Did you see us at RBTE?

Did you see us at RBTE?

We’ve been to our first Retail Business Technology Expo! We were exhibiting with physical security vendors TabLatch – we do the iPad and app, they make sure no one can nick it from your POS display with solutions like docking stations and table mounts. Along with their solutions, we were showing off our RetailEngage24 platform, which is designed to help sales assistants have more informed conversations with customers and streamline internal training. Plus, device management legends JAMF Software were on hand to help out with unruly devices. 

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What happened at RTBE…

Our retail team were on the ground for the combined Retail Business Technology Expo, Retail Digital Signage Expo and Retail Design Expo. We were over at the RBTE end, promoting our new RetailEngage24 platform. This is a dual purpose app that arms your sales assistants with the same information the public has.

What is RetailEngage24?

When a customer hits your sales assistant with a question, they can use the customer-facing side of the app to drill down into product information, pull reviews of products from the website, show the customer digital assets that may have originally been delivered on web or social channels and access information such as stock levels.

When the customer’s away, staff can… not play, exactly, but use the colleague side of the app to view and complete training materials, monitor the company’s internal news feeds and social media accounts, record sales tips and share them with colleagues via the app and more.

Our app development team are rightly proud of their work, and we encourage you to get in touch with them at appdevelopment@Jigsaw24.com to find out more about how they can modify RetailEngage24 to suit your organisation.

What else were we up to?

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Of course, it wasn’t all about the one app. TabLatch and the retail team were there to promote their new eight step plan for implementing iPad in store. Together, we can cover:

1. iPad devices. Prior to delivery, we’ll enrol your devices in Apple’s DEP, so when you come to turn it on, it will auto-enrol in your MDM solution, with all the apps and settings you need to get up and running right out of the box.

2. Retail apps. Our RetailEngage24 app is an interactive catalogue and integrated learning and development platform, designed to support sales advisors in their engagement with customers, increasing sales conversion through informed conversation.

3. App development. Need a bespoke app? We’ve developed various apps for retail and other businesses, supporting sales assistant conversations, staff development, access to live product info/stock/pricing, quoting tools, integration with beacons, CRM, ERP, PIM, ePOS systems and more, right through to solving logistics issues and reducing costs associated to paper-based workflows.

4. TabLatch security. Passcode-lockable physical security to dock, charge and secure iPad. Authorised members of staff can release the iPad from the dock with a PIN code, so it can be used as both a kiosk tool and a hand to hand sales assistant tool.

5. TabLatch unique benefits. An app and portal included in the price of the unit, whereby administrators can view which members of staff are using the device most, and the potential ROI based on usage of the device when released from the dock with PIN. This adds an additional level of security, as you always know who used the device last.

6. Mobile device management. We provide a hosted, fully managed mobile device management service for some of the UK’s largest businesses. Using JAMF Software’s Casper Suite, we help you control device settings, permissions, applications and managed iOS updates.

7. Deployment. Large-scale device rollout, including integration and training. We can handle rollouts from one to 15,000+ devices for customers nationwide, all integrated into your necessary systems. We’ll even provide onsite training and helpdesks during rollouts to get your staff up to speed.

8. Tech support. Our bespoke support contracts can be tailored to your requirements and in-house capabilities, including advance replacements for key components. They can cover: phone, email, remote and onsite support; SLAs; guaranteed response and break-fix times; emergency replacements and regular ‘health checks’ to spot problems before they arise.

What else was there?

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As exciting as we are, we weren’t allowed to take over the entire expo (we’re as disappointed as you). Highlights include some great discussion about alternative payment methods and Apple Pay, led by Barclaycard and MasterCard; Vensecure’s vending machine-style dispensers for high-risk items; some particularly snazzy-looking holographic trainers and Brumark’s particularly wooden-looking magnetic floors.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email retail@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

What does the future hold for retail technology?

What does the future hold for retail technology?

The face of retail is changing, with more and more retailers now looking to innovative new technologies to help increase sales conversion, reduce time at tills, and generally improve overall customer experience and engagement.

Mobile technology, for example, is massively on the rise, with devices like iPad now ubiquitous amongst consumers, who expect that level of engagement from retailers too. So they’re having to think about how to integrate these technologies both in-store and at headquarters too.

To find out more about the challenges retailers are facing, and what they really want from technology, LightSpeed (who create clever point of sale and ecommerce solutions for retailers), posed a few questions to their customers. The Lightspeed Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014 (downloadable by clicking on the image below) from earlier this year polled 640 small to medium-sized businesses from across the globe about their retail technology buying habits, from clothing and apparel stores to home and garden retailers.

Download Lightspeed's Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014

Download Lightspeed’s Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014

The ultimate takeaway from the survey, it seems, is that retailers want “innovative inventory management and predictive analytics solutions above all else.” Of the biggest inventory challenges, keeping inventory stocked without over-ordering topped the list with 47% of respondents (single site, 35% multi-site location), salespeople’s lack of inventory knowledge in second (24%, 23%), then keeping checkout lines short (11%, 7%) and tracking inventory across stores (10%, 28%).

eCommerce and mobile technology forecasts

Being iPad nuts, we were particularly interested in seeing what impact mobile devices were having in-store, as POS or kiosk systems. According to the survey, 80% of those retailers who currently use mobile devices in-store report that they have increased sales, and apparently there’s a massive upward spike of uptake predicted by the end of 2014 too, with the percentage of retailers using tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices in-store expected to double.

You can check out the full lot of survey results by downloading LightSpeed’s Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014 here, but we’ve picked out a few more choice cuts for you to skim over below…

– 43% of respondents want to improve the customer experience using mobile checkout; 34% want to improve mobile inventory lookup.

– 54% of retailers derive 1-10% of their total sales from eCommerce on the web.

– 38% of those retailers currently offer eCommerce, while 38% plan to offer eCommerce in the future (that’s a whopping 100% increase…).

Get your very own bespoke app

One of the best ways for retailers to get the most out of mobile tech is with a bespoke app, and we’re ideally placed to help. If, for example, you’re looking at getting your own app, and have salespeople out on the road and conducting meetings, we offer our free b7 app and iPad trial scheme, designed to improve field operations and make your team more productive and better equipped.

If you’re looking for something more specific to you, while also reducing costs, then talk to us about developing your own bespoke app. We recently worked with Welcome Furniture to develop their own custom app, and they’ve since seen a massive £130,000 saving per annum on logistics purely because of the app (check out the Welcome Furniture case study here).

Find out more about the b7 programme, and how we can help you get the most out of iPad, by giving our team a call on 03332 409 306 or emailing b7@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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How iPad is making it easier for DFS customers to find their perfect sofa

How iPad is making it easier for DFS customers to find their perfect sofa


As the UK’s leading furniture and upholstery brand, DFS are always looking for ways to move their business forward and deliver a better customer experience. They built a 3D augmented reality app that would help customers find their perfect sofa, either in store or at home, and then used a group of staff champions to ensure it was a success on the shop floor.

“The main thing we wanted to try to achieve was making the experience of buying a sofa easier for our customers,” explained Russell Harte, DFS’s head of multichannel development and delivery. “We developed our app to do that, and we focused that primarily on Apple devices because iPad is something our customers are very aware of from a brand recognition point of view.”

The decision to keep the app on iOS was also due to the second half of DFS’s app campaign: at the same time that the app appeared on the App Store, it would be rolled out as a sales tool to 100 of their branches across the UK. Salespeople could then use the app with the customers to help them make a more informed purchase. “Our store guys all intuitively knew how to use iPad, whether they’d got their own or not,” said Russell. “There is something about iPad which means that people can use it without any significant training.”

DFS' room planner iPad app

Finding staff champions for the new app

The DFS app allows customers to create a 3D model of their room, complete with windows, doors and stairs, then position DFS’s sofas and chairs in the space to see which is the best fit.

“DFS’s app is a great example of how mobile devices can make decision-making fun,” says Martin Wright, Jigsaw24’s iOS developer. “It brilliantly combines 3D models with your camera, letting you turn your living room into a showroom and inviting you to explore more options before buying, so customers get a better idea of everything DFS has to offer.”

In order to prepare for the rollout (and check that the app was suitable for use in store), DFS’s senior team chose nine stores around the country to receive in-depth training on the app. Managers from those stores would then go to other branches in their region and act as champions, explaining how the app worked.

“We visited those store managers individually, and then over a period of weeks they got to understand when was best to use it with a customer, at what point in the conversation to use it, [how to gauge] whether it really helped or whether it just made the choice too much,” explained Russell. “They passed on that expertise to other store colleagues in their regions, and that’s how we rolled iPad and the app out.”

Having champions on the sales floor also helped to reduce internal resistance to this new idea, and iron out any kinks in the app before it hit the App Store. “They fed back a lot of things to change, so we took that on board before we launched it to customers and the rest of the estate,” said Russell. “In the room planner aspect, we got a lot of requests for doors that showed the opening arc, because a lot of furniture ends up having to fit behind a door. And then there were bits of feedback about usability – about moving the furniture around and how we displayed information and prices.”

DFS' room planner app

Preparing for an Apple rollout

Although they are primarily PC-based, DFS already had a management system in place for staff iPhones and their small contingent of Mac users, so “in terms of infrastructure we were ready for iPad, but process-wise we still had a bit to learn.” Russell’s main concerns have been around ensuring that updates to the app appear seamless to end users, and that the size of the updates doesn’t overtax the company network. However, the update process is so smooth that the company are now rolling out extra iPad devices in some stores and recently they’ve been given to senior managers to make working easier when they’re on the road.

Gauging the customer response

DFS’s app has been doing incredibly well on the App Store, with over 120,000 download and a 3.5 star rating. It’s faring well in store, too. “From a purely anecdotal point of view, when you sit in a store and watch a customer interaction, the app leads to really, really good conversations,” said Russell. “This is a purchase that is reasonably expensive for most people, and it’s a fairly infrequent purchase as well, so trying to make sure you get absolutely the right one is very important. If you ask the store staff, particularly the ones who use iPad a lot, they will say that it allows them to have better customer conversations around the products.”

DFS' room planner app

Choosing an Apple partner to move forward

“We already had an existing relationship with Jigsaw24, so we originally approached them to see whether we could get hold of iPad and other Apple devices [for the rollout],” Russell explained.

“Working with them was all very straightforward, pricing was competitive, and delivery was on time and in full, so it was all very easy for us, and that’s all you can hope for when you’re trying to get hardware out there quickly. Jigsaw24 do what they say they’re going to do, they’re very straightforward, and they allow you to get on with running your business and moving it forward, which is what you really want to be focusing on.”

The company’s next project? Building Mac-powered kiosks that will let customers interact with a larger touchscreen, and other digital signage to access marketing content that’s created at head office and distributed and scheduled in the cloud. “Everybody’s keen that, as the market leader in the UK upholstery market, we continue to develop things that keep us in that position and move the market forward. If you want a device that’s intuitive to use, has got high brand awareness and needs minimal training, iPad works really well.”

Want to know more about how iPad can support your sales team? Get in touch on 03332 409 305 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and recommendations, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook