Capitalising on science of selling

Capitalising on science of selling

Scientific approaches centre on customer loyalty software, self-checkout and self-service, decision support, relationship management software and remote systems management.

IDC's Allen said taking a more scientific approach emphasised how technologies were being applied to real business issues and the importance of better management information.

Fujitsu Australia retail industry director, Conway Kosi, said resellers should look for opportunities peddling customer loyalty solutions, workforce management and digital media as a mechanism to advertising and targeted in-store promotions.

"Help retailers increase brand power, drive supply chain efficiencies and be more responsive to consumers," Kosi said. "Kiosk technology is enabling consumers to do product enquiries and orders.

"There's an opportunity to help mid-tier organisations below major players like Coles and Woolworths.

"Retailers need an integrated supply chain and ERP system so they can be more nimble and flexible. There are many fragmented legacy systems that need replacing."

Mobile moves

Symbol Technologies wireless expert, Damian Stock, said there was a lot of action in hooking up retailers with mobile solutions and device management. Enabling a mobile workforce is a key area of focus to enhance productivity as well as improving customer service, he said.

In the past, retailers adopted simple, DOS-like devices running single, rudimentary applications. Now the devices are more complex, providing the retailer with sets of applications.

But with the added benefits and features, comes the complexity of device management.

"Users in the past could reset the devices if something went wrong, but now they must consider if it needs to be locked out of the operating system, and also ensure they always have the latest version of applications."

Open opportunity

There's a lucrative consulting opportunity for resellers asked to implement mobile solutions and device management in retail environments due to the dearth of technology out there in terms of managing networks and devices.

"There are many point products out there that do basic management, but there's not a lot that manage both the infrastructure and the client to offer event correlation," Stock said.

Stores need help with the deployment, management and support phase when moving towards a mobility platform and online, real-time applications.

Remote management - including the ability to lock down lost devices, generate incident reports and track memory utilisation, RF signal level and battery condition - are all important device management features.

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