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Do you know the difference between multi-channel and omni-channel retail?

Omni-channel retail delivers a seamless experience for the customer. This means that every way that a customer interacts with a company; whether that’s online, in-store, using a mobile app, via email and more besides, their user experience is fully connected.

To deliver this seamless user experience, retailers must merge their sales with their marketing activity into one central data hub, employing analytics at all levels. But the result is truly customer centric, and by connecting all activities, a seamless customer experience is created. An omni-channel retail experience.

Multi-channel selling is simply selling your products using multiple sales channels. For example, if you sell goods on your website, via a mobile-enabled site, a Facebook Shop and Amazon, then you’re a multi-channel seller. Multi-channel selling reaches buyers on two or more sales channels and these can be connected or not.

What’s the difference?
Multi-channel selling is always part of an omni-channel strategy, but simply selling your products on multiple channels does not create an omni-channel experience. To achieve that, your sales channels, payment methods and other aspects of your business must connect, so that no matter how your customer interacts with your company, the experience is seamless to them.

If you sell to your customers in four ways, you’re already a multi-channel seller. For example, as well as selling via a store, website, mobile app and Facebook Shop, you also have an email and social media marketing strategy that keeps your customers engaged, informed and coming back.

But does that make you an omni-channel retailer? That depends on whether your sales channels and other points of customer engagement all work together.

Here are five questions to ask yourself if you’re not sure:

  1. Can your customers place an online order and select in-store pickup?
  2. Can shoppers click on a sale item in an email to add it to their mobile app shopping list?
  3. Can your retail assistant look up a customer’s mobile app shopping list in-store for them?
  4. Can shoppers log in to your website and see previous purchases, whether that’s in-store, online or via another channel?
  5. Does your loyalty programme update points and rewards to your customer’s mobile app?

An omni-channel retailer can answer yes to each of these questions as all of their sales and marketing engagement is interconnected, creating a seamless customer experience that is the heart of an omni-channel strategy.

In contrast, a multi-channel seller who answers no to the questions is not delivering an omni-channel experience, in fact, they could be creating roadblocks to sales. Managing sales across several channels is great, but the fact remains, shoppers increasingly expect a seamless user experience from all companies, large and small.

How can you connect the multi-channel points to create an omni-channel experience that keeps customers coming back?

  1. Integrate your sales channels
    As outlined above, omni-channel retail is a customer-centric approach to your entire business. To deliver a fully connected user experience, you need to connect as many engagement channels as possible under one roof. The easiest way to start is by connecting your prime engagement points, namely your sales channels.
  2. Integrate your marketing, customer service and fulfilment
    Delivering a seamless user experience starts behind the scenes. The first step is bringing your multi-channel sales data under one roof. From key partners to warehouse staff, everyone needs to understand what omni-channel retail means, how it impacts your customer experience and how it can help you grow.
  3. Omni-channel marketing
    Omni-channel retailers need to shift marketing efforts toward connected experiences, for example, where a customer clicks on a sale item in their email to add it to an app shopping list automatically. Connecting your marketing efforts to customer sales data and online tools like apps creates a seamless experience from the customer’s perspective. That’s the goal of the omni-channel seller.
  4. Omni-channel customer service
    Understanding how and where customer engagement points become sales is integral to any successful omni-channel strategy. As such, your data needs to deliver more than just basic sales information, you need a total picture of the many routes that customers take to complete a sale.

    By tracking multi-channel sales and marketing efforts under one roof, cross-training staff, getting rid of data barriers and using detailed analytics, this helps businesses deliver an omnichannel experience.

OpSuite – The Premier Solution
Since 2004, RMS have been providing retail and hospitality solutions to our diverse range of clients across an equally diverse range of industries. We have the specialist software and management services to enable you to seamlessly make the transition across to omni-channel retail if its right for you and your business.

With the rising demand from customers to interact and buy over multiple touch points, OpSuite Retail Operations Software undoubtedly offers you the premier solution. Whether that’s in-store, using a store kiosk, online, using mobile phones/tablets, catalogues or via customer service sales; your customer now expects a fully connected approach to pricing, promotions and products. Not only does OpSuite provide you with a fully connected user experience for your customers, the software is tailored exactly to your business.

OpSuite is a Cloud managed retail EPoS solution that allows you to efficiently and profitably sell across your multi-channel or omni-channel business touchpoints such as physical store and e-commerce website, all from one system, anywhere in the world, 24/7.

Powerful reports, dashboards and alerts ensure confident decision making and planning right across your organisation. OpSuite also enables you to handle customer loyalty and promotional activities with ease and the integrated chip and pin provides secure and fast payments. Handheld devices can be used for mobile shopping, price queries, queue busting at peak times and regular stock taking in-store.

OpSuite can save you valuable time on everyday operations and help you to grow your business in other areas such as search engine optimisation, as well creating high quality relevant links and advising on social networking to help generate business. The OpSuite reporting tools are very comprehensive and allow you to see exactly what has sold where and when, allowing you to manage your products and stock more effectively.

These are just some of the many advantages that OpSuite can bring to you and your business, if you feel that this is a direction you would like to take, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss the ‘omni’ benefits of this truly premier retail operations software.

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HAVE YOU WON AN AURES YUNO EPoS BUNDLE FROM RMS?

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Were you one of our winners in the RMS online Christmas competition to win an Aures Yuno EPoS System bundle worth over £1,200! along with some terrific runners up prizes of Aures EPoS products?

The RMS website was inundated with entrants to the competition throughout December and we had great fun drawing the winners.

The list of winners can be found on the RMS website here.

Please feel free to share this Blog article with you colleagues to let them know who the winners were!

RMS regularly runs competitions with fantastic EPoS hardware prizes to be won for your business. If you would like to be notified when the next one starts, let us know here.

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WIN AN AURES YUNO EPoS BUNDLE FROM RMS. Have you entered yet?

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As a retailer you have worked hard throughout 2017 delivering a great product offering, compelling marketing activities and wonderful customer service in order to ensure a higher level of footfall in your retail business.

Would you now like to get your 2018 trading off to a successful start by winning a brand new AURES YUNO EPoS SYSTEM?

To celebrate 2017 as its most successful year of trading yet, RMS is giving you the chance to win a fantastic
AURES YUNO EPoS BUNDLE WORTH OVER £1200!!

Enter this FREE competition now for a chance to win an AURES YUNO EPoS HARDWARE BUNDLE and get your 2018 retail trading off to a successful start.

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RMS supports the Scottish Borders Business Excellence Awards 2017

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RMS is delighted to be supporting the ‘Retailer of the Year‘ category of the Borders Business Excellence Awards 2017. organised by Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce.

In today’s era of immense choice for consumers and increased digitalisation, retail customers are not only discerning about what they want, but are putting new demands on retail customer service, and consequently retailers are having to make extra efforts to meet these consumer requirements and ensure a competitive advantage.

RMS understands the importance of highlighting retailers’ achievements and giving them the recognition they deserve for the hard work they put into growing their business – and also the positive impact that this has on the Scottish Borders community.

In recognising the challenges which all retailers face in exceeding customer expectations, maximising omni-channel capabilities, boosting efficiency, productivity and profitability in all areas of their retail business, RMS works closely with retailers to guide them on how to realise their goals.

Our Cloud managed OpSuite Retail Management Solution EPoS software is a UK market leader in the provision of strategic, innovative, retail-specific solutions that make a positive impact on achieving better retail profits through effective sales, purchasing, stock control, pricing, promotions, loyalty programs, warehousing and web store management.

We are proud to be part of recognising well-deserved work in this vibrant channel and look forward to continuing to work with retailers in the Scottish Borders during the coming year, and supporting them with exciting opportunities to further the growth of their businesses through OpSuite Retail Management Solution EPoS software.

RMS is a UK market leader of EPoS hardware and software solutions enabling your retail operation to win now and in the future.

We care about your business, if you have questions about how your retail business can benefit from our OpSuite Retail Management Solution EPoS software, please contact us today on 01750 700 527 or via our on-line enquiry form

We look forward to helping you with the future EPoS needs of your growing business.

You can also follow RMS on Social Media for all the latest information on the great benefits, features and deals on EPoS Hardware.

Mobile Computing Devices – The Retailer Benefits

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In today’s era of immense choice for consumers and increased digitalisation, retail customers are not only discerning about what they want, but are putting new demands on retail customer service, and when they have made a decision, they want it now.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are not just competing with each other, they are also competing against successful on-line retailers. Compared with a simple and quick purchase from the couch at home, it is especially important for retailers to create faster and simpler ways to make brick-and-mortar purchases.

With the use of mobile devices at the POS, retailers are able to step up to the challenge and satisfy the customer’s need for pre-purchase information whilst in-store, through the integration of all relevant distribution channels.

Today’s retailers need to meet these consumer requirements to ensure a competitive advantage. One of the most important ways an advantage can be acquired is by sales assistants utilising mobile devices in-store. By using them, the sales assistant can get informed more quickly and efficiently, and therefore improve customer service and increase sales turnover.

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WHERE CAN SMALL RETAILERS GET PCIDSS COMPLIANCE EXPERTISE?

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Retailers are frequently asking RMS the question – “What does a small-to-medium sized business have to do in order to satisfy the PCI DSS requirements?”

It is such a frequently asked question because most retailers understand that if they lose credit/debit card data through a data breach and they are not PCI DSS compliant, then they are likely to incur Card Scheme fines for the loss of this data and may be liable for the fraud losses incurred against these cards and the operational costs associated with replacing the accounts.

In addition it’s likely that their customers may also not want to do further business with them.

Because these consequences can be huge, we decided to ask this important question, and others, to BC Technologies LLP who provide PCIDSS compliance expertise to businesses in a range of sectors. Their role is to take the distraction of IT technology away from a retailers business so that the retailer can concentrate on achieving business targets. We spoke with John Orr and the following is a summary of our conversation.

Q. PCIDSS – what is it?

A. Most retailers who take card payments whether through rented or owned terminals will be aware of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCIDSS for short.  The objective of PCIDSS is to reduce fraud and the theft of sensitive data by tightening up the procedures that surround the use of cards and the transaction process. When card fraud occurs any subsequent investigation will focus on this.

Q. How does it work?

A. Compliance to PCIDSS is undertaken by self-certification. The retailer is required to fill out an online questionnaire which is designed to probe into those aspects of its IT network and card handling processes that could be vulnerable to data theft and fraud. If the processes are good and the retailer understands the questions then they will pass the compliance test. This means their risk of fraud and data theft is managed to an acceptable level. Through the questionnaire they will become aware of the need to manage and document the processes involved when their business takes a card payment. Because card fraud and data security takes place in a technical environment the questionnaire is both complex and jargon laden.
If a retailers answers fall short then their business is found to be non-compliant. At that point they need to address the non-compliance issues.

Q. What does non-compliance mean for a retail business?

A. Put simply it means that some aspect of their card payment set up is not as secure as it could be and that they are vulnerable to fraud and data theft. Non-compliance has to be rectified and they may be liable to fines and possibly even termination of their card payment service.

Q. Who is responsible?

A. The retailer is! The questionnaire has to be signed off by a senior manager in company. The sign off binds them to quarterly review and annual re certification.

Q. Is this just an Annual Commitment?

A. Yes and No – The sign off includes an undertaking to keep compliance under review every three months in addition to the annual questionnaire.

Q. Scope – this term pops up, what does this mean?

A. In order to deal with the assessment the retailer needs to consider the various points that are touched by their payment system i.e. the Scope. Does the card reader share the Wi-Fi that is offered to customers? Is the reader in any way linked to other computers or devices in the business’ network?  If the retailer operates on-line, how do they organise the storage of transaction data? Is the website secure? Who amongst the retailers staff has access to any transaction related data? Have the staff been vetted and trained in card payment and anti- fraud procedures? All these touch points fall within the scope of the payment system and the PCIDSS questionnaire.

Q. Is it possible to reduce the Scope for an easier and more secure life?

A. Bear in mind that in order to manage the card payment process the retailer needs to have a written policy to cover each touch point. If they have a policy then they need to document how they review that policy. So not only do they reduce their risks but they reduce their workload if they can keep their scope narrow.
Many retailers will use payment systems which run through on-line portals or chip and pin systems. The PCIDSS will perform tests on a retailers website to determine security. The retailer would be responsible for checking that their card machine is not tampered with or stolen. At the other extreme there are businesses taking card details by phone. The opportunities for fraud when card details are taken by phone are immense. Are details written down? By whom? Are the staff trained and vetted, where and how is that data stored, who has access to? Is it securely destroyed?
These simple questions will all require a process and policy. Just like Health and Safety the retailer needs to have a policy, procedures and a log to demonstrate that their PCIDSS compliance is reviewed and updated. You can see that defining Scope is critical both to security and to the resources required to achieve compliance.

Q. How can a small retailer easily deal with PCIDSS compliance?

A. The system exists to reduce to reduce the risk of fraud and delaying or ignoring compliance is simply extending risk. The time and effort involved in dealing with PCIDSS can be burdensome and given the consequences of fraudulent activity it makes sense to outsource the know how to achieve initial compliance. When a retailer starts in the right place they can then take on the ongoing reviews from a position of knowledge.

Q. Where can a small retailer get other PCIDSS compliance questions answered?

A. Two sources: 1. Give us a call at BC Technologies LLP – 01369 706656. or 2. On the PCI ComplianceGuide.org website.

 

You can Freephone RMS today on 0800 138 0050 or complete our on-line enquiry form to speak with one of our dedicated team. Either way, we look forward to helping you with the EPoS  needs of your growing business.

You can also follow RMS on Social Media for all the latest information on the benefits, features and great deals on EPoS Hardware.

YOUR CHANCE TO WIN FANTASTIC EPoS HARDWARE PRODUCTS. Have you entered yet?

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Aures Yuno Epos till system competition

Would you like to win one of these fantastic EPoS prizes in our free competition and give your retail store a Spring boost?

To celebrate the launch of OXD (OpSuite eXperience Day), RMS is giving away an Aures Yuno EPoS terminal and other products worth over £2000 from Honeywell, SNBC & Zebra!!

Enter this FREE competition now for a chance to win an AURES YUNO EPoS System.

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Please feel free to share this competition blog with your colleagues to increase the chances of your business winning!

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