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Study: 66% Of Retailers Say Inaccurate Inventory Data Creates BOPIS Inconsistency

Retail TouchPoints – Retailers are well aware that an omnichannel approach to both the customer experience and their internal systems is now a basic business requirement: 94% of retailers already have, or plan to implement, a single unified commerce platform within three years, up from 81% in 2017, according to the 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Study from BRP.

Even in-store, many retailers have failed to bring their systems up to the speed of innovation: just 25% of store networks, 32% of POS hardware and 25% of POS software is less than two years old, while 30% of retailers use POS hardware that is at least six years old, according to BRP. Before retailers can take advantage of the latest friction-reducing technology, they need to make sure their networks are capable of handling the unique challenges posed by omnichannel systems.

Read Full Article: Study: 66% Of Retailers Say Inaccurate Inventory Data Creates BOPIS Inconsistency

Survey: Personalized Engagement Tops Retailers’ Must-Do List

HFN – Engaging customers with personalized and relevant messages are the keys to customer loyalty, according to the BRP 20th annual POS/Customer Engagement Benchmark Survey.

“As customer expectations for an increasingly customized experience increase and evolve, retailers are adopting new ways to identify customers and personalize their shopping journey,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP, a retail consulting firm.

“Retailers continue to offer more mobile services from a consumer-facing and associate-facing perspective that include personalized recommendations, loyalty rewards, coupons, discounts and promotions,” said Kramer, who noted that 63 percent of retailers plan to implement the ability for customers to use their own mobile device as a POS device within three years.

Read Full Article: Survey: Personalized Engagement Tops Retailers’ Must-Do List

Luxury retailers need to compete with mass brands in personalization: report

Luxury Daily – Personalization in a bricks-and-mortar experience has become just as important as it is in digital, and with mass consumers expecting an elevated individualized experience, luxury brands need to work harder at delivering customized retail.

A new survey from Boston Retail Partners shows that 79 percent of consumers believe that a personalized experience from a sales associate is an important driving factor in deciding where to shop. More than half of all retailers are focusing on personalization within stores for 2019, making it more important for luxury brands to heighten their customer service.

“A key takeaway from this year’s POS survey is that retail continues to rapidly evolve, with consumers as the catalyst and their constantly increasing expectations for a better shopping experience, including more personalization and an improved mobile experience,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP. “In the uber-competitive retail environment, retailers need to adapt quickly to new customer expectations.

Read Full Article: Luxury retailers need to compete with mass brands in personalization: report

BRP Report Outlines Top Customer Engagement Priorities

Convenience Store Decisions – A majority of retailers set sights on finding unified commerce solutions within next three years. Customer expectations are continuing to shift, and retailers are looking for new ways to achieve customer engagement.

Customers want to shop wherever and whenever they want with the benefits of both the digital and physical experience. As retailers look for ways to differentiate in today’s highly competitive market, customer engagement strategies like personalization, mobile experience and real-time retail are critical components for optimizing the customer’s shopping experience.

In fact, according to the recent BRP Consumer Study, 79% said personalized service from a sales associate was an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop. Retailers understand the importance of personalization as 53% are focused on this for 2019, according to the 20th Annual POS/Customer Engagement Benchmark Survey.

Read Full Article: BRP Report Outlines Top Customer Engagement Priorities

Survey: Personalization critical component of in-store experience

Chain Store Age – Engaging in-store customers with personalized and relevant messaging is key to loyalty, according to a new survey.

The 20th Annual POS/Customer Engagement Benchmark Survey from Boston Retail Partners shows 79% of consumer respondents said personalized service from a sales associate is an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop. In turn, 53% of surveyed retailers indicated personalization is one of their top customer engagement priorities.

Survey results also demonstrate that in-store customers increasingly expect an omnichannel shopping experience. Sixty-three percent of surveyed consumers use their mobile phone while shopping in a store to compare prices, look for offers/coupons, check inventory availability, etc.

Read Full Article: Survey: Personalization critical component of in-store experience

Personalization, Mobile Experience, and Real-Time Retail are Top Customer Engagement Priorities, According to New BRP Report

94% of Retailers Plan to Have Unified Commerce within Three Years

Boston, MA – January 9, 2018– Customers want to shop wherever and whenever they want with the benefits of both the digital and physical experience. As retailers look for ways to differentiate in today’s highly competitive market, customer engagement strategies like personalization, mobile experience and real-time retail are critical components for optimizing the customer’s shopping experience. In fact, according to the recent BRP Consumer Study, 79% said personalized service from a sales associate was an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop. Retailers understand the importance of personalization as 53% are focused on this for 2019, according to the 20th Annual POS/Customer Engagement Benchmark Survey.

Retailers understand the imperative for change, as 94% of retailers, up from 81% last year, have indicated that they have or plan to implement a single unified commerce platform within the next three years. “It is time to reimagine the customer engagement model as yesterday’s retail is dead, and agility is paramount as retail continues to rapidly evolve,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP. “Key to this agility and transformation is a single commerce platform. Victory belongs to the agile.”

“As customer expectations for an increasingly customized experience increase and evolve, retailers are adopting new ways to identify customers and personalize their shopping journey,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP. “Retailers continue to offer more mobile services from a consumer-facing and associate-facing perspective that include personalized recommendations, loyalty rewards, coupons, discounts and promotions. It is also interesting to note that 63% of retailers plan on having the ability to use a customer owned mobile device as a POS device within three years.”

BRP’s 20th Annual POS/Customer Engagement Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into retailers’ current priorities and initiatives as digital and physical retail environments converge to facilitate a seamless experience across channels.

The key customer experience trends driving today’s initiatives are:

PERSONAL – Engaging the customer with personalized and relevant messaging is the key to customer loyalty

  • 79% of consumers said personalized service from a sales associate is an important factor in determining at which store they choose to shop
  • 53% of retailers indicate that personalization is one of their top customer engagement priorities

MOBILE – The pervasiveness and ease-of-use of mobile devices offers tremendous opportunities for retailers

  • 63% of consumers use their mobile phone while shopping in a store to compare prices, look for offers/coupons, check inventory availability, etc.
  • 49% of retailers indicate that the customer mobile experience is one of their top customer engagement priorities

SEAMLESS – Today’s customer journey crisscrosses channels, requiring the retailer to provide a seamless, personalized experience

  • 56% of consumers indicate they are more likely to shop at a retailer that allows them to have a shared cart across channels
  • 94% of retailers have or plan to implement a single unified commerce platform within three years, up from 81% last year

SECURE – Today’s retail environment requires security beyond retailers’ current focus on payments and networks

  • 50% of consumers are likely to allow retailers to save purchase history, personal preferences and personal details if it eases the checkout process and allows for more personalized offers
  • 61% of retailers have implemented end-to-end encryption to offer customers greater security of their personal and payment data

To download the complete 20th Annual POS/CustomerEngagement Benchmarking Survey, visit:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2019-pos-survey/.

The POS/Customer Engagement Survey platinum sponsor is TSYS, the gold sponsors are Aptos, Diebold Nixdorf, ECRS and Fujitsu, and the silver sponsor is STORIS.

About BRP

BRP is an innovative retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience | Order Management | Networks
Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Private Equity

For more information on BRP, visit http://www.brpconsulting.com.

Five Below works with BRP on new in-store technology

Retail Dive – Discount store operator Five Below teamed up with Boston Retail Partners, retail consulting firm, to implement in-store technology supporting new point-of-sale capabilities, self-checkout and tablet-based solutions, according to a BRP press release.

The retailer was able to deploy the technology, including a mobile platform enabling store associates to focus on customer engagement rather than back office tasks, in 750 store locations over 13 months. The technology investment comes after Five Below carried out an aggressive expansion program last year to open more than 120 new stores.

Read Full Article: Five Below works with BRP on new in-store technology

Five Below supports store growth plans with tech investment

Chain Store Age – Five Below has deployed a new in-store technology platform across its approximately 750 U.S. stores. The platform leverages leading-edge solutions to create a more personalized and streamlined customer experience.

For example, the new in-store framework includes a mobile platform that frees up associates from back-office functions, and allows them to focus on delivering one-on-one customer service. In addition, new POS, self-checkout and tablet-based solutions help create a seamless shopping environment that should appeal to Five Below’s constantly connected Millennial and Gen Z customer base. The platform is also designed to streamline other in-store processes, including employee training.

“The Five Below leadership team wanted to support the company’s growth while providing a great customer experience, and working closely together, we executed the full replacement and deployment project flawlessly,” said Perry Kramer, senior VP and practice lead, BRP, retail consulting firm. “We designed, built and deployed a set of in-store tools and processes that are enabling Five Below to focus on continued growth. In addition, the new solution set provides the foundation to elevate the customer’s digital experience.”

Read Full Article: Five Below supports store growth plans with tech investment

BRP Helps Five Below Complete Accelerated Implementation of a New In-store Platform to Support High Store Growth Plans

Boston, MA – January 3, 2019 –BRP, a leading retail management consulting firm, announced today the successful deployment of a new store technology platform at Five Below stores. Five Below, one of the fastest growing retailers in the U.S., wanted to upgrade their in-store technology to support their high store growth plans and enable a continued innovative customer experience. BRP worked with the Five Below technology leadership team to develop a strategy and select the right set of tools that would serve as a strategic platform. The strategic platform enables the nimble adoption of new customer experiences, streamlined processes and training, and new POS, self-checkout and tablet-based solutions.

Five Below, in partnership with BRP, selected and implemented the new solution across the chain’s approximately 750 locations in just 13 months. The success-driven implementation was focused on speed-to-market, delivery of an enhanced in-store experience to wow the customer, and tools to empower the entire store team. The new solution includes a mobile platform that frees up team members from back-office functions, and allows them to focus on delivering the dynamic customer experience that makes Five Below an industry leader.

“The Five Below leadership team wanted to support the company’s growth while providing a great customer experience, and working closely together, we executed the full replacement and deployment project flawlessly,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead, BRP.  “We designed, built and deployed a set of in-store tools and processes that are enabling Five Below to focus on continued growth.”

This deployment has helped streamline processes and created a more intuitive workflow, allowing Five Below’s WoW Crew team to better engage customers. “In addition, the new solution set provides the foundation to elevate the customer’s digital experience,” added Perry Kramer.

About BRP

BRP is an innovative retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience | Order Management | Networks
Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Private Equity

For more information on BRP, visit http://www.brpconsulting.com.

Reexamining The State Of POS: Take Steps To Accelerate The Checkout Process

Retail TouchPoints – Retailers may not realize just how much point-of-sale (POS) technology has advanced in recent years — and how quickly it continues to evolve. The POS is now much more than just a necessary workhorse; it’s also the means to address one of retail’s biggest pain points: slow checkouts. But despite the critical upgrades and improved functionality within POS platforms, many industry players still lag when it comes to implementing newer technologies: 53% of retailers report their POS software is more than five years old, according to Boston Retail Partners.

More than one-third of the retailers surveyed are planning to replace their current POS software and hardware within three years, the report said. But there are still many that don’t plan to replace their software (36%) and hardware (28%) for another five years — an indication that these retailers are being too complacent about a mission-critical set of solutions.

This Retail TouchPoints special report discusses the recent evolution of POS technologies, and explains why retailers must reexamine which facets of their systems are most important to expediting the checkout process. The report also touches on:

Why omnichannel integration and customer engagement are main drivers in the preference shift from all-in-one platforms to best-of-breed solutions;
How larger POS vendors are becoming more open to integrating microservices and other third-party APIs that add functionality and flexibility;
Why retailers must think cloud-first when upgrading their POS platform;
How ‘Apple-esque’ devices have forced vendors to consider more aesthetically pleasing POS hardware in stores;
Mobile’s continued growth and influence on POS technologies; and
The emergence of self-checkout as a frictionless payments option.

Page 3 (comments from Perry Kramer):

NEW PRIORITIES SHAPE POS DECISION-MAKING

Two growing retail imperatives — omni-channel integration and customer engagement — are shifting how retailers evaluate POS systems, according to Perry Kramer, Senior VP and Practice Lead at BRP, retail consulting firm.

“Five years ago, retailers were looking for that quick win, where they would look at one solution,” said Kramer in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “They’d say: ‘I want my POS, I want my order management, customer engagement, promotions and pricing all in one suite.’ What’s changed in the last two or three years is that retailers are focusing on best-of-breed, engaging the customer with something that’s specific to them. From a tech point of view, they’re now saying: ‘We want a more modern platform that’s built on microservices technology, and if I need to swap out my order management, I’ll swap out my order management.’”

Integrating third-party microservices, which are smaller, individual applications designed to work together within a larger enterprise ecosystem, can be a safer and faster alternative to replacing larger, outdated back-end services all at once. With microservices, retailers can be more flexible in carrying out their POS strategy, including collecting and leveraging customer data within the platform. Additionally, major POS vendors are becoming more open to the different ways that third parties can integrate APIs into the ecosystem.

Page 8 (comments from Perry Kramer):

MOBILE POS GROWTH SET TO OUTPACE OVERALL POS MARKET

As many as 66% of the retailers that have adopted mobile payment terminals have done so within the past two years, with more than 90% upgrading them within the last five, according to Boston Retail Partners. However, only 31% of retailers have deployed mobile payment terminals overall, while 42% have implemented mobile devices at the POS.

BRP’s Kramer estimates that there will be anywhere between a 40% to a 70% reduction in the number of lanes within a store as mobile POS terminals gain popularity. “Some specialty retailers already have gotten rid of the lanes and they’re trying to do everything on the tablets,” Kramer said. “You’re going to see retailers trying to grab back some of the space that is used during only 20% of the year. If you walk into a LOFT or a TJ Maxx, you’ll notice 20 lanes across the front. That’s a very expensive set of real estate that is only [fully] used two months out of the year. In four or five years, the consumers are going to be trained on mobile POS and expect to walk into a store, scan their barcode and see if that product is available in another store. Because the consumers are expecting it, you have to make it available to your sales associate as well.”

Read Full Article: Reexamining The State Of POS: Take Steps To Accelerate The Checkout Process