Introducing branch clusters

Branch clusters now have even more flexibility, giving businesses greater control over how they maintain and report data.

The branch cluster functionality enables companies to define clusters and to group their branches according to their business structure.

The use of clusters is a solution for companies with:  

  • multiple brands or business units
  • franchise or multi-ownership structure
  • decentralised regional control

Clusters are set up to group organisations into separate regions, with one or more sub regions. In the configuration, there is no limitation to the number of (sub-)clusters which can be defined.


Permissions and security

The introduction of clusters comes with a new layer of permissions. HOS users can be assigned to clusters, allowing them to access and review configuration and data limited to that cluster.

In the example where an organisation has one person managing multiple branches or franchises, permissions can be set so they only have access to their own cluster’s data.

This guarantees sensitive information is not shared with other parts of the business.


Item maintenance

A big advantage of clusters is that companies can have one Head Office facilitating their master item control, but also let clusters maintain their own items.

Items can be owned at cluster level, which means that these items will only be available for the stores that belong to that cluster and won’t be exposed to the other stores. This limits the number of items available for stores and prevents the mix up of irrelevant items across the business.

The decentralized item maintenance is very valuable for organisations with multiple brands, or differences in the product catalogue between regions. Items can exist at the master level and will be available for all stores, while other items exist at cluster level and will only be available for that particular cluster.


Reporting

Another feature which comes with the subdivision of the organisation into clusters is the ability to report on any inventory, sales or financial data specific to that cluster.

A cluster manager or accountant can conduct sales and financial reporting at the cluster level, instead of running the reports per branch. Performance comparisons are easily made between branches and any discrepancies are quickly discovered.


Promotions

Cluster owners now have the flexibility to run and maintain promotions for their own cluster. Promotions can be set up at master level and apply to the whole organisation, or each cluster can set up promotions which apply only to their clusters and sub-clusters.   

This function is useful for targeted promotions, or for stores wanting to run local promotions.


Interested in how branch clusters could work for your business?


Case Study: Infinity is right on Cue for unified commerce

After conquering women’s fashion for over 48 years in Australia, iconic family-owned retailer Cue is embracing cutting-edge technology designed to enhance the shopping experience for its customers.

As the largest local manufacturer of women’s fashion in Australia, Cue’s innovative, youthful and forward designs are the reason why the brand has been voted as ‘Best Australian Fashion Brand’ in the Prix de marie claire awards 4 out of 5 times.


Along with its premium and modern designs that keep Cue at the forefront of fashion in Australia, is the innovative and technological solutions that have been introduced to its loyal customer base.

In November 2016, Cue introduced the Infinity omnichannel solution, a new technology designed to improve the shopping experience for both the customer and retail team.

When Cue added Click & Collect to its omnichannel repertoire, its introduction followed an extensive review of solutions already available in the marketplace. In this instance, it wasn’t the preference to be first to market with the Click & Collect solution, says Shane Lenton, Cue Chief Information Officer.

“We took the approach of being a fast follower for Click & Collect to ensure we delivered a comprehensive solution for both our customers and retail team.”

The needs of Cue were specific, with Infinity delivering a core retail management system, providing a centralised hub for all channels. The solution offers Cue flexibility to expand and cater for change, while seamlessly integrating online and offline experiences for customers.

 
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Split orders

To manage split orders through the online store, Cue needed to offer a single checkout option to the customer, regardless of how they shop.

With many solutions currently in the market, the customer has to checkout for each of the three different fulfilment channels. However, with Infinity, just a single checkout is required.

“A customer shopping on the website may want three items,” explains Shane. “Item one is to be delivered the same day.  Item two is available for collection at the customer’s local Cue store. And item three is unavailable at the customers local store, but is available within the store network so can be delivered to any store location for the customer to collect.”

Real time inventory management

Another key component of the Infinity solution is the ability to provide real time inventory management across the entire business, both online and instore.

“The real time stock visibility allows us to facilitate same day fulfilment from store utilising real time inventory without any buffers,” says Shane. “When researching Click & Collect solutions at the outset, we found instances where retailers didn’t have a great view of their inventory in real-time at store level.  This would result in their Click & Collect orders being filled from a warehouse and sent to each store, increasing cost and time. With Infinity, depending on whether the customer wants to collect from their preferred store or have the items delivered, we can provide a seamless experience for the customer.  In most cases, for orders to be collected from a store, the customers are notified within half an hour that their purchase is ready for collection.”
We’ve changed the way our customers shop,” says Shane. “When our customers visit our website, their country and local store is automatically detected providing a localised shopping experience. The product details page shows the customer stock availability in real time at their local store. While they can override this and choose to shop broader than their local store, often it’s very much a one-to-one relationship between the store and the products the customer is viewing on the website.”

Real time inventory management not only benefits Cue customers, but also has a substantial advantage for its team.

“Presenting real time information to the customer allows them to make an informed decision on how they want to make their purchase, and how they want to receive their items,” says Shane.

Compliance

Being able to manage the Click & Collect process at both head office and store level was another key differentiator for the Cue team.

“Our research told us that there were two very important factors for the success of Click & Collect.  Firstly, we were aware of the benefits of getting stores to really embrace the opportunity for the sale.  Secondly, the ability to manage the end to end process effectively by providing the visibility and tools to monitor and manage the process at Head Office, ensuring the best outcome for the customer, was really important to us,” says Shane.

With the Infinity Click & Collect Dashboard, a team member at Head Office overseas the customer order. At each step of the process, service level agreements (SLAs) are set, with onscreen, email and SMS alerts for issues and exceptions.

When an order is received via Click & Collect, it must be acknowledged by the store within a designated time period. The order is then picked, again within a set amount of time, and then marked as packed and ready for collection, with the customer receiving notification their order is ready for collection. The system is fully automated, with Head Office notified of any breaches of the SLAs set for each step of the way through the Dashboard.

To ensure the customer receives a seamless experience, in the event an item cannot be filled by the store, the order bounces back to Head Office, where the team member is able to see the exception on the Dashboard.

Head Office reaches out to the customer to give them the options available for their order, then is able to reassign the order to another store for collection or delivery (depending on the customer’s preference) via the Dashboard.

We’ve automated the entire process and put the controls and alerts in place to ensure ultimately the best outcome for the customer,” explains Shane. “It also gives the stores a clear understanding of what is required of them, and in what period of time. There are no unknowns or ‘I’ll get to it when I can’; it’s a very tight process.”
“Essentially we are very customer focused and we can do all of this within the dashboard itself; we are not having to go to different systems. It’s about having tight processes and being efficient, working with the customer to make sure we provide the best outcome for them.”

Cue also introduced a function to acknowledge the source of a sale.

“The store and the individual filling the order is rewarded with the sale, so there is the absolute incentive for our instore teams to action orders as soon as they are received.” says Shane. “By having the ability to do this, we have also eliminated any channel conflict.”

What’s in store for the future?

There are several exciting additions to the omnichannel repertoire currently in the pipeline. Cue and Triquestra are working together to bring endless aisle and store to door to their customers as part of the Infinity omnichannel solution.

“A customer could be trying a dress on in store, and find it’s not available in the size they require.” says Shane. “Instead of waiting for the correct item to be transferred to the store or travelling to another store, the customer can secure the item then and there, and choose to either use Click & Collect or have the item delivered to them, including same day, if geography permits”

In addition to the endless aisle solution for instore customers, Cue is also working on shop-able screens.  Customers will be able to shop instore on a touchscreen and either collect their chosen item or have their purchase delivered. This method of shopping has the added benefit of providing customers with a holistic digital view with the ability to buy every single product available across the entire business, both online and in store.  They can browse and purchase in their own time or choose to work with a Cue team member, who can assist with their expertise and knowledge.

Cue’s entrepreneurial spirit and ability to deliver the latest trends in tandem with international catwalks, is what keeps customers coming back for more.

“Our business model and the way we operate, involves a lot of short runs,” says Shane. “We are quick to provide customers with the latest fashion from the design floor to the shop floor in a matter of weeks.”
“Our customers are now able to secure items by viewing them online, in addition to the option of selecting items that are available across our network of shops.”
 “Previously, we only focused on offering inventory and stock available from our website, whereas now we have opened it up to our entire inventory across our whole business - it’s a great benefit for both our customers and business as a whole.”

With 40% of online orders going via Click & Collect, the customer response has exceeded expectations.

“The increase in orders and uptake of Click & Collect by our customers, really speaks for itself,” 

“The response has been amazing!”

Introducing our new Account Director, Ilie Martin

I’m excited to take up the position of Account Director here at TQ.

I’ve spent the past nine and half years in merchandising at The Warehouse Group, dealing with replenishment, planning and buying. While the role of Account Director is a bit different, ultimately the goal is the same – to deliver a customer-centric product and service.

I’m now six weeks into the role, and learning all there is to know about our clients, building on established relationships and developing new ones.

I’m looking forward to bringing something a bit different to the TQ mix, adding to the knowledge base and delivering even more to our clients. I’m also going to showcase all the ‘cool’ stuff we are doing in with our omnichannel and POS solutions. I’ll also be contributing to our blog, detailing the retail landscape from my own perspective.

When I’m out of the office, you’ll find me either on the water surfing or paddle boarding, or back on land doing HIIT training or bouncing around at Uptown Bounce with the kids! I’m even looking at taking their skills class so I can show off to the kids – hopefully without breaking a leg!

Join me on this fantastic retail journey, and feel free to contact me here – it would be great to hear from you!

How do customers experience your brand?

When was the last time you spent a day in your customers’ shoes, looking at your brand through their eyes?

 

While ‘customer experience’ or CEx itself is not a new concept, there is an increasing push towards taking a more detailed and comprehensive look at how the interactions between a customer and a brand are shaping business.

 
 
 
Customers are shopping differently, with higher expectations from the brands they engage with, Robert Limb, managing director of TRACK says.

He refers to it as a ‘customer revolution’, where measuring customers’ changing behaviours and expectations can be a challenge, especially when those expectations are also influenced by all brands, not just those within a specific category.

The big names – Amazon, Uber, Google, and Netflix – are raising the bar for every brand, everywhere, concedes Robert.


To assist brands with this movement, The NZ Customer Experience Index 2017 was published by TRACK Customer Marketing and Camorra Research, with the goal of establishing a robust customer experience index to benchmark major industry sectors across New Zealand. Over 60 New Zealand service providers in financial services, telecommunications and electricity were examined to rate their performance in creating loyalty with their customer experience.

Customers rated their experience with their provider across three dimensions – efficacy, effort, and emotion. In addition, they rated their provider on the loyalty outcome indicators of likelihood to recommend and likelihood to churn.

The results confirmed a strong correlation between respondents’ experience rating, and their overall rating on loyalty outcomes. This in turn validates the use of customer experience improvement as a customer growth strategy. Overall financial services, including banking, cards, and insurance, performed well, with variable results across broadband, mobile and energy providers.

Across all industries, emotion was the dimension most highly correlated to the likelihood of recommending the service to others.


Recommendations from the Index

  • Measure customer experience directly, adding another dimension to customer research
  • Look outside your own category to benchmark against high-performing brands
  • Examine the relationship between customer experience and loyalty in your industry
  • Look at how emotional drivers impact customer experience, and use this information to improve your customer experience

Impress with efficiency

Businesses managing B2B or complex sales, such as telecommunications, agribusiness, building, plumbing supplies, fuel and furniture, can really enhance the customer experience by efficiently managing transactions.  

Consider these points where efficiency can really make an impact:

  • Ability to charge to account and handle cash payments in one transaction
  • Managing a ‘cash and carry’ purchase in the same transaction as a delivery
  • Being able to handle complex activity where components are brought together at the point of sale
  • Managing customer relationships with a high level of complexity due to different levels of authority
  • Multiple aspects of pricing across retail, contract, promotional, customer-specific and rules-based.
  • Ordering and quoting by channel

Interested in learning how Infinity can improve your customer experience? Ask us here


Visit here to download a copy of the NZ Customer Experience Index 2017.

 

 

We celebrate Masters success!

At Triquestra, excellence is one of our core values, so acknowledging success and accomplishments both in and out of the office is important to us.

Burty Molia, one of our Implementation Support Consultants, won two medals in recent Masters Games in Grade A badminton - a gold in the 40s team event, and a silver in the 35s mixed doubles event.

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Having the 2017 Masters Games right on his doorstep was an opportunity too good to miss says Burty, as was the chance to play against former world champions.

He admits he was a bit of late starter to the sport of badminton, first picking up a racquet towards the end of his secondary schooling in Fiji. From there he joined the Fiji National Squad, and coached and played for the Fiji Islands in national and international events, including the South Pacific Games, Oceania Games, and the Commonwealth Games.

Moving to New Zealand 10 years ago, Burty continued playing and now captains the Auckland Masters Division 1 team.


He’s now aiming for the next Games in Japan, for another opportunity to win a recognised gold medal in a world event.


And Burty’s key takeaway from the Masters Games?

Age doesn’t matter! 

 

PWC Total Retail 2017

The retail world is changing – so where do you invest to secure a future?

Facing one of the most competitive environments in decades, retailers need to invest in their future to survive and thrive, says PWC in its most comprehensive research to date.


The PwC 2017 Total Retail report presents the findings of nearly 25,000 online shoppers across five continents and 29 territories.


The report presents ten key areas retailers need to focus on to prosper - mobile site, talent, big data integration, Amazon strategy, telling the brand story, secure platforms, loyal customers, showrooms, authenticity, and health and wellness.

We’ve selected five investment areas, together with some ideas on how Infinity helps you to prepare for the future.


Investing in your mobile website


The mobile phone continues its surge in popularity as a shopping device, with 11% of shoppers using their mobile phone weekly to make a purchase, compared with 16% for PC, and 9% for tablet. Shopping in-store remains the most popular channel with weekly and daily shoppers.

Usage by device 2017

“Consumers are in the power position, as 2017 is a golden age of choice, convenience and demand for value, powered by the mobile phone and the global bazaar just a click away.” John Maxwell, Global Retail and Consumer Leader, PwC.

Consumers are using their mobile phones for three key parts of the shopping journey: 37% use them for purchasing, 38% for comparing prices with competitors, and 44% for researching products. The mobile phone is a triple threat, as consumers utilise it as a research tool, and shopping device, and a payment method.

The report recommends retailers optimise their customer’s mobile experience by investing in mobile sites rather than mobile apps. Retail apps are decreasing in popularity as consumers tire of downloading multiple shopping apps they use only a few times.

 
The ‘small screen first’ design of an Infinity Webstore ensures a highly transactional platform. As a pre- and post-purchase information tool, the Webstore provides centralised and accurate data on stock location, pricing, and promotions and more, ensuring customers have the same information no matter how they shop.

Investing in your talent


Even with the advent of online shopping, bricks and mortar retail remains a popular activity. In fact, the report shows 41% of those surveyed shop in-store at least once weekly, an increase from 38, 36 and 40% in years 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively.

Shopping in store %

“Retailers need to strengthen the digital and operations talent in the retailer C-suite to manage shrinking store networks, more complicated supply chains, digital innovation, and launching new services to keep currently loyal customers.” Tom Johnson, principal, PwC

Furthermore, the global customers surveyed are looking for a quality in-store experience, with 78% seeking sales associates with a deep knowledge of the product range. The ability to check other store or online stock quickly was also an important factor in 68% of customers.

The report points out that executive skillsets are evolving, with a need to match the traditional expertise of managing physical stores and merchandising with digital, omnichannel, supply chain, and operations talent.

 
Infinity helps you to deliver a superior in-store experience. Sales associates have all the information they need at their fingertips, with Infinity’s powerful search tools giving instant access to stock location, whether it’s at the warehouse, on order or at another store. Infinity Order Management software makes the complex simple by giving you a single view of stock, customers and pricing across physical, online and mobile channels. Features such as the Order Orchestration Dashboard and Click and Collect Service ensure smooth and seamless purchasing and collection process for the customer, with data from the webstore providing Head Office with a bird’s eye view of operations.

Investing in your big data


Turning massive amounts of data into actionable insights is a huge challenge for 39% of global retailers, as reported in the PwC & SAP Retailer Survey, with a chasm existing between the data collected and the systems and processes which enable it to be translated into constructive insights.

Retailers are beginning to understand the importance of using data to gain a complete picture of a customer, with 79% of retailers working to ascertain a single view of consumers across all channels.

A gap analysis shows what is important to customers in-store does not relate positively to their satisfaction levels. Data is the missing link, with the optimal solution being one integrated platform which uses data to provide accurate and real-time information for retailers and consumers.

“The issue isn’t having enough data, especially given the vast amount of online data and offline behaviour increasingly tracked digitally. The challenge is to devise meaningful analyses that can benefit both customers and businesses… Analytical expertise is a key asset for today’s retailers, and the smart use of data can be a competitive advantage.” Denise Dahlhoff, research director of the Wharton School’s Baker Retailing Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

 
Infinity CPM combines sales, inventory and customer data from all your retail channels, providing everything you need to optimise inventory, price and promote effectively, and segment and engage customers. Pre-set standard retail KPIs are included so you can use your data for assessing important indicators of industry performance. The simplicity of the web-based dashboards and the complete flexibility of a customisable analytics program enable the smart use of your data to benefit your business and customers.

Investing in your Amazon strategy


Amazon is towering over the retail sector, with 56% of consumers shopping on its website. Its reach differs throughout the world, with Japan, Italy, UK, US and Germany having over 90% of the consumer share, with Brazil at 47% and Australia 37%. In China, 97% of the country’s consumers survey shopped at Tmall, their Amazon equivalent.

Amazon is changing the way people shop in two ways – the use of the website as a pre-purchase research tool and its ‘cannibalisation’ of other pureplay and traditional retailers. In the consumers surveyed, 28% said they shopped less often at retail stores due to Amazon, 18% shopped less often at other retailer websites, and 10% shopped only at Amazon.

To remain competitive, the Total Retail report suggests retailers leverage their assets and play to their strengths by:

  • Leveraging in-store staff by hiring the right talent, using customer data effectively, and offering unique in-store services.
  • Featuring unique, exclusive merchandise, and consider collaborations with other brands.
  • Rewarding loyalty with benefits which provide the opportunity to interact with customers.

Utilising the benefits of an offline presence by making store visits inviting and appealing, connecting offline store with the online website and hosting special events to connect with the brand’s community. Ensure the in-store payment platform is efficient, so checking out is as simple and seamless as Amazon’s one-click technology.

 
Super-intuitive and reliable Infinity Point of Sale is fast, flexible and easy to use, so your staff can focus on exceptional customer service rather than the mechanics of processing transactions – no matter how complex.

Investing in your loyal customers


This year’s report found that 61% of shoppers were brand loyal, purchasing products they knew and liked, with 39% of shoppers preferring to buy whatever was new and different.

Brand Loyalty

"Investing in an excellent website, optimized for any device, is critical.”

Retailers can further reinforce the loyalty of customers by investing in brand features such as customised offers and special deals. Private label brands – which account for almost one in five retail dollars globally – is another way to secure loyal customers.

The importance of a brand’s website was highlighted with most brand loyal shoppers saying they gain inspiration directly from a retailer through the retailer’s own website. They are less inclined to browse or purchase through multi-brand websites or social networks.

 
Know who your most loyal customers are with Infinity Loyalty, which provides a 360 degree view of your customers across all channels so you can consistently offer them exceptional service, relevant offers and personalised experiences. Infinity Loyalty supports points, rewards and recognition, price or currency-led programmes or more experience based ones.  It supports tiered programmes to target the highest value or potential value consumers, or offer additional benefits to those prepared to pay to join a membership scheme.

Learn what the PWC 2016 Total Retail Survey discovered about customer behaviour and how to leverage their changing needs here

 

Top Tips for Infinity Techs

Install, configure and support Infinity like the experts!

If you’re involved in technical aspects of Infinity, here are three tips to boost your knowledge base.


Licence Activation File

When you receive a licence activation file (an IRD file), paste it directly into the C:\InfinityPOS folder on your BOS or HOS. The next time Infinity is started, the new licence will be automatically be picked up.


Print Layouts

Did you know you can print a different set of information for each item on a receipt by editing the print layouts? I’ve shown this in the following example using ‘fuel’ and ‘lemonade’, where normal stock, fuel, produces one type of line on the receipt and lemonade produces a different line.


Network status

Press CTRL+A to find out the status of your network and whether your BOS or POS is linking.

For more information and control on linking and network status, the Branch Control Module offers a dashboard based control panel for the management of multistore networks.

I deliver training and certification courses to assist technical teams in making the most of Infinity, so if you have any further queries or questions, contact me here.

 

'Being' agile vs ‘doing' agile

I’ve been attending the AgileNZ conference since it was established in 2014, and the 2016 event got me thinking about this topic. The theme this year was ‘Delivering Digital’ in a world where every business is becoming a software business.

The AgileNZ conference gave me the opportunity to listen to leaders in the field and learn about how companies are using Agile to deliver value to their customers. I also talked to scrum masters, PMs, Agile coaches and discussed the benefits and issues of using one framework over another.

The conference is also a great place to let others know how Triquestra is rapidly moving towards an Agile environment.

Agile – adjective: able to move quickly and easily The Oxford Dictionary

Many software companies deliver projects using agile principles. Yet, as teams focus on agile rituals like sprint planning meetings, daily stand-ups and retrospectives, the true meaning of what ‘being agile’ really stands for has somewhat been lost.

The focus on having an agile mindset has taken a backseat, with the term ‘agile’ often used as a noun rather than the more active adjective.


What does it really mean to be involved in an agile project?

On one of the agile projects I was involved in there was an expectation from the developer and the tester that the BA would ‘interpret’ the discussions held during the sprint planning meeting.

However, the whole team attended the meeting, suggesting a more collaborative approach could have been taken. It was a classic example of following the agile rituals with a waterfall mindset.

As a result, the team had to be educated on being cross-functional and playing an active part in discussions with the product owners, both during the planning meeting and for the remainder of the sprint.

The agile mindset consists of:

  • Respect
  • Collaboration
  • Continuous improvement
  • A willingness to fail

In the agile environment, the whole team participates in discussions and comes up with solutions. All members are required to help each other to understand stories, and do not depend on traditional roles.

In instances where the understanding is incorrect, the team learns to adapt to achieve goals set in the planning meeting. The team is also empowered to talk about its failures so others may learn from them.

The result is a team which flourish and succeeds, creating an environment of collaboration and success!

To view the inspiration for this post, check out Rachel Niven’s presentation at AgileNZ 2016 

The 2017 AgileNZ Conference is on Improving Digital Delivery, and you can find more about it here  

Case Study: Infinity simplifies POS for complex agribusiness

Landmark is an agribusiness leader in Australia, operating a large retail presence, multiple agency business streams, and a live export operation.


It is part of the Agrium Group, a Canadian publicly listed company with interest in fertilizer, technology, and rural retail. Agrium is the largest rural retailer in the world with over 1000 sites, predominantly in North America.

The retail component of the business is where Infinity provides a POS solution. The company’s extensive network of over 200 retail branches spans the length and breadth of the Australian continent, and employs over 1000 people. Merchandise includes crop protection, seed, animal health and management, fencing and other general farming products, with most stores having one or two Infinity POS terminals, and several having as many as ten.


A simple POS solution for a complex business


The retail side of Landmark’s business works alongside the agency business streams covering real estate, livestock sales, wool sales, financial services and insurance.

Yet while the business explores many complex paths, there is some relief in the simplicity of the retail stream.

Infinity POS was implemented in 2010 to capture the sale of fertiliser and merchandise products across the branch locations. Infinity supports unique aspects of the business, such as remote authorisation for authority overrides, dangerous good compliance, rules based pricing, and local and agency exclusions.

Infinity POS is intuitive, useable, highly stable, and requires little training. Generally, users within Landmark can effectively support and troubleshoot any issues without the need for escalation, although technical support is responsive and to a high standard when it is required.

“Infinity POS is our quietest system,” says Richard Dias, Landmark’s Service Delivery Manager for SAP and POS. “It does what we need it to do, and it’s an integral part of how we manage our retail business.”

Infinity POS brings locations together


Due to the very nature of the Landmark business, many of its retail branches are in remote rural areas, where the vast terrain brings its own challenges.

A key factor in the popularity of Infinity POS across its 1200 users is its ease of use.

“New employees are able to quickly learn how to use Infinity without requiring significant training,” says Richard. “This is important as many of our locations operate with only a couple of staff, and are quite isolated from other branch locations.”

Another key to the success of Infinity POS in the rural sector is its ability to function offline.

“The end to end POS solution interfaces with SAP,” explains Richard. “However, in the event of a network outage between the branch and head office, the branch POS still operates. This means branches can continue to process sales in an ‘offline’ capacity until external network services are restored. This is an important and essential feature for remote locations, where it can take some days for technicians to become available.”

Working with a legacy


Throughout its time at Landmark, Infinity POS has remained a steadfast solution in a dynamic technology scene. No matter what is going on, with Infinity POS it’s very much a case of ‘business as usual’.

“One of the advantages of Infinity POS is its ability to consistently deliver while changes have gone on around it,” says Richard.

When Landmark was acquired by Agrium, a project was undertaken to migrate the Australian POS and SAP systems to the same technology used in North America. During this time there were no further updates to the systems, so when the project was ultimately cancelled, Landmark had a POS and SAP environment which required some attention.

“What is interesting is that the Infinity POS application itself continued to do exactly what we needed it to do throughout that period, despite not having any major upgrades,” says Richard.

A sustainable future


As the biggest organisation of its type in Australia, Landmark continues to seek new ways to grow its business.

“When you get to the end of the line in terms of growth by expanding your footprint, expansion needs to come in different ways,” says Richard.

Due to the effective working relationship with Triquestra, Richard says Landmark are interested in exploring the capabilities Infinity has to further develop solutions for the company.

Working with Triquestra over the past couple of years to re-baseline the Infinity POS application and its environment, Richard says the relationship has strengthened.

“We’ve always trusted Triquestra as an organisation, and working with them throughout this time has proved to be very beneficial. They continue to assist us with our work, listen to our needs, and offer suggestions along the way about how we can work smarter. Triquestra understand our situation really well, and demonstrate they are a good partner for us.”
“Infinity POS is a very reliable and easy to use POS application for what our business needs. It is an integral part of how we do business.”

 

Exploring Omnichannel

The quest for a seamless experience

The act of shopping is no longer a simple, walk-in walk-out operation.


Where once the task of purchasing an item involved bricks and mortar stores only, payment with cash or cheque at the point of sale (POS), followed by leaving the store with the purchase, we now live in a world where the task is a little more, well, omnichannel.

When customers shop they are looking for solutions. They research products, select an item for purchase, and receive it – passing through a myriad of options and channels tailored to their specific needs and wants.

Navigating the purchasing journey needs to satisfy the customer’s wishes. Want to put something in your online cart, change your mind and then check if it’s available at the local store to pick up – no problem! Want to order an out-of-stock item and have it delivered to your home address – certainly! Just window shopping online until payday – you can do that too!

In this multi-faceted environment, we entertain different ideas of what optimal retail systems and processes look like – and so do our customers.

Which is why we’ve arrived at the omnichannel solution.


The Oxford Dictionary defines omnichannel as ‘denoting or relating to a type of retail which integrates the different methods of shopping available to consumers (e.g. online, in a physical shop, or by phone)’.

Which is a pretty good start. Yet while omnichannel refers to the many channels of retail, it doesn’t mean you need to be doing them all at once.

Remember too, the term ‘omnichannel’ is a bit of a buzz word – your customers probably don’t mind too much if you ‘do’ omnichannel, they just want a really satisfying shopping experience.

From the customer’s point of view, the landscape from point A to point B looks rather smooth – or at least, that’s what they expect. Rather than shopping in a linear fashion, the pattern is more of a zig-zag, as they move from one channel to another with the expectation each one will provide a very similar experience.

Research

Starting out on the shopping journey, your customer will be use different avenues available to find out more about their potential purchase. For this reason, all your channels need to be aligned and working together with consistent and reliable pricing, promotions and stock information across online and physical stores.

Purchase

Whether your customer is using POS in-store or ecommerce, the process must provide the same result – and a happy customer. Every purchase permutation needs to be taken care of and considered – like the customer who wants to combine their loyalty points with cash, or the one who wants to pick up one item and order another in a different size to be delivered.

Collect

A customer may insist on receiving their purchase immediately or be willing to wait, and with omnichannel nothing should be too much bother. Fulfilment needs to be straightforward, with a powerful ecommerce and order management system offering delivery, click and collect, ship to another address and any of the other multitude of options.

Feedback

On the occasion customers need to return or exchange an item, they’ll want it to be quick and easy. The return payment and customer record updating, together with the price validation and inventory re-allocation solution gives an opportunity to impress if handled efficiency. The result is a  customer who walks away, satisfied with the resolution, and more likely to return.

As a retailer, it’s in your best business interests to provide your customers with the optimal shopping experience to match their shopping preferences – and this means going omnichannel.

It’s important not to support a pseudo omnichannel existence, where things are not quite as they are purported to be. If your webstore states an item is instore at a specific location, it really needs to be there when the customer drops in to purchase it. In a similar fashion, if a customer has loyalty points at the in-store POS, then these points need to be available in the online store as well.

It’s about aligning the online and real world to work as one supersized retail brand.

This is where a robust retail management system is worth its weight in gold – or to be more precise, sales. It is essential to have a unified retail suite across physical and online channels which offers simplified management for you and a superior shopping experience for your customers.

Point of sale

The POS brings sales people right to your customer, regardless of which channel they use to shop.

The epitome of omnichannel for the customer is click and collect. This merging of online purchase and in-store pick-up offers a retailer the opportunity to really showcase its omnichannel capabilities, by offering the ability to return online purchases in-store, and by recognising customers at the POS in the same way whether they are at home online, moving around on mobile, or face-to-face in-store. Having a customer physically in your store also brings bonus touchpoint – so put it to good use and ensure your collection point is functional and enticing.

Ecommerce

A significant element of the omnichannel solution is ecommerce, so it is essential there is harmony between the physical and mobile stores.

Ensuring they are working together means the same product, pricing, and customer data is present in both systems.

There is also the option to literally combine your physical and online stores by placing kiosks within your store, enabling customers to make a purchase in the comfort of the retail environment and with support staff nearby.

Order management

Optimal order management across physical, online, and mobile channels requires the consolidation of sales and inventory from all locations, together with a range of fulfilment options.

Customers are looking for a consistent experience no matter where they shop, and this is achieved through a single view of inventory and the ability to fulfil orders from anywhere in your business.

Inventory management

Tighter control of inventory operations and levels across all locations and customer touchpoints means your biggest cost – inventory – is management effectively.

The seamless experience is not limited to customers – it’s also important for you and your staff. Circulating stock around your business maximises sales opportunities, and together with real-time visibility, means inventory is available to be sold anywhere and at anytime.

Customer management

Taking care of your customers should never take second place to looking after your inventory – and your business needs both to survive!

Customer management is all about offering your customers a relevant and rewarding shopping experience. In the omnichannel environment it’s necessary to capture your customer’s details where they shop and compile it into a single database. This ensures the customer is instantly recognised by your business whichever channel they choose, and their loyalty rewards also accompany them to their shopping destination, whether it’s online or in-store.

Analytics

As the saying goes, ‘the devil is in the detail’, and the same can be said for data. A sophisticated corporate performance management system morphs large amounts of data – sales, inventory and customer - from all your retail channels and uses it to assess indicators of industry performance via key performance indicators.

Using this knowledge, you can optimise inventory, price and promote effectively, and segment and engage customers.


Am i ready for omnichannel?

Most likely you are ready for omnichannel – and so are your customers. It can be a 360-degree type scenario – your customers are looking at you to meet their shopping experience expectations and provide them with an awesome shopping experience, while you are looking at your customers waiting for them to show how they want to shop.

To avoid going around in circles, pick a starting point to begin the process of preparing for omnichannel. This includes:

  • ensuring you have integrity in your data - your inventory management system and business processes must accurately reflect what is happening in the real world.
  • assessing how your customers shop – are they a mostly mobile population who like to collect in-store, or are they more likely to visit their local store to browse and go home to order online for delivery?

Where to from here?

If you’re heading off on your own omnichannel quest, contact us to find out how to make the journey a little smoother. We’ll also offer you some great views of your business along the way.