Bilism Danismanlik ve Turizm San Tic Ltd Sti - Turkey
Hit Bilism Danismanlik ve Turizm San Tic Ltd Sti – Turkey
Hitsoft was founded with the mission to produce solutions that increase the competitiveness of their customers with their innovative and specialized solutions.The company has young and dynamic staff who offer expert consulting services. Hitsoft aims to meet future as a Cloud Enterprise Application service provider for automotive industry and become the world leader in the field of Retail with iVend Retail and SAP software solutions.
WLM Software Consulting Software (Pty) Ltd - South Africa
WLM Software Consulting Software (Pty) Ltd – South Africa
WLM Software Consulting Services is a South African based software solutions and business information systems consulting firm providing services to SME and large enterprises across various industries.WLM Software consulting Services is a client driven organization with a focus on enabling their customers to extract full advantage of their Retail IT infrastructure.

WLM software consulting ensures that they provide the best in Retail to their customers with iVend Retail, the best fit solution for all retail business needs.

Recent Customer Wins
Tuthilltown Spirits
Tuthilltown Spirits
Tuthilltown Cacao Liqueur works intimately with Fruition Chocolate to directly source field-selected cacao beans from farms in Peru and The Dominican Republic.Tuthilltown’s spirits, including whiskeys, vodkas, gins and other unique innovative spirits are among the first legally produced in New York since Prohibition.

Tuthilltown Spirits chose to use iVend POS at all their stores to provide great customer service to their visiting customers.

Alara Multiconcept
Alara Multiconcept
ALARA is a luxury lifestyle brand dedicated to contemporary art, design, fashion, cuisine and culture.Alara, the concept store is located in Lagos, Nigeria and features inspirational objects of African origin alongside international design. Alara Multiconcept is using iVend Retail at its stores for distribution of their product range across various Luxury Goods & Jewelry categories.
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Retail Moving on Cloud

Retail Moving on Cloud

In the business of Technologically Transforming Retail Landscapes, CitiXsys Technologies has been involved in bringing valuable content to Blog-image-for-Citixsys_Bottom_300X300readers for some years now. This white paper is intended for all who have experienced, observed and appreciate the value of Modern Retail Technology, Integrated Store experience and are keenly looking forward to commit to the concept of Cloud in Retail.

Modern Day Retail stores must offer shopper’s seamless Retail experiences, something that can’t be experienced online, to become preferred destinations. On the other hand retailers need to re-examine their strategy to provide a seamless experience across the entire customer-buying journey by diminishing the boundaries between online and physical world.
Download our Whitepaper on Cloud to know how cloud can transform retail operations and bring plenty of benefits to a retail organization.

Retailers have long set out on the journey to innovate realizing the absolute necessity of being truly seamless – maximizing the power and promise of technology across all channels, and across the Retail enterprise. But where should a retailer focus and how can a he quickly move from what’s now to what’s next?

Primarily retailers’ focus on efforts to build a competitive edge for the future by going interoperable and seamless across all channels.

Progression towards this path will be truly seamless set of systems, the business and IT will support continual adaptation, the digital experience will be supported by analytics and scalable IT, and the in-store experience will be integrated with digital channels.

Cloud applications for retail, scalability delivered as-a-service, makes this distant dream possible. Retailers’ can now meet time-pressed, on-the go and digitally connected consumers during their entire retail cycle of stepping into the store to the checkout. Currently, cloud applications are effective tools for retailers to build capabilities fast enough to hold the attention of consumers. Read More…

Achieving competitive advantage in Retail with Cloud

Utilizing applications on the Cloud is the latest buzz across industries and has compelled retailers to evaluate the potential of the cloud to capitalize on the benefits that it offers.

Enterprise LARGE or SMALL are moving quickly to adopt cloud based applications & services that could enhance their competitive landscape.

Retailers have recognized the cloud’s ability to increase business speed & agility, lower costs, enable new means of growth, innovation, and collaboration as the drivers for its aggressive rate of adoption.

The infographic below shares some very interesting statistics that will help retailers extend their business value and advantage, including faster time to market, lower cost of operations and ability to focus on core business.

iVend Cloud Infographic

PT Putra Gemilang streamlines their Retail operations for increased profitability by adopting iVend Retail and SAP Business One

COMPANY : PT Putra Gemilang Prima

Country: Indonesia

Industry : Building Material

Only a few modern retail stores in Indonesia selling building materials place their customer’s comfort and shopping convenience as top priority. Our customer Gemilang group were always focused on creating great buying experiences and hence engage with customers. Gemilang group were innovators to bring the concept of convenience retailing among hardware vendors, and industry known for rugged retailing.

Established in 1975 in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, Gemilang’s outlets always stand out among competition with their customers speaking positive about them. Gemilang’s objective has been to make shopping convenient for customers. Each of their outlet is conceptualized with availability and access to an ATM center, minimarket, coffee shop and food stall and a kids play ground, so that children could engage in play activities while their parent’s shop.Gemilang

Challenges

Mr. Arya Iwanputra, owner of Putra Gemilang Prima, considers IT as the most crucial department in his enterprise. Gemilang group had aggressive expansion plans and wanted adequate inventory planning and resource optimization. To support their plans company needed a reliable and scalable IT system with automated business processes. Management at Gemilang wanted deeper strategic insights from their retail system for optimally managing inventory and purchase at their retail stores. However, Gemilang’s existing system was unable to deliver expected results to match with the company’s growth.

Solution

iVend Retail, iVend Loyalty with SAP Business One

Benefits :

  • Reliable functionality and easy to use interface
  • Integrated Data Management
  • Faster decision making process
  • On-time data and report availability
  • Better understanding of customer buying preferences
  • Efficient accounting & finance
  • Improved analysis and control

“Our system was primitive and could not accommodate our growth, a simple process such as report generation would consume enormous manual effort and had to be reprocessed again and again to derive metrics”

Arya Iwanputra, Owner of Putra Gemilang Prima

Converging Retail digitally

NRF

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 Access Your Free Passexperience 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

Infographic – Global eCommerce sales and trends

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.

Infographic - Global eCommerce sales and trends

Perk up Loyalty to drive sales

Perk up Loyalty to drive sales

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.

Designing Incentives

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.

Mobile Loyalty

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 FrequencyPerk_up_Loyalty_350x350

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.