The Retail sector has been altered by the recent social and economic events. Some organisations are failing, while others reshaping their customer proposition, but all are feeling the cost pressures from inflation, increasing labour costs and the impact of supply constraints.
Customers are feeling the economic impact but are driving retailers to provide a balance of value, ethical trading and sustainability in their product offerings.
Online channels and the physical store continue to converge with customer expectations of seamless transitions, requiring integration and change of processes and systems. Retailers are experiencing increases in operational costs, exacerbated by inflation, particularly in physical stores where the increase in product costs are combined with the costs for utility services and staff. The acquisition and retention of staff remains a challenge for retailers, requiring them to review the tools available to provide an attractive work environment.
Retailers are also looking to improve efficiency and process automation to manage operational cost but must combine this with customer demand for relevant product information and additional services, such as full disclosure on product sourcing and sustainability. At Retail Reply, we have the experience to address these issues and provide our expertise to achieve ensure efficiency throughout online channels and physical stores.
Retail Reply supports clients with their Electronic Point of Sale solutions to maximise the value they deliver and manage transitions, such as product enhancement, upgrade, and replacement.
We use our extensive experience to help retail organisations to define their EPOS strategy, supporting the gathering of global requirements, to help clients to identify suitable products and vendors, and define an implementation approach.
EPOS systems often have extended operational life due to the high cost and levels of disruption associated with replacement which increases the importance of operational and end of life management. Retail Reply supports retail organisations to adopt product-based methods to capture, develop and deliver business capabilities into the EPOS solution, including those close to the end-of-life point.
The physical store checkout journey continues to evolve; driven by customer demands for faster transactions and demands from retailers to improve efficiency we see the increasing adoption of Self-service solutions.
Retail Reply has wide experience with Self-service solutions, including Self-checkout tills and Self-service on provided and customer devices. We can plan, design and pilot test Self-checkout solutions, including hardware selection, cabinet design and process definitions on behalf of our clients.
The increasing adoption of Self-service checkout solutions has raised the risk of product shrinkage, both accidentally and deliberate, leading to increased demand for supporting technologies. The use of near real-time video and analytics integrated into the checkout journey, has the aim to nudge customers away from errant behaviour or introduce the colleague interventions, to reduce shrinkage. Other more visible technologies such as security tags and integrated exit gates also deliver shrinkage benefits. Retail Reply has experience of these technologies and integration with Self-service solutions.
Retail Reply supports clients with the selection and deployment of technologies to enhance colleague efficiency and safety, helping select handheld colleague devices to improve efficiency of store operations and body-worn cameras to enhance colleague safety.
The digital footprint in store is increasing to support enhanced customer engagement and enhanced operational efficiencies, combined with Edge or Cloud based services to provide AI or Machine Learning capabilities. Retail Reply can leverage established relationships with Cloud Service providers and hardware vendors to support clients in their selection processes.
Retailers are using the enhanced performance available for data analysis to improve the personalisation and relevance of loyalty schemes driving improved customer engagement and gain new insight into purchasing behaviours. The loyalty schemes are being used as the launch bed for new services, where Retail Reply has experience supporting clients with the design and pilot testing of such enhanced loyalty schemes.
Since 2017, Retail Reply supported Primark by capturing global requirements to roll out a point-of-sale solution that will transform the entire store estate.
Retail Reply addressed immediate concerns and completed initiatives following Sainsbury’s-Argos restructuration of their Digital divisions to offer a more integrated cross-group proposition.
Retail Reply supported the Sainsbury’s Senior Product owner to transition Checkouts by embedding new knowledge and capability within the team, to create an effective setting for future success, with a focus on re-engineering and configuration.