Agile Store Systems – The Business Case for Unified Commerce

With 20 years of experience, our mission is to help retailers effectively run their store operations. Over this time, we have seen a lot of evolving demand and change in customer service and engagement. Today the battleground in store is to improve the customer experience.

We understand retail. Your ability to operationalise new systems is a major challenge. However, protecting the status quo and older systems is a barrier to effectively engaging customers.

We have therefore developed the Surefire Transaction Platform. Our mission is to help retailers better service their customers:

  • Improve face-to-face customer engagement
  • Increase customer convenience
  • Boost labour productivity and motivation
  • Align service value to customer value
  • Better utilise floor space
  • Be able to sell products not in stock or on the floor
  • Help associates with product and service training

With a focus on quick learning and helping retailers boost associate capability – we focussed on bringing mobile solutions to market. Mobile is the most popular and widely used tool by both customers and also associates. It is the tool of choice.

We also addressed creating a complete POS solution with integrated payment. The goal was to offer retailers new ways to execute more personal service and get them started on the path to Unified Commerce.

And again learn, revise, improve and continually improve the process.

A recent study by RSR Research concluded that, “Retailers recognize that in-store employees need to do more to create customer engagement, but they also recognize that ‘more’ will happen best when both store associates and consumers are able to leverage mobile technology as part of that engagement.”

We also understood that system integration was a key requirement – customer loyalty, selling products not in stock, looking up product details plus ensuring financial reconciliation and integrity.

With 20 years of experience in retail systems – we know the importance of robust and reliable solutions that are also easy to use and easy to support.

At the same time, our customers told us store systems needed more flexibility and agility to be able to engage, service and delight customers.

So we developed a new approach using cloud retail services and software engineering resulting in the Surefire Transaction Platform.

Development Goals:

  • design a system that would run on the cloud for elasticity, cost savings, flexibility and scale;
  • create a software subscription model to allow retailers to OPEX innovation;
  • incorporate an ‘all-you-can-eat’ approach to software functionality, change management and continual process improvement
  • integrate new technologies – digital payment, digital signage, beacons and any other tool of choice to help retailers learn and improve their processes.

A major SHIFT in Retail ROI

  • Handle peak periods and high volume sales more efficiently for the ‘I want it now’ customer;
  • Increase employee capability through on the job training and access to product information;
  • Capture customer feedback and observations at the point of engagement;
  • Most productivity through continually improvement of operational processes;
  • Support store operations to re-design store layouts; re-use valuable space at the font of the store;
  • Support supplier collaboration through more effective execution of promotions;
  • Create pop-up sales capabilities for peaks, events and special periods ensuring integration of stock and pricing data plus taking payment on the spot.

Using the Surefire Transaction Platform, retailers can learn fast and determine how much innovation and back office analytics are useful to achieve sales without having to spend up big and hope for a return later.

This OPEX approach – pay as you go – will align to a retailers need to operationalise benefits and achieve quick wins.

Increasing customer engagement and satisfaction needs to be measured through bigger baskets, better margins and increased loyalty.

The true value of POS transformation comes from corresponding store process improvement and operational execution.

The implementation model: implement fast – test results – fine tune and go.

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