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Survey: Three in four retailers plan to identify customers in-store

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston — Three in four (75%) retailers can or intend to identify customers when they walk in the store, including 3% who already do so and 72% who are planning to do so within five years. According to the new 2014 CRM/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey of top North American retailers from Boston Retail Partners, 95% of respondents indicated customer experience/ customer engagement is one of their top three current initiatives.

The survey found that with the importance of multiple key marketing initiatives to achieve a seamless shopping experience, retailers need to examine ways to improve the unification of marketing and IT to successfully implement these projects. Many larger retailers have developed a role in the organization that helps bridge this gap, a senior-level role responsible for working with IT to develop a marketing technology strategy and evaluate and implement the technology.
Other key results include:

  • 16% of retailers currently have real-time retail from POS (which offers the “Amazon” experience in the store) and another 63% plan to implement within five years.
  • 28% of retailers currently use mobile marketing and another 62% plan to implement this within five years (56% plan to implement mobile marketing within two years).
  • 81% of retailers have implemented some type of customer database, typically as part of a CRM or loyalty platform.
  • 22% of retailers have implemented real-time analytics and 61% plan to implement it within two years.

“To deliver the seamless experience, retailers need to gather, analyze and disseminate customer, product, pricing and inventory data in real-time,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “Leveraging technology, Unified Commerce provides the platform and real-time retail is key to delivering the experience. Retailers that successfully deliver Unified Commerce will understand and adopt a ‘unified’ approach for: strategic customer initiatives, technology, business processes and execution.”

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Study: Mobile POS grows rapidly in retail

BY Dan Berthiaume

Franklin, Tenn. — Overall, mobile technology has created a roughly $8 billion industry in retail/hospitality worldwide, with POS a major factor. According to a new study from IHL Research, “Mobile POS: Reaching Escape Velocity – All Systems Go,” tablet POS systems are growing at a more than 300% rate in specialty retailers compared to 2013 levels.

In addition, more than 50% of general merchandise retailers are either piloting or planning to roll out mobile POS during 2014. And 68% of survey respondents expect customer satisfaction levels to increase following a mobile POS rollout.

While most retailers still view mobile POS as an incremental customer touchpoint rather than as a wholesale replacement for fixed POS, retailers expect to purchase 20% fewer traditional POS terminals the next time they upgrade. This is true although IHL data shows that some retailers are reporting decreased customer and employee satisfaction levels once mobile POS is deployed.

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Mattress Firm names CFO

BY Staff Writer

Houston — Mattress Firm Holding Corp. announced the promotion of Alex Weiss to executive VP and CFO of the company, effective July 30, 2014, the beginning of the retailer’s third fiscal quarter. He succeeds Jim Black who transitions into the role of senior corporate advisor to Mattress Firm through the end of the current fiscal year.

“I am confident that Alex is well prepared to assume greater responsibility in leading our finance organization as we prepare for our next phase of growth,” said Steve Stagner, Mattress Firm’s president and CEO. “I would also like to thank Jim for his fourteen years of service as our chief financial officer. He has been an excellent partner for me over the years and has been instrumental in driving the growth of this company. We are pleased that he will continue with us through January 2015 to ensure a smooth transition of his duties to Alex.”

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