Technology solutions for your business
Advances in technology and the lowering of the cost of existing technologies is making it easier for retailers to manage their businesses more effectively. ShelfLife checks out the most recent innovations in the EPOS space
19 May 2015 | 0
The key trends in EPOS this year include mobile POS, self check-out, self scanning, and increased potential for interaction between retailers’ EPOS systems and customers’ smartphones. Consumers are becoming more proficient in using technology and are more open to direct marketing practices than they were in the past, opening up massive opportunities to retailers to understand their customers’ needs and wants. Retailers can also have more access to consumer preferences through real-time visibility, across all physical and online channels. Investing in technology will result in efficiencies across your business and make sure you and your business stay ahead of the curve.
Key trends from BWG Foods
Sean Dennison, head of IT, BWG Foods, speaks about the advances in technology and how this will affect retailers if utilised correctly
Technological advances combined with the ubiquity of consumer technologies and the relative lowering of costs will provide retailers including those at BWG Foods (operators of Spar, EuroSpar, Mace and XL) with great opportunities to build better relationships with their customers, improve their understanding of their businesses and empower their employees into the future.
The key trends in EPOS systems include self check-out, self scanning, mobile POS (with payments), and increased potential for interaction between retailers’ EPOS systems and customers’ smartphones.
Larger format stores, such as some of our EuroSpar supermarkets, have been using self check-out (SCO) for some time. Increasingly, devices are getting smaller and customers more comfortable using them so that they are no longer the province of large supermarkets and will in time come to be commonplace in smaller convenience outlets, too.
Marrying consumer technology devices such as smartphones, with the retailer’s in-store technology to create highly functional self-scanning devices – personal shopper solutions – offers great promise. For the former, ease of use with a user-friendly familiar device and a faster shopping experience through scan-as-you-pick; for the latter, lower labour costs and a rich source of insight into customer behaviour – including understanding how the customer navigates the store and how purchasing decisions are made.
Allowing customers to use contactless payment options and trusted payment channels such as Paypal will increase confidence in payment systems. These options have been around for a while now – in 2012, BWG was one of the first companies in Ireland to start rolling out contactless payments, in partnership with Visa Europe – but are certainly gathering pace. Apple Pay may become the tipping point for the wide adoption of these new payment methods.
The availability of Cloud-based applications to augment traditional EPOS systems is enabling Mobile POS. Retailers can control the store (or indeed a group of stores) from one mobile EPOS system which allows them to spend more time engaging with customers, managing inventory or engaging in other in-store operations.
Down the line, wearable technology offers some promise for things like informing and training employees. And ensuring security of POS systems will also be high on the retailer’s agenda.
CBE: Pioneers in technology
CBE is a pioneer in retail technology with experience built over three decades. Serving the Irish and UK markets, CBE has a proven track record in developing solutions for retailers to handle the complexities of today’s market within the supermarket, convenience, forecourt and hospitality sectors.
Store: Parkfoot Garage (UK Convenience Store of the Year 2014)
Proprietor: David Charman
CBE Mobile EPOS Installation
Following a recent and extensive refurbishment of his award winning store, David Charman from Parkfoot Garage identified the need for more EPOS channels to cope with demand at peak periods. Charman discussed his needs with leading UK EPOS provider CBE
Initially, CBE had installed three lanes of its FutaTill EPoS solution to enable Parkfoot to manage its busy forecourt and convenience store.
However, following the revamp, customer numbers have increased leading to large queues forming within the store during peak periods. A number of solutions were proposed by CBE including self-checkout but it was the Mobile POS (MPOS) that Charman was most enthused by.
The MPOS is a fully fledged EPOS system that resides on a purpose built stand and is able to be wheeled to any point in the shop. The system offers functionality equal to that of a traditional EPOS solution including the new BP NCTT terminal taking credit, debit and fuel cards. CBE continued to configure the solution to meet the demands of a fast paced forecourt and convenience store environment and in December 2014 Charman decided to install the CBE MPOS solution.
He has been delighted with its success to date. The flexibility of the solution allows him to utilise and redeploy depending on trading conditions in the store.
The mobile system has since been utilised in many different areas of the shop, including:
- To serve customers at specialist times e.g. flowers at Valentines
- At busy fuel times the system is positioned by the front door for fuel customers only
- To sell turkeys at Christmas, Charman sited the MPOS adjacent to the butchery and delicatessen counter. This eliminated the gridlock that they faced the previous year and facilitated the sale of a large volume of turkeys quickly and easily
- To accommodate increased volume of sales during peak periods
Charman says that the benefits of the CBE mobile POS is that it enables the store to manage large volumes of traffic flow and they are able to offer the customers a much better personal service.
During the two busiest sales days at Parkfoot over Christmas the store was not only able to manage the increase in footfall in the store but also because of the faster throughputs, fuel volumes remained high, something he had not achieved in the 2013 Christmas rush.
All around, the new system has proved itself to be a winner. Parkfoot managed to maintain fuel volumes at a time when the busy shop may have precluded complete sales of both the shop and the forecourt. Following comments from users and Parkfoot, a series of enhancements are planned for 2015.
To speak with a CBE representative call 1890 373000, email email@example.com or visit www.cbe.ie.
IT solutions from Celtech
Celtech Software has been delivering pioneering IT solutions for the retail and wholesale markets for over 20 years. This has been achieved using the only true real-time management system, Celtech’s ab-initio, which delivers profitability and a competitive advantage to its customers, using the latest technologies to deliver true real-time visibility, control, efficiency and agility for business, across all physical and online channels.
In Celtech they are constantly investing, developing and continually delivering central, mission critical, enterprise-wide IT solutions that are efficient and streamlined to business processes.
Celtech’s ab-initio provides an intuitive and responsive command centre so you can enhance the whole retail customer experience, delivering the flexibility and scalability you need to improve the retail / wholesale customers’ shopping experience, increasing store efficiency and your profitability.
Its real-time management systems allow:
- Real-time point-of-sale – ergonomic and user friendly screens
- Multi-channel stock, pricing and promotions capability
- Digital channel – click and collect / mobile shopper / e-receipts
- Marketing promotions and smart coupons
- In-lane validation for all coupons and receipts
- Full loyalty recognition and control
- Customer ordering / debt control and fuel
- Cash and order management – reduced working capital investment
- In-store stock merchandising and shelf-edge control
- Product space and range management
- Stock replenishment / order control
- Ab-initio LiveView – real-time management insights – All your key management attributes delivered to your phone or tablet in real-time
Celtech’s ab-initio is an extensive retail and wholesale management system to control your business in real-time, available by module to allow for phased integration and investment, and/or integrated into your other existing key management systems; ab-initio is available as a fully managed service on subscription with limited cap-ex and reduced up-front investment to help you control your business.
For more information contact: Celtech Software Group, East Point, Fairview, Dublin 3. www.celtechgroup.com t: +353 1 855 8200