OPERATIONS

Lakeshore Learning not kidding about store experience

BY Dan Berthiaume

Lakeshore Learning Materials, a Carson, California-based specialty retailer of educational materials with about 60 stores nationwide, is taking a smart approach to customer service. The company has selected and implemented Aptos (formerly Epicor Retail) solutions to help streamline and mobilize store operations, and support cross-channel order management and customer engagement.

In addition to stores, Lakeshore Learning markets its products through its business-to-consumer and business-to-business websites, catalog, and an outside sales force catering to school districts nationwide.

To support its commitment to servicing customers, Lakeshore Learning was looking to replace its aging legacy systems, integrate its sales channels, and elevate its in-store customer experience. The company found the tools to do all that and more with the Aptos Store (for POS), Aptos Enterprise Selling, Aptos CRM, Aptos Loss Prevention, and Aptos Sales Audit.

Following Aptos deployment, Lakeshore Learning customers now have a more convenient checkout process, a centralized returns process, and an “endless aisle” where customers can buy in store and have those items shipped to their homes from Lakeshore Learning’s distribution center. In addition, transactions involving gift cards, loyalty programs and special pricing are more streamlined.

“Our investment in new store systems enables Lakeshore Learning associates to be more productive and more responsive in meeting the needs of our customers,” said Bo Kaplan, CEO of Lakeshore Learning. “As well, our customers now have a consistent shopping experience across channels. Using Aptos Store, our associates can now provide a more engaging and value added experience in the store, with the ability to access both Web and store inventory to find the exact products our customers want quickly and easily.”

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News

OnSite to go weekly

BY CSA STAFF

Beginning Oct. 7, OnSite will be distributed every week, on Wednesdays.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Starbucks mobilizes customers nationwide

BY Dan Berthiaume

Starbucks Coffee Co. customers across the country can now order and pay ahead.

More precisely, Starbucks is rolling out its mobile order and pay option on its mobile app to more than 7,400 corporate stores across the United States.

Customers can use the Starbucks mobile app to place and pay for their order in advance of their visit and pick it up at a participating Starbucks location. They choose a store from a map view, browse, select and customize beverage and food items, view the estimated timeframe the order will be ready, and pre-pay for the order.

“Bringing mobile order and pay to our customers is about meeting their needs of convenience and customization at any time of the day,” said Adam Brotman, Starbucks chief digital officer. “The fact that it also represents the fastest technology application rollout we have ever done is indicative of the strength of our digital ecosystem, how well it has been received by both our customers and store partners and the impact we think it can have on the future of retail.”

Menu options highlight products available in specific geographic regions and stores, and orders are freshly prepared and ready for pick-up in the bar area. The feature is fully integrated into Starbucks’ app and loyalty program, and purchases count toward “Stars” reward points.

Following the initial test of mobile order and pay in Portland, Oregon in December 2014 and subsequent launch across the Pacific Northwest in March 2015, Starbucks expanded the program to 3,400 additional stores across 17 states in the U.S. earlier this summer. Starbucks plans to introduce this feature in select company-owned stores in the U.K. and Canada in October.

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