Posted by: BT Expedite  |   Comments  No Response

We’ve moved..

Update your address book!

BT Fresca, BT’s specialist e-commerce division and providers of the FrescaCommerce Platform has moved to new offices.

St Johns Court
Easton Street
High Wycombe
Bucks
HP11 1JX

We were bursting at the seams at our old place and we needed a little more space to breathe.

The good news is that our new office isn’t at the top of a hill (hooray!), it’s twice the size and we’ve had it kitted out with absolutely everything we need.

It’s also slap bang in the middle of town - just a short walk from High Wycombe train station. So it is easier to get to, better to work in and gives us room to expand (we’re planning to grow by a third, in terms of people, this year).

We’d love to show you round the new place so give us a call (the number’s still the same – 01494 439700) and we’ll set up a visit.

Hope to see you soon,

Sarah Hughes and Gavin Wilkinson
Joint Managing Directors
BT Fresca

Posted by: BT Expedite  |   Comments  No Response

As the multichannel expert for BT Expedite, I believe passionately that retailers that join up their various customer touchpoints (Store, Web, Mobile, Call-centre, Email, Social etc) and provide great customer service and brand experience across these touchpoints are on to a winning strategy.

Data to back this up in fashion /apparel has been relatively sparse however. As a result, we have spent some time recently looking at the results our customers are achieving. For several years, we have been helping retailers such as Aurora Fashions, Thomas Pink, JJB Sports, New Look and, Lyle & Scott to launch cross-channel programmes using our Integrated Store and Integrated mobile /social solutions. This data pool is now large enough to enabled us to draw some conclusions. Some of the data and trends we picked out include:

1) Click & collect boosts on-line orders by at least 10% with some retailers achieving >30% uplift. This is incremental to year-on-year increases in web sales typically in excess of 20%

2) Best in class retailers are seeing >60% upsell once a customer is in-store to collect their order

3) Transactions through Mobile and Social touchpoints, whilst still low, are increasing at an exponential rate.

These are hard benefits, there are many soft benefits of this cross-channel retail approach including improved customer loyalty and increased staff engagement. You can find out a little bit more directly from our customers Meg Lustman, MD from Warehouse and Jonathan Heilbron, CEO from Thomas Pink in the video below:

Article by Jason Shorrock, Multichannel Consultant, BT Expedite

Posted by: BT Expedite  |   Comments  No Response

We’ll be centre stage at the Retail Business Technology Expo next month with BT’s ‘The Future of Retail – Lighting up the High Street’ showcase.

Drawing on one of the biggest Research and Development centres in the world (Adastral Park), our showcase will be crammed full of the very latest retail technology, from digital signage and social commerce to clienteling and mobile point of sale.

You often see the “future of retail” at these events and are left scratching your head as to how exactly it will work. That’s why we’ll have real working demos of everything on show.

Because it’s not about some fantasy future – the products and services we’re demoing are based on current trends, things that are bubbling under the surface now. And products and services we’re putting into place right now.

Make no bones about it – technology is changing the way we shop.

Take mobile, for example. With smartphone wielding, product savvy customers setting the agenda, retailers need to arm their sale staff with access to the same info. That means in-store wi-fi and mobile devices.

But sexy in-store iPads won’t produce any results if the infrastructure underpinning all of it isn’t right. That’s why the future of retail is all about the plumbing – or wiring if you prefer.

This might not be as exciting as tablet devices and interactive signage, but it’s the fundamental stuff that will make or break your multichannel approach. Having customer and stock data at your fingertips will help you understand your customers and be able to personalise the shopping experience.

So as well as all the neat gizmos and gadgets to dazzle customers, we can make sure that everything works together – that all the disparate channels come together in one integrated system. As well as removing the complexity – we can host everything remotely so your bandwidth can flex up and down as you need it – this will also help remove cost from your business.

So if you’re not already registered for the Expo, do it now. And if you are coming along, get in touch to request a tailored tour of our technology showcase. It’s definitely worth booking this in advance so that you get the most out of your visit.

Posted by: BT Expedite  |   Comments  No Response

New York’s National Retail Federation (NRF) 2012 conference theme was Retail’s New Rules, and it focused on how retailers and innovators are reshaping the conventional rules of the game.

My favourite town, my favourite show. New York’s National Retail Federation (NRF) 2012 conference theme was Retail’s New Rules, and it focused on how retailers and innovators are reshaping the conventional rules of the game.

It was bigger, better and busier than ever, with 400 exhibitors and over 25,000 attendees from 78 countries. And Bill Clinton headlining! And, for me, this year’s big ideas were:

 

Consumer reigns
Epicor’s booth showed that consumer devices reign supreme: Business Intelligence (BI) portals, assisted service, clienteling – all served up on shiny tablet devices. Equally exciting, was acceptance that customer engagement rules are changing and in response to this, our newly launched Clienteling app attracted lots of attention around the show.

 

‘Omni-commerce’
At the conference, I asked US retailers for their views on the subject of centrally hosted versus distributed POS systems. In previous years, US retailers have shown little interest in this deployment model, in stark contrast to their UK counterparts.
But this year there was a definite shift in attitude; among the IT attendees, the key words were resilience, virtualisation and security. And their Business and Marketing colleague’s phrases like ‘customer experience’ and ‘cross-channel’ – or the new buzz phrase at the show – ‘omni-commerce’.

 

Maximum security
Overlaid on top of the cloud, security and PCI were also major themes. Network vendors promising the ‘elixir to PCI’ were around every corner; secure networks, secure wi-fi, secure platforms.

 

Clicks and mortar
A different perspective on Payment was provided by PayPal, whose booth was drawing in the crowds with their cross-channel vision and inexorable push into ‘bricks and mortar’. It’s part of a process that’s moving payment from the wallet to the smartphone, with personalised pricing and promotions, while consumers shop. PayPal’s new strapline ‘Now the Best in Both Worlds’ shows Great vision in a fast moving area. Watch this space!

 

My summary of this year’s show: Bigger than ever, lots of optimism. Technology is where it’s at. Not just technology to meet the fast moving shopping habits of consumers, but technology that supports global reach, because that’s where the growth is. By the end of the show I was exhausted but more enthused about the future of retail and the systems that underpin it than previous years. Roll on 2012.

Steve Thomas, CTO, BT Expedite

Posted by: Kevin Burns  |   Comments  No Response

With clarification on Point to Point Encryption (P2PE) now out, it’s clearly a solution that could make compliance easier for most. But is there a sting in the tail?

Back in September 2011 we were eagerly awaiting the clarification from the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) on Point to Point Encryption (P2PE). At the time I asked whether it was time to get off the fence and set out a white paper outlining the potential benefits of implementing such a solution. Now that the clarification has been published it’s clear that our assumptions remain valid and the approach, assuming that you use a solution which includes external hosting, will make compliance easier for most. But is there perhaps a sting in the tail?

First we have to wait until the QSA training is completed. Then there is the further wait for solutions to be validated. Combine this with the need for most Chip and PIN retailers to complete a PIN entry device (PED) replacement programme and we might have an issue with timing – and then supply and demand.

QSA training expected to slip
 
Initially there was a belief that QSA training would be completed by March 2012, but this is expected to slip. And the number of QSAs who will be trained and certified to complete the solution validation is likely to be a subset of the total QSA community. If we assume that the validation process takes three months, which may be optimistic, then we could be looking at July or August before any certified solutions are formally available to implement.

If retailers wait for the listing to be published then their selection of a new solution is unlikely to be completed until October 2012 at the earliest, giving no time at all to implement the solution before the end of the year (unless you ignore the traditional Christmas freeze). Some might think that this is a pessimistic view, but even if you take the best case it’s unlikely that you can start a change programme before August.
 
Five key planning steps

 

So let’s take the optimistic view. In August you sit down to start planning the implementation of a P2PE solution. Here’s what you need to think about:


1. PED replacement – this goes hand in hand with the P2PE solution. Remember you’ll be limited to selecting a terminal which conforms to PCI-PTS version 3.x (this is not a long list in the UK or Eire).
2. Accreditation with your acquirer(s) – not all solutions are pre-accredited and, if you need to go through an accreditation, your plan will have to include this, which could easily add 12 weeks (assuming you don’t have to wait too long for a slot).
3. PED availability – demand will increase as the year progresses, lead times will therefore likely extend.
4. Integration – most P2PE solutions will need to be integrated with your POS. Do not lose sight of the effort that this will take in terms of development, testing and implementation.
5. Deployment – new PEDs will mean engineering visits and P2PE applications will require software upgrades.



Clearly timelines will vary and you’ll likely have a view on the considerations above. But if P2PE is your answer to solving your PCI DSS challenges then, as I said back in September 2011 – PLAN NOW. Get your budget in place and perhaps take a calculated gamble to start sooner rather than later. If you wait you might find that it leads to disappointment, with busy development and deployment teams, and long lead times on PEDs, not to mention stretched resources at the acquirers trying to deal with a host of accreditations in parallel.
 
You might find it useful to look at our Time to get off the fence? whitepaper to help with your planning or get in touch to discuss how BT might help.
 
Kevin Burns
PCI DSS consultant
BT Expedite

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