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Ease of Checkout, Payment Top Consumers’ Shopping List

Convenience Store Decisions – Retailers are adding to POS capabilities now while planning eventual move to cloud-based commerce platforms. According to a new report released last week by Boston-based retail consultant BRP, brick-and-mortar stores are standing up to the seemingly massive shift to online commerce. The key, the report suggests, is in the ease of the shopping and purchasing experience.

According to the report, “SPECIAL REPORT: The State of Store Technology,” the store is still a major part of the customer journey with 79% of consumers indicating they frequently purchase merchandise in a store. With an increased focus on customer engagement and the convergence of physical and digital, the point of sale or commerce platform plays a critical role in shaping the customer shopping experience. The right technology foundation is essential to support the best in-store customer experience.

“Stores remain center stage in the shopping experience, and that experience is an ever-increasing factor in where consumers choose to shop,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP (retail consulting firm). “Retailers understand the importance of keeping up with customer expectations; in fact, 75% are considering cloud-based platforms as part of their in-store technology plans over the next several years.”

BRP’s “SPECIAL REPORT: The State of Store Technology” is based on findings from the BRP Consumer Study and the “2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey” and offers insights into the state of retailers’ current store technology and their future plans.

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The Store Still Matters

Despite what the media and industry analysts want us to believe, the store still matters. 79% of the consumers in our recent Consumer Study indicate they purchase merchandise in a store frequently. So, the store is not likely going away any time soon. In fact, this is likely to rise as 27% of consumers indicate their in-store shopping frequency will increase over the next 24 months.

With the store still a major part of the customer journey, the point of sale or commerce platform plays a critical role in shaping the customer shopping experience.Since the checkout process in stores is often the most frustrating aspect of an in-store shopping experience, it is important for retailers to ensure that this technology is efficient to make the process quick and easy. Most consumers (96%) feel that the ease of checkout and payment is an important factor in choosing where they shop so getting it correct is important.The right technology foundation is essential to support the best in-store customer experience and allow it to continue to evolve.

Instead of a simple checkout device, your commerce platform needs to serve as the link to customer information, shopping history and purchasing behavior across channels, not just in the store. Unfortunately, many retailers are utilizing old, outdated hardware and software that can’t support today’s requirements. This leads to associate and customer frustration because of slow transactions, lack of accessible information and potentially, increased theft and fraud. The challenge for retailers is to identify and implement a new holistic commerce platform across channels that addresses these issues and avoids being obsolete in a year or two.

More than half (53%) of the retailers in our 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey are focused on adding capabilities to their current POS with 41% focused on implementing a unified commerce platform so retailers are heading in the right direction. But we challenge retailers to look at cloud-based solutions to enable real-time capabilities and create a scalable and agile platform that supports your evolving business needs.

A cloud approach enables you to significantly reduce infrastructure, improve security and increase operational effectiveness by centralizing data management and processes. This allows you to be more agile so you can continue to meet your ever-changing customer needs and make sure that your store still matters.

I encourage you to download the BRP SPECIAL REPORT: The State of Store Technology for more information on what today’s store environment requires.

Brian

Outdated POS poses challenge for omnichannel retail: BRP

Luxury Daily – According to new research, almost all consumers consider the ease of a retailer’s checkout process when choosing where to shop, pointing to the importance of having up-to-date point-of-sale (POS) systems in place at bricks-and-mortar stores.

A report from Boston Retail Partners finds that about half of retailers are planning to replace their existing POS within the next three years, with many opting for updates such as cloud-based systems and mobile checkout. Even with ecommerce growth, many customers are still shopping in-store, warranting investments in making the experience as positive as possible.

“Checkout is often the most dreaded part of the shopping experience and much of it can be influenced by having the right processes and technology,” said Brian Brunk, principal at BRP, retail consulting firm. “In fact, 96 percent of consumers indicate that ease of checkout and payment are important factors when choosing where to shop.

“Understaffed checkout lines, or not enough, cumbersome processes for customer or loyalty lookup and slower payment processes are just a few examples,” he said. “Retailers should consider ongoing reviews for process improvements, as well as technology updates to POS and payment options. “Customers desiring self-checkout solutions is also on the rise and should be a consideration by every retailer,” he said.

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BRP Report Identifies Tokenization as Top Retailer Priority

Store Brands – A new study indicates that retailers are having varying success providing the shopping and payment options customers want.

According to “Special Report: Security” from Boston Retail Partners (BRP), retailers are lagging in implementing a single-token payment security solution across the enterprise. Tokenization enables retailers to remove sensitive information from the network by substituting payment card data with a token which is used as an identifier, but has no exploitable value or meaning. In addition to the increased security offered by tokenization, it is also key to enabling a shared cart across channels.
BRP analysis shows that only 38 percent of retailers have implemented a single token solution, and a mere seven percent offer a shared omnichannel cart. Yet 56 percent of customers want access to a single cart to shop across channels and be able to reach their cart via phone, computer, or in the store.

“Tokenization is a top priority for many retailers, as it improves the security of sensitive customer payment data,” said Ryan Grogman, senior VP and practice lead, BRP Consulting. “Tokenization technology is also valuable as a foundation to enable a seamless experience for consumer returns, customer profiles and electronic shopping carts that need to retrieve data across channels.”

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How retailers can meet consumer expectations

StoreBrands – A new study indicates that retailers are having varying success providing the shopping and payment options customers want.

According to “Special Report: Security” from BRP, retail consulting firm, retailers are lagging in implementing a single-token payment security solution across the enterprise. Tokenization enables retailers to remove sensitive information from the network by substituting payment card data with a token which is used as an identifier, but has no exploitable value or meaning. In addition to the increased security offered by tokenization, it is also key to enabling a shared cart across channels.
BRP analysis shows that only 38 percent of retailers have implemented a single token solution, and a mere seven percent offer a shared omnichannel cart. Yet 56 percent of customers want access to a single cart to shop across channels and be able to reach their cart via phone, computer, or in the store.

“Tokenization is a top priority for many retailers, as it improves the security of sensitive customer payment data,” said Ryan Grogman, senior VP and practice lead, BRP Consulting. “Tokenization technology is also valuable as a foundation to enable a seamless experience for consumer returns, customer profiles and electronic shopping carts that need to retrieve data across channels.”

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BRP Report Identifies Tokenization as Top Retailer Priority

Convenience Store Decisions – Only 38% of retailers have implemented a single token solution across the enterprise. Tokenization offers increased security and enables a shared cart across channels, according to a report by retail management consulting firm BRP. BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Security says that retailers must continuously reexamine their policies on customer payment and personal data as new dangers emerge that require enhanced security measures.

Tokenization enables retailers to remove sensitive information from the network by substituting payment card data with a token, which is used as an identifier but has no exploitable value or meaning.

“Tokenization is a top priority for many retailers, as it improves the security of sensitive customer payment data,” said Ryan Grogman, senior vice president and practice lead of BRP. “Tokenization technology is also valuable as a foundation to enable a seamless experience for consumer returns, customer profiles and electronic shopping carts that need to retrieve data across channels. What began as a solution to remove payment card data from a retailer’s environment has found additional value in substituting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to help drive omni-channel use cases. We continue to see improved security practices across the retail industry in efforts to thwart malicious attacks and remain compliant with regulations, but this is a never-ending challenge.”

Read Full Article: BRP Report Identifies Tokenization as Top Retailer Priority

The Amazing Disappearing Checkout

Digital Transactions – Amazon’s tech-laden Go stores are disrupting in-store checkout. But as other merchants look to follow suit, it’s becoming clear there are lots of ways to get the checkout to check out.

Consumers so loathe waiting in line at checkout that half of all shoppers avoid entering stores with long lines, according to data from RetailCustomerExperience.com, a Web portal for retailers. Additionally, one-third of shoppers who enter a store will leave without buying if they think checkout will take longer than seven minutes.

That’s a lot of lost traffic and sales. To reduce friction and speed up service at checkout, retailers are looking at ways to marry more aspects of the e-commerce shopping experience to the physical point of sale.

“While Amazon can afford to spend that kind of money per location, most retailers can’t,” says Ken Morris, principal for BRP, retail consulting firm. “Self-service technology can be an expensive proposition for retailers, just look at in-store kiosks. But if the phone can be the gateway to a frictionless checkout environment, it’s worth a look, provided it can deliver the adoption levels needed to make it work.”

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Study: The omnichannel features customers most want are…

Chain Store Age – Consumers desire a specific omnichannel shopping capability, but few retailers offer it. According to “Special Report: Real-Time Retail,” a new study from BRP, retail consulting firm, 56% of consumers indicated that they were likely to shop at a retailer that allowed them to have a shared cart across PC, smartphone and brick-and-mortar channels versus a retailer that does not offer this service. Yet only 7% of retailers offer this shared cart concept.

The study also identifies other disconnects between what consumers want from an omnichannel experience and what retailers are providing. For example, 87% of consumers want a personalized and consistent experience across all shopping channels. But only 53% of retailers indicate that personalization of the customer experience is a top priority.

Read Full Article: Study: The omnichannel features customers most want are…

56% of Consumers are Likely to Choose a Retailer who Offers a Shared Cart Across Channels, According to New BRP Report

Only 7% of retailers are able to provide a shared cart across channels

Boston, MA – March 12, 2019 – According to BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail, customers want access to a single cart to shop across channels and be able to reach their cart via phone, computer, or even in the store – they want to “start anywhere and finish anywhere.” In BRP’s Consumer Study, 56% indicated that they were likely to shop at a retailer that allowed them to have a shared cart across channels instead of a retailer that does not offer this service, yet only 7% of retailers offer this shared cart concept.

The importance of real-time visibility and access to product and customer information across channels has grown significantly over the past few years as consumers’ expectations continue to rise. Today’s retail model has to venture beyond omni-channel by breaking down the walls between internal channel silos and leveraging a common commerce platform with a single order management system to deliver a holistic, real-time, personal, seamless experience.

Real-time retail is the ability to deliver this seamless and personalized experience to the customer whenever, wherever and however she chooses to shop. It enables retailers to identify the customer and gather, analyze and disseminate customer, product, pricing and inventory data across all channels – instantly.

“Consumers expect a seamless experience in the store, on the Web and via their mobile device – which makes ‘real-time retail’ the new industry imperative,” said Ken Morris, principal, BRP. “In our experience, many retailers can check inventory in real-time but the data they are accessing is actually from yesterday, as the data is not really updated in real-time – it is faux real-time retail based on the store and forward architecture of legacy POS and e-commerce systems. As retailers move to unified commerce, full access to enterprise-wide data in real-time will become more common as it is a necessity to survive.”

BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retailis based on findings from the BRP Consumer Study and the 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Surveyand offers insights into how real-time access to inventory and customer data is imperative to deliver a seamless, personalized customer experience.

The SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail highlights:

SEAMLESS EXPERIENCE:

  • Customer expectations:56% are likely to shop at a retailer that offers a shared cart across channels
  • Retailer capabilities:7% offer the ability for customers to have a shared cart across channels

PERSONALIZATION:

  • Customer expectations:87% want a personalized and consistent experience across all shopping channels
  • Retailer capabilities:53% indicate that personalization of the customer experience is a top priority

To download BRP’s SPECIAL REPORT: Real-Time Retail, visit:

https://brpconsulting.com/download/2019-special-report-real-time-retail

The special report platinum sponsor is TSYS, the gold sponsors are Aptos,Diebold Nixdorf, ECRSand 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.

Mobile Payments Becoming Frictionless

Convenience Store News – More c-stores are looking into frictionless payment options as Amazon raises the bar.
BRP’s 20th annual “POS/Customer Engagement Benchmark Survey” found 63% of consumers use mobile phones while shopping in stores to compare prices, view offers and check inventory. Meanwhile, 49% of retailers list customer mobile experience as a top customer engagement priority.

“C-stores completing their EMV upgrades at the pump can take a large leap forward with mobile payments at the pump to improve the customer experience,” said Perry Kramer, senior vice president and practice lead, BRP, a retail-management consulting firm. “Moving towards mobile payments is a low-cost way of offering consumers an experience of being able to pay with their phone and removing the task of finding their credit card and swiping or inserting at the payment terminal.”

“Frictionless payments, mobile applications and loyalty must all be viewed as a single, holistic solution. Not doing so can significantly jeopardize retailers’ top and bottom lines by impacting total transaction count and units per transaction in the stores,” Kramer said. Wawa could have added mobile payment to its food ordering kiosks, but that may have deterred impulse purchases as customers walk around the store, he said.

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