Innovative Retail Technologies

JUL-AUG 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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Page 29 of 39

there are a few things to do right now. First, don't blindly pursue all things omni-channel. With consumer demands and expectations changing, no brand can possibly remain idle. But a disciplined approach to investing is essential. Con- ducting a friction audit and doing cus- tomer journey mapping are great ways to uncover and to prioritize the areas of leverage and greatest near-term ROI. Second, eschew the "sea of sameness." Too much of retail suffers from look-alike products, promoted with look-alike mar- keting, presented in look-alike environ- ments with feels-like customer service. When relevance and remarkability are ab- sent, we've made it easy for the customer to choose the item with the lowest price that requires the least effort. Third, understand marginal-unit economics. Averages aren't very help- ful, yet many companies rely on them for decision making all the time. At any kind of basic scale, e-commerce is mostly a variable cost business. Brick-and-mortar is mostly a fixed-cost one. If you don't understand the differences — and the interplay — you're likely to do something dumb. Don't be that guy or gal. Fourth, go deep on the customer insight and customer profitability analysis. It's one thing to have a few unprofitable transactions within a mix of purchases for a customer that has overall great lifetime value. It's another to have your customer portfolio laden with high cost-to-serve, low-margin, low-average transaction value customers who return stuff all the time. Do the math. Don't chase your tail. Rinse and repeat. Lastly, understand and win at the interaction between digital and physi- cal channels. Most omni-channel brands report that 50 to 70 percent of trips to a brick-and-mortar location are influenced by one or more digital interactions. Digi- tally influenced physical store revenues are far greater than e-commerce as a stand-alone channel. Winning online and winning in-store often hinge on the very same things: a compelling digital presence, being channel agnostic, and making it easy to shop any way the customer prefers. E-commerce has created entirely new business models. The dramatic shift of revenue away from physical stores to online is redefining the brick-and-mortar landscape. The shuttering of locations will continue apace. And the overall pace of change will continue to be brisk. Never has it been more important to under- stand the reality of what's going on and to act with great alacrity and focus. Some pain from these wrenching changes is inevitable. The degree of suf- fering is much more of a choice. 27 Jul-Aug 2017 THE SAFES WITH AN INFINITE NUMBER OF COMBINATIONS. Create the cash-handling and cash-reporting system that's completely your own. Validate, secure, dispense, manage, and account for every transaction on any combination of devices you choose — while enjoying flexibility, security, technology, remote serviceability and unparalleled quality. With FireKing, the options are limitless. See how Ascent can take you to the top. safes will get you there.

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