Innovative Retail Technologies

MAY-JUN 2017

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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for retailers. With the ever-increasing impact of digital channels on consumer behavior, retailers need tools and approaches to suppor t their customers in order to remain competitive. Technology will play a pivotal role suppor ting retail strategies, but retailers should not let technology dictate that strategy. The management of the customer journey through various channels remains the critical challenge for retailers in 2017 to ensure consistency of message and experience. However, it is equally impor tant to realize that almost 90 percent of retail transactions continue to occur in physical retail facilities, and leveraging these as a competitive advantage is essential. From digital in-store experiences to omni-channel optimization, retail decision makers are facing significant investment options. Addressing these options while enhancing the customer experience will represent a critical balancing act for many organizations. 21 Mobility 2017 Luis Artiz Group Product Manager, Business Systems Group Epson America, Inc. True retail innovation star ts with the realization that the consumer experience has to be the top priority. Ever ything — from the store layout and product availability, to the retail transaction, e-commerce, and returns process — has to make the customer feel like the retail experience has been designed to not just meet, but to exceed their expectations. Of course, the "innovation" is in understanding how to hide all of the complicated retail operational processes to provide a great, seamless shopping experience. And because today's consumer is armed with competitive information, retailers looking to come out on top need to provide instant availability, personalized product exper tise, great ser vice, and an easy transaction. In a nutshell, the brick-and-mor tar experience has to be as good as — or better than — the online experience. To enable merchants to do so, Epson has prioritized developing technologies that are applicable in multiple ver tical markets, at multiple customer tiers. By separating the POS system from the hardware, Epson's innovative technology allows retailers to invest in the right hardware and system to create a superior in-store experience that will appeal to their customers. For example, Epson's ePOS™-device and ePOS- print technologies enable retailers to use the printer as a hub for their peripherals and provide receipts from mobile devices within range of a printer. This means transactions can happen at strategic locations in the store that are most conducive to the customer, instead of at a line at the front counter — for a better customer experience and a better bottom line for retailers. IMPROVING THE CONSUMER EXPERIENCE: THE REAL INNOVATION About The Author David Krebs, Executive VP, Enterprise Mobility and Connected Devices, VDC Research Group David has more than 15 years' experience covering enterprise mobility and automatic identification solutions. David's research and advisory services focus on how organizations are taking advantage of mobile solutions among their frontline mobile workforce. His experience is far-reaching and includes technology and market opportunity assessments, technology penetration and adoption enablers, partner profiling and development, new product development, and M&A due diligence support. David has extensive primary market research management and execution experience to support market sizing and forecasting, total cost of ownership (TCO), comparative product performance evaluation, competitive benchmarking, and end user requirements analysis. He is a graduate of Boston University (BSBA).

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