Are local retailers ‘retail revolution ready’?

Velocity infographic detail

Capturing and leveraging customer data in real-time is key to growing sales and profits in today’s 24/7, ‘always on’ connected world, a challenge that local retailers must embrace to provide today’s and tomorrow’s customers with the shopping experience they will expect.

by Enda McShane

There’s no denying the massive shifts in the retail industry, but are retailers actually “retail revolution ready” to successfully engage with their customers? And no, “hello, welcome to the store” doesn’t count!

Retail, like most industries, is undergoing a transformation – and that very much extends to convenience retailing. The shopping experience is no longer a linear one, where a customer enters a store, makes a purchase and leaves. It’s cyclical. Retailers need to be aware of these changes and adopt personalisation strategies to keep up with the way customers want to be treated.

It’s easy to create successful customer engagement strategies if you have the right customer data in place. Retailers oftentimes get distracted by the next trending topic or gimmick, but the best ones are those that have the basic foundations locked down. In the retail world, there’s often two types of retailers: those that have data and don’t successfully use it, and those that have absolutely no data in place at all. Businesses that capture customer data, have engagement strategies in place and sustainable customer loyalty are rare to find — but not impossible to achieve.

The retail industry is more dynamic than ever, from growing its bricks-and-mortar presence to Target teaming up with Pinterest in the US to offer visual search tools as part of its shopping experience. But there’s one thing all retailers have in common — they all must evolve their customer strategies to succeed in the next decade or run the risk of falling behind.

Velocity infographiA recent study of retail decision makers issued by Velocity Worldwide and Sapio Research found that while 30% of retailers struggle to maintain customer loyalty, 53% wait for customers to walk into or check out of the store before even engaging with them – that’s more than half of retailers that are missing prime engagement opportunities! Retailers have to understand the customer journey is a circular one. This means communication shouldn’t be isolated to one part of the journey or sale. Customer engagement needs to occur at every single touchpoint, pre-store, in-store and post-store.

We live in a 24/7 connected world, where real-time feedback, interactions and even instant coupons are expected. It’s shocking that only 35% of retailers analyse their data in real time. Many don’t even recognise this is a problem, and those retailers end up completely missing out when they don’t instantly act on their data insights. Not only does it improve overall customer experience, but it can help boost instant conversions and engagement. One of retailers’ biggest advantages is the ability to use their existing technologies in-store to capture valuable customer data to personalise the shopping experience.

So how do retailers make data actionable? They must start using the actual data to build customer loyalty. Retailers need to shift focus to the most actionable customer data such as purchase history, shopping habits and customer feedback. Capturing and activating this type of data – at all stages of the shopper journey – is the key to a personalised, ongoing customer journey. After all, shopping and purchasing is cyclical, so why isn’t retailers’ data?

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Navarra Retail Systems

Navarra Retail Systems has provided tobacco retailing solutions for over 15 years and offers retailers the best service and keenest prices.

We supply a range of dispensers manufactured by GM Global solutions tailored towards the needs of Scottish retailers with solutions to suit all outlets.

All units fully comply with all Tobacco Display Regulations (even with their doors open) and are the most efficient way to retail tobacco in a market with restricted display.

Our secure metal units protect valuable stock. They also provide real stock control as all product dispensed is automatically scanned to the till.

The dispensers reduce costs by saving time on stocking, speeding-up service and preventing mistakes – especially with plain packaging.

They can also increase revenue through increased sales, advertising and sponsorship.

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Snappy Shopper

Snappy Shopper is a product which has been designed and built specifically for the convenience store market.

As consumers continue to migrate to online services and away from traditional offline business models, it is clear that the convenience store market will go the same way. With other businesses looking at this opportunity, we have seen supermarkets and even Amazon entering this market.

Snappy Shopper is the solution convenience store retailers need to allow them to compete in the digital marketplace and have a digital strategy to ensure they are not left behind by increasing their sales revenues and opening up the ecommerce multichannel marketplace.

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GS1 UK is a community of over 33,000 members working in retail, foodservice, healthcare and more. GS1 UK is one of 112 independent, not-for-profit GS1 organisations operating across 150 countries worldwide.

GS1 UK helps everyone involved in making, moving and trading goods, automate and standardise their supply chain processes using the common language of GS1 global standards.

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Bolt Learning

Bolt is committed to improving the performance of the UK convenience and wholesale industry, by improving the knowledge, skill-set and capability of the people who work within it. Bolt creates innovative digital learning solutions, using modern teaching methodologies and cutting-edge technology, to help companies more effectively train and develop their people.

One-in-three convenience retailers say training is a significant challenge for their business, mainly due to lack of time. We offer online training modules, specifically designed for convenience retail, giving retailers and suppliers a cost-effective and time-efficient way to train themselves and their staff. Our modules help retailers and suppliers protect their business from a potential breach of compliance, covering topics such as food hygiene, health & safety and age-related sales, and also give employees the knowledge and skills to help grow sales, such as customer service, upselling, core range and category knowledge.

Our online learning platform also provides critical measurements of training completed and knowledge and skills attained, giving retailers or store managers an easily accessible online record of all training which has taken place in their business and their employees’ performance.

In our relatively short life we’ve started working with global, national and local clients, such as McColl’s, Lifestyle Express, Sewells on the Go, James Retail, Parfetts, JJ Foodservice, Brakes, PMI, Kanes, Weetabix and JTI.

We are constantly innovating our solution to push the boundaries of what we can offer our clients, disrupting the way which online learning is created, delivered and tracked to ensure a higher impact to their business.

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Free to download from all stores, Zapper’s award-winning mobile payment with in-built loyalty app is now available in +1,000 stores across the UK, including Spar, Nisa, Best-One and Booker.

With just one tap to pay, digital store loyalty cards are instantly updated and available vouchers automatically redeemed. Zapper is the rewarding way to pay.

Using Zapper, retailers and brands can instantly match a name to every basket and create targeted marketing campaigns to encourage a higher visit frequency and increase basket spend. With payments settled within 24 hours, Zapper’s low-cost loyalty solution also helps retailers to improve cash flow.

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Hi Street Digital Media

Hi Street Digital Media provides convenience retailers and FMCG brands with a unique opportunity to target shoppers at the vital moment of decision making prior to purchase. Our high bright digital media screens, placed in premium convenience stores throughout the UK, are proven to increase sales of promoted products by an average of 15.3% whilst also increasing both footfall and basket size.

Our screens are supplied completely free of charge to retailers who meet our criteria. We also allocate a portion of the daily media space to symbol group specific retailer promotions.

Brands promoted on the screens see an immediate and tangible ROI, as well as distribution and compliance solutions, supported by revolutionary shopper engagement analytics.

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Velocity Worldwide

Velocity Worldwide is a creative retail marketing and shopper engagement specialist with over two decades in the business of knowing shoppers and the retailers who serve them.

Velocity’s proprietary personalisation and insight technology, Darius for Retail, was born out of this specialism.

By helping convenience stores and fuel retailers gather, profile and segment shopper data, Darius for Retail drives more visits, engages customers and grows sales by making it possible for them to deliver personalised, relevant messages, experiences and rewards to their shoppers across all channels, both off-line and online… when they’re in-store and when they’re not.

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The Retail Data Partnership

One the UK’s leading EPoS providers, The Retail Data Partnership specialises in reliable, easy to use EPoS systems to the convenience sector and strives to use big data to give retailers and brands the complete picture of the convenience sector.

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MHouse Solutions

MHouse Solutions is Scotland’s leading supplier of tailored Epos solutions. We are a rapidly-expanding company with multiple supplier links and partnerships. We are proud to service over 450 stores in Scotland alone.

MHouse Solutions offers a comprehensive, cost-effective yet premium Epos solution that just works every time, bringing the simplicity back to retail.

We pride ourselves in being there for our customer with a free helpdesk number and seven days per week support. The company is always committed in putting the customer first. At installation we appoint a site specific BDM to project manage the Epos installation and training.

The directors all have decades-worth of retail experience therefore we can truly say our systems are made by retailers for retailers.

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IRI is a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help CPG, OTC health care organisations, retailers and media companies grow their businesses.

With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all integrated on an on-demand cloud-based technology platform, IRI helps to guide its more than 5,000 clients around the world in their quests to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers and deliver market-leading growth.

A confluence of major external events—a revolution in consumer buying, big data coming into its own, advanced analytics and automated consumer activation—is leading to a seismic shift in drivers of success in all industries. Ensure your business can leverage data at

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In thousands of retail locations, at home and on the move, we make life more convenient for everyone.

For retailers, we offer innovative and time-saving technology that empowers convenience retailers in the UK and Romania to achieve higher footfall and increased spend so they can grow their businesses profitably. Our innovative retail services platform, PayPoint One, is now live in over 7,400 stores in the UK and offers everything a modern convenience store needs, from parcels and contactless card payments to EPoS and bill payment services.

Our technology helps retailers to serve customers quickly, improve business efficiency and stay connected to their stores from anywhere.
Our UK network of 29,000 stores is bigger than all banks, supermarkets and Post Offices together, putting us at the heart of communities nationwide.

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