Pre Scan from DataLogic

STCR has a new hardware system from Datalogic that allows you to pre-scan items for your customers in the check-out line and then recall them when they reach the register. The system works easily and seamlessly with any of our POS systems. It has the added benefit that during slower periods the wireless scanner can be used to ring up large items, like dog food and cases of products, from under the cart without lifting them.

The pre-scan can be done using a customer’s frequent shopper card or by using a set of ID cards that can be provided with the system. When the customer reaches the register, scan the same card at the scanner/scale to recall and ring up the items. The unique aspect of this solution is that the customer can change check-out lines between the pre-scan and reaching the register and the system can still locate and ring up their order.

The pre-scan system has other potential uses such as shopping for phone orders. The list of items is recalled at the register for tendering or even delivery using STCR’s home delivery software option.

The pre-scan application can be implemented without spending time and money on modifying existing software applications. For additional information please contact your STCR representative at (607) 757-0181.

PCI DSS in Small Business

According to a survey of 220 small merchants by ControlScan, the National Retail Federation and the PCI Knowledge Base, 86 percent of the small merchants are aware of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) but they feel frustrated and bewildered with the complex requirements.

From this survey 72 percent of small retailers believe the risk of a data breach in their company is “low” or “not possible.” Since 2005, more than 80% of the instances of unauthorized access to card data have involved small merchants according to Visa USA Inc. These small merchants account for 85% of the seven million locations nationwide that accept credit cards.

Merchants, regardless of their size, found in violation of the PCI DSS guidelines can have fines that range from $10K - 100K a month. In addition, merchants who have a security breach and are found to be in non-compliance could possibly have their credit card processing rights suspended and even permanently disabled. This all leads to a lack of consumer trust due to confidential data disclosures, harming the reputation and brand of the merchant that may become irreparable.

For more information you may contact your STCR representative at (607) 757-0181. For more information on the PCI guidelines you can visit:

Going Green

During good economic times people tend to be more altruistic. Businesses and people alike do more to make an impact on the things which surround them. One of these differences is making a conscience effort to do more environmentally friendly activities. Although it is more difficult to partake in these sometimes more expensive activities during tough economic times, there are still green activities which can help your business to save money.

One way is to move from paper mail to email. These days you can pay most of your bills online without the hassle of having to dig up stamps and envelopes. This cuts down on waste while saving money. You can also send weekly specials to your customers through emails. With more people moving to an online environment you have the potential to broaden your client base.

Another way your business can go green is to start using an internet based fax service. Fax machines not only use paper when faxes are sent but will also print off a confirmation page when faxes are received. This can be a very costly piece of equipment between the paper usage and toner waste. It’s been estimated that if just one percent of all paper faxes sent in America each year were transmitted electronically, 73.5 million trees would be saved.

Finally, try to host meetings online when it is not necessary for all of the participants to be there in person. For a small price you can invest in camera equipment so you can still view body language and facial expressions. By meeting online you will help to reduce carbon emissions.

Becoming an environmentally friendly business does not have to cost a lot. With the right planning you can save money while doing something good for the environment.

Creating the Right Shopping Experience

Retailers are constantly competing for customers and customer loyalty. There are many different ways to attract and retain customers. One way is price. Price matters, but so do availability, signage and advertising. The element that contributes most to a successful sale is the customer’s shopping experience. When the shopper has a great experience, the retailer has created loyalty. Studies have shown that customers will accept less selection, travel a longer distance and even pay more to have a better shopping experience. It is important for every retailer to understand and exceed their customer’s expectation and provide a better shopping experience. Here are five steps that could help create a successful shopping experience.

1. The first step is to understand the shopper’s expectations and plan to exceed their expectations. This may sound obvious but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Retailers must meet and exceed individual shopper expectation without creating distraction. For example, a clerk at a fast food restaurant dressed in a tuxedo may exceed customer expectation but it would not contribute positively to the experience and may even make customers feel uncomfortable.
2. Before a retailer can offer better shopping experiences to their customers, they have to draw customers to the store. Advertising, brand messages, store locations and exterior signage are among the important pre-sale experience that shapes consumer expectations prior to in-store sale. Inside the store, features like merchandising strategies, interior signage, tags, employee dress code and checkout process further contribute to a successful shopping experience.
3. The human touch is often overlooked. The most powerful factor that could shape the consumer’s experience is the store’s staff. Of all the elements, what the employees do, how they dress, what they say, how they say it and when they say it have the greatest impact on the shopping experience. It is the human touch that makes the greatest difference. Consequently, retails must not only evaluate employees’ current contributions but discover how to increase their motivation, reinforce positive behavior that contributes to the shopping experience and discourage behavior that doesn’t.
4. The essence of defining the shopping experience lies in taking steps that will increase the trust that consumers feel for the store and the relationship the store establishes with their shoppers. The theme must have substance and be credible and demonstrable. Some of the tangible services include deli service, personal shopper, house account and home delivery.

After defining and identifying the above elements, the retailer must ensure that each element is in alignment with the desired shopping experience. You must ask “How does this element contribute to the customer’s expectation and experience?” Any inconsistency can be serious enough to undermine the consumer trust and credibility.

To design and deliver a successful consumer experience requires a thoughtful assessment of customers needs. A thorough evaluation of the current environment and a clear vision make a significant difference in the subsequent performance of the retailer and in the clarity of the message that each sign, advertisement and employee communicates to the customer.