Having sense and respond capabilities in the store is one of the new business capability in the stores that adds true business value and revenue to your bottom line (Cuesol is one of the leaders in this space). The downside is that there are few application vendors who provide this functionality out of the box. Most of the time, it's custom built.
StorefrontBacktalk - Buy A Strawberry, See An Ad For Whipped CreamIt’s late on a Friday night and as Jane Smith walks into her local grocery frozen food aisle, she notices a neighbor walking away carrying a frozen pizza, right near a digital advertisement for 20 percent off of a Budweiser six-pack. Jane reaches into the freezer to grab her favorite Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream but notices that the digital ad instantly changes to hawk a 40 percent off fresh apple pie in the bakery section.
This concept is being trialed right now by Germany’s $81 billion Metro Group, in a project with Procter & Gamble.[Read More]
Pragmatic viewpoints of Open Computing
From archive: August 2008 X
I'll bite on this article. I do agree that some retail segments do spend more on IT than others but on the other hand (eg. specialty tend to spend more than big box as a percent), I think it's not fair to compare Kroger (~60 billion USD retailer) to Abercrombie (~4 billion USD retailer). Obviously 1% of Kroger is a lot more money than Abercrombie's 2%. I think it's more fair to compare similar companies or similar IT initiatives. With that said, there's a lot of merit to how the "needs" retailing category are taking larger portions of retail spending pie than the "wants" retailing category. In that sense, it's typical budgeting 101. Companies who grow tend to get more money next year to invest/spend. Companies who don't grow, they get less money to invest/spend unless the IT organization sells and gains approval on strategic IT project that offer better customer service, reduce costs (which I think is down to a point that you can cut much anymore) or offer a new business capability.
StorefrontBacktalk - The Gas Price Pipeline To Retail IT Spending It’s generally accepted that any key economic issue—whether it’s a housing slump, rising gas prices or tax refund checks—can have a sharp impact on business spending. But the IHL Group is floating an interesting theory that recent gas price hikes are going to have a very specific and direct impact on IT spending next year.
Here’s the IHL theory: Not all IT spending is created equal and some retail segments spend a heck of a lot more on IT than others.[Read More]
Would I agree? Having worked with the top 2 RFID vendors in this space and some of the Retail RFID projects that IBM is involved with (Vue Technologies and Oat Systems who are on IBM middleware), I'd say that there are some other "profitable" areas where RFID tags in Retail can be used in. Nevertheless, I do admit that there is a lot of interest in shelf level RFID.
StorefrontBacktalk - Shelf Stock Monitoring Dubbed RFID's First "Strong Business Case"After years of trials with only the rarest evidence of CFO-friendly RFID ROI, shelf stock monitoring is quickly emerging as "the first major application of RFID in retail with a strong business case," according to a new report from London-based RFID analyst firm IDTechEx.[Read More]
Something you should be aware of if you're using GPL software.
New guide from SLFC: Not violating the GPL for dummiesThe Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has published a guide that explains the obligations imposed by GNU's General Public License (GPL). The SFLC, which has recently conducted a string of GPL enforcement lawsuits, released the guide in order to educate companies and help them understand what they need to do in order to comply with the license and avoid legal risks.
The General Public License (GPL) broadly grants users the right to use, study, modify, and redistribute source code that is made available under its terms. The GPL is a reciprocal license and includes "copyleft" provisions crafted to guarantee that the freedoms it provides remain intact and are applied to derivatives. This is often a source of confusion for commercial adopters who don't understand the implications of integrating GPL-licensed software into their own products.
The vast majority of GPL violations are the result of ignorance rather than willful infringement. These cases are almost always settled quickly outside of court because vendors are typically responsive when they are approached by developers who have identified infringing behavior.[Read More]
You can do it, but there are some gotcha! Get ahead by securing your virtualization servers for PCI compliance.
StorefrontBacktalk - Why PCI 1.2 Ignoring Virtualization Won't MatterBased on the PCI Standards Committee's official "hint" about what will be in the 1.2 release, it appears that clarifying when and how virtualized servers can be PCI compliant didn't make the cut. But before the server and security geeks start lighting their torches and getting all "vigilante" on the card brands, let me tell you why I don't think this will matter.[Read More]
Want to voice your concerns about RFID data security? Here's your chance.
StorefrontBacktalk - FTC To Hold Sept. Hearing On RFID Data SecurityThese days, when U.S. government officials want to ask questions about privacy and data security, it’s never clear if they want to protect consumers’ privacy or learn the best way to violate it themselves. But retail execs who want hints can drop by a Sept. 22 hearing at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. Those who can’t personally attend can do so virtually.[Read More]
IBM started Virtual Worlds with Circuit City 2 years ago; Sears, Kohl’s, J.C. Penny Warm To Virtual Worlds
Virtual worlds is also another interesting topic within Retailing. Although it's still in early adoption, people are finding value in providing an experience that more closely reflects the physical store experience.
Good advice on preparing your eCommerce site for the Holiday Season; afterall, it's when you make most of your money.
Bottom-line eCommerce Advice for the Holiday Season | Shop.org BlogWhile consumers are currently focused on the back-to-school rush, as a retailer, you know that means it’s time to get ready for the next big season. That’s why you’re more likely to hear sleigh bells than school bells.
It is literally never too early to start preparing for the winter holiday season, synonymous with Christmas.
Not just because time flies, but because there is SO much to do to make sure your online store is ready for the holiday rush. And in a recession year, or as the optimists call it, a weakened economy, every sale counts more than ever.
So what’s a diligent online retailer to do?[Read More]
Here's a topic that close to the heart -- single view of customer. Far too often a customer is frustrated on why one channel may recognize them but another channel doesn't. After all, doesn't the Retailer know? The short answer is that Retailers often do have all that information... it's just that it's not integrated. To be honest, it's very difficult technically to "normalize" the data across multiple data stores and make it useful to the people who need the information. IBM does have enterprise information integration and portal technology that can help. Check out IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management for white papers and demos.
StorefrontBacktalk - For The First Time, J.C. Penney Launches CRM For All CustomersFor the first time in its more than 100-year history, J.C. Penney on Thursday (Aug. 14) launched a CRM program for all of its customers. Until Thursday, the only CRM program the chain ever had was limited to J.C. Penney credit card customers.[Read More]
Here's an interesting article that demonstrates how an emerging standard, Web Services for Point of Service (WS-POS) peripherals, allows interoperability between retail peripheral devices (printers, scanners) and point-of-service (POS) applications, irrespective of the platform (Java™ or Microsoft® .NET®) to which they are physically connected.
Web Services for Point of Service applications, Part 1: Retail store peripherals and Web services with POS open standardsWS-POS is a new standard in development at the Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS), which addresses the future requirement of sharing peripheral devices, such as printers and scanners, between multiple POS terminals in a retail store. Peripheral sharing makes new retail scenarios possible, which can transform the customer experience. This article briefly reviews the concepts underlying this forthcoming standard and the types of business processes it enables at the retail store.
In the world of retail IT, new and innovative solutions bring many devices and peripherals into the store. In the past, the in-store technology focus for retailers included the traditional front-end point of sale (that is, cash register), associated receipt printers, scanners, and displays. However, the current retail environment includes traditional technology and new POS devices, such as cart-mounted tablets, store associate PDAs, self checkout, and kiosks, to name a few. Outfitting every POS solution in store with a scanner, printer, display, magnetic stripe reader (MSR), and payment device would be too expensive. That's why peripheral sharing in the store is imperative—to provide these new employee and customer touch points and drive accessibility to peripherals regardless of the user's location or the device used in a store. WS-POS offers an open standards-based methodology for enabling these solutions.
AlbertTWong 120000HPW1 922 Views
Do you Yelp? I do! Although I think it's a great site and representing the best in Web 2.0 user generated content, the article goes to show you that you have to be mindful of what what people are saying about your business.
Yelp 'pay to play' pitch makes shops scream for help | The RegisterWhen it debuted in July of 2004, Yelp reinvented the notion of online city guides, giving "real people" the power to write "real reviews." For many, it represents the best of something called Web 2.0, a site built by you and me and everyone else. But in its struggle to turn clicks into cash, the San Francisco startup has been known to hedge this egalitarian ideal, playing games with the very concept that made it so popular.
At least some of Yelp's sales staff hope to make money by offering to hide what you and I have to say.
Over the last year, five San Francisco Bay Area businesses have told The Register that the company has offered to "push bad reviews to the bottom" of their Yelp pages if they paid to advertise on the site.[Read More]
I just read this quarters' report. Retail sales are up 5% over last year with gasoline stations leading the way (27.9%). Cars dealers and home furnishing were the big losers (12.9%, 11.8%). Overall, not unexpected. Often when the economy isn't great, the Retail industry (as a whole) does quite well due to basic needs spending.
If you don't subscribe to an industry marketing intelligence service, you might want to. For IBMers, we have a corporate subscription. Contact me if you'd like the URL.
Key Retail Indicators Selling National Accounts Q3 2008 • Content Index • MVI-Insights - Management Ventures, Inc.[Read More]
Yikes! The plot thickens. Apparently most Retailers didn't know there was a breach until Feds gave them a call. What is even more shocking is that only 1 retailer actually sensed and tried to stop the attack.
StorefrontBacktalk - The TJX 11's Retailers Oblivious To Repeated BreachesOne of those retailers—Barnes & Noble—issued a vague statement suggesting that the chain might not have been aware of the incident before the Secret Service team started making those 11:30 AM calls. Saying that "we just learned today" about the indictments and that the book chain was listed as a victim. "Although the indictment states that several retailers were targeted, it does not provide specifics about Barnes & Noble and does not list customer names. Barnes & Noble takes the privacy and security of the personal information of our customers very seriously and we are reviewing this matter carefully."
Some of the other retailers made their own statements, usually stressing that the breaches were several years old Boston Market and BJ's said 2004, DSW said 2005, when their security was presumably weaker.
What the statements didn't mention, though, is that none of the retailers mentioned in this case discovered the breaches themselves--neither during the incidents nor after. All learned in various ways, whether from the Secret Service or from a credit card company or a processing bank having detected that chain as a common point of purchase among several consumer victims.
Of all the retailers targeted, federal officials said, the security systems of only one detected and stopped the break-in attempts, and government officials decided to not reveal that retailer's identity.[Read More]
Just another post in my "Retail 101" series. Another similar but separate organization within Retail is the Marketing department. What do they do? I asked my friend Greg Heidrick, one of the Retail Business Development Executives within IBM and he gave me the following answer.
The marketing department publicizes a positive image of the retailer to its consumers, stakeholders and competition.
IBM assists this department by providing marketing strategies -- like customer loyalty programs -- and advertising assistance with the help of IBM business partners.
Responsibilities: - Building advertising and promotional activities. - Designing and producing advertising and circulars. - Developing the market plan and performing market research, such as focus groups. - Increasing market share through customer loyalty programs.[Read More]
One of the most confusing organizations within a Retail business is the Merchandising department. What do they do? I asked my friend Greg Heidrick, one of the Retail Business Development Executives within IBM and he gave me the following answer.
Merchandise Planning Department
The merchandise planning department establishes item-specific goals, such as sales and profitability. This activity precedes the buying department’s work.
IBM offers many system capabilities for merchandise planning to maximize its value to an organization. Two of these are inventory management and allocation and assortment planning.
Responsibilities: - Analyzing sales and inventory results on a weekly, monthly and seasonal basis. - Creating the visual merchandising environment. - Developing and maintaining a working relationship with buyers. - Developing seasonal merchandise plans. - Ensuring that promotional inventory requirements are forecasted and met. - Establishing corporate targets, like sales, gross, net and pretax profit. - Formulating allocation models. - Managing inventory levels for maximum productivity. - Managing the open-to-buy fund. - Reforecasting in-season. - Recommending and initiating markdowns