Here’s How Old POS Systems Get Retailers Screwed

Here’s How Old POS Systems Get Retailers Screwed

News, Restaurant, Retail

Here’s How Old POS Systems Get Retailers Screwed

Understanding the potential implications of the Sonic breach to your business.

Hold the onions … and my personal banking info!

Double burgerTwo years ago, Sonic Drive-In experienced a massive Point of Sale system breach. In September 2017, financial institutions noticed fraudulent charges on numerous cards that had previously been used at the fast food chain. Days later, Krebs on Security reported that a batch of five million credit and debit cards had suddenly shown up for sale online. Krebs’ banking insiders bought some of the cards to investigate, confirming that they had indeed been recently used at Sonic.

Fast forward a year and a half to last May for the real day of reckoning. American Airlines Federal Credit Union—the financial institution that incurred most of the cost stemming from this breach—sued Sonic last spring to recoup millions in expenses.

“The credit union said that because of the breach, it had to cancel or reissue cards, close accounts, block transactions, refund affected customers and increase fraud monitoring efforts,” reported The Oklahoman. (Sonic is headquartered in Oklahoma City.)

Lawyers representing AAFCU claimed that “nearly a quarter of Sonic’s restaurants used POS systems that were nearly thirty years old.” More to the point, that ageing software wasn’t receiving security updates, making it vulnerable to malware that was used to hack it and collect credit card information.

The basic mechanics of a POS security breach

Krebs explained, in the article cited above, how hackers use credit card info.

“Malicious hackers typically steal credit card data from organizations that accept cards by hacking into point-of-sale systems remotely and seeding those systems with malicious software that can copy account data stored on a card’s magnetic stripe. Thieves can use that data to clone the cards and then use the counterfeits to buy high-priced merchandise from electronics stores and big box retailers.”

And you thought your mother-in-law was annoying.

Who gets stuck with the tab when a security breach occurs?

Person counting moneyBreaches such as the Sonic incident and the prior Wendy’s breach are especially costly when the breached locations are independently-owned franchises rather than corporate-owned chains. In such cases, banks and credit unions that issue cards bear the up-front burden because cards tend to be breached, re-issued and breached again. The Wendy’s breach went on for nine months and was far costlier than the notorious Target and Home Depot breaches.

On Oct 1, 2015, much of the liability for credit card counterfeit schemes shifted from financial institutions to merchants. Those who had failed to adopt chip technology for processing credit cards were officially on the hook for damages stemming from in-store security breaches. In the last 3 ½ years the shift has been impossible not to notice in day-to-day consumer transactions.

Visa’s concise explanation of the EMV liability shift

The change of law has also pertained to several 7- and 8-digit legal settlements. For instance:

  • Home Depot settled a similar suit brought against it by financial institutions, in the amount of $25 million in March of 2017.
  • Wendy’s lost even bigger, settling for $50 million for its 2018 security breach.
  • In addition to the AAFCU suit, Sonic settled a $4.3 million class action lawsuit on behalf of numerous customers. The settlement entitled individual customers to payments ranging from $10 to $40. It concerned all 325 locations that were hacked, listed here.

Writing 172,000 checks (that’s $4.3 million divided by the average of $10 and $40) sounds like an unpleasant way to spend the weekend.

The good news is that, even in the event of a security breach, you won’t be held liable if you’re compliant with PCI (Payment Card Industry) Data Security Standards.

Stay Safe!

Not only do modern POS and CRM solutions keep you and your customers secure—they actually take a lot off your plate, including manual data entry, running promotions and other tasks.

What’s the solution?

Even if your POS system doesn’t predate household internet, you don’t want to leave security up to “common sense.” Whoever you’ve partnered with for your CRM and point of sale needs should be experienced, responsive, and able to discuss issues like PCI compliance in plain English. You don’t just want a vendor—you want a partner who can act as needed as an advisor.

Whoever you’ve partnered with for your CRM and point of sale needs should be experienced, responsive, and able to discuss issues like PCI compliance in plain English.

If you have less than complete confidence in your software, or you’re using antiquated hardware, hopefully this will encourage you to deal with it proactively. Making big changes may sound like a pain, but it’s also an opportunity: Modern POS and CRM solutions actually take a lot off your plate, including manual data entry, to running promotions and other marketing and administrative stuff.

Today, our POS solutions feature dozens of industry-specific customizations, allowing you to operate more effectively online and in-store. We’ll help you manage and track inventory, promote special events, maintain healthy margins, and so much more.

Are you and your customers at risk? Don’t wait to find out. We’ll work with you to determine what’s lacking in your current system, and how to improve upon it.

Why retailers should be thinking about Locavores and the experience economy (2 of 2)

Why retailers should be thinking about Locavores and the experience economy (2 of 2)

Just for Fun, News, Retail

Why retailers should be thinking about Locavores and the experience economy (2 of 2)

By John Garvey

Part II: Making your customers your greatest advertising asset

Inc. contributor Ane Gherani recently wrote about the declining effectiveness of online advertising, and how it can be offset by turning consumers into brand advocates. This isn’t breaking news, but it bears consideration day to day.

With consumers equipped to market on brands’ behalves, brands need to step up their game and invest in experiences that their consumers actually want to share,” Gherani says. “From storefronts and pop-up shops to innovative expo booths and interactive insta worthy subway ads, the experience economy is set to be the most lucrative brand channels to tap into.

The opportunities to boost customer engagement are limited only by the human imagination. (Which is to say, they’re limitless.)

Catalyze social bonding and social media to turn customers into advocates

DoubleTree by Hilton has saved millions a year on advertising using a simple, memorable “Talk Trigger” (a term coined by author and marketing consultant Jay Baer). By providing each guest with a fresh-baked cookie upon check-in, the upmarket hotel chain has created a powerful word-of-mouth marketing machine. Similar examples abound in B2C (business to consumer) customer service and marketing. cookies

MSC, a full-service real estate brokerage firm specializing in retail, recently wrote that “With the infiltration of social media into everyday norms, millennials have created a craze for a whole new type of retail experience driven by entertainment.” MSC sees this as a paradigm shift for small shop retailers.

Social media might get too much credit for the shift towards experiential retail. Still, encouraging social sharing is a comparatively low-cost way to boost sales for two reasons:

  1. People are becoming numb to digital marketing. Those channels are oversaturated and consumers are more interested in their friends’ activities and recommendations than ads.
  2. For better or worse, fear of missing out (FOMA) is driving many consumer choices. As McKinsey & Company recently explained:

Keeping up with the Joneses used to be about wanting to own the same expensive products your friends or neighbors did. But with more consumers opting for experiences—whether that means seeing the musical Hamilton or visiting Hanoi—and sharing their stories and pictures online, people feel peer pressure to join in or keep up.

Make ‘em laugh.

The excellent bestselling business book The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath talks about how businesses can create experiences that have an outsized influence over overall customer satisfaction. It’s surprising how often these experiences come at little to no cost.

For example, Southwest Airlines’ flight attendants are known to deliver funny flight safety announcements. I experienced one that could have passed off as a legitimate stand-up routine. The Heath brothers noted that Southwest collected and analyzed data to see how these script-breaking spiels influence spending. Girl Laughing

The data showed that travelers who heard a funny flight safety announcement bought an extra half flight per year (on average) compared to those who didn’t. The data nerds figured if the frequency of funny announcements doubled, it would boost annual revenue by $140 million!

$140 million return on an investment of $0!

Schedule a Consult

At Retail Control Systems, we provide customized ecommerce and omnichannel retail solutions for a dozen industries. But we’ll always love our brick and mortar retail heritage. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you navigate the changing retail landscape and thrive through the 2020s and beyond.

McKenzie report we referenced earlier also talked about the many opportunities this shift in consumer behavior creates.

For instance:

  • Specialty fitness concepts like high-intensity interval training, Pilates and yoga studios are outpacing traditional healthclubs.
  • Similarly, “comedy clubs, piano bars, acrobatic performances, and [themed] dinner shows” are increasingly sought out by consumers.

“Shared experiences with friends and family” are key, the report states. But in several ways, shared experiences are what retail has always been about.

Bonding over experiences and “stuff”

Buying your first suit with dad is a fond memory millions of Americans share. Mothers and daughters aren’t going to suddenly stop going on retail excursions to buy shoes and clothes because we’ve become more efficient shoppers. These are uplifting bonding experiences that have spanned generations.

Although millennials have pioneered this change, brands embracing customer focused, unique, and experiential retail will attract consumers across generations, keeping the world of retail alive and well.

That captures a key point we’ve repeated over the last few months. Retail isn’t going anywhere, but retailers in general need to master multiple touchpoints, providing consumers the combination of convenience and physical experiences that is increasingly in demand.

In many ways, retailers are simply being called to take things they’ve always done well and find creative ways to elevate them. From that standpoint, the experience economy sounds less daunting and more exciting. Consumer subsets like locavores can in fact be your most engaged customers.

Save time, save stress, increase your profits.

Schedule a meeting with one of our retail solutions experts.

Retailers: Don’t get blindsided by the Windows 7 apocalypse

Retailers: Don’t get blindsided by the Windows 7 apocalypse

News, Restaurant, Retail, Specialty Retail, Sporting Goods, Technical Tip

Retailers: Don’t get blindsided by Windows 7 End of Life

By John Garvey

It’s finally happening: Microsoft is ending all Windows 7 support on January 14, 2020. That means no more bug fixes, and no more preventative upgrades to fend off malware. So what’s the effect on your retail business?

The problem

If your retail system is running on Windows 7, it may coast along for a while, but it will ultimately be more vulnerable than ever to hacks. The bad guys of the world will likely be out to get anyone still running Windows 7, and they’ll do their best to breach systems.

Some retailers may assume that a simple software upgrade to Windows 10 will take care of everything. This is tempting, given all that retailers have to deal with day to day. But for many, that assumption is wrong. And the result could be costly for retailers come January, when POS systems at their store locations could start to fail.

Why? Because of two potential compatibility issues:

  • Your existing POS software might not work with Windows 10.
  • Hardware upgrades will be necessary in many cases in order to utilize your new software.

That makes this “simple upgrade” look a lot more complex in some situations. But if your current POS system isn’t giving you the most bang for your buck these days, this seeming headache could actually be a big opportunity.

Windows 7 End of Life Webinar

Join us for a 1-hour webinar about the end of Windows 7, this Wednesday, June 26 at 2 PM EST. You’ll learn more about the concerns that are on the horizon for many retailers — and come away seeing this as a great opportunity for your business to make a leap forward in the modern retail era.

Why change POS systems now? Here are few key reasons:

  1. Security. The thing that matters most to you and your customers will be most easily achieved through modern technology. With Windows 7 support coming to an end, there’s a chance to retool in a way that could help your margins and improve your business in a way you might not otherwise be able to achieve.
  2. Compatibility. Newer POS technologies can roll with the punches, and still come out ahead. Where allowed, open source technology keeps them moving forward as the retail industry’s needs change, and as new functionality is developed. (This is one way our Revel system is able to stay at the forefront of the industry, with nimble solutions for all sizes of business.)
  3. Enhanced features. A modern POS goes much further than handling everyday transactions. It can help you:
    • Improve inventory management, fraud prevention and customer service with smart alerts
    • Build out a loyalty program
    • Run email marketing programs
    • Monitor your store’s operations remotely with cloud-based tools that track sales figures and alert you to unusual events like excessive no-sales transactions
    • Eliminate manual data entry
    • Seamlessly transfer inventory between multiple locations
    • Add new items with multiple units, SKUs and barcodes on the go
    • Facilitate creating/scanning price tags and labels on the shelf and at the point of sale
    • Make better business decisions thanks to detailed reports

I like manual data entry. – Nobody, ever

In short, the end of life for Windows 7 may be more of an opportunity than a chore.

The security you need. The tools that make businesses better.

RCS has several retail systems for you to consider — and all are ready to implement before support for Windows 7 officially ends:

All these solutions offer modern capabilities. In many cases, they offer options and customizations specific to your industry. Revel, Cegid, Counterpoint and Foyer all include automatic, seamless updates and enable you to use touch-screen devices for easy checkout.

The best solution for you will depend on your industry and niche.

Need help deciding on the best one for you? Our capable team is ready, and we’re up on all the latest developments. Hit us up with your questions.

We’ll help you navigate the Windows 7 end of life, and focus on the opportunities that lie ahead for you and your business. As soon as you’re ready, we can set you up with the right hardware and software, help you improve processes — and enjoy healthy margins.

Windows 7 End of Life Webinar

Join us for a 1-hour webinar about the end of Windows 7, this Wednesday, June 26 at 2 PM EST. You’ll learn more about the concerns that are on the horizon for many retailers — and come away seeing this as a great opportunity for your business to make a leap forward in the modern retail era.

Will your retail operation benefit from the RCS/Cegid partnership?

Will your retail operation benefit from the RCS/Cegid partnership?

Clothing & Apparel, News, Retail, Sporting Goods

By John Garvey

The retail industry is experiencing a massive change, making it uniquely challenging, but also presenting great opportunities to those who effectively leverage partnerships and technology. The primacy of omnichannel retail, as well as new retail POS, digital marketing, inventory management and CRM technologies, means that we have a lot to keep an eye on at RCS.

To that end, we recently hosted a VAR program launch in downtown Fort Collins, CO, featuring retail technology consultant Dick Calio of R.J. Calio Consulting, and our newest partner Cegid, among several other presenters and partners.

“When I look at retail, it’s very much where distribution and manufacturing were ten years ago,” Calio notes, pointing to past trends such as offshore manufacturing, increased reliance on 3rd party logistics (3PL) providers and the phasing out of partnerships.

RCS and Cegid logos

“The reason a lot of those [manufacturing and distribution] partnerships went away is because the customers didn’t just need help selling something. They needed someone to help them make strategic business decisions,” states Calio.

Retail Control Systems and Cegid are partnering to leverage each other’s strengths, bringing high-end retailers an option ideally suited to many of their needs. What are some of the solutions this new partnership brings to the table?

Business partners are not anonymous resellers but a key component of the successful global team.

– Arnaud Coste, Director of Channel Partnerships at Cegid Group

Successful partnerships are almost by definition relational, not transactional, which is why RCS and Cegid are carrying out an enablement program and building a community to ensure smooth adoption of Cegid’s services as it expands its presence in North America. We’re combining not just financial resources and intellectual property, but people and ideas. Because local compliance issues can be dizzying for retailers that do business in multiple jurisdictions, having that local knowledge is key.

Q&A:

  1. What advantages does having RCS host Cegid confer to retailers?

RCS has been in the retail business for over 30 years, so we know which of our customers are starting to outgrow their current point of sale system. We know what potential customers would likely be a good fit for Cegid. As an industry expert we’re also comfortable telling customers if Cegid (or any other system, for that matter) isn’t right for their needs.

An occasional challenge with cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) and retail intelligence solutions, regardless of the provider, is that they tend to have organizational restrictions. By having RCS host and giving us a large degree of self-direction, Cegid expects to be able to rise above many of those challenges. The result will be a more responsive, agile unified commerce platform for retailers.

  1. What are some key characteristics of retailers who would most benefit from using Cegid?

Clothing storeCegid is a high-end business solution for multi-location businesses. High-end clothing retailers and other retailers with 15 – 100 stores stand to benefit most from using it.

A unified commerce platform, Cegid is very sophisticated with a lot of 3rd party integrations and omnichannel capabilities. We offer virtually every omnichannel purchasing, customer service, tracking and delivery option out there, so you’ll never miss a sale. The shopping experience is consistent across channels with a pleasant user experience (UX).

  1. What are the top three or so concerns retailers might have when exploring Cegid as an option?
    1. Although the cost is not exorbitant, Cegid is most likely not in the budget for single location stores.
    2. Cegid is very robust and can do a lot, which can be daunting. For that reason, RCS is creating hardware and software bundles with everything you need and nothing you don’t. We also offer individualized, ongoing assistance to all our clients, especially when they’re bringing new solutions on board.

RCS Payments is also part of these packages and this will save people money with credit card processing.

Want to see if RCS can lower your credit card processing rate? Get started in seconds!

Woman swiping a credit card

  1. How will Cegid and RCS leverage one another’s unique capabilities to benefit retailers?

Cegid is a well-respected award-winning point of sale solution in Europe, but doesn’t have a large presence in the U.S. RCS knows the U.S. market and has been the top reseller for NCR Counterpoint for over 20 years.

In sum, RCS brings local knowledge, experience and relationships to the table; Cegid brings a ton of new, scalable technology and know-how. This can help businesses promote an innovative brand image, improve the customer experience and scale more effectively than they would otherwise be capable of doing.

Request a Cegid Demo Today!

About Cegid:

Cegid has been around for 63 years and currently operates in 30 countries on five continents. It has been highly-ranked by research and advisory companies including Gartner, Forrester and IDC. Cegid’s customizable, advanced omnichannel retail and  inventory management solutions are ideally suited to high-end retailers and those with more than 15 locations.

About RCS:

Retail Control Systems was founded in 1987 by Dave Albert, a native of Madawaska, Maine, the most Northeastern town in the United States. After more than three decades serving retailers, RCS remains a family-owned company. We’ve helped hundreds of retailers find and implement point of sale, inventory, CRM, ecommerce, digital marketing and other solutions.

The Future of Retail isn’t Digital, it’s Omnichannel

The Future of Retail isn’t Digital, it’s Omnichannel

E-commerce, Just for Fun, News, Retail, Web Tips

The Future of Retail isn’t Digital, it’s Omnichannel

Play to Win.

By John Garvey

It’s funny how in business a single headline, data point or catchphrase can overshadow the big picture. We’re talking about the Retail Apocalypse, but we’re talking more specifically about the impact of e-commerce on brick and mortar retail.

Contrary to the impression news headlines can create, many sectors of traditional retail are thriving. The number of store closings in recent years, however, may be costing you sleep regardless of how your business is faring. For all the turmoil, this is actually a time of great opportunity for traditional retailers. In fact, Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur and others have maintained the perspective that:

  1. The impact of e-commerce on brick and mortar retail is overstated and misunderstood, and
  2. The long-term outlook for retail is great.

The Best of Both Worlds

Woman online with dog in bedRetail chains that have continued to prosper through the so-called “Retail Apocalypse” are those that “understand the biggest advantage e-commerce retailers have is their ability to collect and leverage insights into consumer behaviors gained by technological innovations like big data,” according to Forbes Technology Council Lucas Roh. “They are adopting technology and processes to achieve the same advantage and adapt to today’s retail landscape.”

Roh boldly and bluntly states that “The Retail Apocalypse Is Not Happening,” and he’s not alone in that belief. But nobody’s saying we’re not in the midst of a seismic shift.

“The real impact e-commerce has on the retail industry is in consumer expectations,” Roh continues. “Consumers now expect a more convenient, tailored omnichannel shopping experience, whether they are online or in-store.”

This all points to at least one key lesson:

Four people gathered around looking at a guys cell phoneBig Data, customer analytics and online marketing are no longer competitive advantages.

Yesterday’s advantages are today’s necessities. That may sound stressful at first, but we’re excited about how these can benefit retailers and consumers.

That’s because today’s solutions address issues that have plagued retail for generations. They can make your life easier and your business more profitable. Even mom and pop retailers can now use business intelligence tools to reduce spoilage, pilfering, and stock-outs; enjoy higher margins; and optimize staff scheduling.

NCR Counterpoint—which RCS has used for decades— can now integrate data across multiple departments and generate over 40 reports. Among other things, these help forecast inventory, flag suspicious transactions and optimize pricing.

Instead of thinking of this as a David vs. Goliath thing, think of e-commerce style capabilities as ways brick and mortar retailers can solve problems that were around long before Amazon.

Omnichannel, not digital, is the face of the future

Companies that provide customers flexible purchasing options understand that decades from now there will still be thriving brick and mortar stores with e-commerce integrations. We’re not moving to an e-commerce model; we’re moving to a hybrid model. Why else would the kingpin of e-commerce be opening brick and mortar grocery and book stores? Why would Amazon have acquired Whole Foods if brick and mortar were tanking?

“Brick and mortar retailers no longer have to feel that they’re staring up helplessly at the giants of e-commerce,” writes Jia Wert, CEO of the fashion brand Studio 15 in Forbes.

E-commerce firms, it turns out, need a physical presence to build brand recognition and achieve their long-term business objectives. More to the point, traditional retailers who make use of the digital economy’s capabilities can not only survive but prosper with the help of modern inventory, marketing, and point of sale platforms.

Contact Retail Control Systems

Learn how we can optimize your ominichannel marketing, inventory management and sales.

Reduce spoilage, pilfering and stock-outs | Increase margins | Optimize staff scheduling

8 Proven Tips to Keep your Customers Coming Back

8 Proven Tips to Keep your Customers Coming Back

Just for Fun, News, Retail, Technical Tip

By John Garvey

There are several reasons you should prioritize retention over new customer acquisition. Harvard Business Review reports that “acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one,” citing research from Bain & Company. The same, oft-cited research suggests that improving customer retention by five percent results in a 25 to 95 percent increase in profits.

Focusing first on your existing customers, assuming they’re profitable, is less work and often makes customer acquisition easier to boot. If you retain customers and create exceptional experiences for them, they’ll also become your best advocates.

Male customer talking to paint specialist woman in a store
  1. Time-limited offers. Harvard professor, best-selling author and persuasion expert Robert Cialdini named scarcity as one of his 6 Principles of Influence. In a business setting, one way of harnessing this is time-limited offers. Prospects are more likely to act on an email marketing offer, for instance, when it’s time-limited.

“When our freedom to have something is limited, the item becomes less available, and we experience an increased desire for it,” states Cialdini in the modern classic Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. “However, we rarely recognize that psychological reactance has caused us to want the item more; all we know is that we want it. Still, we need to make sense of our desire for the item, so we begin to assign it positive qualities to justify the desire.”

  1. Customer surveys. As we’ve noted before, for every customer who complains directly, there are about two dozen customers who are quietly dissatisfied with some aspect of your service. In addition to identifying areas for improvement, surveys can generate testimonials and keep customers engaged.

Customer surveys are often focused on identifying problem areas. While that’s important if you value repeat business, a Harvard Business Review article, The Power of Positive Surveying, suggests that a more positive slant can improve customer satisfaction and retention.

“Beginning a survey with what the researchers call ‘open-ended positive solicitations’ seems to be an easy, low-cost way to increase satisfaction and spending.”

By getting customers to recall and relate positive experiences, you increase their sense of well-being and make them more likely to return. While customers should have an outlet to vent (ideally not Yelp!), surveys that focus too much on uncovering problem areas can backfire.

“Companies should look at the customer feedback process not only as a chance to listen but also as an opportunity to subtly influence customer perceptions.”

  1. Ambience. Every introvert has walked out of a cafe, restaurant or store because of excessively loud or grating music, too much ambient noise or overcaffeinated staff. A lot of retail settings are geared toward extroverts because of the perception of the giddy shopaholic, but a third to a half of us are introverts. The reverse can also be true, of course. Lighting and music geared towards one kind of customer risks driving off another, potentially larger group of customers.

Music should also be attuned to your customers. This may seem like common sense, but individual employees may enjoy country music or electronica, which people tend to either love or hate. It may seem like micromanaging to dictate which genres or stations employees can choose, but in many cases it’s good business sense.

Ambience was one of the keys to Starbucks’ success. When Howard Schultz took over the company, he was inspired by the Italian cafe scene. Much like the English pub, these were uplifting social spaces conducive to exchanging news and sharing ideas. Coffee stopped being a commodity and became more of an experience.

Two women talking in a coffee shop
  1. Be ultra-responsive to online reviews … the good and the bad. We discussed this in our March blog, Best Practices for Dealing with Negative Customer Reviews. Responding to a positive shout out–even a trivial one–reaffirms that you value your customers. Not responding to a negative review–even if it’s petty–validates the complaint.
  2. Personalization. This begins with understanding your customer personas: their aspirations, their pains, preferred methods of communication and social media habits. Focus on the channels that matter most. If you have someone in charge of social media or email marketing, it may even be good to have that person sign off on messages using his or her first name (under the company label, of course). This can make you stand out regardless of what size your business is.

Telling customer stories is another great way to do this. While beyond the scope of this blog, there are a variety of great ways to do this including social media, case studies and video blogs.

One emotional and vivid customer story is far more persuasive than a data dump in 85 PowerPoint slides. – Carmine Gallo, The Storyteller’s Secret

  1. Email marketing (Yes, it still pays). Hubspot and Search Engine Journal state that email marketing has an average ROI of 4300% – but that’s obviously quality dependent. Email marketing keeps you top of mind and can help personalize your brand. A point of sale (POS) system with email marketing integrated can segment customers by purchasing history and preferences, allowing you to deliver relevant, individualized offers. Organized customer data is a prerequisite to effective marketing and systems like NCR Counterpoint, which we offer, make it easy.

Electronic receipts delivered by email, another feature built into our POS systems, also allow businesses to send customer feedback surveys and additional offers with ease.

Male and female customers paying a merchants with a credit card
  1. Rewards programs and exclusive offers. Again, the better your customer data is, the more you can tailor offers to entice customers. It’s a truism that loyalty programs make people feel valued, but also consider throwing out the occasional surprise reward. These can coincide with birthdays or be completely random.

Incidentally, this is another example of Cialdini’s scarcity principle at work. An offer available to few people will be perceived as having greater value than one available to the masses.

  1. Understand your mission and communicate it across channels. Know your “Why” and weave it into every aspect of your business. Use it to galvanize employees and communicate the value of what you do. This can be a social mission or it can simply be exceptional commitment to satisfying a market need. One of our partners in Fort Collins, Happy Lucky’s Teahouse, has a close affiliation with Sustainable Schools International, a nonprofit supporting education in Cambodia. A portion of every sale goes to SSI and customers have the option to “round up” their payment to the nearest dollar. This provides further financial support as well as generating awareness for their cause.

Have anything to add to the conversation? We’d love to hear from you!

Happy Lucky’s Expands Teahouse in Fort Collins, CO with RCS

Happy Lucky’s Expands Teahouse in Fort Collins, CO with RCS

Awards & Recognition, News, Specialty Retail

by Casey Albert

(ENFIELD, NH | FORT COLLINS, CO) – Retail Control Systems (RCS), a leading point-of-sale solutions provider, is pleased to share that longtime client, Happy Lucky’s Teahouse (Happy Lucky’s), has opened a second location in Front Range Village, a popular southeast Fort Collins shopping center. RCS helped equip the store’s point-of-sale system, which included a NCR Counterpoint 1530 terminal and two (2) CP Mobile units – Counterpoint’s mobile POS platform. The second location officially opened in November 2016.

Happy Lucky’s is a unique specialty shop and teahouse, “serving up world change,” alongside a delicious array of baked goods and treats. Owned by Kari and George Grossman, the teahouse was originally established to provide a venue for promoting their charitable organization, Sustainable Schools International (SSI). While SSI still remains a central focus, Happy Lucky’s success has exceeded the Grossmans’ initial vision, offering the largest tea selection in Colorado and a place for people to connect.

Happy Lucky's Teahouse - Fort Collins, CO
George Grossman Owner of Happy Lucky’s Teahouse – Fort Collins, CO

When RCS first expanded its business to Colorado, Happy Lucky’s was the first retailer in Fort Collins to partner with RCS for a retail management solution. RCS customized an NCR Counterpoint POS system for Happy Lucky’s, including a Donation Round-up feature, which gives customers the option of rounding-up their ticket and donating the difference to help SSI establish sustainable education and further economic development in Cambodia.

“RCS has been with us from what seems like the very beginning,” states George Grossman, Co-owner of Happy Lucky’s Teahouse. “We know RCS understands our business, and we trust that their POS solutions will continue to deliver the capabilities we need to grow and succeed.”

“Happy Lucky’s is a part of our Fort Collins family and we are very proud of their success,” states Dave Albert, President of Retail Control Systems. “With NCR Counterpoint, we are able to give them a POS solution that is also capable of simultaneously managing donations – simplifying the process and allowing them to focus on growth opportunities.”

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 Happy Lucky’s Teahouse, or their products and services, visit happyluckys.com.

Retail Control Systems Opens New Office in Fort Collins

Retail Control Systems Opens New Office in Fort Collins

Clothing & Apparel, Just for Fun, News

(ENFIELD, NH | FORT COLLINS, CO) – Retail Control Systems (RCS) is pleased to announce that they have recently moved their Fort Collins, Colorado office to a new location. RCS will now be located at 324 E. Oak Street in Old Town, Fort Collins. Restorations as well as some renovations to convert the late-Victorian style home on the property to RCS’ offices were completed earlier this October. A reception was held to celebrate the official opening of the new location on October 13th, 2016. Attendees included the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce as well as RCS staff and clients.

The property, known historically as the Mosman House or Andrews House, was purchased by RCS in February 2016. Built sometime between 1892 and 1893, the house is considered a significant example of Victorian architecture, and was the first residential property to be designated as a Fort Collins City Landmark.

“RCS did a wonderful job of restoring the historic charm of this iconic home, and we are excited to welcome them to the neighborhood,” states Kristy Wygmans of the Red Carpet Ambassadors of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud to support local businesses, like RCS, that have shown a dedication to the continued growth and success of our business community.”

Originally based only out of New England, RCS made the decision to expand its operations to the Fort Collins area in early 2013. A need for more space after three years of significant growth, helped motivate RCS’ move to the Old Town district of Fort Collins. The new location also offers a closer proximity to customers and other businesses as well as a larger conference space and additional room for future growth.

“Our priority has always been, first and foremost, our customers and this move will allow us to better serve them,” states Dave Albert, President of Retail Control Systems. “We will not only be more accessible to our clients, but also able to provide larger training sessions and increased support to our Fort Collins customer-base.”

About Retail Control Systems

Founded in 1987 by President and Owner, Dave Albert, Retail Control Systems specializes in retail management software and hardware solutions. Providing superior customer service, exceptional quality, and innovation to the retail community for nearly 30 years, RCS has built a reputation for finding specialized retail management solutions that help businesses gain complete control over their operations and finances. From daily sales management to inventory control, RCS has the experience and expertise across the full-range of retail industries to meet the unique needs of any business. To learn more about RCS, visit www.retailcontrolsystems.com or call 1-800-417-3030.

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Ribbon Cutting with the Red Carpet Ambassadors – Fort Collins Area Chamber
RCS Participates in 35th Annual Prouty!

RCS Participates in 35th Annual Prouty!

Clothing & Apparel, Just for Fun, News

Retail Control Systems is proud to announce their recent participation in the 35th Annual Prouty on July 8-9, 2016 in Hanover, NH. The Prouty is a yearly fundraising and athletic event that benefits the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC). The RCS team, RCS Steppers, raised $2,125 to help fund cancer research and patient services at NCCC.

The RCS Steppers - Prouty Cycling Team
The RCS Steppers – Prouty Cycling Team

The two-day fundraiser, which occurs every second weekend in July, consists of a variety of non-competitive athletic and sporting events. Individuals or teams have the option to participate in Cycling, Walking, Golf, Virtual or Prouty Ultimate, a 200-mile cycling challenge across New Hampshire and Vermont

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A total of 14 staff-members from RCS participated in the event, both virtually and in-person. Virtual participants contributed to the team by walking or running an equivalent 20, 50, 77, 100 or 200 mile route in their current location. Team members that attended the event in-person took part in both the cycling and walking events, hosted at Richmond Middle School in Hanover, NH, as well as the 18-hole Golf Scramble on the golf course at Hanover Country Club.

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The RCS Steppers – Golf Team

“I think I speak for all us [at RCS] when I say that it’s a privilege to be able to contribute to the ongoing efforts and ground-breaking research being done at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center,” stated Dave Albert, President of Retail Control Systems and Prouty participant. “Events like The Prouty are a powerful reminder of the great potential individuals, businesses, and the larger New Hampshire community have if we join together to fight cancer or support other local causes.”