NRF 2017 | Optimization, flexibility and analytics

[fa icon="calendar'] January 20, 2017 / by Beau Wysong

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NRF 2017 was a whirlwind of activity – between demos, sessions and meetings I was definitely ready to put my feet up at the end of each show day. It was my first time attending NRF, and I was struck by the vast variety of technologies on display. From virtual reality to facial recognition, it was clear that there are a lot of solutions available to address retailers’ challenges in every area.

 

Retailers say technology is the edge they need against online giants

We heard a lot from brick-and-mortar retailers about using technology to help mount a strong defense against online shopping.  Personalization and a smooth cross-channel experience are hot topics, of course, but one thing nearly everyone we spoke to wanted was actionable analytics. Retailers wanted to know how they can see what’s happening in their stores and take action faster to resolve issues or make necessary changes.

They were excited to see how our software platform, VeriBalance, tackles that challenge head-on. With seamless integration of all your systems and devices at stores and corporate, we help your technologies communicate to give you the information you need in real time. Whatever the technology is, our software platform can communicate with it and connect it with your other technologies. Any POS, any safe, any self-checkout. Existing or new. In different combinations. In different stores sizes or formats. Anything.

The VeriBalance integration with intelligent cash drawers drew big crowds in particular. Gathering weight data from the drawer, VeriBalance is constantly reconciling its contents and can instantly alert the right person when something needs attention. Whether it’s a simple mistake, a fraud attempt or just that the register needs a loan, VeriBalance lets your store staff address the situation immediately so you can recover funds or correct the situation as quickly as possible.

 

Cost of accepting cash really adds up

Many visitors to our booth had the cost of accepting cash on their minds. Even if cash sales weren't a big part of their business, they still recognized the time, effort and potential for loss cash involves. The key to lowering the cost of accepting cash is awareness of how much time and effort cash really requires in your organization. A lot goes into counting, reconciling, handling, depositing, ordering, tracking, accounting for and managing cash, and our platform streamlines the entire process, from when it’s accepted from the customer to when you deposit it in the bank.

 

Customer experience in the wild

Even outside the show floor, New York brought us a great real-life example of how our platform can help retailers improve customer experience – a must when it comes to fighting online retailers. While out picking up a few things we needed, our team witnessed a scene that would make any corporate leader groan. One shopper, arms laden with items to be purchased, stood waiting at the checkout while six employees all huddled around a currency scale, trying to interpret its data. Because the scale wasn’t communicating with the store’s other technologies, it took time and attention from the customer, threatening the customer’s current purchase and his loyalty in the future.

To avoid a scene like that in one of your stores, your technology investments should add value to your business instead of taking away from it. When you’re trying to increase foot traffic and customer spend with the shadow of online retailers looming over your business, you’ve got to make every minute count. Optimizing your currency management is a great place to start.

Beau Wysong
Beau Wysong

Beau serves as Balance Innovations' VP of Marketing, spreading the word about the value our solutions bring to retail currency management.