M-Commerce – Part of your Omnichannel Journey

MobM-Commerce is not only influencing a consumer at the point of sale, but bringing the point of sale to the consumer. The proportion of consumers buying goods via a mobile device has also soared world-wide, from 10% in 2008 to 28% in 2010. Research via IMRG & Capgemini shows that sales via mobile devices was up 138% in 2013, with these sales accounting for 30% off the total online retail spend. By 2015 a mobile device is sure to be part of every omnichannel shopping journey, with mobile sales accounting for 40% of the overall turnover by 2020.

Today M-Commerce encourages people to browse items because it’s easy, can be done at anytime and anywhere. Statistics in Retail Week revealed that nearly 20% of people who browse, end up buying, therefore the M-Commerce journey needs to be a simple one.

There  are now more than 17million UK shoppers now making purchases via smartphones, with this popularity in mobile devices now having changed the way consumers research, browse, buy, and transact online. People are becoming increasingly impatient, which has also had a direct impact on ‘click-and-collect’. Customers aren’t prepared to wait for deliveries, they want their items immediately and this push towards ‘click-and-collect’ has ultimately driven consumers back in to ‘bricks and mortar’ stores.

With barcode scanning, QR codes, location based services, ‘check ins’ and coupons supported by mobile devices it can open up lots more opportunities for brands in terms of marketing, merchandising and customer acquisition campaigns – with more customer touch points, comes further sales as a result of direct engagement over numerous channels.

This growth in M-Commerce has meant that shoppers increasingly expect convenience speed and choice as standard. Mobile devices need to cater to these demands, with optimised content, offering quick and simple presentation and navigation. Retailers therefore have to take a fresh look at their operation to keep up with customer demands, often designing the customer approach with one that thinks about the mobile journey first.

However the mobile journey doesn’t just stop with customers. It is one which is becoming more and more part of retailers operating strategies. Therefore, with current demands to provide real time stock availability, ensuring you have a central stock pool becomes critical.

Our supply chain solution Merret has been designed and constructed for today’s omnichannel world, with a complete end-to-end solution letting the customer choose how, when and where they want to shop. This provides the customer with a seamless and consistent experience across multiple devices – ideal for the current growth in M-Commerce platforms.

If you would like more information about our Merret supply chain then please visit our website: http://www.retail-assist.co.uk/merret-supply-chain/. You can also email us on: info@retail-assist.co.uk or call us on: +44 (0) 115 853 3910


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Keep Customers at the Centre of your Business with an Omnichannel Loyalty Programme

BFor retailers, the balancing act between keeping up with the ever increasing demands of consumers and providing a personalised service is becoming harder and harder. Customers want the whole package – so how will you give it to them?

To keep customer returning you need to implement an approach which ensures you are consistent and seamless across all platforms. With 63% of consumers using multiple channels when spending over £100, research shows that on average omnichannel shoppers spend more. Retailers need to use this to their advantage, exploring and implementing customer-focused, omnichannel capabilities to meet these evolving expectations and needs.

With increased personalisation and technological advances, customers have come to expect retailers to know who they are, what they purchased, and their preferences for interaction, but to not go so far as to invade their privacy and sense of security.

There is an expectation to connect not only with retailers seamlessly across channels, but also via personalised communications and targeted offers. A study by the ‘Cognizant Shopper’ found that the top three personalisation factors that influence purchase behaviour are;

  • Special treatment based on loyalty
  • Acknowledgement of status
  • Personalised offers

A successful omnichannel loyalty program needs to have the ability to deliver on all these expectations, engaging customers at the right time, in the right place, through the right channel, with the right message. With research finding that 35% of consumers believing that loyalty schemes do in fact keep them loyal to that brand; it’s time to start getting omnichannel loyalty plans in place.

When executed correctly, an omnichannel loyalty program can help identify customers, connect online and offline data to better understand purchase behaviour, deliver timely and relevant experiences, and motivate and reward customers for key behaviours that ultimately drive sales.

Omnichannel loyalty is crucial for retailers for a variety of reasons; engaged customers are 23% more profitable says Gallus research and Corra’s ‘Ecommerce’ research found around 80% of Americans indicate they are more likely to become loyal to retailers who provide a seamless shopping experience across devices. A retailer with a robust loyalty programme in place means that consumers are more likely to shop with that retailer, due to trust and uniformity within the brand as a whole, with omnichannel loyalty programmes driving preference.

Improving customer experience should be at the top of most major retailer’s lists. However, in a Forrester study only 37% of companies listed customer engagement as one of the top business objectives for loyalty campaigns.

Omnichannel loyalty remedies this problem by placing customer engagement much higher on the priority list. With the current trends in place, this will undoubtedly continue as a response to customer expectations and buying behaviour. Omnichannel loyalty is indeed all about delivering the right message at the right time in the right way across the channels the customer chooses.

  • Don’t take more information than is necessary. Stick to the basics, don’t ask customers lots of questions producing data that ultimately you won’t use and that will put them off providing.
  • Don’t over promote and under deliver – don’t promise anything you can’t achieve.
  • Ensure that any rewards scheme that’s put in place is measurable.
  • Move away from paper vouchers, not only are they easier to copy but consumers are now conducting much of their time via mobile devices and expect to be able to perform most tasks via their device.
  • Monitor your data real time and respond immediately when issues arise. Customers operate 24×7 so you should to.
  • Enable loyalty functionality such as enrolment, accrual and redemption across all channels.
  • Reward customers for shopper activity that go beyond purchase alone (such as social interactions).
  • Stay connected with customers through social media, local and mobile technologies.
  • Ensure a seamless experience and consistency across all loyalty interactions.
  • Make loyalty offers and communication relevant and compelling through sophisticated use of data.

Retailers must ensure they are focusing on strategic goals when implementing an omnichannel loyalty program. Although new technology and tactics are required, especially when it comes to the collection and use of data, the fundamental goals and resulting benefits of effective loyalty programs are unchanged. Through a unified view of the customer, retailers can deliver unique messaging in the most cost-effective way, improving profitability and competitiveness.

If you are interested in our services then please visit our website: www.retail-assist.co.uk or contact us via email: info@retail-assist.co.uk or telephone: +44 (0) 115 853 3910.

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Paperchase for Wedding Stationary – Guest Blog

We are very lucky to be able to welcome back our guest blogger, Charlie, who has previously blogged for us regarding the prefect wedding guest list and how to find the ideal bridesmaid dress. This time she is back and talking about wedding stationary, focussing on our customer Paperchase. To read more of Charlie’s ‘Dainty Bride’ blogs visit her page by clicking here.

Wedding stationary is such a key part to planning your wedding. It will inform all of your guests of key details of the day and also help to state a theme! Currently I haven’t told any of my guests anything about the theme that I shall be having at my own wedding, but I have been sending hints via my ‘Save the Dates’ and ‘Wedding Invites.’ Sneaky huh?!

I’ve been browsing in various shops and on websites for a while now and have found that Paperchase have a lot to offer! As it’s a high street brand it’s easy to call in and have a good hunt around, being able to see things in the flesh really helps you to get a better idea if the items are right for you. But failing that, if your pushed for time, everything is also available via their website, which makes it not only convenient but also a good research tool.

These ‘Woodland Laser Cut Invitations’ are by far my favourite. They’re so cute and rustic with just the right amount of detail. These invites would be perfect for those who want to create an outdoor “barn” style wedding, so hay bales at the ready! They’re also pretty reasonably priced, coming in at £10.00 for 10 invites.

Dainty Blog - Paperchase Pic 1The next invites I came across were a complete contrast in design to the ones I previously looked at, with a more modern and sophisticated feel. I love the different colours that go through the geometric pattern. They’re rather simple in design but seeing as they’re £3.25 for 10 in the sale, who cares?! Definitely one for us bargain brides.

Dainty Blog - Paperchase Pic 3 Dainty Blog - Paperchase Pic 3Paperchase also stock place cards and I fell in love with these vintage style butterfly ones as soon as I saw them. Also stocking a variety pens, you can shop until your heart’s content to find the perfect colour to write on your guests names. (£2.00 for 10)

Dainty Blog - Paperchase Pic 4If you’re more of a creative person and fancy putting your own stamp on your place cards then Paperchase also offer a variety of plain card for you to get inventive with. You can either buy the card already cut to size or buy larger pieces of card for a more DIY job!

Dainty Blog - Paperchase Pic 5Finally, they also offer a variety of decorations which are so cute! You can buy some that are in keeping with the theme of your invites and place cards or you can go for a more miss matched feel a select something completely different.

This ‘Large Heart Glass Lantern Tea Light Holder’ could be perfect for adding to your top table, or hanging somewhere in you venue as decoration, maybe even line a path that your guest have to walk up to provide a truly romantic feel.

Dainty Blog - Paperchase Pic 6These ‘Glitter Champagne Bubble Bottles’ are amazing! They would be a great accessory to add to your tables for your guests to have a play with, especially as a way to entertain children that may be attending you wedding and who will without doubt get a bored during the speeches.

Dainty Blog - Paperchase Pic 7Dainty Blog - Paperchase Pic 8I think everyone loves a good wicker heart, and these ones would be perfect for dressing up the aisle chairs during your ceremony, giving your upcoming nuptials a more personal touch.

Dainty Blog - Paperchase Pic 9In conclusion, for wedding stationary there seems to be one choice, Paperchase. With such a great selection on offer and styles and themes to suit everyone, what are you waiting for? If you do find your perfect wedding stationary at Paperchase, let me know I’d love to see how you all get on.

Thank you for reading


Dainty Bride xx

Thanks Charlie, I think this has provided a lot of options for many new brides, from laser cut patterns to colourful decorations and plain create your own styles, the only problem now is, how do you decide? We hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and if you are interested in our services then please get in touch – website: http://www.retail-assist.co.uk/ telephone: +44 (0) 115 853 3910. We are also on Twitter: RetailAssist, Facebook: Retail Assist and Instagram: RetailAssist – so look out for us there.


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Ra-X: Global Data Exchange, Retail Communications & Polling Solution


RaxRa-X is our data exchange software solution for today’s global omnichannel world. Currently our Ra-X software supports over 3,300 stores throughout 62 countries and trades with 66 different partners, including; Harrods, House of Fraser, El Corte Ingles, John Lewis, Bloomingdales and Selfridges, just to name a few.

Our Ra-X customers include; Coast, Oasis, Warehouse, Paperchase, Cath Kidston, East and Karen Millen, and they benefit from seamless data exchange between many systems enabling retailer’s to link seamlessly and effectively with their trading partners, across company owned stores, concessions, standalone stores and franchises, globally. This allows easy data interchange with partner systems, dealing with issues relating to data formatting, territories and time zones.

Rax 2Ra-X cuts through the complexity of non-standardised systems in numerous retailing outlets ensuring data integration and set-up is fast and efficiently enabling you to handle your business effectively.

Robin Coles, our Head of Product Strategy comments; “Ra-X is secure, scalable and easy to use. It supports ambitions for expansion with minimum risk and cost as it doesn’t require any hardware or software, capital outlay, or increase in IT headcount, also reducing the requirement on excel spread sheets, and work-arounds which can often be problematic and incorrect. Retail Assist manages the service 24×7 with full back up and disaster recovery.”

Our Ra-X service is utilised to ‘exchange’ data with stores on a global scale, for processes and services such as payroll data, currency conversions, stock movements and software rollouts across disparate locations. In addition the accuracy and availability of stock has become a key factor in our customers’ environments to support todays omnichannel trading.

Ra-X is delivered through tablet devices provides offline in-store inventory functionality that enables you to carry out the inventory processes in front of the goods, whether that is on the shop floor, or in the stock room. This eliminates the costly manual process and enables you to process inter branch transfers, receive stock from the warehouse, progress write on/off transactions and undertake a stocktake.

Simply put Ra-X is a fully scalable solution that allows you to gain sales and stock movements with accuracy and timeliness, thus resulting in more profitable and successful trading relationships. It ensures all data is effectively monitored providing a smooth and reliable service, flagging errors quickly and efficiently to solve discrepancies before they become an issue. Also helping to minimise risks Ra-X means Retail Assist’s purpose built 24-hour Data Centre ensures your essential data is received, processed and despatched through a secure, environmentally controlled facility, with 24/7 monitoring, full back up and disaster recovery.

If you are interested in our Ra-X data exchange then please visit our website: www.retail-assist.co.uk or contact us via email: info@retail-assist.co.uk or telephone: +44 (0) 115 853 3910.

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East Change Direction with Merret Go Live

EastEast 1We have exciting customer news, women’s fashion brand East has gone live with our IT supply chain solution Merret, as the technology platform to deliver an end-to-end omnichannel retail offer to its customers. The implementation of Merret forms part of an integrated IT solution and will facilitate the further development of East’s international and e-tail capability.

Merret will enable East to provide a consistent consumer experience across multiple channels regardless of geographical location due to its central stock pool, making it easier for East customers to shop anytime, and anywhere. The implementation will enable East to deliver goods to customers either from the central warehouse, or individual stores, depending on where stock is available across East’s store estate of 60 solus stores across the UK, online, and concessions in the likes of House of Fraser and John Lewis.

Suzi Spink, CEO of East commented; “ The changes will enable our stores to become retail hubs for the brand rather than standalone stores, which should deliver higher full price sell-through of stock, as our customers can now buy anything from anywhere in the business, providing the product is available.”

Having supported numerous fashion retailers, we are well positioned to facilitate East through this significant change process, which involved the complete overhaul of East’s existing buying, merchandising, warehouse management and Epos Systems. Alan Morris, our Executive Chairman said, “We were delighted; to be working with East, and with the rapid and smooth implementation that was achieved from start to finish. This couldn’t have been achieved without the great partnership between both Retail Assist and East teams.”

Alison Lippiatt, Trading Director of East commented; “The scale of business change that resulted from the project was significant and involved all areas of the business. We needed to invest in an end to end system that would fulfil customer shopping and delivery expectations across all channels; Merret offered us this capability. Whilst there was a lot to be achieved in the implementation, it was the speed and efficiency in this project from both a technical and overall business perspective which added to the project success.”

Nigel Illingworth, our CEO of Merret, added; “We are delighted that East entrusted us to support their new and exciting business venture. We’re proud to be part of East’s omnichannel journey and providing a solution for comprehensive multichannel commerce.”

We work with many exciting brands, and you can see them all here: http://www.retail-assist.co.uk/clients/. If you are interested in the work we do and want to see how we could help you please email us: info@retail-assist.co.uk or call us: +44 (0) 115 853 3910.

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X-Runner – We Did It!

As part of our 15th Birthday Celebrations we wanted to do a fun and challenging team event. That’s why on Saturday, 20th June several of us decided to take part in X-Runner – Water Wipeout in Nottingham.  This was a 5k or 10k course across Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham, involving swimming, obstacles, and lots of mud!

We thought you might like to see how we got on. A big well done to everyone who took part. It was a brilliant and fun achievement for all involved. We hope to share the video with you soon…

IMG_3510 IMG_3498 IMG_3543 IMG_3604 IMG_3563 IMG_3597Keep your eye on our YouTube page for the video which will be coming soon!

If you are interested in being part of our team at Retail Assist take a look at our career opportunities on our website.

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Retail Assist’s 15th Birthday Party

Retail Assist’s 15th Birthday is today, 16th June. To celebrate we have been taking part in numerous fun activities, including recording our very own song with members of our Help Desk team.