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Industry News - April 18th 2014



QR Codes: The Definition of Retail Tech Gone Wrong

Everything is marketing, that is social media and marketing guru Scott Stratten's mantra. The Twitter personality was on stage to kick off the 2014 Retail Technology Conference and devoted a large part of his well-received talk on the misuse of QR codes.

Stratten described QR codes as "the definition of retail tech gone wrong." Not because the technology itself is a loser, but because it is constantly misused and mismanaged.

The social media expert provided example after example of poorly designed marketing campaigns that featured QR codes. Among the marketing misses he shared were QR codes place in ill-advised locales like: the side of a bus, in an e-mail, on a billboard, etc.

Stratten is a strong advocate of what he terms "unmarketing." The concept revolves around the idea that everything is marketing. Every interaction between a business and its customers is a marketing opportunity that if mishandled could lead to disaster — the loss of a customer, or worse, the dissatisfied customer taking to social media to spread the tale.

"We share experiences. It is all about the experience with the company," Stratten says. Whether that experience is positive or negative odds are it is going to be shared, and the speed at which a company reacts can be a defining moment.

When a customer takes to social media to air their grievances with a retailer, the retailer's response can be a make or break moment. Respond quickly with a genuine apology and offer to make the situation right can elevate the brand to a higher level in the customer's mind. By failing, apologizing and making a mends the retailer can actually increase its standing with the customer and increase the chance that the shopper will share their positive experience. As Stratten says: "We share awesome. So be awesome."

Food Safety Terminal Streamlines and Improves Kitchen Efficiency

TransAct Technologies Incorporated has released its new Ithaca 9800 food safety terminal, the industry’s first fully-integrated terminal that helps operators reduce food waste, improve kitchen and food prep efficiency, easily update items to be prepped for daily specials, and print “use buy” and expiration labels, all while offering direct Internet connectivity for the first time in a food safety terminal. 
Its wired and wireless networking capabilities enable seamless integration with several of the industry’s most widely used restaurant management systems, making it an ideal choice for casual restaurants, schools, hospitals and hotels where menu items may change more frequently.  Designed as a complement to the Company’s Ithaca 9700, the new Ithaca 9800 food safety terminal includes a larger screen that provides true high definition video capabilities as well as audio speakers, enabling restaurant operators to utilize the device for on-location menu and food preparation training videos for their chefs and food preparers.  When connected to back office management systems, the innovative Ithaca 9800 food safety terminal can also perform inventory actions to help manage food waste and over ordering situations.
The Ithaca 9800 features a large, easy-to-read, 9.7 inch color touch screen display, and a flexible two printer configuration with print widths of up to 2.2 inches and multi-language capabilities that allow for use in foodservice operations worldwide.  Users can print a wide variety of information – including “use by” dates, expiration dates and/or times, ingredient lists, calorie counts, prep dates and “grab-and-go” times courtesy of an accurate internal clock – and even bar codes on any number of label types – including permanent, freezer grade, dissolvable and removable labels.  The Ithaca 9800 also adds on-screen editing capabilities to its existing PC-based companion utility, further improving flexibility of use.  It carries a streamlined footprint with a recessed power switch to reduce accidental contact, save physical space, and reduce susceptibility to spillage in the kitchen.  The new Ithaca 9800 also has a modular design that eases access to the print head and internal systems for cleaning and easy label loading, and features an optional battery module to allow for device portability.
Appearing in conjunction with the Company’s newest food safety terminal, the industry-leading Ithaca 9700 food safety terminal features a large, easy-to-read 8.4-inch color touch screen display, allowing users to quickly print easy-to-read expiration and “enjoy by” date labels.  The PC-based terminal also allows operators to quickly change their menu items, print accurate calorie counts on food items and generate accurate “prep” and “grab-and-go” labels via an internal real-time clock.  Available in 1- or 2-printer configurations, the Ithaca 9700 offers simple drop-in label loading and can handle a variety of label widths and lengths.

Delhaize America Utilizes Data-Driven, Shopper-Centric Pricing

Delhaize America is streamlining its capabilities to execute data-driven, shopper-centric pricing, promotion and markdown strategies with the adoption of Revionics' Life Cycle Price Optimization suite. The software will help the supermarket chain enhance its price image, foster stronger customer loyalty and respond quickly to dynamic market conditions.
The price optimization suite enables retailers to execute shopper-centric pricing and competitive strategies across the pricing life cycle, aligning price strategies with category, corporate and financial objectives. Revionics Promotion Optimization improves sales and traffic by identifying the best items and the most effective and profitable offers. Revionics Markdown Optimization maximizes margin and sell-through by optimizing cadence and depth.
Benefits include:

  • Image enhancing, profitable prices that achieve strategic and financial objectives
  • Targeted, loyalty building that incentivize shoppers to purchase
  • Effective end-of-life and end-of-season markdowns that clear inventory at the highest possible margin
 “We are proud that Delhaize America chose us to help them compete more profitably while enhancing customer loyalty in their highly-competitive market,” said Marc Hafner CEO of Revionics. “This new partnership underscores the strong global market need for our proven life cycle price management and optimization solutions, which on average, provides a 10-fold return on investment every year.” 
Revionics’ solutions leverage advanced predictive analytics and demand-based science to ensure retailers have the right product, price, promotion, placement and space allocation for optimal results across all touch points in the omnichannel mix — online, in-store, social and mobile.
Delhaize operates over 3,000 supermarkets worldwide under the Food Lion, Sweetbay, Alfa Beta, Mega Image, Hannaford, Delhaize Belgium and Super-Indo banners.

New Partnership Increases Data Traffic and Strengthens Business

ONEvision as managed service at-visions is happy to announce that its ONEvision Hotel IPTV solution is now also available as managed service offered by Telco companies.
Telco revenues based on voice and txt are decreasing worldwide and will continue to do so. In the mid- to long-run their revenue basis therefore will include a stronger content & application component, either via Pay-TV or similar digital media services and/or managed services. The goal is not only to benefit from the trend of increasing overall data traffic but to enlarge the value chain. Those services are also supposed to strengthen the core business by acquiring new subscribers, increasing ARPU and reducing churn.
One of those services is IPTV offered by Telcos for subscribing consumers in a network with QoS and it is nothing new. Hosting applications by Telcos is nothing new either – the available high quality infrastructure of data centers is used to enable the benefits of cloud computing on various levels. at-visions now combines already existing native IP streams with its industry specific ONEvision™ platform directly at the Telco companies instead of configuring this package at each property.
Through subscription and user right management each property and subsequently each guest has access to all subscribed features and content. All individual content (like hotel compendium, promotions, room service etc.) is managed via web-based CMS by the property itself. Hotels can make use of a high-end IPTV solution without additional streaming or server hardware – only TVs, either with STB or as integrated solution with new generation smart TVs from, Samsung, LG or TP vision.
Having a generic look at the combined solution it is obvious that there are more industries which may be a fitting target in the near future: Restaurants, University Campus, Sport stadiums, Multi Dwelling Units in general are those in focus to be approached together with Telco partners first.

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