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Survey: POS mobile technologies emerging trend

BY CSA STAFF

Boston — Retailers identified mobile POS technologies as a quickly emerging trend, with more than half planning to launch mobile solutions within the next two years, according to Boston Retail Partner’s 12th Annual POS Survey.

Retailers are also looking to the future as they consider options to replace their current generation of POS equipment. More than three-quarters of the retailers in the survey indicated plans to replace POS terminals within the next four years. Also, 16% are currently running "thin client" solutions, which rely on dedicated Internet based connections rather than information stored on a local computer. With networks becoming faster, less expensive, and more reliable, the ability to use simpler (and less expensive) POS equipment at the store has been recognized.

"We are at a strategic inflection point where the network is taking center stage," said Ken Morris, principal of Boston Retail Partners. "This enables a mobile world where consumers drive self checkout through smart phones, interact with friends in real-time on purchasing decisions, and receive personalized pricing and discounts as they are shopping. This creates a win for the consumer, and also for the retailer who may use less POS equipment avoiding additional costs."

Boston Retail Partners released the survey of at the NRF Annual Convention & Expo in New York City.

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CSN enhances shopping experience with IBM data warehouse tool

BY CSA STAFF

Armonk, N.Y. — CSN Stores, the third largest online retailer of home goods in the United States, has selected IBM’s Netezza TwinFin appliance to quickly mine and analyze terabytes of business data flowing through the company every day.

The new tool will power CSN’s business analytics platform to monitor trends related to profitability, customer satisfaction, customer retention, order fulfillment and supply chain. The company will use the data to drive organic growth initiatives and discover new ways to better serve their customers.

Because CSN Stores is on an aggressive growth plan, the company required a solution that provides scalability well into the future. With the IBM Netezza appliance, CSN is able to go beyond the capabilities of its legacy data warehouse and answer questions in seconds or minutes that previously took hours or days.

"We evaluated a variety of vendors, but the IBM Netezza team exceeded our expectations during the evaluation process," said Steven Conine, chairman and co-founder, CSN Stores, Boston. "They demonstrated the best price/performance, simplicity and formula for success making them the obvious choice."

In keeping with CSN’s tradition of naming every computer in its network after an animal, the e-retailer named the TwinFin appliance, "Swift," after the fastest bird in the world.

"The name is very symbolic for us," said Ed Macri, VP advertising and business intelligence at CSN Stores. "We are a very data-driven company and need to make information available to the business faster to drive decision-making. We were experiencing performance issues with our legacy BI platform and were looking to speed up our ability to crunch through and analyze the vast amounts of new data we generate daily."

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IBM, Zave Networks join forces on digital-incentive solution

BY CSA STAFF

Kansas City, Kan. — Zave Networks announced Wednesday an agreement with IBM to collaborate on a digital-incentive solution designed to provide coupon shoppers with an easier way to cash in on savings at the supermarket.

Under the agreement, Zave Networks’ Zavers digital incentive and information management platform will be deployed with IBM’s SurePOS ACE retail application, significantly reducing the time, complexity, and retailer IT resource requirements for launching a digital coupon program.

This tightly integrated solution will help retailers offer digital coupons as part of their existing loyalty programs, enable them to quickly transact discounts and offers at the register, and settle offers with originating consumer goods manufacturers and distributors. Retailers can also use the platform to promote their own private-label products.

This marks the first time a third-party application will be deployed with IBM’s ACE point-of-sale platform. The solution uses retailers’ existing processes and equipment, allowing them to protect current technology investments.

"We are pleased to be working with a leading solutions provider like Zave Networks to deliver a solution to help retailers build loyalty and advocacy for their brands by providing consumers an enhanced shopping experience," said John Gaydac, VP & business line executive, IBM Retail Store Solutions.

The solution was demonstrated by IBM as part of its Smarter Store Checkout exhibit at the National Retail Federation Annual Convention and EXPO on Jan. 10-11 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

The solution can be found at in-market programs with A&P, SuperFresh, Waldbaum’s, The Food Emporium, Pathmark and Harris Teeter supermarkets with additional retailers planned for early 2011. The paperless, end-to-end platform addresses the needs of consumers, retailers and manufacturers throughout the life-cycle of an incentive from creation, to distribution to redemption and settlement.

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