Revolutionary New Checkout Scanner a Great Shopping Experience

Within days of the 40th anniversary of the first bar code scan in a retail store, the newest Tesco Extra store in Lincoln is offering customers a revolutionary new checkout alternative that improves the customer checkout experience by reducing the time spent in checkout queues.

40 Years ago Datalogic, the global leader in the development of automatic data capture (ADC) solutions for the retail industry, installed the world’s first bar code scanner in a supermarket. Today, their newest technology, allows the shopper to place their items on a checkout belt, in any orientation, and have them automatically scanned by the Jade™ X7 Automated Scanner. Items are then automatically directed to a bagging area just like traditional checkout lanes. This frees up staff to spend more time engaging with shoppers and delivering great customer service at the checkout, driving up satisfaction and loyalty.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to support our colleagues to give great service and to improve the shopping experience for our customers,” said Nigel Fletcher, a Director at Tesco. “We’re looking forward to seeing what our customers in Lincoln think of the new checkouts over the coming weeks and months.”

As the shopper places items on the checkout conveyor they pass through scanning arches which automatically read bar codes and visually recognize items at a much higher speed than a traditional checkout configuration. The items are then directed to one of three bagging areas for bagging and payment and the next customer’s transaction can begin immediately.

Datalogic has invented the Jade X7 Automated Scanner using advanced high performance imaging and provides the technology as a key building block to key system integrators around the world who customize checkout installations to meet the specific needs of retailers and their customers. The new, high-speed retail checkout for Tesco was designed by NCR allowing up to three customers to pack and pay for their shopping simultaneously. The combined solution is capable of automatically scanning up to 60 items per minute.

“We are delighted that a world class retailer and innovator, such as Tesco, made the commitment to trial our Automated Scanning system,” states Mike Doyle, Datalogic U.K. Country Manager. “However, technology by itself is of little value if it doesn’t provide quantifiable benefits. That’s why Datalogic is fully committed to using our advances in technology as a tool to help retailers build a valuable and relevant shopping experience for their customers.”

Datalogic provides the building blocks for a completely re-invented checkout, enabling store associates to continue to deliver great customer service by reducing the time customers spend in the checkout lane. Datalogic continues their heritage of inventing, adapting, and applying technologies that aid retailers and system integrators in developing solutions that make the in-store shopping experience move valuable to customers.

About Datalogic

Datalogic Group is a global leader in Automatic Data Capture and Industrial Automation markets. As a world-class producer of bar code readers, mobile computers, sensors, vision systems and laser marking systems, Datalogic offers innovative solutions for a full range of applications in the retail, transportation & logistics, manufacturing and healthcare industries. With products used in over a third of world’s supermarkets and points of sale, airports, shipping and postal services, Datalogic is in a unique position to deliver solutions that can make life easier and more efficient for people. Datalogic S.p.A., listed on the STAR segment of the Italian Stock Exchange since 2001 as DAL.MI, is headquartered in Lippo di Calderara di Reno (Bologna). Datalogic Group as of today employs about 2,400 members of staff worldwide distributed in 30 countries. In 2013 Datalogic Group achieved revenues for 450,7 million Euro and invested over 35 million Euro in Research and Development with a portfolio of over 1,000 patents across the world.

An Instant Loyalty Program For Small Merchants

What if you’re a small merchant, maybe a single store operation or a small chain, and you want to offer a loyalty program because, well, loyalty programs really work.   However, the challenges of a loyalty program for smaller companies are well documented, numerous and not so easy to overcome.

To execute a loyalty program effectively, a business owner has to design one and stick with it.  It has to last for years, because it may take customers that long to earn a reward, and they will be angry and disappointed if you abandon the program before they’ve had a chance to get a reward.

Second, a business owner has to invest in cards or building an app (very costly and time consuming).   Also, customers are already loaded with apps, and key tags, and membership cards. The last thing they want is yet another card to remember.

A third problem is training employees on the program and even when you give out cards (like a frequent buyer card), the business has to take an extra step of asking for and then logging customer information.   It can cause employee frustration and management headaches.

Well, this is where AppCard comes in to make life simple.  AppCard is a program that any merchant can implement without tears.

I tried AppCard a few months ago.  I didn’t quite get it at first.  It took a while to get my arms around the idea, but once I read through their website, watched the video and played with the app, it totally clicked.

It boils down to this: AppCard is perfect for small chains and solo merchants who want the power of a real loyalty program without all the hassle.

Once a merchant signs up with AppCard, his customers can join by downloading the app, which works on Apple, Android and the web.   By using AppCard, the merchant avoids the pain of hiring  programming to build his own app and maintain it or support it.

A merchant doesn’t have to spend thousands of dollars to print up and give away key tags or membership cards – which many of us take home and quickly forget about.    No, it is very simple.  Once customers put the app on their phone, they can use their phone number to check in at the store.

AppCard can work in conjunction with Epson’s OmniLink printer and automatically capture points earned/dollars spent by a customer.  No other interaction is needed.

Other benefits I saw: small merchant associations – like a “downtown” merchant association, (here in Sarasota we have St. Armands Circle – a collection of high end small stores) can band together to help promote the same loyalty program, thereby encouraging the user to participate even more frequently.

Rewards are easy to set and end-users can be targeted for promotion.   The company offers 90+ reports for analyzing consumer behavior.

A Digital receipts feature allows customers to have a receipt emailed directly to them instead getting eight or ten inches of thermal paper.   This is surely the next big thing in retail.  I find myself getting about 100 feet of receipts a month and it’s truly absurd.  A solution like AppCard can save vendors money and earn customer respect by being progressive and “green”.

A few other features I found attractive:
– Merchants can reward customers whether they pay by cash, credit or debit card
– The app can display a digital storefront for each merchant.
– It’s a source of leads because customers who carry the app can find other businesses who participate right in the app.
– Can be set up in less than 20 minutes.

AppCard has an impressive group of lead investors including:  Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google, Jerry Yang (co founder of Yahoo), Peter Thiel (cofounder and former CEO of PayPal and Yair Goldfinger of ICQ.

QikServe integrates with MICROS ordering and payment app ready for mass adoption

Mobile technology company QikServe today announced that its mobile ordering app is now available through the hosted MICROS Commerce Platform™ (MCP) from MICROS, a leading provider of information technology solutions for the hospitality and retail industries.

Customers using MICROS for point-of-sale can now extend their system to include QikServe’s mobile ordering and payment service, providing an end-to-end mobile solution from customer order through to fulfillment and back-end systems. This means that hospitality businesses can now provide customers with the choice to order and pay for food and drink through their smartphones seamlessly through their existing POS system.

Integration with POS systems has been identified as a key hurdle to widespread adoption of mobile ordering solutions, which typically require businesses to use additional hardware, such as tablets or wireless printers.

“We are pleased to be able to provide our customers with QikServe mobile ordering functionality. With QikServe, hospitality operators can offer their customers more choice in how they order and pay for their purchases,” said Tim Brown, SVP eCommerce at MICROS.

“The integration between QikServe and MICROS is another step forward in bringing mobile ordering and payment technology to the masses,” said Ronnie Forbes, CEO, QikServe.

About MICROS Systems, Inc.
MICROS Systems, Inc. provides leading enterprise-wide applications, services and hardware for the hospitality and retail industries. Serving an extensive portfolio of clients worldwide, MICROS solutions are utilized in hotels, casinos, table and quick service restaurants, retail, leisure and entertainment, fuel and convenience, cruise, and travel operations in more than 180 countries, and on all seven continents. MICROS combines its industry knowledge and expertise to provide cloud-based, mobile and on premise solutions that allow its clients to streamline operations and successfully engage their customers.

MICROS applications include point of sale, property management, central systems, business intelligence, eCommerce, loyalty, CRM, loss prevention, distributed order management, labor management, inventory management, and merchandise planning solutions. MICROS services include hosting and SaaS, platform implementation and integration, strategic business consulting, interactive marketing, design services including creative and user experience, and managed services.

About QikServe
Mobile technology specialist, QikServe was founded in 2011 by a team of mobile self-service experts. The company’s goal is to radically change and improve the ordering experience for customers by providing a mass adoption self-serve system. As a business QikServe is dedicated to providing integrated solutions and driving engagement and loyalty through the consumer device. The QikServe system has been deployed across the UK and United States in restaurants, bars, hotels, sports stadiums, airports and tradeshows.

NCR Silver Combines Functionality, Ease of Use, to Simplify Mobile POS Experience

From retail shops to chocolatiers, cafés, restaurants, food trucks and even farms, NCR Silver is proving to be the right fit for a myriad of small businesses looking to use an integrated mobile POS for more than just payments.

In fact, NCR Silver is doing for small businesses what NCR has done for large retailers for more than 100 years – providing the necessary tools and capabilities to manage and grow a successful business. Silver keeps these tools simple, allowing small business owners to focus on servicing customers and growing their businesses rather than managing technology.

This ease of use, combined with solid retail experience is especially important to customers like John Masek, co-founder of Oregon-based Bricks & Minifigs, the largest aftermarket Lego store in the country.

“When I was looking for a point of sale for Bricks & Minifigs, I wanted a name I could trust,” Masek said. “With 130 years of experience behind them, I knew the NCR brand could deliver.”

Accepting many forms of payment including credit cards, checks, cash and mobile payments, NCR Silver is an iPad solution that gives small merchants the ability to track sales and profitability, customize automated email marketing programs and sell anywhere. The mobile POS also includes essential back office reports and dashboards to provide small businesses with a 24/7 view of their locations.

Customers like Masek rely on integrated customer marketing capabilities, like bulk emails and reports, because they are easy to set up and provide valuable insights into how marketing campaigns impact sales. The built-in loyalty program makes it easy for all types of businesses to reward customers at checkout, by eliminating the need for paper punch cards.

In addition, redeeming points is effortless for because the information all shows up on the POS at checkout.

For many family-owned businesses, a user-friendly, cloud-based POS also ensures they don’t have to spend extra hours in their stores reviewing and analyzing sales reports.

For example, the owners of Aly’s Applesin Texas wanted to start a business that centered on traditions, quality products and a flexible, family-centric lifestyle.

Taking a homemade caramel recipe and combining it with apples and chocolate turned out to be a great place to start for the Deason family, which started its business following the birth of their daughter, Aly, in 2009.

Fast forward to 2014, and now Aly’s Apples has four retail locations throughout Texas, all using NCR Silver POS with multi-store capabilities.

“We’re one of the largest resellers in Houston and are building our own customer and email database,” Shane Deason, owner of Aly’s Apples, said. “Silver was able to put everything together, from raw data to marketing magic. We would like to franchise in the future and would certainly recommend NCR for its functionality, but equally important is its ease of use.”

Multi-store capabilities give the Deasons flexibility to manage sales across their four locations by viewing a consolidated report or drill down to the individual store for details.

Additionally, NCR Silver lets small businesses like Aly’s Apples take advantage of the move to digital receipts – a trend that is growing in popularity among consumers.

Email receipts protect us at tax time,” says Deason, adding that email receipts also provide a level of convenience for his customers. “Today email receipts are as much a way to connect and nurture customer relationships as they are proof of purchase,” he adds. “NCR Silver makes it easy to leverage integrated tools like loyalty and email marketing that are built into its system.”

Patten Seed Company in Georgia dates back to 1893 when a former school teacher opened a general store that sold seed, fertilizer and everything a small town needed from a farming supply store.

“We started with NCR Silver just a few months ago, but saw an immediate and positive change in our business across all of our 14 locations,” said Chris Burns, controller at Patten Seed. “As a landscape company, we’re seasonal, and when spring hits, we get blasted. NCR Silver POS is superior to any of the systems we have used. It’s so user-friendly. I can spend only a few minutes on the phone with one of my retailers and they will have it installed and ready to go.”

And at Roba Family Farms, with seven terminals, NCR Silver is used to ring up tickets for seasonal (harvest and Christmas tree) sales, They also have NCR Silver set up in the café to sell cafeteria items for guests who are visiting the farm for festivals and events. The business makes most of its revenue in the seven weeks between the Halloween and Christmas seasons. During that time they run daily reports, and have used NCR Silver to see what items they should grow, based on volume. They started using NCR Silver about a year ago, and Sue Roba says the introduction of NCR has been great. “We hope to expand our reach, and NCR Silver will help us.”