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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Executive Insight Omni-Channel Retailing Mobility As Part Of The Store Innovation Strategy as well as merchants investing in payment acceptance technologies that will be released to the market over the next two years, such as QR codes and EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip cards. Since mobility has impacted all aspects of store operation, it is vital for retailers to develop a strategy to effectively deal with it. by Gregory Burch M illions of POS products are deployed worldwide, and the use case for mobile products has evolved beyond simply bringing payment to the point of service. Customers are demanding not only full POS functionality at the point of service, but also the ability to provide enhanced service leveraged by connected, smartphone technology. A successful mobile implementation greatly increases your staff's ability to service your customer. When it is well-implemented, the results are exciting, from the leadership team seeing increased sales and streamlined operations to the in-store associates being able to provide a high level of services to their customers. Here's what you should do for a successful implementation: Plan For The Future When Choosing An Initial Solutions Provider And Partners As part of your evaluation, understand your ability to implement change within components of your solution as you evolve. Ensure this is reflected in any agreement you sign. This is relatively easy to negotiate up front, but may be difficult to change once an agreement is in place. Example scenario: You have your own secure-data center and are not yet able to extend full PCI (payment card industry) security to your mobile solution. You may elect to use a third-party service to accelerate your ability to roll out, but ensure any agreement you sign accommodates a plan to bring this service in-house. Purchase Technology With Longevity In Mind A typical cost evaluation focuses on the following factors: hardware, software, installation, and support. The successful enterprise system plans for an additional cost variable attributed to the impact on store operations and store personnel during a ramp-up period. This cost is variable depending on the success and thoroughness of training and successful revision of store operations to accommodate mobile. The resulting analysis of this cost has led most merchants to invest in technology that will carry them at least three years into the future to minimize the impact of change. Examples include merchants investing in data networks that provide more bandwidth than required today and merchants investing in hardware that accommodates evolving payment 26 ‚óŹ March 2013 Strong Communications Infrastructure With Sensitive Data Isolated It is more expensive up front to implement a strong communications infrastructure; however, many of our merchants have determined this is valuable versus the cost of down time due to an unreliable system or limited bandwidth. Having multiple data schemes may increase complexity on one scale, but it can also provide teams with focus. Examples include retailers that have a dedicated system and team focused on implementing a secure-data network dedicated to POS payment and PCI security and a separate network focused on public access for customers inside and around the store. Ensure A Fallback Scenario Is Present Have a plan for scenarios such as stolen or broken mobile devices, connectivity issues, or overflow. These scenarios are in place for in-lane solutions; therefore, plan ahead to extend these scenarios to your mobile implementation. Walk Before You Run Begin with a small subset of functionality, or launch your implementation in a single department before expanding the implementation across all functions and storewide. For example, launch a mobile solution that provides inventory scanning and lookup or handles store returns. This allows you to learn "what you don't know" about your store operations that need to evolve for mobile. One Solution May Not Fit All Many large merchants are choosing multiple types of hardware to provide the most optimal solution in various use case scenarios. For example, in cases where a more consultative sale is required, merchants

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