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.

How to Ride Out Seasonal Revenue Fluctuations

How to Ride Out Seasonal Revenue Fluctuations

Specialty Retail

by John Garvey

Open sign on shop windowRetailers face unique challenges and opportunities each holiday shopping season. Ditto for other peak buying times, as well as cyclical retail sales slumps. Both challenges and opportunities are enhanced by digital marketing, social media and e-commerce. We’ve got to take our hats off to brick and mortar retailers who are putting in extra hours this time of year. For many, key decisions related to hiring, expansion, downsizing, and adapting online sales channels hang in the balance.

Fortunately, there are new resources available to brick and mortar retail managers. These include new point-of-sale (POS) software features, digital advertising platforms (such as AdWords) with transparent practices, and better inventory tracking systems.

We’ll point you to some of those resources and offer some valuable ideas in the following post.

Omni-Channel Fulfillment and Marketing

Order fulfillment

Retailers need to “consider more flexible fulfillment options such as buy online, pickup in store,” states the National Retail Federation (NRF). Purchases finalized in a store are increasingly being reserved online as well, as are after hours buying and delivery features. Consumers are also doing their product research on mobile devices. The ability to get reliable product insights and place items on hold for pickup is a convenience factor that gets more people in the door. Once there, they may make unrelated purchases.

NCR Counterpoint assists with all these things and more. We’d love to talk with you about the software’s many helpful features anytime.

Generous return policies

“The tradition of giving and receiving unwanted gifts is a reliable part of the holiday season; thus, return policies play a critical role in holiday purchases,” states the NRF in its 2017 Holiday Planning Playbook. The humor of that statement may not have been deliberate, but it’s true.

Face it: You’re likely to give or receive an unwanted gift this year. “Generous and transparent” return policies that de-risk purchases also make sales more likely.

Promotions

Sign on sidewalk, awesome to the right and less awesome to the leftGet your marketing ducks in a row well before the holidays. Make sure there’s a convenient, online catalog on your site for pre-shoppers and advertise promotions well in advance. According to NRF, more than half of all customers begin researching holiday purchases in October or earlier. Including links to review sites with your product descriptions will help guide the customer to a decision and make sales more likely.

Time-limited promos are an especially effective way to entice sales. Promote them through multiple channels including social media, segmented email marketing lists and even, in some cases, print marketing. Direct mail still works if it’s targeted. Segmented email marketing lists result in a double-digit increase in open rates compared to non-segmented lists.

Stay top-of-mind using the social media platforms most popular with your customers. That varies by demographic, so know whether your customers’ platform of choice is Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook. Then focus your efforts proportionately.

Wish lists

The majority of holiday shoppers now report wanting wish lists, modeled after wedding and baby registries, to help with holiday gift buying. More and more retailers are following suit. As with other marketing practices like transparent return policies and conveniently linking products to consumer review sites, this makes people more confident in their purchases.

These practices collectively make sales more likely by reducing demands on the customer’s time and attention.

Modern, Cloud-based Point-of-Sale Systems will Soon be Indispensable—if they aren’t already

Customer patience is relatively low when seasonal shopping peaks. It follows that anything that makes the purchasing process seamless becomes super important at those times. A reliable POS system with short credit card processing times, streamlined receipt tracking and good inventory planning to avoid stock outs will make your life better if you’re in retail management.

Tracking sales data to guide future decisions can be tedious, even exhausting when you add it to the laundry list of other responsibilities: ensuring solid customer service, retail marketing, maintaining storefront displays, payroll, etc. Fortunately, POS and inventory tracking software such as NCR Counterpoint helps you do all that and more.

Inventory is cash. Having too much cash tied up as excess inventory can cripple a retailer’s profitability. Cash flow issues aside, poor planning due to incomplete data may force you to offer excessive markdowns to offload soft-selling items. While proactive markdowns allow you to clear shelf space for hot items, reactive markdowns hurt margins.

How do markdowns tie into the discussion of POS software?

Smart alert on a cell phoneNCR Counterpoint offers dozens of Smart Alerts, such as low inventory warnings, cash on hand, and real-time sales data for each product line. Because it’s cloud-based, you can choose which ones are most relevant to your business and keep an eye on things remotely.

Daily or weekly sales reports will help you adjust future receipts up or down as new sales data roles in. So you can avoid the twin menace of inventory overstock and stock outs. Counterpoint’s inventory management capabilities also allow retailers to easily transfer merchandise between stocking locations and roll out flexible pricing. Counterpoint offers over 40 inventory reports, allowing managers to opt in to the most important ones.

A good point-of-sale software system will make purchasing and pricing decisions easier with sales analytics and inventory reports. That, in turn, keeps margins healthy.

Attract Customers with Targeted, Enticing Digital Marketing

Digital marketing, including mobile marketing, allows retailers to take a more highly-targeted approach than ever before, and to accurately measure ROI of different ad campaigns. Smartphone commerce is indispensable as consumers increasingly use smartphones to price compare, browse products and place orders.

If you don’t have a mobile-optimized site, you’re losing business. Guaranteed.

“65% of consumers have a mobile shopping app on their smartphone and have made a purchase using it.”
Forbes, 28 Nov 2017

“Geofencing is helping retailers compete more effectively with online shopping experiences while customers receive a highly targeted, more relevant shopping experience.”
Inc., 7  Dec 2017

The first thing to do is make sure your site is mobile-friendly, fast, and easy to navigate with appropriately-sized font and images. Similarly, geofencing, or location-based marketing using resources like Google AdWords, will get people’s attention when they’re most likely to follow through on a purchase.

As we’ve stated in previous posts, email marketing is also very much alive and very effective when done right. Don’t neglect it, and remember to segment email lists for different types of customers. Segmentation results in a double-digit increase in open and click through rates.

Finally, marketers report that video content is increasingly important during ultra-competitive season. Again, according to Forbes,

51.9% of marketers report that video delivers the best ROI and that their customers have a preference for video over other types of content. And at least half of shoppers will search for a product video before visiting an online store.

Finally, Remember What You’ve Always Done Well

“While the shopping process is becoming more complex, the best competitive advantage remains in old-fashioned retail principles of serving the customer what they want, where they want it, at the price they desire — and with exceptional customer service. Technology may be changing the surface of the retail game, but the underlying strategies to win remain the same.”
National Retail Federation

Is there anything else you would add? We’d love to hear from you!

Give your Business a Shot in the Arm

Request a demo of NCR Counterpoint or, for restauranteurs, NCR Silver Pro.

Pros & Cons of Cloud POS System

Pros & Cons of Cloud POS System

Specialty Retail, Technical Tip

Are you in the midst of researching a new POS system? Are you confused by the difference of a cloud system and an on premise server? RCS can help. We have broken down the pros and cons of having a cloud based POS system to help you decide.

Cloud vs. Ground

For years, the only option for implementing a POS system was purchasing and maintaining your own server. These days, you have a choice when it comes to your POS system: cloud or on-premise server. The following lays out some of the most important considerations to make when considering a new server environment.  

 

Pros:

  • Save Money – on IT staffing, infrastructure and required computer hardware.
  • Real-time – Reporting, Data, and Inventory Management functionality across all locations.
  • Data-redundancy and Back-ups – Your store won’t lose important data if it lives in the cloud.
  • More power when you need it – Scale up computing power during busy months– all without purchasing new hardware!
  • Mobility (mPOS) – The ability to take your POS System on the go! Think sidewalk sales, trade shows, and pop up stores!
  • Monthly payments – Upfront costs for configuration, some hardware, training may be required – but the monthly payments for software provide greater financial flexibility as opposed to paying for licensing upfront.
  • Instant Upgrades – No need to manage database maintenance – Patches, bugs, updates, and offsite backups managed by the Cloud Host.  Future-proof your technology!

Cons:

  • Connectivity – Ensure your cloud POS has a functional stand-alone mode to keep your company running– even when the internet isn’t.
  • Limited Configurability – make sure your cloud based POS system won’t limit your customization. Cegid, allows for custom reporting, UI changes and many other features.
  • Bandwidth – Some systems charge a premium if you go over the allotted bandwidth. Make sure your POS system has unlimited bandwidth capabilities.

Other Items to consider:

  • Training – Make it a priority! Don’t skimp on your training budget.  You’ve worked hard picking out a new system, make sure you’re well trained and able to fully utilize the features and functionality that helped you make that decision!
  • Integrations – What can and can’t be integrated?  What are the costs and does it limit functionality of your POS? Integrations to consider: eCommerce, ERP, marketing, accounting, vendor portals, or state mandated reporting, automated taxes, and online ticketing.  
  • Reality of costs – where are you saving and what are these savings enabling your company to do?
  • Expenses – Month-to-month vs. buying out-right, configuration, implementation, training, integrations, eCommerce integrations
  • Time is money – Is this system saving you or your organization time, allowing for other projects to occur?
  • Need to read more? Check out this blog post on 3 common myths about cloud solutions
RCS and Lighthouse Marine Supply, Motoring Along for 7 Years

RCS and Lighthouse Marine Supply, Motoring Along for 7 Years

Specialty Retail

by Casey Albert

Lighthouse Marine Supply is a wholesale and retail distributor of marine engine parts and boating accessories, they have been an RCS adoptee since August of 2010. Like RCS, they are a family owned business, going on 32 years on Eastern Long Island. Their campus is comprised of 2 buildings with a store, offices and warehouse space.

Lighthouse utilizes NCR Counterpoint as well as  most of the NCR Retail Applications. Over the past 7 years they have implemented NRO, Customer Connect, CP Gateway, SecurePay and WorldPay. NCR Counterpoint and the associated services have made it possible for them to effectively manage their brick-and-mortar and e-Commerce sales, while simultaneously increasing the accuracy and efficiency of their inventory and purchasing.

Lighthouse Marine Supply Store

Here are some of the key features that help Lighthouse Marine Supply run smoothly:

  • Reports – The reporting capabilities of NCR Counterpoint are indispensable for Lighthouse Marine. The ability to quickly edit (and save!) filters on reports allows them to drill down to granular detail or widen the scope to see general trends.
  • Customers– With NCR Counterpoint they can quickly and efficiently move customers through the checkout process. New customer information can easily be captured, current customer information can be updated quickly, purchase history can be viewed on the fly and special orders are processed with ease.
  • Sales Kits – The Sales Kit feature is another very strong asset for Lighthouse, both in the brick-and-mortar store and the e-Commerce channel. This feature allows items that are frequently purchased together to be rung-up under one bar-code.
  • Data Interchange – This one was a real game changer. Not only can Lighthouse import pricing updates with ease, but they can create their own custom reports in Excel. Lighthouse can now easily export data to manipulate and re-import it saving countless hours of manual work.
  • Purchasing – Lighthouse Marine’s purchasing process has become a healthy balance between data driven and industry/seasonal knowledge. In 2016, Lighthouse and their new buyer attended the Boston RCS Envision conference. This allowed the buyer to gain a deeper knowledge of Counterpoint and to take a deep dive into the functions, features, and best practices of Counterpoint Purchasing.
  • Order Management – This feature is great for assisting with e-Commerce orders by helping efficiently manage and quickly ship all orders.

Greg Scholand, business manager of Lighthouse Marine, and RCS have become quite close over the years. Greg is a name that everyone at RCS recognizes, he attends all of our Envision Conferences and will often send RCS a witty e-mail after a newsletter is sent out.

Lighthouse Marine Supply Office

We were adopted by RCS less than a year after we became a NCR Counterpoint user. The RCS crew quickly got us straightened out. They have shown us how Counterpoint can automate and enhance many aspects of our business as well as shown us how to modify some of our business practices to harness even more of Counterpoint power.
Greg Scholand

RCS is lucky to have Lighthouse Marine as part of the RCS family.

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 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 and Westchester Road Runner: Solemates Since 2014

Retail Control Systems and Westchester Road Runner: Solemates Since 2014

Awards & Recognition, Specialty Retail, Sporting Goods

(ENFIELD, NH | FORT COLLINS, CO) – Retail Control Systems (RCS) is pleased to announce our customer spotlight for the Month of March, Westchester Road Runner.

Westchester Road Runner is a specialty running store, located in downtown White Plains, NY since 1980. They cater to the serious runner, people on the go, busy moms, and anyone who enjoys running, walking or jogging. For 37 years they have been new product pioneers in the running community. For example, they carried women’s technical apparel before other stores would even take a chance on these new products. The staff has always been comprised of avid runners, cyclists, triathletes and swimmers who continue to participate in and live for their sport, even as they age. The staff’s firsthand knowledge of product, training and competing is a huge asset to their customers. Westchester Road Runner has the largest selection of running shoes, spikes, apparel and accessories in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state area! “Westchester Road Runner, We Fit Your Style.”

RCS has had the pleasure of working with Westchester Road Runner for a couple years now, they joined the RCS family in February of 2014 as an adoptee. Karen Greenfeld, Network Administrator at Westchester Road Runner states, “We needed to find a new Counterpoint partner and RCS was suggested. After moving forward with RCS, they have enhanced our use and understanding of Counterpoint, and how it benefits our store. RCS is always available with knowledgeable and courteous staff to assist us with everything from purchases and minor fixes to major software installations.”

Prior to working at Westchester Road Runner, Karen was a network administrator for 25 years in the non-profit sector. She had never worked in retail. Prior to working with RCS, she was given 2 days of training on Counterpoint, before entering orders in the system in a way that was not an efficient or effective use of time. When RCS partnered with Westchester Road Runner, they consulted with Karen and developed new workflows for entering purchase orders for future buying, saving valuable time and helping to put products on the shelves quickly. With this knowledge, she was able to enter orders months in advance of their arrival. RCS also worked with Karen on how to operate and maintain a Microsoft SQL Server (the database system Counterpoint runs on). This gives Westchester Road Runner a better insight into what’s happening in their system.

“RCS cares about their clients! They make you feel that you are always a priority.” – Karen Greenfeld, Westchester Road Runner

 

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 www.retailcontrolsystems.com or call 1-800-417-3030.

For more information about Westchester Road Runner, their products, and services, visit Westchester Road Runner on Facebook.

EMV Myths Debunked

EMV Myths Debunked

E-commerce, Specialty Retail, Technical Tip

Heard about EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa), but you’re not sure what’s real and what’s not? Be aware of these common myths surrounding Europay, Mastercard, Visa and stay in control of when and how you want to implement EMV in your store.

While a shift to EMV – ready POS terminals has been well under way for years, there are still a lot of myths remaining about this secure payment technology. So to help you separate fact from fiction, we have gathered the 10 most common misconceptions told about Europay, Mastercard, Visa and debunked them all just for you. Get the facts, now!

On October 1, 2015, a liability shift occurred relating to who is responsible for paying for charge-backs for counterfeit cards that are used at a retail store. Between the bank that issued the credit card, the retail store and the payment processor, whoever is least prepared to accept EMV-enabled payment cards is now responsible for paying for the charge-backs.

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!