Posted by: BT Expedite  |   Comments  No Response

Hey! You! Get POS on my cloud

Crabtree & Evelyn has evolved from a small, family-run business – specialising in fine soaps from around the world – to an international organisation with outlets in ten countries, from Australia to the US.

But up until recently, the company’s 37 UK stores were using dial-up connections and an outdated point of sale (POS) solution. In a multichannel world, with sky-high customer expectations, the existing set-up had taken the company as far as it could.

With payment card industry (PCI) compliance putting even more pressure on, the overworked IT team decided it needed a smarter system – one that helped support multichannel trading, meet PCI compliance and free the team to push the business forward.

Because we can provide a one-stop shop for retailers we were able to come up with a complete solution built on:

  1. a virtual data centre
  2. state-of-the-art POS
  3. managed payment service

And that one-stop shop approach extends to support as well – Crabtree & Evelyn have just one number to call if there any problems. You can read the full case study here.

Video: watch IT director Tim Johnson explain why Crabtree & Evelyn chose BT

So how does the cloud help?

Well, by not having to buy and maintain all the hardware, Crabtree & Evelyn benefits from an infrastructure as a service approach. Virtual data centres offer far greater agility and resilience than traditional set-ups, while the total cost of ownership is reduced with charges based on usage.

Added to this is the attraction of an OPEX investment model through a cloud-based system.

The managed payment service aspect of the integrated solution also means Crabtree & Evelyn doesn’t have to worry about keeping up with an ever-changing PCI standard. That’s now our problem. But the real value comes in bringing all of this together in one solution from one supplier – cutting through the complexity.

Article by Steve Thomas, Chief Technology Officer, BT Expedite

Posted by: Tanya Bowen  |   Comments  No Response

Customer relationship management (CRM) has been about for as long as there have been customers. The tools may change but the goal has always been the same: get to know your customers and encourage them to buy more, more often.

In many ways clienteling is a throwback to a time when local shopkeepers knew each and every customer that visited – their likes, dislikes, wants and needs.

Of course we live in a world where retailers have stores in different locations with thousands of customers buying through multiple channels. It’s basically impossible for individual sales associates to retain all that information. But that’s where technology comes in.

By blending in-store wi-fi, tablet devices, real-time customer data and stock information, you can create a tool that will motivate sales associates, delight customers – and boost the bottom line.

Video: Tanya Bowen and Charleen Benson discuss clienteling

Our clienteling tool can run on an iPad (or similar tablet device) or almost any device with a web browser. It pulls in multichannel CRM data and has been built with an intuitive front end for sales associates.

It can be tailored and branded to reflect a retailer’s look and ways of working. Using it will help you create an impressive mobile black book while blueprinting best practice processes.

Which all sounds great; but it’ll only work if customers buy into the idea. Without that buy-in, you’ll have a big hole at the heart of your CRM data and you won’t have the full picture. The key is getting your sales associates to understand the benefits. If they can see the benefits, they’ll capture the data.

In the past, collecting customer data in-store was often an afterthought. Customers at the checkout want to pay and go – not fill in forms and sign up for loyalty schemes.

So you need to make the process quick and painless – and build it into everyday customer service behaviour. Mobile technology, consumer devices, joined up systems and central access make that possible. Then you’re on the way to a better class of clienteling.

Article by Tanya Bowen, Head of CRM & Loyalty, BT Expedite

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