As one of the leading retail IT experts in Ireland, CBE’s Dominic Feeney featured in ShelfLife’s Category Focus on EPoS in the April edition of the magazine.
Dominic Feeney, systems director, CBE, outlines how consumers’ increasing attachment to their smartphones and tablets can provide new opportunities for retailers to reach them through their preferred medium.
As shopping habits change and the modern consumer is now more empowered than ever before, the idea that the store is the only ‘destination’ ignores the fact that there are many other touch points that retailers have to embrace in order to meet the needs of today’s technology savvy customer.
Fitting shoppers’ busy lifestyles
Smartphones and tablets are providing retailers with enormous opportunities to engage with their customers and offer new and innovative ways for them to shop at their stores.
Many retail chains have developed specific shopping apps whereby customers can scan products on their phones which are then added to their shopping list. The customer simply uses their shopping list to order online and can select to have the groceries delivered, pick them up in-store or collect them at the store’s drive-through bays. These convenient services are designed to fit around the customer’s busy lifestyle and are working very successfully in CBE’s pilot sites in the UK.
Smartphones can also be utilised in tandem with location based loyalty programmes where tailored promotions can be offered to customers if they are within the vicinity of the store. Using geo-location technology, the retailer can decide what offer they wish to send out and any subscriber will pick up the offer if they are within a specific distance to the store. CBE has used this unique promotional tool to enable its customers to boost sales at specific time periods during the day or to shift perishable products such as baked goods or deli items that are nearing the end of their shelf life.
Capitalising on mobile phones’ potential
In-store, mobile phones are also increasing in importance due to the enormous potential that they offer. CBE’s innovation team have enabled retail chains to move the self-scanning of products for loyalty customers from handheld devices supplied by the store to apps on the customer’s smartphone. This has reduced the capital outlay required for each store as they no longer need to invest in a collection of handhelds and also encourages the customer to use the store’s shopping app on a more regular basis.
Aligned with the use of smartphones in-store is the introduction of the mobile wallet whereby the customer simply pays for their goods using their mobile phone rather than using cash or cards. Whilst in its infancy for in-store payments, near field communication (NFC) enabled phones are becoming more prevalent and in the interim, payment platforms such as PayPal allow for payments to be charged at the point of sale using their own smartphone app. CBE is currently trialling the mobile payment solution from PayPal in a number of sites in the Dublin region.
Opportunity to implement MPOS
The rise in adoption of tablet devices has also presented retailers with the opportunity to implement mobile POS (MPOS) terminals to satisfy sales demand at peak periods. The MPOS devices use the same software as the normal EPOS system and as such have access to the product file and all sales are synced to the reporting suite in the back office. MPOS units do not require checkouts and as such only cover a small area of the store and can be located at a convenient area within the shop.
CBE showcased its MPOS solution at the recent NCS show in Birmingham and is currently rolling it out to a number of locations in the UK with a major catering company.
As market leaders in retail technology in Ireland, CBE is now bringing its innovative products to the global marketplace. CBE continues to expand its market share in the UK and supports installations in Europe, North America, Australia and Africa.
To speak with Dominic or to arrange a demonstration of CBE’s latest technologies first hand, phone 1890 373000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.