10 Ways FoyerLive Digital Displays Improve Life for Retail Associates, Managers and Customers

10 Ways FoyerLive Digital Displays Improve Life for Retail Associates, Managers and Customers

E-commerce, Gift Stores, Museums Attractions, Retail, Specialty Retail, Sporting Goods

by John Garvey

Saving time, ease of locating products, greater product variety and selection, and avoiding checkout lines are among the reasons people turn to ecommerce rather than shopping in-store. FoyerLive offers solutions to each of those issues, providing a better customer experience and addressing major causes of lost sales.

FoyerLive isn’t just a solution for brick and mortar retailers. It also makes it easy to integrate ecommerce and brick and mortar operations. Their endless aisle digital kiosks bring many of the conveniences of ecommerce to brick and mortar shopping, empowering retailers to create a nearly seamless shopping experience as well as a more personalized one.

Here are a few examples of FoyerLive applications that solve everyday problems for retail associates, managers and customers.

1. Ease of exploring product features and reviews.

For technically complex products, the information on the box or print display isn’t enough to go by. If you’ve ever browsed product information on your phone from a store you’ve probably sensed that there’s a better way of doing things. Now there is.

FoyerLive’s interactive kiosks allow customers to view product descriptions, comparisons, demos and reviews on attractive touchscreen displays. If they’re just getting started they can search by category and add items to a cart.

One perceived advantage of ecommerce for shoppers is access to customer reviews. People can be hesitant to buy products without seeing how they’ve measured up to other consumers’ expectations. If your customers aren’t looking at these reviews in store, odds are they have in advance. Facilitating that can increase sales and reduce product returns.

FoyerLive displays at Hurley surf event.
Click to enlarge

2. Eliminate stress and guesswork.

With FoyerLive’s capabilities, retail associates don’t have to memorize as much product information as they otherwise would. If they can’t answer a question off hand they can easily access product information using digital kiosks. The employee and customer are viewing the same information on the same screen and the employee can fill in where he or she has specialized knowledge. This is especially valuable if your store has complex products or a large number of SKUs.

And it builds trust.

3. Reduce lost sales from out of stock items.

If you don’t have the right color or size in store, no problem! FoyerLive gives you ominchannel fulfilment options, allowing customers to order out-of-stock items for home delivery. Customers don’t have to make inconvenient return trips to get what they want. For retailers, that amounts to fewer sales lost to online competitors.

4. No more yelling over the changing room door.

Even if delegated to a retail associate, going back and forth between a dressing room and clothing racks is time-consuming. Some people dread this aspect of clothes shopping. Digital displays in changing rooms allow the customer to order additional sizes and colors without leaving the changing room or verbally communicating detailed information to a frazzled associate.

5. Queue Management: Reduce or eliminate lines.

With FoyerLive you can give customers a self-checkout option if that’s appropriate to your business. That means your associates are available to help customers with needs other than sales transactions. Ergo you can provide a more personalized experience as well as greater convenience.

Alternatively or additionally, customers can order products from anywhere in the store so they’ll be waiting when it’s time to go up front and pay.

6. No more scrounging for products on crowded shelves.

FoyerLive’s touchscreen navigators free customers from meandering through aisles in a long and potentially fruitless search. Guests can now request products or find them with digital item locators. Since they can order physical products from the back of the store with touch screens there’s less need to keep them all up front. The additional space creates a more pleasant all around experience.

Nike, for instance, uses FoyerLive digital displays to allow customers to pick shoe and clothing styles, colors and sizes. Employees collect the requested products and bring them to customers to try on at pop-up stores and in store.

FoyerLive Nike display.
Click to enlarge

7. Choose the right vintage.

Most dinner hosts don’t harbor sky-high expectations as far as their guests’ beer or wine contributions go, but it’s nice to make a good impression. What goes well with tri-tip steak? How about scallops, quesadillas, BBQ chicken, or samosas? I have no idea and there’s a good chance even a well-trained clerk at a liquor store doesn’t either.

Digital kiosks provide educational tools for both staff and customers for just this kind of situation. This functionality makes up-selling easier as well as educational. People are happy to pay more when they’re confident that they’ve chosen the right product.

8. Effectively multiply your sales associates.

Many of the above applications allow associates to get more done, better manage peak hours and provide more individualized service. Whether you’re a garden center, liquor store, boutique clothing retailer, a fireworks seller or the storefront for a major brand, these solutions free employees from busy work. They’ll be happier and so will your customers.

9. Make products tangible to customers.

Digital displays, by allowing customers to view how products actually work, make them more engaged and confident selecting products that suit their needs. Fireworks stores, for instance, use digital displays which allow customers to see what artillery shells, roman candles and other goodies look like in action.

This list of applications is by no means exhaustive. The sky’s the limit.

10. A final note: Cost, functionality and integration.

The cost and functionality of digital displays have improved a lot over the last five years. Historically setting up a video wall was exorbitantly expensive. Now you can get a decent-sized, touchscreen, commercial device and targeted, customizable digital display for less than a thousand dollars.

In-store digital displays used to be stand-alone products. They’re now integrated with websites, and because FoyerLive is in the cloud, managers can control kiosks and display screens from anywhere. Displays can also be automated by time of day and special promos offered in real time.

Integration.

FoyerLive is designed to integrate seamlessly with other enterprise-level retail solutions such as NCR Counterpiont, so if you like what you’re using there’s no need for a complete overhaul. Many of our clients use multiple systems which compliment one another.

In sum, FoyerLive is a diverse, customizable tool that different businesses can use in the ways that most benefit them. It brings many of the advantages of ecommerce to brick and mortar retail, while also facilitating ecommerce for those who do both. It provides convenience and assurance to customers who want to make the right choice and don’t have all day to do it.

Contact Retail Control Systems for more product information or a free FoyerLive demo. We’ll help you find the best solutions for your store.

Retail Control Systems and The Cupboard: A Recipe for Success!

Retail Control Systems and The Cupboard: A Recipe for Success!

Gift Stores

(ENFIELD, NH | FORT COLLINS, CO) – Retail Control Systems (RCS) is pleased to announce our customer spotlight for the month of September, The Cupboard.

The Cupboard is a family run kitchen supply store, located in downtown Fort Collins. The store has been open for 45 years and resides in a 10,000 square foot retail space– just imagine the kitchen supplies you can find in their store! “The heart of every home is where family and friends share great food and cherished moments. At The Cupboard you will find not just a store, but a special place to help you to make the most of any kitchen — unique, top-quality appliances and tools, beautiful wares, specialty food, and expert advice.”

RCS has had the pleasure of working with The Cupboard for the past 3 years, after joining the RCS family in 2014. Jim Hewitt, Owner, at The Cupboard states, “RCS has helped us implement and customize Counterpoint so it is most beneficial for our specific store needs.”

The Cupboard downtown Fort Collins Colorado

Working with The Cupboard is a joy for RCS.​ They are a very well known and respected business in Northern Colorado. It’s impossible to walk through Old Town, Fort Collins without seeing at least one of the signature white shopping bags bearing The Cupboard’s logo. A trip to the cupboard is also required pilgrimage for RCS employees visiting from the east coast. RCS has also seen significant improvements in the stores learning and use of the system since it was implemented 3 years ago. The number of support calls has gone down significantly and they are more efficiently and effectively using Counterpoint.

The Cupboard converted to NCR Counterpoint from an all manual system, including cash registers and taking inventory on yellow legal pads of paper. Since implementing Counterpoint,  purchasing, receiving, and inventory management have become streamlined processes for the store’s buyers. Counterpoint provides significantly more visibility into what products are selling and when, resulting in an on hand inventory tailored to customer demand and reduced holding costs.

I would recommend Counterpoint and RCS. They were extremely helpful and knowledgeable about their products.
– Jim Hewitt, The Cupboard

The RCS Colorado office is also in convenient walking distance to The Cupboard in case we need some emergency coffee (or chocolate), hot sauce or dinner plates, they have all of our kitchen needs covered!

About Retail Control Systems

Founded in 1987, Retail Control Systems specializes in retail and restaurant management software and hardware solutions. RCS has built a reputation for finding specialized business management solutions that help businesses gain complete control over their operations and finances. From inventory control to daily sales management, RCS has the experience and expertise across the full-range of retail and restaurant industries to meet the unique needs of any business. RCS has been providing superior customer service, exceptional quality, and innovation to the retail and restaurant community for nearly 30 years.

To learn more about RCS, visit retailcontrolsystems.com or call 1-800-417-3030.

For more information about The Cupboard, their products, and services, visit thecupboard.net.

Streamlined Inventory Management + Awesome Service at The Cupboard

Streamlined Inventory Management + Awesome Service at The Cupboard

Gift Stores, Specialty Retail

By John Garvey

I’m pretty sure the feeling many adults get walking into The Cupboard is like the thrill children feel inside toy stores.  The specialty retail store in downtown Fort Collins, CO offers eleven product categories for everything you could possibly need in a kitchen.  While department stores may be struggling to compete with e-commerce, The Cupboard hasn’t skipped a beat.

Casey, Jim, and Dave at The CupboardIf the kitchen is the heart of your home, as the expression goes, The Cupboard’s staff is like a team of cardiologists.  Everyone on their team has a unique role and several are responsible for specific product categories—not just store management.  Phoebe buys the store’s Japanese ceramic ware and cast iron accessories.  Cherie’s in charge of coffee & tea accessories, Asian pottery and pepper mills.  And so on.

To me, the mere thought of managing the store’s phenomenally diverse inventory is almost paralyzing.  Not only are there hundreds of products within arm’s reach, but over a half dozen buyers are ordering separate product lines that compete for shelf space.  Even so, store owner, Jim Hewitt, says buying and tracking merchandise has been manageable and even fun since onboarding NCR Counterpoint.

“The buyers love it. It really makes ordering efficient, and counting inventory more efficient.  It’s been a lot easier to track. We can now place orders for a shorter amount of time because it used to take so long to do inventory by hand.”

Asked about his favorite thing about retail, Jim’s response is … pretty much everything:

“I think it’s the variety.  You know, it really is fun to find new products, the right products that hopefully will enhance people’s lives or make them more fun or easy in the kitchen.  Also the relationships with the customers that we have.  We get to see customers come in on a weekly basis, often for coffee or just to walk around.  Training staff as far as customer service and buying and ordering merchandise.  It’s never a dull moment.”

What is fundamental to continue prospering as a brick and mortar retailer?  Jim says it comes down to customer service, expertise and creating an experience.

You know, you can go online, you can research, you can buy a peeler, but you can’t come in and have an experience, sample coffee and learn about the products from  knowledgeable staff.

Jim has been delighted to have had NCR Counterpoint the last couple years. RCS has provided a streamlined inventory management and point of sale platform, training and reliable support.

The Cupboard, first opened in 1972, is one of 70 family run businesses that RCS supports.  That’s a point of pride for RCS, which is itself family-owned.  As I was walking out the other day, the store rep was having an animated, friendly conversation behind the counter with a little boy.  His mom, appraising the chocolate truffles nearby, shot her a smile.  No wonder The Cupboard is practically a centerpiece of Fort Collins commerce.

Specialty brick and mortar retailers offer warmth and familiarity that makes them indispensable.

Read more about the Cupboard in a press release about when they first implemented NCR Counterpoint.

Shorter Buying Cycles.
Fewer Stockouts.
Less Surplus Inventory.

Our services can help you with security, digital marketing, point of sales and other needs.

Happy Lucky’s Utilizes an Omni-Channel Experience with RCS

Happy Lucky’s Utilizes an Omni-Channel Experience with RCS

Featured, Gift Stores

by Casey Albert

Happy Lucky’s Teahouse has been part of the RCS family since 2013 when they became our first Fort Collins, CO customer after establishing an office location there. RCS is pleased to announce Happy Lucky’s as our May Customer Spotlight!

Happy Lucky’s Teahouse is a retail store offering over 200 loose leaf teas and tea brewing accessories. Their mission is to “Nourish Your Happy”—through community, connection and the experience of great tea.

Since 2009, owners George and Kari Grossman, along with their dedicated team of Leafsters, have been sharing how culture, lifestyle, health and happiness boil down to just three elements: Water, Tea, and Time.

With a commitment to quality, selection, and community, Happy Lucky’s has created a highly interactive, informative and immersive tea experience. Whether you are already a tea lover or new to the brew, you’ll find the flavor, aroma, and feeling that speaks to you. You can choose your tea from over 200 loose leaf options on their Great Wall of Tea. With the largest tea selection in the state of Colorado, you can’t go wrong!

Happy Lucky’s switched their Point of Sale System to NCR Counterpoint with RCS’ help back in 2013. RCS and NCR Counterpoint has enabled them to grow, opening a second teahouse in November 2016, in Front Range Village, south of the original Old Town, Fort Collins location.

Man using Point Of Sale System

“With RCS’ help in implementing Counterpoint, we have been able to achieve both our financial and operational goals. And throughout our growth, RCS has been there to help us achieve our goals.”

– George Grossman, Chief Leafster

Integrated into Counterpoint is Customer Connect, an email marketing program which allows Happy Lucky’s to directly reach customers and reach members of their loyalty program—the Tea Lover’s Club. Customer Connect also allows the shop to track customers’ preferences and purchases. They can then send them an notifications about new teas or retail items they may be interested in.

Happy Lucky’s also utilizes NCR’s Smart Alerts. This application allows the Leafsters to receive text messages on their phone with store alerts, daily reports, excessive void alerts, and much more! George utilizes Smart Alerts to judge how busy his stores are and, if needed, head to the store to offer an extra hand.

Lastly, Happy Lucky’s recently switched their e-commerce platform to NCR Retail Online (NRO). NRO is directly integrated into Counterpoint which will allow them to control inventory between two inventory locations and online (Get one of my favorite teas at their new e-commerce store here). Happy Lucky’s is one of RCS’ only customers that utilizes all of the NCR applications: Customer Connect, NRO and Smart Alerts. This allows Happy Lucky’s to have a true omni-channel point of sale system.

RCS is thrilled to have Happy Lucky’s as part of the RCS family! We are excited that we could assist them with reaching their goals and we can’t wait to see where they go next!

3 Common Holiday Retail Challenges & How to Solve Them

3 Common Holiday Retail Challenges & How to Solve Them

Clothing & Apparel, E-commerce, Gift Stores, Retail, Specialty Retail

The 2016 holiday season is officially upon us! As a retailer, you know that the holidays can promise a steady stream of revenue, and put a high demand on your retail operations.

So what can you do to ensure your holiday challenges don’t become New Year’s losses? Be prepared and leverage your point-of-sale system to track sales and inventory, manage promotions and staff, and gain critical insight into your customers’ behaviors to stay ahead of the holiday-rush and realize huge profits.

Here’s a list of 3 common holiday challenges and how you can solve them with an integrated point-of-sale system.

Challenge #1: Managing Crowds & Unpredictable Demand

Making the holidays “the most wonderful time of the year,” requires retailers to pay close attention to the details in order to successfully meet demand in this busy season. As the holidays inch closer, malls and stores will begin to get more and more crowded. Retailers across industries must be prepared to deal with the holiday rush, but how do you plan for something that is often seemingly unpredictable?

How You Solve It

Utilize your omni-channel point-of-sale system to become a data-centric business. By observing current trends as well as your store’s historical holiday sales data, you can more accurately forecast demand and predict inventory needs to maximize profits. Armed with a statistical, comprehensive picture of your business, you can take the guesswork out of inventory management, reducing the possibility of running out of stock or being left with overages.

An omni-channel point-of-sale system, like NCR Counterpoint, will also allow you to expand sales across a variety of platforms – physical, online, and mobile – to reach your customers, according to their preferences, so you never miss an opportunity to sell. Operating under a single, centralized system also allows you to effectively manage inventory across all your locations to transfer stock where it’s needed the most.

Challenge #2: Selling to the Holiday Shopper

Holiday shoppers need a streamlined, intuitive, and direct shopping experience. As a retailer, you need to be able to anticipate their needs and adjust your products and services to solve issues before they arise. So, what can you do to meet their expectations and successfully sell to the holiday shopper?

How You Solve It

Enable ecommerce, mobile pay, and gift cards to increase your speed of service and simplify the buyer experience to optimize sales. The best way to satisfy a shopper is to give them the service they expect and more. Modern consumers want to be able to quickly find, shop, and buy the gifts they need easily and efficiently. By creating or using an online store in addition to your brick-and-mortar location, you can deliver your products to a wider audience and accommodate their individual shopping habits – whether they prefer to shop in-store or online on a laptop, tablet, or mobile device. This allows you to spread demand across multiple places, so no one location is overwhelmed and stock can be strategically sold.

You can also increase your speed of service by investing in mobile POS stations or tablets. Short lines and efficient payment systems keep customers, especially those who are new to your store. Having the ability to sell products anywhere in your store as well as process mobile payments helps keep check-out lines shorter, reduce wait-times, and lessen the likelihood of customers reconsidering a purchase.

During the holidays, gift cards are a retailer’s best friend. In fact, research has consistently shown that people using a gift card to make a purchase spend 20% more than the value on the card. Aside from this profit incentive, gift cards are also a convenient option for customers coming into your store who may be unfamiliar with your product. As gift-givers, holiday shoppers aren’t always your typical clientele, so offering gift cards can be a great way to make your product more approachable, improving customer satisfaction, and increasing sales. You can easily sell and manage gift cards on an advanced point-of-sale retail solutions like NCR Counterpoint.

Challenge #3: Providing Effective Store Promotions

Holiday shopping has become synonymous with the word SALE. With increased demand comes high-competition, which means everybody is slashing prices in hopes of attracting big crowds. However, you can’t just discount everything in your store and expect to meet your bottom line. You need to be able to leverage your promotions strategically so your sales boost profits. Well how, do you ask?

How You Solve It

Use sales reports and customer insights to personalize your promotions and manage inventory effectively. Leverage a POS system that integrates sales data with customer engagement tools to capture crucial opportunities for your business. With a comprehensive POS solution, you can identify your loyal customers, view their purchase history, and send them coupons tailored specifically to their needs. Understanding when, how, and what they purchase gives you the competitive advantage to offer promotions they’ll want when they’ll want them – motivating further interaction, online or in-person. You’ll also be able to identify your best sellers to strategically price products so they fly off your shelves!

Make the holiday season merry and bright – see how RCS can help you choose and implement a complete point-of-sale solution that will increase sales and improve operations. Contact Us or visit, www.retailcontrolsystems.com to learn more about our customizable retail management solutions!