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Webinar: Tips for Surviving the Changing Digital Landscape

June 11th, 2014 Brianne Schaer No comments

As digital technologies continue to transform the way consumers shop, businesses in the retail and consumer packaged goods industries must be able to keep up in order to remain competitive. Enterprise resource planning software is becoming more common to perform operations and manage inventory. Regardless of the tools available, there is a shift among the businesses that acknowledge digital disruption and those with a solid, attainable digital strategy.

A recent Forrester Research report titled “The State of Digital Business in 2014” found that while 74 percent of today’s business executives say their company has a digital strategy, only 15 percent believe that their company has the skills and capabilities to execute that strategy. The report reveals the reality of digital business in 2014 by examining digital business strategy, responsibilities, and organization structures.

Ignify’s new webinar titled “Digital Disruption: Threats and Opportunities for Retail and CPG Leaders” provides cutting-edge advice and tactics to build a successful technology strategy. Guest presenter George Lawrie of Forrester Research discusses new industry trends, how those trends are impacting the way retailers and consumer packaged goods companies do business, and how business applications allow companies to meet both threats and opportunities head-on.

Digital technology

Source: newretailblog.com

Consumers expect to find an in-store item on their smart phone at the tap of the screen. View our webinar to learn more about how digital technology has changed the way retailers do business.

The webinar features three main sections aimed at making leaders successful in the changing digital landscape. It culminates with a conclusion highlighting what these major points mean for a business developing a digital strategy as well as potential next steps.

Changing Consumer Behavior

Lawrie discusses how digital disruption can generate better ideas faster, as there is more competition between retailers online as opposed to just brick and mortar stores. Additionally, buyers are completing much more research before purchasing an item, and expect the retailer to provide a seamless experience across channels. With the Internet, consumers expect retailers to provide facts, data, and comparisons to paint accurate portrayals of their products.

Supply Chain Proliferation

Digital disruption has ushered in an increase of value-added services and precise tracking of items. Merchandise must be personalized to varying audiences; businesses must be able to supply goods for different demographics with varying demands.

Application Strategy for the Age of the Customers

In order to remain competitive in the digital age, businesses must provide useful, usable, and enjoyable experiences. These experiences will have to be transmitted across all channels, as more consumers will be turning to computing trends, such as mobile devices and wearables, to research their purchases. Lawrie discusses fascinating new data regarding this “mobile mind shift” during the webinar.

The full webinar is available here and may be viewed after completing a short registration form. For more information regarding Ignify’s ERP solutions, please email dynamics@ignify.com.

Crucial Webinar Insights:

  • New Forrester data on customers' and employees' changing expectations.
  • How changing expectations impact retailers' and CPG manufacturers' enterprise applications, such as supply chain.
  • How applications enable companies to evolve with these shifts and provide customers the service they demand.

Brianne Schaer is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, eCommerce, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify is winner/finalist of the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Faster Checkouts, Faster Revenues: 5 Ways Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS Improves Checkout Speed

June 2nd, 2014 Brianne Schaer No comments

In-store sales representatives are the first, and often only, point of contact between your business and your highly-valued shoppers. They must be well-trained and dedicated to your brand, but also require the most up-to-date technology to ensure an efficient buying process.

The last thing we want to do as shoppers is spend time waiting in a long line because the cashier is struggling with a faulty or outdated system.

We’ve all been there: the customer at the front of the line has a shopping cart full of items, tries to claim each one has a discounted price, and then stacks several coupons toward the order. Additionally, the customer in front of you has a baby that won’t stop crying and the one to the rear keeps nudging you with a shopping cart.

Just as you’re about to abandon your items and leave, the register next door opens. You breathe a sigh of relief and rush over to pay for your items and leave.

Powerful, scalable POS systems, like Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail, can help combat long lines at checkout

Powerful, scalable POS systems, like Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail, can help combat long lines at checkout. 

Experiences like this are far too common in today’s retail stores. Your customers deserve more than this; they are spending their hard-earned cash at your business. Keep them coming to you instead of your competitors with a reliable, efficient Point of Sale system.

Why Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS

From clocking in to completing a variety of customer transactions, the Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS system is simple enough for each employee to quickly respond to customer needs and powerful enough to connect to headquarters processes alongside enterprise resource planning and financials.

Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS makes each step of the day easy for customer service representatives, in-store management, and corporate-level employees. The single, end-to-end solution can accelerate business success and empower employees to improve customer satisfaction. Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail is equipped to handle a variety of transactions, from the most basic sale to mix and match deals.

Please see the five ways below that Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS allows salespeople to move the checkout lines quickly and efficiently – and keep the cash flowing in. 

  1. Apply Discounts with Ease

    With this system, sales reps can easily apply discounts to orders without having to fumble for codes or overrides. For example, the system can be configured to recognize sales of different types, like bundled discounts.

    If the system is set to discount items after the customer purchases three or more of the same item, the system will automatically deduct the savings without any additional keystrokes from the sales associate. Please see the screenshots below for an example of how this particular discount would look on the POS. 

    Apply Discounts with Ease

    When a customer purchases two of the same T-shirts, the POS system charges each at the full retail price of $5.99.

    Apply Discounts with Ease

    As soon as the third shirt is scanned, the cost of each shirt is lowered to $4.79, showing that a 20 percent discount has been applied.

    Alternatively, the system can also be configured to give mix and match discounts, like buy two pairs of jeans and get a T-shirt for free.

  2. Prevent Checkout Line Hold-ups by Suspending and Recalling Transactions

    In the case that a customer wants to purchase additional items, or mistakenly grabbed the wrong size, there is no need to hold up the line while the issue is being resolved. The POS system can easily suspend and recall transactions as needed to keep the line moving steadily.

    Prevent Checkout Line Hold-ups by Suspending and Recalling Transactions

    This recall transaction screen shows the cashier which transactions are on hold. A description of the items in each transaction appears in the box to the right when the cashier clicks on each check on hold.

  3. Find Items/Customers Instantly with Inventory Lookups

    Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS provides additional advanced sales capabilities to ensure each cashier has a wealth of information at their fingertips.

    Cashiers can look up inventory in real time throughout the chain, add new customers to the customer database, and create customer orders with a few clicks on the screen.

    With the ability to look up inventory and customer information quickly and in different ways, cashiers are able to find answers in minimal time.  

    Find Items/Customers Instantly with Inventory Lookups

    Items can be looked up by simply typing in a keyword, like “jean.”

    Find Items/Customers Instantly with Inventory Lookups

    Once an item is selected, the system will show which stores in the area carry the product and how much is currently in stock.

    Cashiers also have the ability to look up a customer by a number of criteria such as name, email address, or phone number. This is helpful in processing returns without a receipt or to verify important loyalty information per individual customers.

    Find Items/Customers Instantly with Inventory Lookups

    This search screen narrowed down store information to show customers who have the numbers “1234” in their listed phone number.

  4. Provide Customers Convenience with Different Item Pickup Options

    The fact that an item isn’t available in-store doesn’t mean a transaction can’t still take place – cashiers are able to create custom orders in the case that an item is not available in store. Options such as in-store pickup, pick up at another location, shipping directly to the customer, or shipping to another residence can all be easily configured within the system.

    You can also configure the POS system to apply fees to specific custom orders. For example, if a customer wants an item that is available at a different store, a 10 percent payment fee (or whichever fee amount you wish) can be applied.

    Provide Customers Convenience with Different Item Pickup Options

    The POS system can be configured to charge a 10 percent fee toward the price of the item for customers who wish to order an item that is not available in store.

  5. Customizable Point of Sale Interface – Helping Cashiers Help Themselves Be Most Efficient

    The POS system is highly configurable and can be designed to have as many or few buttons on the home screen as desired for specific functionality. Retail stores can allow sales representatives to configure their own point of sale interfaces according to their preferences. For example, if an associate has certain high-use buttons, those can be preset on the screen. Additionally, the screen can be configured for left or right hand use.

    Customizable Point of Sale Interface

    This screen has key buttons on the left and a number pad on the right for item search or quantity input. There are also quick-access buttons on the bottom for dealing with different types of tender or gift cards.

    Customizable Point of Sale Interface

    This screen features less buttons, and also has an interface more intuitive to left-handed users, since the key pad and quick-access buttons are located on the left of the screen.

The examples listed above provide a snapshot into the daily functions a cashier would use in a POS system. For more information, please email dynamics@ignify.com.

Stay tuned to the Retail Blog for more articles about store manager functionality, retail headquarters functionality, and loyalty management in Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail.

Brianne Schaer is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce, ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.