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Release Notes: Veras CheckOut 11.3

Release Notes: Veras CheckOut 11.3

March 15, 2022

Added Omnichannel Capabilities, Beta OmniView Integration, Flexible Database Options, and More!

Everything seems to be moving faster these days in retail. It’s not only impacted how we shop, but also how we approach product development—all while embracing the necessity for constant innovation. You can easily stay in-the-know with Release Notes, our biannual update that highlights recent product improvements, what’s new, and exciting things to come.

Made available on March 11, 2022, here are some notable highlights in Veras CheckOut 11.3 that include additional omnichannel capabilities, scale interface, flexible database options, and Veras OmniView Integration (beta). 

New Omnichannel Capabilities

CheckOut 11.3 adds a dedicated Buy Online, Pick Up in Store order processing flow, as well as a flow for Buy Online, Ship to Store order receiving and customer pickup. Additionally, the order management screens for all order types have been refined to bring focus to the data elements that are most important to store users. 

Scale Interface

With Veras’ continued growth in grocery and hypermarkets in Asia Pacific, CheckOut 11.3 provides the ability to integrate to a weighing scale and collect the product quantity from the scale. Tare weight calculation and recording is included in this enhancement as well.  

Greater Flexibility with Veras Replication

Veras Replication allows greater flexibility in database licensing choices. A new mechanism enables server-to-client database replication in cloud and on-premises deployments managed by Veras utilities rather than the RDBMS engine. Not to worry, the traditional RDBMS-managed replication process is still supported. For Veras customers interested in learning more about this great cost-saving option, please contact your account representative. 

Veras OmniView Integration (beta)

CheckOut 11.3 adds an integration to the new Veras order management application, Veras OmniView. Veras OmniView will provide a richer, cloud-native omnichannel engine for order sourcing, orchestration, and fulfillment. The new CheckOut omnichannel process flows integrate to both the traditional order management logic and tables hosted on the CheckOut central server, as well as to Veras OmniView.

Omnichannel Inventory Visibility, Order Orchestration & Mobility

Omnichannel ordering and fulfillment, and the connected customer experiences tied to these capabilities, are no longer optional for stores. Today’s shoppers are exerting and demanding more control over how, when, and where their orders are fulfilled.

In fact, the number of orders placed online and picked up at brick-and-mortar stores by customers grew 208% during the pandemic and show no signs of waning. Retailers quickly jumped into offering these services to meet consumer demand, but without the luxury of having a full omnichannel strategy. As a result, many retailers are navigating their way around a multi-channel maze wrought with manual processes, siloed purchasing channels, and disconnected inventory views.

Introducing Veras OmniView

Veras OmniView supports an omnichannel fulfillment strategy where retailers use multiple selling channels to fulfill and distribute orders, regardless of which channel the customer places an order through to streamline the fulfillment and delivery process.

When it comes to any good omnichannel strategy, you’ll find real-time inventory visibility centered around the customer at its core. Shoppers couldn’t agree more as:

  • 71% of shoppers say that it is important or very important to be able to view inventory information for in-store products. (Forrester)
  • 69% of consumers expect that store associates be armed with a mobile device, in order to perform simple and immediate tasks such as looking up product information and checking inventory.
  • 56% of consumers have used their mobile device to research products at home with 38% having used their mobile device to check inventory availability while on their way to a store. (Forrester)

Veras OmniView enables order fulfillment execution paired with inventory features on mobile in a single UX to support the following capabilities:

  • Order Picking (consolidated/team picking, substitutions, prep for curbside/locker/courier)
  • Receiving & Putaway
  • Transfers & RTV
  • Cycle Count & Adjustments
  • Product Inquiry

What’s more, task-based workflows across functions help keep store associates focused on the most urgent priorities. Veras OmniView also goes beyond order execution capabilities to deliver intelligent decisioning and order orchestration coupled with configurable rules-based processes.

Delivered through a microservices-based architecture and standard workflow platform, Veras OmniView helps retailers center their experiences around the customer to ensure that shoppers can easily navigate across various touchpoints to make their purchase.

Stay Tuned!

More to come on our next product advancement Veras OmniView, as we continue deliver next-generation solutions for today’s evolving retail processes through a unified commerce strategy.

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Your Win/DSS Upgrade is Long Overdue

Your Win/DSS Upgrade is Long Overdue

February 22, 2022

If you’re a retailer and Win/DSS is your point-of-sale system, your IT, operations, and customer-facing associates are struggling with a rigid, outdated system that has some serious limitations.  

Designed before the age of mobile and digital commerce, Win/DSS falls incredibly short when it comes to empowering today’s retailers to deliver omnichannel experiences. We understand that getting your enterprise on a new platform may seem challenging. However, when you consider the time and resources wasted to stay afloat on a legacy platform – while falling further behind on modern retail experiences – it makes sense to upgrade.

We know the limitations you face when it comes to the many obstacles and workarounds in Win/DSS. They can include daily corrupt files and lost transactions, serious disruptions to sales and customer experience, and the most convoluted manual processes to complete transactions and keep the system running. The following infographic underscores some of the of the top Win/DSS burdens alongside the immediate benefits that could be gained with an upgrade to Veras CheckOut.

Win/DSS Infographic

Immediate Benefits Upgrading to Veras CheckOut

(click image below to expand)

BIG Omnichannel Platform Gains

Let’s face it, most of the elements called out in the Win/DSS infographic are table stakes. With all that retailers need to achieve to deliver on customer demands, a modern omnichannel platform should offer far more. Through Veras CheckOut’s future-proof platform architecture, omnichannel capabilities, flexible modes of selling, and AI-driven customer experiences – CheckOut provides a path forward for retailers to execute on their omnichannel vision.

Using real-time enterprise inventory data and centralized order visibility and alerting, Veras CheckOut creates the ultimate omnichannel experience on a single, unified platform through:

  • Enterprise-grade technology
  • Services-based architecture
  • Hardware-agnostic integrations
  • Real-time data and inventory management
  • Frictionless omnichannel and cross-store selling
  • Integrated modules for mPOS, clienteling, remote selling, and more
Retail Experiences Built Around the Customer

Whether it’s in-store or digitally, the Veras Extend Customer Experience platform supports modern mobile and cross-channel capabilities on iOS, Android and Windows platforms. Extend offers a lightweight native client that integrates to Veras CheckOut transparently to power a variety of associate- and customer-facing experience on mobile and fixed devices, including the capabilities below.
 

Additionally, with real-time connectivity and enterprise-wide inventory availability, the Veras platform delivers a comprehensive inventory solution to optimally locate, pick, ship and restock merchandise to meet the needs of the cross-channel shopper so you never lose a sale.

  • Ship from Store or Warehouse
  • Endless Aisle / Save-the-Sale
  • Cross-Store Pickup
  • Ship-to-Store
  • Bulk Item Pickup
  • Buy Online Pickup in Store

Cater to Your Customer’s Shopping Styles

Consumer behavior and shopping preferences can vary greatly, which impacts how a customer may want to shop in the store. There are many variables at play. Does the customer already know the item they want? Perhaps the customer has a question but can’t seem to find a store associate to help. Or maybe your customer is in a rush and needs to get checked out quickly.

Whatever the scenario, Veras’ in-store solutions including Product Kiosk, mPOS, and Self-Checkout allow shoppers to get what they need and in the way they like to shop.

Product Kiosk. In addition to obtaining pricing details, Veras Product Kiosk’s interactive touchscreens empower shoppers to explore on their own. Shoppers gain a full 360-product view through rich product descriptions, images, and customer reviews.

Mobile Point-of-Sale. With Veras Mobile Point-of-Sale, perform full point-of-sale transactions with secure payments or suspend the transaction and complete it on a standard register. And operate mPOS at any offsite event or easily add an in-store register by docking the tablet as a fixed POS terminal.

Self-Checkout. In addition to giving happy customers choice and speed with Veras Self-Checkout, retailers can experience big benefits as well. Maximize personnel productivity with labor costs during off-peak hours and seasonal surges. And never lose a sale to long wait times by making the most of your floor space to drive more transactions.

Personalized Shopping & New Digital Channels

The shift and appetite for digital commerce has made it possible for retailers to reach and personalize shopping experiences like never before. Omnichannel and new digital capabilities like Veras Remote Selling are putting customers entirely in control to shop as they desire. And smart and connected technologies such as Veras Affinity Clienteling create opportunities for store associates to reach more customers and in more meaningful ways.

Affinity In-Store Clienteling. Veras Affinity Clienteling mobilizes frontline workers with next-level customer insights and personalization the moment shoppers walk into the store. The ultra-responsive, intelligent engine helps anticipate and deliver on the customer’s wants, allowing store associates to provide the high-touch, consultative service many shoppers desire. And customer interest can be quickly converted into purchases with checkout in-aisle.

Remote Selling. Veras Remote Selling adds a powerful revenue channel for the store. Browser-based and purpose-built for retail, remote selling combines the ease of ecommerce with the high-level service and personal touch of a knowledgeable sales associate. The associate can share products live in the store and digitally through the platform where customers may browse, save to their wish list, and complete purchases.

Black Book Customer Outreach. With Veras Black Book, retail staff working in-store or remotely can provide personalized services to better track and engage with the customer on an on-going basis. Black Book drives proactive and personalized outreach using customer data, timely alerts and reminders, and convenient templates for store associates to always be in touch with your best customers.

All of this is enabled by Veras’ services-oriented, future-proof platform. Highly adaptable to support a variety of deployment models, the platform’s microservices API layer shares business logic across an array of endpoints. From traditional POS to mobile selling to clienteling, our proven enterprise architecture allows retailers to not only innovate faster, but at lower TCO.

Our Win/DSS Knowledge & Expertise

Lastly, the experts at Veras, several of whom once implemented, trained and supported Win/DSS, acquired the technology in 2016. The team has since shed the legacy software to deliver a leading omnichannel solution.

Additional Migration Benefits:

  • Thoughtful design transition across UI, terminology, and process flows
  • Veras CheckOut’s integration to JDA MMS
  • Transparency to finance, sales audit, and inventory control
  • Easy customizations
  • Upgrades without impacting the standard software

Now that we’ve taken you through the daily burdens of Win/DSS and big-picture gains of omnichannel POS through the Veras unified platform – isn’t it time to take the next step forward? 

There’s no better time to upgrade. Contact us to learn how you can make smart technology investments through a modern POS platform while leveling up your entire retail operations. 
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Free Digital Receipts with Veras Omnichannel POS

Purchase any cart-based application on our omnichannel platform & receive free* digital receipts with flexEngage

This special offer is included with Veras CheckOut 11.1 (and subsequent versions), mPOS, Self-Checkout, Endless Aisle and Remote Selling.

Nearly every stage of a shopper’s end-to-end experience, from the moment they search for a product or step into a store, has the opportunity to be personalized. Given the ability to intelligently mine and collect shopper data, AI and ML-driven retail technologies such as Veras Affinity Clienteling, Remote Selling and Black Book, offer enormous potential for retailers to build effective, context-aware processes to deliver compelling experiences, and empower frontline workers to facilitate that journey.

Post-Purchase Communications

An important and often overlooked portion of that journey is post-purchase communications. Revenue generated from initial sales is certainly a building block for any retailer, but retention is what helps foster sales growth and really set a business apart from other merchants. Did you know that acquiring new customers costs five times as much as it costs to retain existing customers? What’s more, new customers are 5%–20% likely to make a purchase, while existing customers are 60%–70%.

Effective post-purchase communications contribute to higher customer retention rates. The flexEngage digital marketing platform combined with Veras’ omnichannel retail technology promotes just that. Digital receipts help keep the conversation going with customers after they leave the store or make a digital purchase to strengthen the relationship with your brand inspire brand loyalty through ongoing, personalized engagement.

More Ways to Personalize. More Opportunities to Convert.

Static and basic transactional messages can be easily ignored, unlike flexEngage’s digital receipts that can help retailers deepen and extend customer loyalty after each transaction by:

• Turning receipts into repeat purchases 

• Creating loyalty through convenience 

• Engaging beyond the purchase 

FREE* Essential Tier Benefits with Veras Solutions

When you purchase or upgrade to Veras CheckOut 11.1 (or subsequent version), mPOS, Self-Checkout, Endless Aisle and Remote Selling, you’ll receive flexEngage’s Essential digital receipt bundle at no additional cost.

Complementary front-end features in the Essential tier include barcode, clickable logo sent to your domain, PDF attachment, and the added benefits of:

• Contactless experiences 

• Increased email adoption 

• Reduced paper costs 

* Available to customers in North America. Some add-on services may incur additional costs, such as third-party survey integration.

Digital innovation in omnichannel, mobile and remote selling, real-time inventory visibility, and customer experience is on everyone’s wish lists with big plans to execute in 2022. Are you ready to perfect the customer connection and engage with shoppers post-purchase? We’re here to partner and help support leading retailers to achieve these goals.

There’s no time to delay as data is dramatically disrupting the way retailers do business. Data intelligence and the right retail technologies will drive it even further—and those who can optimally leverage their data will gain a competitive edge.

CONTACT US

Learn how Veras’ cart-based applications integrated with flexEngage digital receipts offer more ways to personalize and engage with shoppers post-purchase.





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    Highly Specialized POS for Cannabis Dispensaries

    Highly Specialized POS for Cannabis Dispensaries

    May 10, 2021

    To better manage and sell regulated products, cannabis dispensaries must take a more holistic view of their retail IT systems and overall business operations.

    For the budding cannabis industry, traditional POS systems are likely to fall short of its specific needs. While any dependable system has a nice interface, some form of compliance reporting, and integrated inventory management — there are some core capabilities that can set your retail experience apart.

    When a new dispensary opens its doors, it usually brings with it lines of expectant shoppers ready to browse a diverse range of products or snap up some limited inventory before it’s gone. Managing omnichannel inventory for any retailer can be a challenge. But for cannabis dispensaries, knowing precisely how much product is available and where it’s located is just the beginning.

    In addition to real-time inventory management, add in several more layers of complexity like managing varying compliance regulations, consumption limits, customer privacy, and security. There’s also the all-important customer experience. To better manage and sell regulated products, cannabis dispensaries must take a more holistic view of their retail IT systems and overall business operations.

    Must-Have Dispensary Functionality

    MANAGING COMPLIANCE & PURCHASE LIMITS

    Ever-changing regulatory and legislative policies make it challenging for cannabis-related companies to operate within the latest standards. Even states and provinces where cannabis is fully legal have different polices regarding accessibility and sale. Veras CheckOut POS has built-in flexibility to quickly address these updates while tracking and flagging purchasing limits. To ensure compliance, purchasing limits are tracked automatically at the point of sale for each customer. Veras CheckOut can track the amount of active ingredients across a variety of cannabis products such as edibles, loose leaf, flower and liquid to make sure the total purchase never surpasses the customer’s limit.

    Veras CheckOut additionally manages lot and expiry dates to provide visibility into when items are packaged and flag products that are set to expire.

    IDENTIFICATION CHECKS & SCANNING

    Most dispensaries check the customer’s ID at multiple points along the purchase path to verify that they are of legal age and eligible to buy cannabis. While most budtenders physically check the customer’s ID, Veras CheckOut is able to speed this verification through a quick scan. The scan lets the budtender know if the customer is 21 or older and track how much the customer has purchased that day. In addition to not having to worry about invalid IDs, the budtender can also see if they’re a new or returning customer to provide the best experience.

    MULTI-LOCATION INVENTORY MANAGEMENT

    When dealing with high volumes, numerous product types and store locations, multi-location inventory management is essential to sustain seamless inventory to get the product to the customer. The dispensary retail floor serves as a polished showroom where a single product is on display. Most of the product is typically kept fresh and secure in the back room.

    Given this set up and with Veras solutions, store associates can easily scan product to move it from the backroom to the front for sale. Budtenders may even transfer inventory to another store location through the software instead of having to reupload the product manually. Whether at the corporate or store-level, Veras solutions provide dispensaries clear visibility into product availability at each location, transferred between locations, and sold at each store.

    CUSTOMER PREFERENCES & CONSULTATIVE EXPERIENCE

    In addition to accelerating checkout times and maintaining continuous compliance, the Veras platform comes with a host of customer-focused modules to deliver a personalized and improved overall experience. Take for instance its device-agnostic clienteling module Veras Affinity. The solution provides a simple way of leveraging mobility via iPad (or any other device) to meet customers on the sales floor. Budtenders can see past purchases, make notes on customer preferences, and save items to wish lists to dramatically improve customer interactions and service.

    So, the next time the customer’s ID, loyalty number or phone number is recognized, the budtender can see in the profile that this particular shopper only purchases edibles. Another budtender may have added notes that this customer does not like flower or concentrates. Now any budtender in the store (and across the chain) knows to only discuss and introduce new edible products when helping this customer.

    OMNICHANNEL VISIBILITY

    From tasting rooms to high-end displays, dispensaries are breaking down any preconceived notions of what a cannabis store is like. And leading dispensaries are leveraging omnichannel capabilities and digital technology to set a new precedent for how customers purchase products. Spurred by high-volume and high-demand products, cannabis retailers are adopting omnichannel strategies to support customers in new ways.

    Veras’ unified platform makes it possible to support omnichannel distribution strategies tied to the store. Customers can start a transaction online or via mobile phone to reserve, pickup, and pay for products at the store. Real-time inventory availability helps to ensure what the customer is viewing online is consistent with what’s available in store. For any out-of-stock items, budtenders can use the Veras ‘global search’ function that looks across enterprise inventory where items can be scheduled for remote pick up at a nearby store or shipped to the customer.

    DIGITAL DISPLAYS & SELF-SERVICE KIOSK

    While super dispensaries boast large retail footprints, that’s certainly not the norm. Most cannabis retailers have smaller retail footprints and are looking for ways to maximize that space, including digital displays and self-service kiosks. Digital displays are often used to show inventory counts of product at the store. When tied to the point of sale, the customer can see in real-time if the product they want is available. If not, they can decide to select another product or place an order before ever needing to wait in line.

    Another efficient way to cut wait times, improve service, and maximize space is through self-service kiosks. Upon scanning their ID, customers can create and complete an order to have it fulfilled from behind the checkout counter. Through Veras Extend, shoppers can view rich product descriptions, images, and customer reviews. With a couple of kiosks, these retail screens can act as its own store — splitting medicinal vs. recreational or other product types — to create different stores in one physical location.

    Enterprise Omnichannel Solutions

    There are many factors to consider when shopping for dispensary POS. In addition to selecting features and capabilities that work best for your operations, it’s essential to consider the customer experience and consistency across channels. And while compliance measures are of upmost importance, cannabis retailers are still retailers.

    As a proven dispensary POS provider, Veras Retail also provides a win-win strategy by bringing innovations and best practices from across a wide variety of retailers while addressing the core needs specific to this industry. Our API-driven platform and services-enabled infrastructure allows retailers to rapidly implement new solutions and capabilities to move as fast as the business needs to:

    All things considered, be sure you’re working with a flexible provider that understands your business to properly address your current requirements and can scale up as your needs evolve in the future.

    Veras CheckOut can be a powerful business enabler, allowing shoppers to move between digital and physical experiences. Learn how our unified platform helps in areas that matter most.

    Contact Us





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      Proactive Digital Outreach with Veras Black Book

      Proactive Digital Outreach with Veras Black Book

      March 10, 2021

      Retailers are embedding technology like Veras Black Book to reach shoppers at every step along the purchase path to deliver a whole new level of service. Veras Black Book drives proactive and personalized outreach using customer data, timely alerts and reminders, and convenient templates for store associates.

      If there’s anything we’ve learned in retail over the last year, it’s that how consumers shop has forever changed. Consumer behavior will likely continue to evolve and come with greater service-level expectations. Coming out of the pandemic, mall developments came to a standstill and we saw historic store closings for retailers that were unable to respond. But there is a silver lining in this all.

      The shift and appetite for digital commerce has made it possible for retailers to reach and personalize shopping experiences like never before. Omnichannel and new digital capabilities are putting customers entirely in control to shop as they desire. And smart and connected technologies open up opportunities for store associates to reach more customers and in more meaningful ways.

      Cut Through the Digital Noise

      Consumers spent a staggering $861.12 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020, up an incredible 44 percent year over year, according to Digital Commerce 360 estimates. That’s the highest annual U.S. ecommerce growth in at least two decades. It’s also nearly triple the 15.1 percent jump in 2019.

      As a result, retailers are bombarding consumers with online ads, digital retargeting, endless email offers, and other mass marketing campaigns. Veras Black Book helps cut through that noise with proactive and highly personalized outreach. Proactive outreach with Black Book enables retail staff to set alerts, send emails and texts using pre-defined templates, and schedule appointments and follow-up calls based on customer insights and events.

      While many marketing emails do ultimately reach the consumer’s inbox, most get ignored. In fact, 72 percent of consumers say that they only engage with personalized messaging. Whether it’s email, text or a phone call, people want to be treated like individuals. So, when a customer receives a personalized message, especially from someone they’ve interacted with previously, they are far more likely to respond.

      With Black Book, retail staff working in-store or remotely can provide personalized services to better track and engage with the customer on an on-going basis. The system makes it easy for the associate by providing ready-to-use templates and data points reflecting the customer’s preferences.

      Furthermore, store associates can add customer-specific notes or create a task. Black Book tasks have their own lifecycle and can be accepted or rejected. Tasks can be set at different priority levels, associated with deadlines, or automatically expire after an event such as a birthday or promotion. Black Book tasks also provide visibility by generating reports on tasks for associates across the retail chain.

      Veras Black Book’s dashboard and tools allow retail staff to:

      • Review their top customers, latest activities, and helpful notes
      • View, create, and act on assigned tasks
      • See important store events, campaigns, and activities
      • Use customer insights to drive proactive outreach
      • Call or send emails and texts using pre-defined templates
      • Set alerts and schedule appointments and calls based on the customer’s specific needs or upcoming events

      Flexible communication templates provide store associates an easy starting point that can be adjusted to tailor customer follow ups and future scheduling. With 80 percent of customers more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized experiences, Veras Black Book can be an effective tool to build real connections with shoppers.

      3 Types of Black Book Tasks

      Black Book may not be meant for every customer. Some shoppers know exactly what they want and prefer to explore and purchase items on their own. But for design professionals, personal shoppers, business customers, and your frequent and most loyal customers, Veras Black Book goes beyond transactions. It helps retailers personalize, inform, and connect with the customer through the following task types:

      1. STORE EVENTS. Local events set by store managers or global events organized by corporate may include author signings, trunk shows, product launches, pop-up events, etc. Once set up, associates can engage with their core clients to send out a special invitation or schedule additional time for them at the store. Additionally, the store associate will know the best mode of communication based on the customer’s preferences.
      2. QUICK TIPS. System-generated alerts provide a variety of reminders to send personalized outreach to customers regarding birthdays, promotions related to their likes, or just a simple touchpoint. ‘Your wish list item just went on sale and is available in your size. Would you like me to set it aside for you?’ ‘I saw returned your last purchase. I’d love to know what you didn’t like about it so we can improve in the future. Is there anything I can help you find?’ In addition to system-generated alerts, associates can create their own self-generated tasks based on the shopper’s last actions or their interactions with the customer.
      3. DIRECT COMMUNICATION. When it comes to communicating with customers, each person has different needs and expectations. Two components in Black Book that make its communications so effective is that it provides associates a starting point through well-defined templates while also allowing for personalization. Customized templates can also be saved and used as a base for future outreach.

      Expand on Personalized Services

      As Veras Black Book is built on our Extend mobile platform, retailers can easily add complementary modules including Veras Affinity Clienteling, Style Builder, and Remote Selling to amplify personalized services in-store or remotely. Veras Affinity helps retailers connect omnichannel data with store initiatives and empower associates with a 360-degree view of the customer. Additionally, Veras Style Builder’s curated collections allow sales associates to build and sell styles through complete looks, complementary collections, and similar products.

      When shoppers aren’t physically in the store, Veras Remote Selling combines the immediacy and ease of ecommerce with the high-level service and personal touch of a knowledgeable sales associate. Whether shoppers need help finding specific products, want assurances on product compatibility, or seek new product recommendations, Veras Remote Selling is purpose-built for retail to deliver an immersive experience, anywhere. The sales person can share products live in the store and digitally through the platform where customers may browse, save to their wish list, and complete purchases.

      It’s clear that store formats and the roles of associates are evolving. Every aspect of retail operations has the potential to make or break the customer experience. It’s now up to retailers to incorporate flexible technologies to create a new retail model that centers around personalized customer experiences. And with 91 percent of consumers more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them, companies that don’t prioritize creating tailored experiences may run the risk of getting left behind.

      Learn more about Veras Black Book and other AI-driven solutions that use personalization to deliver proactive and highly tailored customer outreach.

      Contact Us





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        Endless Inventory Options with Endless Aisle

        Endless Inventory Options with Endless Aisle

        February 8, 2021

        With the convergence of omni-commerce, real-time inventory visibility, fast fulfillment, and any number of ways to get products to the customer—endless aisle brings the best of these capabilities together to deliver an unbeatable customer experience.

        If you’ve ever been in a store to browse through the merchandise or locate a particular product, chances are you’ve been approached by a retail associate. They probably asked, “Are you finding everything you need? Is there anything I can help you find?”… or something to that effect to help get what you want and deliver a great in-store experience.

        Finding items in the store, depending on the retailer, is a much different experience today. What once was limited to inventory on the store shelves, in the back room, or available at a nearby store is now open to a sea of endless product options with endless aisle.

        Endless aisle gives retail associates and shoppers in the store the ability to virtually browse and purchase a wide range of products. And for any out-of-stock items or products not sold in-store, the customer can have them shipped to the store or directly to their home.

        Out-of-Stocks Add Up

        While it’s hard to beat the convenience of online shopping, there are many reasons why consumers still go the store. They may want or need something immediately, enjoy seeing or trying on things in person, want to avoid delivery charges, or have questions on the products they’re about to purchase. But even with these drivers, physical retailers are still losing sales to out-of-stock items, which come with hefty losses.

        According to 600 households surveyed by IHL Group, retailers are missing out on roughly $1 trillion in sales because they don’t have on hand what customers want to buy in their stores. Shoppers worldwide experience $984 billion worth of out-of-stocks and $144.9 billion in North America alone. And if the shopper happens to be an Amazon Prime member, they’re 52 percent more likely than other consumers to take out their phones and buy what they need online when faced with out-of-stocks.

        Let’s take a closer look at the out-of-stock shopper breakdown:

        • 32 percent faced empty shelves
        • 16 percent failed to find staff to help
        • 17 percent found staff, but not merchandise
        • 18 percent noted the price in-store didn’t match an ad
        • 17 percent didn’t get the product for other reasons

        Endless aisle paired with real-time inventory visibility can help retailers avoid many of these missed-opportunity scenarios.

        Advantages of Endless Aisle

        With Veras Extend unified product search, associates can provide an endless aisle to customers by searching an endless number of SKUs across the entire retail chain. It consolidates the physical and virtual catalogs into a single friendly interface to show what’s available in-store or globally. Whether items are fulfilled through direct vendor ship, ecommerce, warehouse ship or sourced from another store, Veras Extend unified product search helps retailers create the ultimate merchandising and fulfillment strategy.

        Endless aisle experiences increase conversions by allowing shoppers to review all available products without being limited to on-site selections through the global search icon.

        Available on mobile devices, store associates can support customers anywhere in the store to:

        • Present an interactive digital experience often superior to what they can achieve by physically browsing items in-store
        • Easily toggle between products available in-store vs. products available globally
        • Search the entire retail catalog to present product availability, more product options, or similar items
        • View rich product details, images, videos, relevant promotions, and customer reviews
        • Ship-to-store, reserve at another store for fast pickup, or ship any out-of-stock items directly to the customer

        And all of this rich product data isn’t limited to endless aisle. It’s leveraged across all retail applications on the Veras Extend platform to support clienteling, remote selling, mPOS, self-checkout and in-store kiosks.

        Expanded Product Search

        Veras Extend unified product search is unique in that it allows associates to search products in a more comprehensive manner. Traditional product searches are narrowly executed by color, type, SKU, price or key words. However, the engine behind our unified product search is broader, allowing for more complex requests that you would typically find in real-world scenarios to yield better results.

        Take for instance a customer searching for a red sweater. Is it cardinal red, candy apple red, dark red, maroon, burgundy, or other variation? So many possibilities exist, which is why our endless aisle search makes ‘red’ an attribute that can be tied to a broader family of reds. The same logic applies to sizing or price—to search for a range of medium-sized items or price range—or any other attribute of a product.

        The way people shop is evolving, and leading retailers are evolving to meet their needs. The good news is that retailers and consumers alike benefit from having a complete picture through real-time data and connected systems to deliver the best outcomes. So next time you step into a store, don’t be surprised when you’re approached by an associate, tablet in hand, ready to help you find something in the store (or elsewhere).

        Make smart technology investments through Veras Extend’s mobile and kiosk applications like endless aisle without overhauling your entire retail operations.

        Contact Us





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          Get Digital Receipts at No Cost with Veras CheckOut

          Contactless Receipts with Veras CheckOut 11.1

          Get Digital Receipts at No Cost with Veras CheckOut 11.1

          January 19, 2021

          The recent release of Veras CheckOut 11.1 includes exciting new enhancements, along with the integration with our trusted partner flexEngage. Upgrade to our modern POS platform and you’ll receive free* contactless receipts.

          Veras CheckOut 11.1, as well as the Veras Extend mPOS and self-checkout modules, now integrate to the flexEngage digital receipt platform. The flexEngage integration uniquely supports real-time personalized offers at the point-of-sale. Seamless digital receipt process flows allow for known customer preferences to be more quickly and consistently applied in the transaction. Now when you implement Veras CheckOut 11.1, you’ll receive free* digital receipts through flexEngage’s Essential plan.

          Turn Purchasing Data into Meaningful Contact

          flexEngage is a POS marketing service that delivers custom-made transactional messages, which reduce customer churn for brand-driven retailers.

          Offering several levels – Essential, Pro, and Enterprise – find the right tier for your customer outreach and loyalty goals to best fit your needs.

          FREE* ESSENTIAL TIER BENEFITS

          Front-end features that are complementary in flexEngage’s Essential tier include barcode, clickable logo sent to your domain, PDF attachment, and the added benefits of:

          • Contactless Experiences
          • Increased Email Adoption
          • Reduced Paper Costs
          Services-Oriented, Future-Proof Platform

          With the flexEngage integration on CheckOut’s omnichannel platform, retailers can continue to drive innovation, offer better customer experiences, and unlock additional responsive technologies and capabilities. 

          flexEngage digital receipts

          From enhancements to a complete upgrade, Veras provides a clear migration path to modernize your POS platform with Veras CheckOut. Highly adaptable to support a variety of deployment models including on-prem, cloud or hybrid deployments, the platform’s microservices API layer shares business logic across an array of endpoints. From traditional POS to mobile selling to retail kiosks, our proven enterprise architecture allows retailers to innovate faster, and at lower TCO.

          Veras CheckOut also helps the store become an extension of your omnichannel strategy to provide a suite of cross-channel and cross-store selling capabilities.

          VERAS EXTEND PLATFORM. Extend brings the point-of-sale and mobile selling to customers in-aisle or offsite. Extend goes beyond checkout to enable mobile for inventory, clienteling, unified product search, price checker and self-checkout.

          VERAS AFFINITY CLIENTELING. Affinity help retailers connect online and offline data with store initiatives and empower their associates with a 360-degree view of the customer. Unlike any other clienteling solution, direct associate input strengthens the data and trains the AI to make smarter recommendations to drive sales.

          VERAS REMOTE SELLING. Remote Selling allows retailers to personalize and connect with shoppers virtually. Unlike Facebook or Zoom, our end-to-end experience is trackable, integrated, and consistent. From initiating the virtual appointment, to sharing rich product details, and building the basket all the way through purchase—Veras Remote Selling helps retailers stay connected even at a distance.

          Plus, additional features referred to as “FIGI” (“Find It, Get It”), encompass all of the following business scenarios through Veras CheckOut:

          • Send Sale. Collect and track shipping information for items sold in-store and shipped to the customer.
          • Charge Send. Save the sale using “endless aisle” of enterprise inventory. Sell merchandise at POS and ship to the customer from any store or warehouse in a single POS transaction.
          • Remote Pickup. Locate inventory in any location from any point of sale (including ecommerce or call center) and pickup in store.
          • Ship-to-Store. Buy online from warehouse inventory and pickup at store.
          • Storage Buy. Buy bulk/heavy items and collect them later from storage location in the same store.
          • Buy Online, Pickup In Store. Buy items online or in a different retail location and collect them later.

          With the right strategy, point-of-sale systems can be a powerful business enabler. At Veras, we recognized a market need for a flexible, cost-effective, and lightweight platform that can rapidly scale and shift to meet the shopper—how and where they want to shop. That’s what you’ll find in our unified retail platform, which looks at every point of interaction as an opportunity to connect, understand, and sell to the customer.

          Take advantage of flexEngage’s exciting digital receipts offer! Contact us to see how upgrading to Veras CheckOut can help simplify operations and deliver the ultimate shopping experience.

          * Available to customers in North America. Some add-on services may incur additional costs, such as third-party survey integration.

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          Curated Collections & Virtual Selling

          A WINNING COMBO: CURATED COLLECTIONS & VIRTUAL SELLING

          January 6, 2021

          The powerful combination of curated collections paired with the convenience of your very own virtual stylist will forever change how consumers shop.

          The reality is people have changed how they live, work, and shop, and many of these newly formed habits are here to stay. For retailers, many of those nice-to-have capabilities like curbside pickup, self-checkout, and appointment-driven shopping have quickly shifted to become must-have experiences. And not only have retailers responded at breakneck speed to provide safer and smarter ways to shop, but they’ve also adopted technology to create new shopping channels and revenue streams.

          One such technology is clienteling, which has evolved dramatically in the last several years. Initially, clienteling was adopted by sales people as an effective method to establish long-term relationships with key customers based on details about their preferences, behaviors, and purchases. Much of this was managed manually and kept locally in a literal “black book”.

          With digitalization and automation, retailers now have the ability to capture omnichannel customer data. Clienteling solutions like Veras Affinity help retailers connect online and offline data with store initiatives and empower their associates with a 360-degree view of the customer. But with in-store foot traffic greatly reduced, Veras Affinity clienteling is helping retailers stay connected even at a distance with AI-driven recommendations and complete collections curated by a savvy virtual shopper.

          Veras Affinity Remote Selling & Style Builder

          Remote or virtual selling is an effective tool, often doubling customer engagement and employee productivity at lower costs. Like ecommerce and brick-and-mortar stores, remote selling is evolving into a dynamic channel of its own. Remote selling helps associates actively connect with shoppers that aren’t going into the store and connect with new shoppers that may not typically shop with you online. Ultimately, it’s about elevating your sales experience with meaningful data and a digitally engaged audience.

          For most retailers, your employees often are your best customers and brand ambassadors. According to ExpertVoice, 86 percent of sales associates say the best reward for giving a recommendation is sharing their passion and expertise for customer satisfaction — not a commission.

          With Style Builder, you can put your sales associates’ passion to work by using their input into product recommendations to improve the AI/ML engine behind it. Veras Style Builder’s curated collections paired with remote selling offers the next-generation of clienteling. It allows users to build and sell styles several ways.

          Complete looks. Create or view product options to complete a look centered around a common theme. Multiple products from different categories are selected to form a complete vision for this look with rich product images and details.

          Complementary collections. Find items that go well together based on the shopper’s preferences and build a full collection around it. This creates an opportunity to find new items for the customer to complete their personal collection.

          Similar products. Easily find product recommendations that can be substituted for one another and with the ability to personalize recommendations. Associates use their store knowledge and direct interaction with the customer to fine tune the selections to enhance the AI.

          Style Builder can be used across a number of retail verticals to deliver high-touch, one-on-one experiences with the convenience and safety of the client shopping from home. For home goods stores, associates can create room collections based on different styles or room décor. Flooring retailers may have their design consultants present complete looks that are trending and share directly with customers.

          And for retailers that have in-store events like DIY or tasting events, Style Builder with Remote Selling brings that experience to the customer to not only drive revenue, but to keep your brand top of mind.

          AI Still Needs Human Input

          Veras Affinity’s AI/ML algorithms combine sales associate feedback with multiple customer data streams, including online and in-store purchases, social media, customer support activity, and more to provide a highly personalized experience.

          On top of algorithmic recommendations, Veras Style Builder still relies on humans to train and fine-tune the machine learning models. Even with the most successful AI, the human touch is critical in all the ways it’s being adopted today. Without it, every word, recommendation, or output has a fairly logical yet just-missed-the-mark effect that lacks authenticity.

          That’s why Style Builder applies a model in which human and algorithmic curators coexist to help one another. Together, Affinity’s AI learns and gets smarter from the store associate’s inputs — and gets better at executing over time. This is especially true when getting structured feedback from the field for new items that don’t yet have significant customer purchase history behind them. Leveraging store staff to get input on new products can help set meaningful recommendations in place quickly.

          Consumers are fundamentally changing the way they shop. Contact us to learn how Veras solutions can empower your staff to radically personalize and connect with shoppers virtually or in person.
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          Dark Stores are Shining a New Light on Retail

          Dark Stores are Shining a New Light on Retail

          November 23, 2020

          Retailers are leveraging their stores along with ecommerce to drive more sales and faster service. How? They’re going dark.

          As consumers expect more from what they can access, schedule for pickup, or get delivered to their doorsteps, retailers have come under tremendous pressure to make more products readily available. According to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, ecommerce sales increased nearly 45 percent year-over-year in the second quarter to reach more than 16 percent of total sales. 

          To fulfill an ever-growing list of holiday orders while continuing to deliver the right product, fastest service, and highest-quality customer experience, dark stores are providing much-needed relief for retailers and their shoppers. A dark store refers to a retail distribution center that is dedicated solely to fulfilling online orders. It’s typically a warehouse or repurposed store used to pack up online orders, which have skyrocketed during the pandemic.

          Today, the model has evolved with new technology to help a variety of retailers from home goods to hypermarkets to use dark stores as local fulfillment centers to facilitate buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) and delivery. Similar to ship-from-store fulfillment, dark stores can enhance a retailer’s overall physical layout and logical workflows to accommodate optimal picking routes and capacity.

          Retailers like Target and Walmart started testing ship-from-store fulfillment before the pandemic. Jewelry retailer Kendra Scott, when forced to close their doors at the height of the pandemic, used a ship-from-store strategy to turn their 108 closed stores into micro-fulfillment centers in just a few weeks.

          In recent months, Home Depot, Whole Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Apple have all shifted to add dark stores for online orders or converted existing stores to permanent micro-fulfilment centers.

          Demand for Dark Store Capabilities

          According to a September Accenture survey, nearly 80 percent of U.S. shoppers want their purchases delivered directly to their homes.

          Ship from store or from dark store provides lower cost, high-speed delivery options to help achieve this by distributing the capabilities of warehouses closer to shoppers. By optimizing the picking process and leveraging staff at select stores, retailers can create responsive ecommerce fulfillment centers.

          7 BENEFITS OF A SHIP FROM STORE OR DARK STORE FULFILLMENT STRATEGY:

          1. Expose and move more inventory. Ship from store exposes on-the-shelf, brick-and-mortar inventory to a larger online market. Rather than warehousing ecommerce inventory in a location that is isolated from stores and store inventory isolated from online markets, ship from store shares inventory across a retailer’s locations.
          2. Efficient inventory management. Ship from store requires better inventory management. With the adoption of technology in the load, store and pick stages, retailers are better able to increase the number of units that are delivered along with more efficient operations.
          3. Greater availability. As dark store operations are dedicated to fulfilling orders that are made online, they have a much clearer view of stock levels which results in better product availability than a pick-in-store fulfillment solution.
          4. Additional capacity. Having the flexibility to adjust and deal with volume is important. By shifting a fulfilment center to high-volume markets or having a small fulfillment center in a remote location, give retailers the ability to pick goods, pack, and deliver in areas with high order density or specific needs.
          5. Increased hours of operation. Unrestricted by regular store hours, dark stores can operate around the clock to fulfill demand. Orders can also be delivered faster and at the most convenient times for customers.
          6. New goods and new markets. Dark stores expose ways for retailers to sell new merchandise that shoppers would not typically find in their stores due to space limitations. It also gives retailers the ability to launch operations in new markets without having to open a traditional brick and mortar location.
          7. On-demand delivery. Shoppers welcome having any number of products delivered to their door in minutes. Delivery platforms like Uber, DoorDash, Roadie and Shipt, just to name a few, are helping to provide that instant gratification. A well-placed dark store along with these services can help retailers ensure demand is met while delivery times are kept to an all-time low.
          Veras Locate for Dark Store Fulfillment

          Veras Locate’s lightweight, easy-to-deploy architecture and efficient order picking allows retailers to meet these challenges without breaking the budget on costly, overly complex warehouse management systems. Moreover, Veras Locate addresses multiple fulfillment use cases to make the best use of resources across stores, warehouses, and offices.

          Ultimately, Veras Locate delivers a comprehensive solution to optimally locate, pick, ship, and restock inventory to meet the needs of the cross-channel shopper through:

          • Real-Time Inventory Availability. Many ERP and ecommerce systems rely on batch inventory updates that can’t readily expose the available inventory data for real-time requests. However, Locate can expose the data at any level and to any system.
          • Ship from Store or Dark Store. Successfully compete with ecommerce players by maximizing the impact of your stores. Optimize the picking process by leveraging staff at every store, or select stores, to create responsive ecommerce fulfillment centers.
          • Detect, Replenish, and Move Inventory. With real-time POS integration, alert stores of out-of-stock items on the floor and replenish on the fly from the backroom or off-site storage. From managing backroom inventory to speed customer service or aiding satellite stores to move inventory from a shared location, Locate gets the product in hand to the customer.
          • Easy and Efficient BOPIS. Veras Locate gives the store quick visibility to inventory position for picking the BOPIS order, as well as audible and visual alerts that let associates know they’re falling behind to better prioritize orders and ensure they’re ready for pickup.

          Entering the holiday season, we anticipate these dark stores will be bustling around the clock with order fulfillments. And as we look ahead to once the pandemic has settled, it’s certain that shoppers who have experienced fast delivery, BOPIS, or curbside pickup will likely keep some of these shopping habits moving forward.

          From streamlining processes to automating order fulfillment, we’re ready to help support your entire dark store strategy.

          Contact Us





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            It’s Time to Embrace Virtual Selling

            Add the personal experience, connection & excitement back to retail that your shoppers crave

            October 22, 2020

            Virtual selling is far more than a trend, and considerably more than sales associates interacting on Facebook or Zoom.

            As consumers are anxious about their finances and health ahead of the holiday season, according to Deloitte’s September consumer report, the uncertainty in our economy is causing U.S. shoppers to spend less. Unsurprisingly, the report also reveals that 60 percent of consumers are concerned about the health of their families leaving them anxious about spending time in stores.

            While the heightened safety requirements for both retail workers and their customers have accelerated to promote more contactless interactions like curbside pickup, buy online pickup in store (BOPIS), and self-checkout — but what if shoppers don’t step into the store?

            When consumers were asked how they planned to get through their holiday shopping and to-do lists this season, here’s how they responded:

            • 65 percent will shop online to avoid crowds
            • 48 percent will avoid malls
            • 69 percent will shop in stores closer to home
            Veras Affinity Remote Selling

            Now is the time to embrace remote or virtual selling. With remote selling, your organization can double customer engagement, productivity, and speed at lower costs by enabling remote selling teams. Sure, you can continue use Facebook or Zoom, but the experiences provided on these platforms are not trackable, personalized, integrated or consistent. While they help provide a quick fix to connect with shoppers, they’re hardly retail-focused and let’s face it, your customers expect more.

            Here are some compelling benefits of our in-app remote selling experience:

            • CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT. The opportunities for abuse are greatly reduced and there is no need to worry about app downloads or platform compatibility.
            • INTEGRATED TO THE SELLING PROCESS. In addition to having visibility into past purchases, recommendations can be converted to purchases, saved to their wish lists or added to their omnichannel cart.
            • KNOW THE CUSTOMER’S INTERESTS. Whether they’re planning for an upcoming event or remodeling an entire room, keep track of their preferences and products as they build out various collections.
            • BEST OF ECOMMERCE. Take the immediacy and convenience of ecommerce combined with the high-level service and personal touch of a knowledgeable sales associate.

            In this Veras Affinity Remote Selling demo, take a closer look as we step you through how the associate:

            • Initiates the remote selling conversation at the appointed time
            • Shares rich product details and available promotions
            • Builds the basket all the way through to purchase
            Give your associates the tools they need to foster stronger customer relationships, increase engagement, and drive revenue.

            Contact Us