Innovative Retail Technologies

MAR 2013

Innovative Retail Technologies (formerly Integrated Solutions For Retailers) is the premier source for innovative yet pragmatic technology solutions in the retail industry.

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Special Report es themselves. When free-floating payment card readers break depend on consultative sales are looking for deeper levels of independently of the tablet, they can be serviced individually, integration with e-commerce, inventory, and CRM applicaand vice versa. When integrated readers (or the tablets they're tions. For those associates, training should focus on the service connected to) break, the whole thing has to be taken out of aspects of mobility and how those lead to a seamless transaccommission. tion. For the everyday low price crowd, training should focus The deeper one delves into the mobile POS process dismore simply on how mobility speeds up the path to the transcussion, the more questions that are coaxed out of previaction and gets consumers out the door." ously ignored recesses of the mind. How will you expect your associates to bag or package the garments and other Mobile Clienteling: CRM Finds Its Legs products they sell via mobile POS? How will you monitor Arguing the nuance of the definitions of CRM and clienPOS transactions conducted by mobile associates for the teling is a pointless debate, but it's safe to say that mobile exceptions and anomalies that indicate coaching opportuaccess to customer purchase and preference data has nities, or worse, illicit behavior? ushered in new relevance to the idea that 1:1 marketing is Fick says these physical use/case concerns make a strong case achievable in retail. In the newly released RSR report The for store-level involvement early on, but he doesn't see enough Impact Of Mobile On Retail, "business to consumer" and of that happening. "marketing" ranked highest when retailers were asked, At VeriFone, VP of Business Development and Strategic "Which functional areas stand to benefit the most from Initiatives Jeff Wakefield sees the points made by Fick playing mobile applications?" See Figure 2 below. out in practice. "We recently spent a great deal of time camped Still, in the same report only slightly better than 40% see out in stores, observing the application of mobile POS in stores empowering their employees with a mobile application as a top where it's been deployed," he says. "What we saw indicated opportunity. RSR analysts and report authors Brian Kilcourse that these great intentions to serve customers on the selling and Steve Rowen say that response falls short of the opporfloor often fall apart at the execution level when associates and tunity at hand. "An empowered customer demands much consumers migrate back to the check stand — or to where the same [empowerment] from the employees she engages the check stand used to be — to consummate the transaction, with," they say. "Retailers need to realize that the only way to despite their freedom to roam." Wakefield calls it a breakdown accomplish this is by giving the employee the same (or better) at the training level, equating the safety of the cash wrap to information as the consumer now has at her fingertips." the comfort a public speaker gets from clutching the podium. Both Fick and Wakefield point to how Lowes is bucking that "Too often, I don't think retailers realize the significance of trend, citing the retailer's new "MyLowes" initiative as a great the change before they roll out the technology. Figure 2: Power To Customers, Not Store Employees Since the day NCR introduced the electro"Which functional areas stand to benefit magnetic cash register in 1906, there's been a the most from mobile applications?" counter, a cash drawer, a bagging station, and eventually a conveyor, a receipt printer, and a place to remove security tags. This is what Business To 76% Customer we've known, and change to that behavior can't be expected by handing an associate an Marketing 66% iPad and a card reader and sending them on their way." Store Wakefield says VeriFone has more than 60 61% Operations mobile POS deployments under its belt and that the technology works at all of them. The Merchandising/ 32% Assortment varying degrees of success each has achieved, however, is predicated solely on the retailer's Business To 23% ability to manage systemic and operational Employee change. He says developing the training necesWorkforce sary to exploit the value of mobile POS should 21% Management derive from the goal of the deployment, and Warehouse that generally, the retailer's goal will fall into 13% Management Source: RSR Research, December 2012 one of two camps. "High-touch retailers who 58 14 ● March 2013 2009

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