How is Artificial Intelligence Shaking Up Retail?


Buying experiences, both in offline and online channels, can vary dramatically between retailers as vendors approach the customer journey in different ways. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming a common tool used across the retail sector; being incorporated both into online and offline channels with the goal of enhancing customer experience or increasing conversion rates. AI is starting to shake up the retail sector and there are many different ways in which AI could be used in the future to increase retailers’ revenues and improve customer experience levels. As AI increases its presence, the question that lies ahead is: will it change how retail operates forever?

 

Enhancing the in-store experience through AI

Smartphones are our constant companion when we shop; it doesn’t matter if we are browsing the aisles or trying something on, they are always there with us. So, how can retailers take advantage of this to enhance customers’ experience when in store?

Providing information in-store through smartphones could be the starting point. Having the possibility of checking if there’s more stock of a certain product, using QR codes could speed up the buying process. Less time spent by the shopping assistant checking stock availability means more time dedicated to advising the customer on other products to buy, enhancing the customer experience and increasing the rate of sale.

Another opportunity arises for retailers to use AI to improve the in-store experience by giving the customer the possibility of checking how the whole range of other colours or sizes for each product would look on them. This is already being done by Rebecca Minkoff in New York; providing customers with smart dressing rooms that allow shoppers to interact with a display screen (1), enabling them to carry out other activities from their smartphone like adjusting the lighting of the dressing room itself or even asking for assistance without having to go outside. 

 

Increasing conversions online with AI

Improving the in-store experience is a powerful way to foster customer loyalty, so what can retailers do to replicate this experience online? Using AI powered virtual assistants like chat bots could help to replicate this personalised experience by guiding the customer through the purchase process and answering any questions along the way.

Luxury or complex goods in particular highly benefit from the use of AI in the online buying process as customers tend to have a number of questions when buying these types of products as they want to be reassured they are making the right choice. On many occasions, in the modern high-street shop, shopping assistants often lack specialised product knowledge to be able to help the customer effectively. If these types of stores want to up their game online, having an AI chatbot that can advise the customer on particular product information, whilst answering any concerns, cannot only enhance the shopper’s experience but also increase conversion rates.

By learning how people buy and make appropriate product recommendations after analysing how they interact with your site and engage with your products, AI tools can increase the average value spent by each customer by choosing carefully selected product recommendations.

 

Staying in touch

Social media can also become a data hub for AI platforms. By engaging with customers’ social media, AI technology can learn what customers like and dislike, their buying habits, and other types of information that can be used to make personalised recommendations about specific products; these recommendations can be made at the right time, and, at the right place. In other words, data mining can help retailers to get to know their customers much better and as a consequence, provide them with an improved and more personalised service. AI tools enable retailers to learn about individuals en masse and make well-timed offers that are personalised based on what information they share online.

By learning in depth about customer behaviour, AI technology can help by developing reminders to buy, following abandoned carts, discovering the optimum time to position a product, or knowing when to drop or raise priced.  This enables retailers to stay in touch with customers without constantly bombarding them with information, and thanks to the use of AI and data mining tools, retailers can engage with their customers at the right time and place, without the risk of overwhelming them.

 

AI technology can bring personalised marketing one step further by helping retailers to get to know customers in depth and learning about their individual buying habits, offering products to customers at the best time. Using AI, retailers can optimise both online and offline channels, enhancing customers’ experience at the same time as improving conversion rates.  

 

 

References

(1)   http://multichannelmerchant.com/ecommerce/how-retailers-are-redefining-the-shopping-experience-26012017/

(2)   https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/288098

(3)   http://www.adweek.com/digital/5-bleeding-edge-brands-are-infusing-retail-artificial-intelligence-175312/

 

Are shipping fees costing you customers?


Online retailers are becoming incredibly sophisticated in their ability to impact conversion rates based on hundreds of different variables.  New technologies allow purchase screens to be customised based on user data (i.e. where a customer is purchasing from, time on site, location, previously browsed items, etc.), meaning that e-retailers can be super-specific in their targeting to increase conversion rates.

There’s already been a lot of work done to get the customer to the stage where they are ready to click “add to basket”.  You’ve attracted customers to your site, you’ve encouraged them to commit to a product, and it’s in their virtual basket – ready to be purchased.

So what is stopping customers from moving forward to complete the purchase?

It’s all comes down to one decision – to buy or not to buy.  Psychology sits at the heart of these decisions, and understanding the reason for your abandoned cart rates can help you to break down the psychological barriers that are stopping customers moving forward.

In a report from UPS (1), the number one reason for abandoned carts globally was that shipping costs increased the overall purchase price more than expected.  If we think of the psychological process at play here: customers firstly decide on a product, are happy with its price and features, and then add the product to their basket.  The customer is mentally calculating the overall price as they add their different products to their basket.  They then move forward to complete their order and shipping costs get added.  The price is more than they were expecting.  Or maybe it is the price they expected but mentally it pushes the overall basket value above their desired purchase price.

And this is enough for customers to abandon their cart and leave their items.

One factor that could be causing the high rates of abandoned carts is that customers are testing the shipping costs and how they will be applied to their purchase.  The cart isn’t really abandoned as it was never a serious purchase – it was an elaborate calculator to help gauge the shipping costs.

Even removing this factor, the addition of shipping costs is still a blocker for customers moving ahead with their purchase.  So what can you do to step in and impact the psychology of your buyer so the sale has a higher chance of moving ahead successfully?

How could retailers address this issue earlier?

Is it an option to try and put this (even potentially unattractive) shipping time and cost information upfront so that customers are not surprised when they see shipping costs added?  Could shipping costs be added to the basket subtotal when any items are added so that the increased cost is not a late addition to the purchase journey?

The other option is offering free shipping and removing shipping costs altogether.  This could put a strain on profit margins, but it might be a worthwhile activity to calculate the cost of abandoned carts to the business – i.e. what revenues would you have achieved if even just 10% of those customers had completed their purchased, and compare that to the cost of offering free shipping costs to all customers.

If this is a psychological blocker that is preventing customers from buying then increasing product costs ever so slightly across the board to account for the cost of offering free shipping could mean the difference between high rates of abandoned carts and winning lots of new customers.

In Europe, 49% of consumers abandoned their cart because shipping costs were too high (which is actually lower than the averages in the US at 54% and Canada at 61%).  Sometimes this is because orders haven’t been large enough to result in free shipping qualification.

Is the problem actually worse than we expect?

However, some reports show even higher numbers of abandoned carts due to shipping costs.  A report highlighted in eMarketer by FuturePay (2) said that 86% of surveyed respondents said that the cost of shipping resulted in cart abandonment, so it’s clearly a problem for retailers to get right.

Amazon has tried to combat this barrier through its free shipping option for Prime members.  A report by cg42 (3) found that 91% of Amazon Prime members said they signed up for the service based on the lure of free 2-day shipping.

What appears to be a common theme amongst many of the reports and surveys is that better communication about delivery options and associated costs in order set more realistic expectations earlier on.

A report by Meta Pack (4) found that 66% of consumers would move to another brand if there were more attractive delivery options available – so shipping costs and delivery times are clearly at the top of the agenda for customers when deciding whether to complete a purchase.

An article from the Royal Mail highlights an interesting point from a Deloitte report (5), saying that retailers will need to move quickly to better respond to consumers’ expectations – with same day delivery becoming more standard in our online shopping experiences. Some reports are also suggesting many consumers are now expecting free same-day delivery which is obviously ahead of many retailers’ current offerings.

So with the huge impact that delivery costs have on customers’ decision making, combined with the availability of suitable delivery options, retailers will be looking at ways to make delivery option information more prominent on their sites to enable consumers to be updated earlier in the process.

 

References

(1)   https://www.ups.com/media/en/gb/ups_global_paper.pdf

(2)   https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Cart-Abandonment-Really-Come-Down-Cost/1015092

(3)   http://cg42.com/

(4)   http://www.metapack.com/report/delivering-consumer-choice-infographic/

(5)   http://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/consumer-business/articles/global-powers-of-retailing.html

Are you in the 20% of retailers with no mobile offering?


In the UK, mobile now accounts for 40% of online retail sales – and that’s a figure which is growing rapidly quarter on quarter (1). Yet for many consumers, the mobile shopping experience is still poor, and retailers are not delivering a good enough experience to convert would-be customers.

Many customers are struggling to make it beyond their shopping carts when buying on a mobile device – with desktop sales conversions 2.7 times higher than mobile conversions.  In other words, only 19% of shopping carts accessed using a smartphone result in completed purchases versus 30% on a desktop (2).

There is clearly a disconnect, as it’s reported that shoppers in the US spend 59% of their ‘web’ time on a mobile device, but only 15% of their dollars are being spent through mobile channels (3). Bad connectivity can sometimes prevent sales moving forward if shoppers are accessing sites on the go, but it appears to be often down to poor mobile experiences offered by retailers.  Many merchants have not got dedicated apps, or at the very least haven’t yet optimised their sites for mobile.  Shoppers are having to go through the standard desktop purchase process using a tiny screen – and it’s often not possible to easily complete the purchase from a mobile device because of non-optimised payment gateways.

Is mobile stopping your customers finding you?

And this lack of optimisation is not just affecting shoppers trying to complete purchases – it’s impacting customers even finding you in the first place if you don’t have a mobile optimised site.  Google is now prioritising the ranking of websites that are optimised for mobile above non-optimised retailers – so ignoring smartphone and tablet traffic will start to cost ecommerce outlets from both sides (3).

In fact, research by the Centre for Retail Research has said that the UK retail industry is losing £6.6bn every year due to a lack of investment in a mobile optimised solution (1). Retailers need to look at ways to improve each part of the sales process – from viewing products, obtaining stock information through to actually placing an order.  It’s not just about having a mobile optimised site – it’s about being able to access easy to use payment methods that are also optimised for engagement on a mobile device.

1 in 5 retailers have no mobile offering

The same research also suggests that 1/5 of retailers in the UK still have no mobile offering – despite 88% of retailers saying that having a mobile channel would result in more visits to their store.  This is because many consumers are not exclusively using online and in-store channels to purchase, but are instead using a blend of the two by consulting their smartphones in store before making purchases in-person.

So there is clearly demand from consumers, and retailers can see the potential benefits that could be realised from having a dedicated mobile strategy, yet 40% of UK consumers still feel the mobile experience could be improved so there is more work to be done (1). When the top searched for items are high-value products such as clothing and electronics, it surely makes sense for retailers to try and address the huge gap between abandoned carts on mobile devices and abandoned purchases on desktops.  If the only difference is that the device used by consumers is mobile, then the reasons must be down to poor experience due to lack of optimisation for smartphones.  It’s a factor that is within the retailer’s control – so how can they take advantage of this opportunity?

Moving to mobile optimisation

We all know that websites need to be mobile optimised, but for retailers it’s a matter of commercial life and death.  Without optimisation, customers can’t easily purchase or navigate through payment screens.  If the text is too small to read or consumers have to zoom in to input their bank details then it’s unlikely that they will be keen to return to complete their purchase, nevermind return in the future.

The easiest step is to build mobile responsiveness into any new web design projects from the ground up.  You don’t need a dedicated app – you just need a mobile optimised website that can organise your information into a mobile friendly view.  Regular testing is critical to ensuring information is displayed how you intend it – but many of the main ecommerce software tools offer mobile responsive functionality to help you easily offer mobile purchasing options.

Another option is to focus on the visuals.  Keep your mobile offering clean and full of visuals so customers are not having to zoom in on small text or having to click small buttons within chunks of information.  Make it visual and easy to navigate from a small screen.

Less text is more on a mobile device, so let the pictures do the talking (4).

Many forward-thinking retailers are moving to a mobile-first design – they design their ecommerce stores with mobile at the forefront of what they are doing, and desktop comes second.  As more consumers are purchasing off their mobile, why design for a declining market?

So, are you on board with mobile?

 

 

References

(1)   https://econsultancy.com/blog/66543-50-fascinating-stats-about-mobile-commerce-in-the-uk-2015/

(2)   http://www.cmo.com/adobe-digital-insights/articles/2016/10/19/adi-holiday-predictions-report-2016.html#gs.E58tvoI

(3)   http://uk.businessinsider.com/mobile-commerce-shopping-trends-stats-2016-10?r=US&IR=T

(4)   https://www.shopify.com/partners/blog/74754051-5-simple-hacks-for-an-optimized-mobile-ecommerce-design

 

Artificial Intelligence: Stadiums and the Sports Sector


The beneficial contributions that artificial intelligence provides within the sport sector is becoming clearer, however should there be more attention paid to the potential concerns that go along with artificial intelligence (AI)?

A worrying lack of human control over technology is becoming a true focal point for some of the leading minds in technology.  For instance, is it possible for machines and technology to outthink the human mind and become a threat?  Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used with the stadium and sports sector, which many view as an exciting yet also worrying prospect.

 

Will human coaches become a thing of the past?

Technology is becoming a vital ingredient in the recipe for sports related success, and artificial intelligence is now being used to enhance player performance in a plethora of ways, from monitoring fitness on the pitch to pin pointing and improving areas of weakness. These analytical features are making sports teams more successful than ever and the further involvement of artificial intelligence is aiming to take the successes even further.

In short, the use of artificial intelligence will now allow sports coaches to stop looking back at why mistakes were made within a previous game, and allow them to plan ahead and prevent them from happening in the next game. Machine learning is the function that allows this to happen – a processing tool that can handle more complex and concurrent computations than the human mind, allowing a sports managerial team to have multiple viewpoints of their players and the competition at any one time.

Unlike the human mind, which can only have one view at any given time, AI can process multiple streams of data, run ‘what-if’ scenarios and computations, and make predictions in real-time based on information from thousands of matches.  Game time decision making across all sporting backgrounds is being improved hugely, yet just how far will this idea go? Could human coaching become a rarity in sport all together if this trend continues? Will players be disgruntled with the amount of personal health-related information that is being made available to a vast amount of people?

 

US missile technology coming to a stadium near you

The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, a professional Japanese baseball team, have adapted a statistical analysis tool called ‘TrackMan’ which has seen them performing more effectively than ever before. Although ‘TrackMan’ is not a new device, the Fukuoaka SoftBank Hawks have pushed its use further than any of their baseball competitors through the use of artificial intelligence.  The artificial intelligence system collects a vast amount of data surrounding: player performance, pitch characteristics and the speed of the baseball being hit towards them.  It is based on technology developed by the US military to analyse missile trajectory and performance and is now being employed in sports to monitor and fine-tune throws, hits, kicks and movements.

Through collating this historical and real time data, the team can then predict how they will play their game ahead of time in order to be as prepared as possible to face their opposition.

 

Today: in-app ordering, tomorrow: AI?

The contribution of artificial intelligence does not stop with the quality of the performance the fans get to enjoy, it progresses to influencing the whole stadium experience. Fans of the Minnesota Vikings will soon be receiving a new and improved match day experience due to data analytics and the introduction of artificial intelligence. Fans will be able to monitor the queue times to use facilities at any point as well as having an ‘app’ based ticketing system. The app will allow complete integration between all sectors of the match day experience, even counting the amount of app users compared to the inventory levels of hot dogs to ensure there are enough for the fans.

AI could easily be introduced into this to enable the automated restocking of inventory based on fans’ app behaviour and ordering trends.

 

Risks of removing the ‘human’ element

However, the concerns of artificial intelligence are still prevalent within the sport and stadium sector. Many have concerns over the consideration that eventually, players will no longer wish for all of their personal and health information to be available to a vast amount of individuals. Alongside this, the most concerning area is the lack of human control from the introduction of these high intelligence systems that are being commonly used and integrated into everything from players’ clothing to ‘smart’ stadium buildings. The eventual demise of human participation in the coaching of sports teams is also a potential and real worry for the sporting industry.

 

In conclusion…

There is no doubt that artificial intelligence is beneficial towards the stadium and sports sector, yet it does not prevent a number of people erring on the side of caution in relation to the frightening potential that technology will take over too many jobs, impact the match day experience and change how the sports industry operates beyond recognition. However, technology has been beneficial within this sector to players, coaches and fans, and there can be no complainants surrounding the quality of the experience visitors now receive with enhanced connectivity becoming the norm in many stadiums.

 

Find out more about AI and Big Data in sports:

http://www.sporttechie.com/2016/05/03/artificial-intelligence-plays-future-sports-technology/

http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/AI-may-help-Japan-s-baseball-champs-rewrite-Moneyball

http://fortune.com/2016/04/28/venuenext-vikings-49ers-stadium/

http://www.curbed.com/2016/2/3/10942528/levis-stadium-technology-super-bowl-50-broncos-panthers

 

C24’s Feature in Sports World Magazine


C24 has been pleased to feature in this quarter’s edition of Sports World Magazine, which goes to sports clubs and venues all around the world.

Our feature focused on how Internet of Things technology, combined with big data, could impact upon stadium and venue operators’ ability to generate new revenue streams and offer better fan experiences.

Optimized-C24 Sports Stadium Mag (1)

 

We looked at how clubs are already harnessing IOT tech across athlete sensors and smart buildings within stadiums.

Big data coming from Internet of Things tech provides stadium operators with the ability to get a holistic view of their environment, from crowd control, through to temperature management or in-seat ordering systems.

Optimized-C24 Stadium Sports World Magazine Cover

The Future of the Stadium – IOT, Big Data and Cloud


C24 Stadium Technology

 

The Internet of Things, Big Data, Cloud and Sport.  All massive industries which are growing and evolving daily.

Yet they are all converging to create a deeply analytical solution for sales teams, arenas and stadiums, and an immersive experience for fans and broadcasters alike.

Cisco is talking about the era of the ‘Connected Athlete’, where sensors are placed on athletes, from body sensors which monitor heart rate and distance travelled, to sensors on football boots to measure movements and impact when making contact with the ball.  Previously, pundits had player position data to discuss in halftime, or during tennis matches Hawkeye has enabled the analysis of ball location and journeys.  In the future, will commentators be instead assessing player heart rate trends and in-game fitness levels during halftime discussions?  Or will managers be substituting players based on body sensor data in the near future?

Cisco’s dream is to ‘connect the unconnected’ by turning the athlete’s body into a ‘distributed network of sensors and network intelligence’.  Or a “wireless body area network” as they like to call the human body.

The proliferation of devices and sensor technology has suddenly made the Internet of Things into a ‘now’ rather than a ‘future’ technology.  Fans’ use of mobile devices during matches means that sports clubs have a way to directly communicate with their consumers; providing real-time match and athlete data direct to mobile phones.

We are also seeing the development of ‘intelligent buildings’ – where all devices are connected, from intruder alarms, to stadium ticketing systems through to thermostats and more.  Data can be collated across the entire stadium, to measure where spectators are congregating, which queues are taking longer to service and which crowds need to be monitored.

Digital signage is also coming into the IOT fold, by providing real-time information to stadium visitors to keep them updated.  This could be in the form of providing data about match statistics, or queue information to ease congestion.

Aside from providing a more immersive and interactive experience to fans, the Internet Of Things and big data is allowing stadiums to improve their operations and reduce their running costs.  For instance, real-time monitoring of thermostats paired with data on where spectators are within the stadium could allow facilities managers to turn down the heating or air conditioning to suit, rather than having a one-size fits all temperature management solution that can only be adjusted once the heat or cold becomes a noticeable problem.

On the ticketing front, sensors monitoring crowds entering venues can alert stadium management to how many ticket booths they need to open, which entrances require more ticket booths for the next hour and which can be closed due to a smaller than expected number of visitors.  Being able to make decisions in real-time and create data pictures of a venue should help stadiums to make their operations more efficient based on real insights, rather than previous (and out of date) match data or intuition.

The Internet of Things in sport goes beyond the stadium and into fans’ homes.  Stadiums can now connect into fans who may be viewing matches remotely to share data (and from a commercial point of view: share offers, tickets and merchandise) directly with fans, whether they are in the stadium or not.  And as only one third of the world is connected to the internet, there is huge potential for stadiums to connect with new customers in the future as they gain connectivity.

On the pitch, data usage is becoming the norm.  An article in the Guardian highlights how last year’s Six Nations Championship produced 2 million rows of data per game (that’s 1,400 actions such as tries, tackles, passes, kicks etc).  And the NFL is starting to arm players with a set of RFID sensors to track their activity on the pitch.  This can potentially provide real-time biometric data to managers and fans alike during matches to encourage spectators to continue visiting live games, alongside helping coaches to understand how to improve training methods to produce better results.

And Cisco sees this as just the beginning.  The next step on their horizon is the Connected Patient, by bringing sensor technology to patients in hospitals to track patient lifecycle throughout the hospital process.

Underpinning the Internet of Things is the ability to quickly collect, process and share data.  And underpinning that movement of data is cloud.  Cloud enabled technology allows stadiums to track data from thousands of sensors, hundreds of applications and millions of fans.

From our datacentres in the Midlands, C24, a Six Degrees Company, delivers cloud hosting solutions that underpin business analytics technologies within some of the world’s leading sports clubs and stadium.

We believe the Internet of Things in the arena and stadium space is an exciting and innovative industry to be in, and we look forward to working with some of the most ambitious sports and stadium clients on the planet who want to use analytics to take their businesses stratospheric.

 

Image provided courtesy of Clintus.

Partnering For Success: EPOS with Analytics


I thought it might be interesting for contacts in the retail, EPOS, analytics and hospitality sectors to learn about how C24 work with an industry leading EPOS vendor and has helped them to move away from purely EPOS offerings to a holistic, analytics-integrated service for clients.

We can’t reveal the name at this stage but the outcomes and challenges resonate with other partners and customers who we work with.

C24 EPOS Hosting 2

Background

Prior to engaging with us, our EPOS partner was facing a number of challenges when engaging with their retail clients.  Although they were already offering a market-leading EPOS solution, they were keen to move into other areas and expand the value they delivered to clients.  This is what their EPOS analytics looked like prior to engaging with C24:

  • – Their EPOS tool had a degree of reporting built into the platform, yet it was static in nature and reporting wasn’t flexible.
  • – Reports were based on historical data generated from the EPOS system.
  • – Reporting was confined purely to the data generated within the EPOS tool, not taking into account the other applications that interacted with the till point.
  • – The reporting wasn’t very visual or graphical in its representation of data, so wasn’t being interrogated by non-data or IT users.
  • – The EPOS vendor was confined to the EPOS share of the customer spend, rather than branching out into other areas to offer potentially revenue-generating solutions for their retail clients.

From a technology point of view, each till point required various pieces of hardware to be installed – creating service headaches if there were any hardware malfunctions, and increasing support costs for the client as any faults would require onsite IT assistance.

 

Strong partnership

By engaging with the EPOS vendor, we have built a strong partnership in which we combine our business analytics solution with their EPOS application to deliver a service that is holistically bigger than its parts.  Working hand in hand, we have helped to change the conversation from being EPOS-focused, to being centred instead on how the EPOS vendor can help to generate more revenue for the client.

The partnership between the EPOS vendor and C24 has enabled their customers’ EPOS reporting to be:

  • – More visual and graphical representation of data, by dynamically showing data in different formats and word clouds, in order to spot trends easily.
  • – The information is easy to extract from the EPOS tool (providing the user has the correct access levels) – so that data can be shared quickly and easily for swifter reactions to events.
  • – Reporting is more flexible, enabling the integration of non-EPOS applications into the wider reporting environment, so that EPOS data can be shown alongside other apps for increased visibility and an organisation-wide view of the information.
  • – Reporting is now in real-time; users don’t have to wait to extract information.
  • – The reporting functionality was easy to access and adopt for business and IT users alike, due to its ‘search engine’ type style.
  • – Onsite hardware was removed and virtualised, so that the apps were instead delivered from a central hosting datacentre, reducing on-site costs and support expenses.

 

Business outcomes

The EPOS vendor has experienced a number of commercial benefits as a result of the close partnership with C24.  They have been able to grow their share of wallet in each account by expanding their sale through the addition of our analytics solution.  This has given their sales teams a new message to take out to customers; away from the traditional EPOS sale, to looking at how EPOS technology can maximise revenues for the retailer.

The hosted nature of the new solution means that new customer deployments have much lower timescales to deliver, as installation does not now require the many days onsite work to deploy the hardware and set the systems up, making it a more profitable service to deliver.  Furthermore, this hosted approach has meant that the vendor can move from a CapEx payment structure to a monthly recurring revenue model, which is commercially more sustainable for their business.

This story demonstrates how partnering closely to deliver a combined solution (rather than reselling a bolt-on product) can deliver huge commercial benefits for both parties involved in the partnership – helping each other to reach new markets and offer a more compelling and valuable message for clients.

 

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Find out more about C24’s partnerships with EPOS vendors at http://www.c24.co.uk/sectors/epos-partnerships/ or follow C24 on LinkedIn.

 

 

About C24 Ltd

C24 is a specialist applications hosting provider, with particular expertise in hosting and analytics for the manufacturing, legal and hospitality sector.

C24 helps retailers and hospitality providers to take their EPOS, and other hospitality applications, to a new level; integrating apps with insightful business analytics and tailored cloud hosting services for a seamless, customer experience.

Find out more about our EPOS hosting and analytics solutions at: http://www.c24.co.uk/sectors/epos-partnerships/

 

Image provided courtesy of Kai Schreiber.

 

How EPOS technology can maximise retailer revenues


As a specialist in EPOS (electronic point of sale/tills) and hospitality application hosting and analytics, C24 has
worked with EPOS vendors to take their solution from an onsite, hardware-based proposition to a cloud-enabled, agile service for retail and hospitality clients – keen to make the most out of their investment through business analytics and seamless delivery.

We have seen EPOS vendors move from offering C24 EPOS Hosting 1straightforward EPOS solutions to retail clients that facilitate payment, through to offering a more holistic, analytics-driven solution that provides organisations with visibility across their organisation.

So how can retailers look to harness their EPOS technology to increase customer spend in-store?

Powerful analytics can give you more control over data, enabling you to collate information across your operations that is more visual and easy to digest.  Through data maps, word clouds and graphical representations of complex data, EPOS users can quickly gain insights from their information in real-time.

This enables stores to potentially make changes on the fly, rather than waiting for reports to be produced.  For instance, if certain products are selling more rapidly over a period of time (rather than stock levels just running low), then that could trigger an order for more inventory and increased marketing.

In-store offers could be suggested on the day through recommendation analytics, based on certain factors (i.e. weather, day, trends from previous year, number of customers in-store).  The casinos sector is seen as the market leader in this respect, constantly combining data feeds about their customers from all of their till points across the hotel, restaurants, casino and gambling machines, to build a picture of their customers’ behaviour.

The true value comes when analytics services don’t just focus on EPOS, but instead incorporate all of the applications across the business; combining data from multiple feeds for maximum visibility of how end consumers are interacting through EPOS tills and other points of contact across clients’ businesses.

This helps retailers to start looking at the entire customer experience and interaction points that consumers have with their brand.  Being able to understand how they acquired customers, what marketing worked, what offers failed to impress and who spent what on which day, helps the retailer to build a more accurate picture of where to focus their efforts.

I will be publishing a series of articles focused on how EPOS technology can help drive revenues fo
r retailers and hospitality providers through analytics, so please follow me to read more.

Also, find out more about C24’s partnerships with EPOS vendors at http://www.c24.co.uk/sectors/epos-partnerships/ or follow C24 on LinkedIn.

 

 

About C24 Ltd

C24 is a specialist applications hosting provider, with particular expertise in hosting and analytics for the manufacturing, legal and hospitality sector.

C24 helps retailers and hospitality providers to take their EPOS, and other hospitality applications, to a new level; integrating apps with insightful business analytics and tailored cloud hosting services for a seamless, customer experience.

Find out more about our EPOS hosting and analytics solutions at: http://www.c24.co.uk/sectors/epos-partnerships/

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Nate Grigg