point of sale

Challenge gets up and running with Infinity in a few short weeks

A group of Challenge service stations is now using Infinity unified commerce platform, after a fast rollout.

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Nine Challenge service stations located around the country and owned by nine individual businesses gave us a big challenge: Understand our requirements and get Infinity up and running in 6 weeks. We had this deadline because the existing system was reaching its end of life. Add in the Christmas holiday break and we had even less time to scope the project, configure Infinity, test and deploy to the sites.

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A high feature fit + centralised data + great support = success

Infinity has a configuration and built-in features specifically for fuel and convenience stores so there was no change required to get Infinity up and running. Infinity is intuitive and fast for staff to learn and it processes sales very quickly so customers can be in and out with no fuss.

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In addition to point of sale, Challenge is using Infinity to unify inventory and pricing and promotions data. This visibility lets owners see which items are selling so they can stock more accurately and confidently offer relevant promotions. Behind the scenes, Infinity integrates with Xero and Reckon to automate general ledger transactions.

Our partner, ECL Group, managed the rollout and provide ongoing support backed by Triquestra’s 24/7 support.

Sandra Frazer of Challenge Darfield sums up the deployment best:

“We have recently installed Infinity on our site and we just love it. It is so simple to use and all of our staff took to it like ducks to water. Our install was the week before Christmas and staff were literally thrown in the deep end, as the first time they saw Infinity was when we went live. ECL Group’s training was very clear and easy to follow. The thing I love most about Infinity is that it is very quick to process a sale which is so important in a busy site like ours.”

How to put a smart click-and-collect strategy in place

Click-and-collect is changing the way consumers shop and interact with retailers.

With a click-and-collect strategy, you can provide near instant gratification: customers order and pay for items online, then collect them in store, merging the in-store experience with online convenience.

The benefits for retailers

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There is growing competition from big brand and overseas competitors, such as Amazon, who are able to offer free delivery on minimum spends and relatively short delivery times. To maintain your competitive advantage, you want to respond with a mutually beneficial online sales strategy, like click-and-collect. Click-and-collect secures the sale and even increases sales. According to the International Council of Shopping Centres, over 60% of shoppers who use click-and-collect services go on to purchase additional goods when collecting their items. Click-and-collect also minimises returns, as customers are able to try on goods before they finalise their purchase.

For consumers, convenience is key

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With click-and-collect, customers are not charged delivery fees and can avoid the delivery-card-in-the-mailbox scenario. Additionally, customers are not risking a trip to the store, only to find the items they want are out of stock. And items can be collected when it’s convenient for the customer – often within hours of placing an order – providing an immediacy that delivery cannot meet. Better still, if the item is not suitable, any issues can be resolved before the customer leaves the store.

Getting your full click-and-collect strategy ready for launch

 

For click-and-collect to be effective, you want to make sure all your systems are working together to offer customers an easy, reliable and seamless experience.


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Inventory available on-the-go

Make sure that your mobile site and app are up-to-date and give consumers access to all your inventory wherever they are. Highlight items available for click-and-collect prior to checkout. Also given that a click-and-collect strategy is a shift towards customer convenience – with less emphasis on price – consider offering free click-and-collect.


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Make it quick

Consider a time commitment that you can stick to. For instance, tell customers they can pick up their order on the same day until you can be confident in your processes, and then aim for 30 minutes.


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Keep in touch

Send text message alerts to customers to let them know the status of their order and more importantly, when it is ready for collection. You’ll keep the customer up-to-date on their order and get them into the store at the right time. When customers do come to collect their goods, items should be ready. You may also want to consider dedicated pick up points in-store or alternative collection points.


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Returns should be hassle free

Customers should have the option to change their mind before leaving the store and be able to return click-and-collect items in-store.


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Turn your stores into disciplined distribution centres

Fulfil orders from your stores to get items to customers faster and save on delivery costs. With the right technology in place, you can be sure of great customer experiences as well. For example, you can set up your system to alert head office if an online order goes to a store and that order isn’t acknowledged by the store and ready to be picked up by the customer within a certain timeframe. Head office can then contact the store to prompt staff. These kind of alerts lead to a robust, timely process that keeps customers happy.


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Incentivise multiple teams

To help in-store staff see the benefit of online sales, create remuneration strategies that reward store staff who are picking and packing the items for online orders. A unified commerce platform can offer sales attribution reporting in addition to reporting on sales channel effectiveness.


When you give customers what they want, they are less likely to shop elsewhere

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In short, to remain competitive you need to give your customers options. Offering click-and-collect is one option and makes you different to those retailers offering online shopping only. Click-and-collect will encourage more customers into your stores, giving you shorter sale times, alternative ways to interact and further opportunities to upsell.


If you’d like help with your click-and-collect strategy and unifying your customers’ experience, contact us.

Five things to look for in a retail technology partner

If the beginning of the year means it’s time to re-evaluate your retail systems, start here.

No matter the scale of what you want to accomplish – boosting POS functionality, getting a single view of inventory, or starting your unified commerce journey to connect POS, inventory, fulfilment, order and customer data – you need a partner with the right people, processes and technology. A partner who understands retail’s demands and can give you the system that will improve customer happiness, staff satisfaction and your bottom line.

Here are important indicators of a good technology partner plus questions to ask

1

Maturity and market responsiveness

Look for a partner who’s been around retail for a while, with a sound platform, business model and proposition. They’ll need to understand your fast-paced, data-intensive environment where any significant level of downtime is unacceptable.

Their people will have the capability to help you plan and implement your projects so they suit you right now and into the future. When you choose a partner with a mature platform, they can focus on delivering innovation because the core functionality you need already exists.

2

Customer experience

Make sure your partner has a recent and proven success record for planning, implementing and managing complex, large-scale deployments across multiple stores, multiple formats and multiple geographies.

Do they have stable and well-tested strategies and technology or are they just adapting existing supply chain and fulfilment models? Ask if they’ve worked with related technology, systems and service providers. And how their capability integrates with eCommerce, payments, supply chain and finance software.

Request case studies or references and ask about the consultancy, customisation, deployment, training and support services they provide.

3

An agile and innovative mindset

You want a partner who’s got the people and processes to move fast, while cultivating an environment where innovation flourishes. They should use agile methodologies and have experience working with agile retailers.

Get evidence of their history of responsiveness and their ability to assess and quickly correct any unforeseen issues. Ask how they’ve managed things for a client when faced with unexpected changes, a competitor’s action or customer demands.

4

Broad product capability

Choose a partner that can give you a broad and holistic portfolio, perspective and experience. One that gives you all your core requirements out-of-the-box plus the ability to customise and easily add new functionality.

For the best customer experience, you need to intrinsically link inventory, fulfilment, orders, supply chain and planning. You don’t want to be tied to a point player that can only provide portions.

Your partner should let third parties connect to their technology via APIs and cultivate a community with those parties so you can give customers more shopping, payment and fulfilment options.

You also need to know that your partner has a strategic roadmap and investment committed for new capabilities.

5

Best of local, best of global

Look for a partner that’s an Australasian business, focused on our region’s potential to succeed. A local partner means you can have more influence on the product roadmap and enjoy direct engagement with people on the ground who are committed to your success (and not distracted by offshore business activity). And a mid-size partner is more likely to view you as an important customer of influence. It’s far better to be a big fish in a small pond (and not have to fight for attention as a small fish in a big pond would).


If you’d like a benchmark to rate your current or potential technology partner against, contact us. For more than 23 years, Infinity has been dedicated to the development, implementation and support of retail systems. We’re renowned for being both pioneering and reliable. You can count on us for consulting, platform implementation, integration, training and support that helps you get great results.

Fonterra Farm Source and Infinity: Helping farmers get things done

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Offer your customers the convenience of Afterpay - now certified for the Infinity platform

Offer your customers the convenience of Afterpay - now certified for the Infinity platform

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New Infinity Mobile Quotes & Orders App

New Infinity Mobile Quotes & Orders App

Personalising your customer’s experience is now even more flexible, with Infinity Mobile Quotes & Orders App. On the road, at shows or conferences, or instore during peak sales periods, Infinity Mobile Quotes & Orders App allows you to serve your customers efficiently, all from your Android or Apple phone or tablet.