Investing in new technologies now can deliver valuable time and cost saving benefits, which can help retail businesses continue to survive and thrive despite an ongoing recessionary environment, writes Gillian Hamill.
There is a potent temptation in recessionary times to clamp down on technological spend, in keeping with a general spirit of make-do and mend. However, now more than ever is when retailers need to invest in cost-saving technologies, as these will enable them to keep one step ahead of their ever hungrier competition.
Forward thinking groups such as ADM Londis and Musgrave, as well as individual retailers, have recognised that where possible, now is the time to implement new technologies. This is preferable to investing at some vague stage in the far-off future, when businesses will have already suffered further damage. For their part, retail tech suppliers have worked hard to stay abreast of the current consumer trends and deliver technologies that can potentially have a life-changing impact on retailers and their businesses.
CBE clients can reap technological rewards
Seamus McHugh, marketing manager, CBE Ltd, explains how the company’s offering can benefit retailers. CBE’s ethos of investing in R&D when competitors are cutting their development spend has ensured that their clients can continue to reap the reward of their €1 million per year annual R&D spend. Over the past 12 months, CBE’s innovation team has launched a number of new and exciting products for the independent retailer that will help their business grow.
Cashless self checkout
The CBE Cashless Self Checkout is the next generation in EPOS technology as it enables shoppers to process their own transaction, in their own time and privacy, and pay for their goods with a debit or credit card. The Cashless Self Checkout solution offers several advantages for retailers including eliminating cash-handling at the point of sale, maximising use of a limited retail floor space, and allowing retailers to redeploy personnel and improve labour efficiency.
Contactless payment technology
With contactless payment technology, customers simply hold their debit card in front of the reader and the transaction is processed automatically, eliminating the need to enter a PIN. Contactless technology has been rolled out in the UK during 2011 and will be introduced by Irish banks in early 2012. Once again CBE is at the forefront of this technology and has already configured its EPOS solution so that it is compatible with contactless technology. The recently launched Cashless Self Checkout is also designed to work seamlessly with the contactless payment technology, as well as Chip & PIN.
In store advertising
‘In store advertising’ has emerged as a new cost-effective method for retailers to influence customer behaviour and increase sales. CBE has been at the forefront of this development and can offer a fully integrated digital marketing solution. The CBE solution includes supplying the in-store screens, integrating screens with the POS, integrating screens with the scales at the deli/fresh food counter, an in-store radio channel and most importantly, offering a complete content management solution.
More and more consumers are expectant of ‘special offer’ deals and promotional price reductions within their local retail store. With the multiples using specific products as a loss leader in order to increase footfall, this in turn has encouraged shoppers to look for promotional deals on a regular basis. In order to cope with this latest trend, CBE has launched the next generation of its award winning promotions module with full EPOS integration. The software receives automated updates on wholesaler promotions but also provides full promotional analysis and reporting. The system allows retailers to set up local promotions, monitor existing promotions, plan for future promotions and importantly, understand which products not to sell at a loss.
Offering real value
As part of the CBE offer, free software upgrades are automatically sent to all customers via a web based portal thus ensuring that a system bought today will continue to be updated with all of the enhancements being developed over the coming years. CBE also offers a complete project management strategy to retailers that are sourcing a new EPOS solution. This ensures that the retailer will receive a system that fits their exact requirements. As the only EPOS company in Ireland to offer this unique service to its business partners, CBE also provides continuous retail consultancy to its clients and organises group training days on a regular basis. It is also worth noting that not only do retailers benefit from reduced capital costs, but the capabilities of the systems on offer have increased dramatically in recent years allowing retailers to reduce costs and increase their profits. The depth of business information available from these systems gives retailers the tools to compete, and beat, the larger multiples.
In fact, the current CBE WinRetail product is the most powerful EPOS solution ever available to independent retailers in Ireland and the UK.
Achieving a return on investment
A number of the CBE solutions have provided a fantastic return on investment for many retailers.
CBE Self Checkout
The CBE Self Checkout solution is installed in numerous sites throughout the country and its success to date has revolutionised the independent retail sector in Ireland. With, on average, 32% of transactions going through the self checkouts, retailers have benefited from improved labour efficiencies, longer opening hours for checkouts and more checkouts available with no extra staff required. The compelling business rationale of self checkout enables retailers to receive a return on their investment within 18 – 24 months. No other EPOS solution in the marketplace can offer such a strong quantifiable return.
CBE in-store advertising
Increased revenues from installing CBE in-store advertising screens have seen many retailers garner a ROI within eight months.
CBE WinRetail Mobile
The CBE WinRetail Mobile is the most comprehensive hand held available to retailers in Ireland. The WinRetail Mobile can dramatically reduce labour costs when creating or receiving an order. It can ensure accurate pricing of products on the shelves and it is also the only handheld on the marketplace to offer ‘actual’ live stock. Research undertaken by CBE has revealed that the average ROI on the CBE handheld is 11 months.
As well as delivering all the above benefits, the latest generation of CBE’s EPOS systems allow for the integration of many third party solutions.
For a free consultation contact CBE on 1890 373000, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.cbe.ie
Article printed in ‘Category Focus – Retail Tech’, Shelf Life Magazine November 2011 by Gillian Hamill