2018 BRP Insights – Agile

Agile – The Key to Accelerating your Retail Transformation

This BRP Insights, from BRP retail consulting firm, highlights the benefits of an Agile Approach and why it is becoming an imperative for accelerating retail transformation.

With the swift pace of disruption occurring today, retail winners need to accelerate the transformation of their organization, business processes and technology to align with the demands of their customers.  An Agile Approach enables organizations to get to market faster by encouraging cross-organizational teamwork, collaboration and adaptability, all while ensuring better organizational ownership and more efficient adoption of newly implemented solutions. With significantly faster project completion times, retailers reduce the associated risks and costs throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Adopting an Agile mindset allows organizations to quickly respond to changing customer demands. As retailers are pressured to do more with less and quickly adapt to new retail realities, an Agile approach to technology and operations, has become a new retail imperative.

Life-cycle Learning Technology

The Convergence of Mobility, Rich Content, and Advanced Distribution for Next-Generation Training Platforms in Retail, Restaurants Hospitality

Life-cycle Learning Platforms Create a more Engaging, Interactive, and Effective Training Model than Traditional LMS solutions

2017 WHITE PAPER – Life-cycle Learning Technology_090817 Retail, restaurant and hospitality operators are significantly enhancing the effectiveness of employee training programs with next-generation Life-cycle Learning Platforms. This white paper, Life-cycle Learning Technology – The Convergence of Mobility, Rich Content, and Advanced Distribution for Next-Generation Training Platforms in Retail, Restaurants & Hospitality, covers the most advanced learning approaches and the wave of new platforms that are quickly being adopted by industry leaders, and how simple they are to implement, why it’s makes a difference, and how best to get started.

In the uber-challenging, ever-changing, hyper-competitive landscape of retail and hospitality, the ability to provide an engaging customer experience can be the difference between success or failure for your brand.

The pace of employee learning and training is changing quickly. Rising labor costs, greater attention to compliance, incorporating mobility, and a greater understanding of learning dynamics have heightened awareness around the need to modernize the learning approach. Technology is also changing quickly, offering new insights into operational performance and proving the value that learning has on profitability.

Complete the form to the right to download the full report to learn how advanced lifecycle learning platforms can improve your employees’ performance.

What is Next After EMV? – Payment Security Update

Online Fraud has increased 137% post-EMV – What Should Retailers do to Protect their Customers’ Information?

According to this white paper from BRP, fraudsters have become more sophisticated and retailers need to adapt new security tactics to protect their customers’ payment card and personal data. The Payment Security Update: What’s Next After EMV white paper provides retailers practical tips on how to improve payment and data security across all channels.

While EMV has received most of the attention in the last few years, there are several other critical security strategies that play a much greater role in protecting sensitive payment card and personal information. It is imperative that retailers have the right strategies and controls in place to thwart the ever-increasing advances made by fraudsters.

EMV doesn’t really offer data security functionality, for that, retailers need to look to end-to-end encryption (E2EE) and tokenization. BRP’s 2017 POS/Customer Engagement Survey recently found that 68% of retailers have implemented E2EE and 48% have implemented tokenization of payment data. Increasingly, retailers realize that simply meeting PCI compliance standards is no longer sufficient to protect customer data.

The challenge lies in deploying a comprehensive security strategy that mitigates risk, while at the same time protecting and maintaining corporate advances in unified commerce initiatives. The development of a synergistic payment security strategy is imperative, and must incorporate industry best practices in order to ensure an appropriate balance is struck between the customer experience and data security.

This white paper provides insights on the following topics:

  • Baseline Payment Security Measures
  • A Multi-Tiered Security Approach
  • The Rapid Growth of Omni-Channel Transactions’ Impact on Tokens
  • The Shift to Online Fraud
  • Increased Mobile Transactions Create Additional Security Complexities
  • Quick Wins to Beat Online Fraud
  • Quick Hit Protective Tactics

Complete the form to the right to download this free report.

The Next-Generation of Grocery POS

Grocery Retailers Must Fulfill New Store-Oriented Requirements to Compete in an Amazon-driven Marketplace

Grocery shoppers want enhanced service, lower prices, higher quality, more personalized loyalty rewards, and more choices in how they shop and checkout. They also want assurance that “speed of service” will always be a priority – whether with a cashier through a traditional checkout line, mobile apps, self-service checkout lanes or even no checkout at all (e.g., Amazon Go).

Grocery retailers are keenly aware that without the IT and operational investments necessary to support these critical, customer-demanded changes, the threats represented by so many direct and indirect competitors, such as Amazon, could be devastating. No matter how extensive and complex the technical, operational or competitive changes to the grocery customer experience, nothing will ever be as important to the intersection of shopper satisfaction and profitable operation as speed of checkout.“

While the competitive threats facing traditional grocery retailers in 2017 and beyond are extensive, so too are the capabilities available in technology-driven software solutions ready to redefine the grocery customer experience – blending both efficient service with personalized engagement, and driving a big wedge into the gap between grocery market leaders and industry laggards.

At the center of ANY customer experience strategy is the need to find and deploy a next-generation grocery POS platform. When considering a new grocery POS software platform against the backdrop of market pressures and stakeholder-oriented strategic priorities, it is imperative to orient your POS assessment around a defined set of key functionality and technology capabilities.

Complete the form on the right to download this free white paper, Defining a Next-generation Grocery POS Platform Strategy, which highlights the ten important selection criteria that should be central to any grocery POS evaluation.

Mergers and Acquisitions- Strategies to Enhance Success

All M&A transactions are unique, the challenges are significant and the success rates are very poor!

Over the last several years, a great deal of literature has been dedicated to the significant uptick in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity.  This attention is likely due to two factors:

  1. the volume of capital invested each year
  2. the amount of capital and shareholder value lost due to failures in these transactions

Each year U.S. companies spend more than $2 trillion on M&A transactions and the failure rate of these transactions has been estimated at 50%-80%, based on numerous studies.

Most of the published analysis for improving the success rate is focused on the strategic buyer’s perspective, defined as a public or private company that buys another company usually in the same business or consumer segment. However, equally important and significant players in the M&A marketplace are financial buyers such as investment banks, private equity funds or private equity investors who acquire and integrate businesses.

In this paper, we will examine the lifecycle of a deal, the challenges of M&A from the buyer’s perspective and describe several root causes for failure and simple recipes for improving success rates.

Complete the form to the right to download and read the full report.

Mobile Technology for Restaurants – Workshop Recap

The use of mobile devices, especially smartphones, has dramatically changed diners’ habits before, during, and after their meal.  The sheer ubiquity of mobile technology has expanded the number of new opportunities for restaurant operators to effectively influence the engagement with, and behavior of, their customers.

BRP recently led an interactive session “Mobile-focused Omni-channel Strategies to Transform the Customer Experience,” at the 2017 Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference (MURTEC).  Utilizing real-time polls to interact with and receive feedback from the attendees, this interactive session offered the ability to accurately gauge the “state of the state” of mobile usage and maturity among the audience members to understand their engagement with their customers at all stages of the restaurant guest journey. BRP defines the restaurant journey into eight contiguous stages: 1. Select, 2. Plan, 3. Arrive, 4. Order, 5. Entertain, 6 Pay, 7 Feedback, and 8. Reward.

The impact of mobile devices on the restaurant guest experience cannot be ignored, and restaurant operators must now think mobile first. The consensus throughout our session was that mobile technology, properly applied at each of the eight stages of the restaurant customer journey, could have a material and profitable effect on restaurant operations. The other key takeaway is that offering guests and servers mobile capabilities is now an imperative and is not optional.

According to the session attendees, the vote was unanimous that understanding mobile-oriented engagement is a critical component of their go-forward restaurant operations strategy and requires careful planning across all business and operational workflows. Servers and customers need proper training on new mobile processes to avoid the well-publicized operational issues experienced by early adopters (e.g. Starbucks).

Complete the form to the right to download and read the complete MURTEC session recap report.

The Future Store Manifesto

New Scorecard Assesses Retailers’ Changing Initiatives as they Align with the Future Store Imperatives

One year after The Future Store Manifesto was published, BRP issued a scorecard to evaluate how retailers are progressing along the road to the “future store.” The Future Store Manifesto: 2016 Scorecard, co-developed by Salesforce Commerce Cloud, highlights how retailers are changing their initiatives to align with the key future store imperatives: mobile, relevant, personal, ubiquitous and secure.

The digital world is infiltrating brick and mortar stores, where consumers are equipped with smartphones and a new set of expectations. Over the past twenty years, many in the retail industry have predicted the demise of the physical store. But the reality is, the store is still the foundation of retailing. It is where the tactile and sensory experience comes together for the consumer.

To succeed, retailers are infusing digital features into the store environment to personalize the shopping experience, compete more effectively with online pure-play retailers and exceed customer expectations. The store is not dead, it’s digitized!

Here are a few of the key finding in this special report:

MOBILE – 78% of retailers plan to use mobile POS to enable associates to complete a customer’s purchase on the sales floor by the end of 2018

RELEVANT – 58% of retailers plan to utilize geolocation within two years

PERSONAL – 51% of retailers plan to offer suggested selling based on what is in the customer’s closet by mid-2019

UBIQUITOUS – 50% of retailers will allow a customer transaction to start anywhere, finish anywhere within five years

SECURE – 88% of retailers plan to have end-to-end encryption (E2EE) implemented to ensure data security by 2019

Complete the form on the right to download The Future Store Manifesto – 2016 Scorecard.

How to Speed Up EMV Transactions

Are Slow EMV Transaction Times Frustrating your Customers and Increasing you Labor Costs? Fix it before the Holidays!

In almost all cases, the EMV process has lengthened POS transaction times and in some cases the checkout time has increased by more than 15 seconds, which seems like forever to a customer in a hurry. These excessive EMV transaction processing times are degrading the customer experience and increasing labor costs by forcing retailers to staff more registers to make checkout lines more tolerable. It’s a double negative!

Are you ready for the holidays?

Angry ShopperRetailers are very concerned about how the slow transaction processing will impact back-to-school and holiday shopping lines and customer satisfaction, not to mention the added labor costs necessary to have more lanes open.

While this is a difficult problem to solve, the risks are too high to ignore. The increase in labor costs to staff more lanes to keep lines manageable is outrageous (one retailer estimated that one extra second per transaction costs an additional $600,000 a year in store payroll). Of even greater concern is the negative impact of customer frustration driving consumers out of the stores and into shopping online (stores lose up-selling and spontaneous purchase opportunities). If your competitors solve this problem first, you may lose customers who prefer to shop at a brand that has faster checkouts.

To make matters worse, it is difficult to figure out the best approach and technology to improve EMV transaction speed. EMV processing times are not the same everywhere, as there are many factors that impact the process time:

  • Poor EMV integration implementation
  • EMV terminal technology
  • EMV transaction processes
  • Poor processes and POS messaging
  • Training for store associates
  • Training for customers

Complete the form to the right to download and read this white paper.

Faux Omni-Channel to Unified Commerce – Workshop Recap

RetailTechCon 2016 Workshop Recap – March 31, 2016

Boston Retail Partners conducted the “How do we get from faux omni-channel to unified commerce? ” workshop at RetailTechCon in Orlando on March 31, 2016. The workshop brought together leading retailers for a discussion on how retailers can fix the problems associated with “faux” omni-channel and achieve a unified commerce environment.

This interactive workshop included audience participation and the discussion was summarized in graphic images by an artist in real-time. The retail executives attending this session debated the benefits and challenges of implementing a unified commerce system as well as several key implications to consider.


Many retailers have taken the “just get something done” approach to deliver a seamless customer experience that transcends channels. The unfortunate result of this quick fix approach is a “faux” omni-channel model that doesn’t execute as promised and has the risk of disappointing customers.

Retailers can no longer afford to operate within channel silos. Now is the time for retailers to transform the organization, business processes and technology to align with the new shopping behaviors and expectations of today’s customers. A unified commerce platform is the new imperative for handling orders, fulfillment and inventory across channels in real-time.   Retailers still have a long road ahead to achieve a successful unified commerce platform, but increased customer satisfaction and profits will make it worth the effort.

Complete the form to the right to download the Workshop Recap Report for more insights…

Best Practices for Payment Security

White Paper Offers Recommendations for Improving Payment Security Across Channels

According to this white paper from BRP, there is no single strategy that can entirely eliminate the risk of a data breach. While EMV has received most of the attention lately, there are other security strategies that play a much greater role in protecting sensitive payment card and personal information. This white paper, provides retailers practical tips on how to improve the security of their customers’ payment card and personal data.

Industry best practices dictate that the most effective strategy is a multi-layered security approach. Retailers’ security strategies need to include: integrated EMV-compliant payment terminals, strong e-commerce controls, network segmentation, secure communication protocols, E2EE, tokenization and a thoroughly documented and comprehensive internal set of security policies and practices.

Increasingly, retailers are realizing that simply meeting PCI compliance standards is no longer sufficient to protect customer data. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated, requiring organizations to reanalyze and revamp their current security protocols to adequately protect their customers’ payment and personal data. Retailers who have not implemented these technologies are at high risk, as the likelihood of being targeted by hackers increases every day.

Unfortunately, even as retailers focus their efforts on EMV and increasing data security in-store, fraudsters have recognized gaps in online security and are shifting their efforts to the exploitation of e-commerce sites. Online transactions create a unique set of security challenges. To protect against fraudulent online transactions, retailers must implement a rules-based fraud detection tool, auditing suspect transactions and authorizing legitimate ones.

In addition to providing a best practices comprehensive payment security strategy, this white paper includes recommended “quick wins to beat online fraud.”

Complete the form to the right to download the full report.