New benchmarking tool analyzes shrink strategies
Thorofare, N.J. — The ECR Shrinkage Group, an expert group focused on shrink, with the support of merchandise availability solutions supplier for the retail industry Checkpoint Systems, is launching an online benchmarking tool, which enables retailers to understand how well they are managing shrink compared to others and the relative strengths and opportunities of their loss-prevention program. The tool provides global benchmarks on the strategic, organizational and operational standards that underpin an effective shrink management strategy.
To access the benchmarking tool, retailers complete an online questionnaire. Once the responses have been entered, the tool generates a color-coded model, which highlights the areas of the shrinkage framework where they have strengths and then in turn, the areas that need to be prioritized.
The framework, shaped as a pyramid, focuses on ensuring that organizational commitment, starting with senior management, is embedded within a business’ practices, policies, procedures and strategic thinking. The objective is to provide a framework that ensures the creation of high-quality data and data management systems, prioritizing operational excellence, internal collaboration and innovation, as well as keeping shrink on the agenda throughout the company. Finally, the pyramid highlights the importance of empowering store staff to take responsibility for dealing with shrink and recognizing how operational failures are the root causes of many forms of retail loss.
Shopatron extends omni-channel past the point of purchase
San Luis Obispo, Calif. – Shopatron is unveiling its Shopatron Customer Care Suite, which includes a new set of APIs available within the Shopatron Developer applications, and a new customer care interface. Shopatron launched the two platforms to complement its order management technology, allowing retailers to intelligently manage the customer experience anytime, anywhere, and by any authorized user.
The Shopatron Customer Care Suite lets retailers intercept customers at any channel and gives associate with layers of order information to influence customer interactions. The advanced solutions support unfragmented information sharing to create meaningful connections with customers, improving loyalty to increase sales and improving operational efficiencies to reduce costs.
The Shopatron Customer Care API, an API-based customer care platform backed by enterprise-level order management, lets developers plug Shopatron’s comprehensive back-end capabilities into a retailer’s customer care system of choice, giving users visibility and management of detailed customer and order information.
“Today’s shoppers crave seamless, cross-channel customer service experiences as much as they crave a seamless, cross-channel shopping experience.” said Shopatron founder & CEO Ed Stevens. “Shopatron’s Customer Care Suite can instantly transform a retailer’s customer support center from a siloed operation with limited functionality into an extension of its physical and online stores. The new tools prime every customer-facing representative with resources essential to turning support channels into sales channels.”
NRF urges online sales tax
Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation (NRF) is urging Congress to pass legislation that would require online and remote sellers to collect state and local sales taxes, telling a House committee that lawmakers should level the playing field between local retailers and out-of-state competitors. David French, senior VP of the NRF, told the House Judiciary Committee in a letter that legislation is needed to end the sales tax disparity.
While brick-and-mortar merchants are required to collect state and local sales taxes on most items, many out-of-state sellers are not required to do so, giving them what the NRF says is an unfair price and market advantage of as much as 10%. The committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the issue Wednesday, March 12.
NRF urged the committee to consider online sales tax legislation, based on principles outlined last fall by Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., that recognizes compliance costs, eliminates the current patchwork of state laws and court decisions, and simplifies the collection process. Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1992 Quill ruling, online retailers are required to collect sales tax only in states where they have a physical presence such as a headquarters, store, office or warehouse. Federal legislation passed in the Senate last year would provide states the ability to require sales tax collection.
“Members of the National Retail Federation believe that Congress must resolve the constitutional questions posed by the Quill decision in a fashion which promotes a level playing field between retail competitors,” French said. “As retailing evolves and Internet sales become a more prominent portion of total retail sales, it is critical that Congress address the sales tax collection discrimination that exists between brick-and-mortar and remote retailers.”