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Nexpo Retail Technology News
  • 26 Sep

Thanks for joining us at Nexpo

What a week! On Wednesday 21st September, we unveiled Nexpo, the retail technology pop-up store, in partnership with our customer Karen Millen. For three days only, major retail names were taken on customer journeys of the next retailing generation, facilitated by technologies that are affordable, easily deployable, and available to integrate now into your existing store estate. From installing each partners’ technology, to carrying out the full shop fit as a Karen Millen store, (and of course, coordinating everything leading up to the week of the event!), Nexpo was project managed end-to-end by Retail Assist’s Head of Project Services, and Head of Marketing. And once the pop-up was fully fitted out, we welcomed over 100 retailers, and retail trade journalists and bloggers, over the 3 days. Here are some photos taken on the tours.Retailers also enjoyed post event networking, with the opportunity to speak with each of the technology partners about their products and services, as well as share thoughts about the future of the in-store customer experience. The physical store is a touchpoint for 89% of consumers in the buying process, and so it is more important than ever to ensure technological innovation plays a part in enhancing the in-store customer journey. Nexpo shows how retailers can use technology to make the customer journey more convenient through smarter fulfilment and payments like Endless Aisle (Adyen), more interactive through RFID projecting digital information, or generating more opportunities to upsell through fitting room applications like SeeWall (InovRetail). For facilitating a single view of stock, and easier inventory management on the shop floor, Retail Assist’s Tablet Inventory was also showcased at the event, currently in use by Karen Millen as part of the Merret omnichannel supply chain solution. For more photographs of the event, simply view our album on Dropbox here. Also stay tuned for our official Nexpo video round-up, which will be published next week on our website! If you require any further information about any of the partners, or any of the technology showcased, get in touch here, or call Alex Broxson on 0115 9042713. To be informed about any of our future events, please get in touch with us.…
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Retail IT Support
  • 19 Sep

Nexpo: this week.

It’s finally the week we’ve all been waiting for: this Wednesday 21st September, Retail Assist will unveil Nexpo in partnership with our customer Karen Millen. Nexpo is an experiential retail technology pop-up store, featuring iconic fashion pieces from Karen Millen’s latest collection. The store is fitted out within Hoxton Arches in London, and will be open for just three days only, from Wednesday 21st September to Friday 23rd September. We will take you on your future customer journey, showcasing a host of in-store technologies that are affordable, realistic, and readily available to integrate into your current store estate. All exhibiting partners will be at the event, should you have any questions about the technology and how it’s implemented. A big thank you to our Nexpo retail technology partners who have made this event possible! It’s been a pleasure to develop our relationships as we see the opportunity to innovate, collaborate, and take retailing into the next generation of seamless, convenient omnichannel experiences. Event details reminder Address: Hoxton Arches, Arch 402, Cremer Street, London, E2 8HD Getting there:  Hoxton Overground station is just over the road, and Old Street is the nearest underground station with about a 15 minute walk to the venue. Times: Wednesday 21st September: 16:00 -16:45, and 18:00-18:45 Thursday 22nd September: 16:00-16:45, and 18:00-18:45 Friday 23rd September: 16:00-16:45  (After the tours, there’ll be post event networking and drinks). We can’t wait to see you this week. If you’re not already signed up, there’s still time! Just fill in your details on our registration page, and make sure to check your emails for downloading the Nexpo app, as well as the opportunity to win exclusive Karen Millen vouchers that you can redeem at the event! Make sure you’re following our Twitter account for live Nexpo updates, and do share your experience with #Nexpo. Sign up to Nexpo here. For more information about the technology featured, see our Nexpo customer journey infographic. For more information about each Nexpo partner, see our Nexpo partners blog feature.…
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Retail IT Support
  • 12 Sep

Nexpo: What’s in Store?

For the past 6 weeks we’ve been telling you all about our Nexpo pop-up store event, taking place at Hoxton Arches, London, between Wednesday 21st September – Friday 23rd September 2016. You’ve heard all about what technologies to expect and what the ‘customer journey’ will be like at Nexpo. Now we would like to introduce each event partner to you, in order to give you a better understanding of what they do and what technologies they’ll be bringing to the event. Retail AssistWe are a leading retail IT solutions and services company, providing UK and international retailers with end-to-end business applications and services support that reduce costs, optimise retail operations and support higher revenues. As well as 24 x 7 Managed IT Services, we provide Merret omnichannel supply chain solution, tablet inventory software, and Ra-X data exchange solution. We have been supporting big names in retail and hospitality with award winning IT services and solutions for the last 17 years. Our fantastic Projects Team have driven the entire event, demonstrating the professional project management services we offer. We’ll also be demonstrating Merret Tablet Inventory at Nexpo, which is currently used by Karen Millen. You can see the video for Merret Tablet Inventory here. Karen MillenBorn and bred in England, Karen Millen is known globally for beautifully crafted fashion with an elevated, tailored approach, created for confident women. The antithesis of throwaway fashion, they strive to produce trend-led investment pieces you will treasure. Over recent years the range has evolved to become a curated collection of perfectly cut pieces with a polished, modern aesthetic. Every piece in their collection has been individually designed, hand-crafted and perfected by the designers in Karen Millen’s in-house atelier to deliver their signature quality and attention to detail. Karen Millen will be showcasing their Autumn/Winter 2016 collection at Nexpo. Their stock will be used not only to create a real store environment, but will be used to demonstrate how technology such as RFID tags can work. Karen Millen will also be showcasing some of the exciting technology they have already deployed in store. InovretailInovretail are a retail innovation company, fully invested to research and development of new and advanced technological solutions, designed to improve the customer store experience. Their solutions help retailers create store environments that are more appealing, dynamic and customer oriented, thus improving customer satisfaction and revenue potential. They do this by delivering solutions that provide a never seen before in-depth insight on how customers interact with the retail space and its sensorial ecosystem, providing retailers with unique tools to make fact-based business decisions regarding the store environment strategy and initiatives. Inovretail’s award winning SeeWall will feature at Nexpo, to show how retailers can enhance the fitting room experience. Inovretail will also be measuring the impacts of store atmospherics on customer in-store behaviour and revenue impact. EnactorSince 2008 Enactor have leveraged their own Development Toolkit that manipulates the latest web technology, with their two-decade long experience of being at the…
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nexpo
  • 5 Sep

Nexpo: Enhancing the Customer Journey

It’s just over 2 weeks until Nexpo, our exclusive pop-up store event at Hoxton Arches in Shoreditch, London. Over 3 days, Wednesday 21st September – Friday 23rd September 2016, Nexpo will take retailers on an enhanced customer journey experience, exploring how realistic, affordable and easily deployable technology can be seamlessly integrated into a real store estate. Retail Assist is collaborating with British fashion retailer Karen Millen for the Nexpo pop-up event, in order to reflect a real store environment and demonstrate exactly how smart technology can work in-store. The pop-up store will be fitted out to resemble a Karen Millen store, with brand new Karen Millen Autumn/Winter 2016 products. The technology within the Nexpo experience will be provided by a number of retail IT support partners including Adyen, Catalyst, DB Pixelhouse, Enactor, Inovretail, Vista and Vodat. Take a look at the infographic below to get a glimpse of what the Nexpo journey will be like:So-called “Stores of the Future” often aim to create a big buzz, but the technology featured is often too expensive to deploy or too gimmicky. As retail experts, our aim for Nexpo is to identify real issues that retailers of today face in-store. We want to demonstrate realistic and affordable solutions which will benefit the customer. Each 45 minute Nexpo tour will explore all the technology featured above and more, with opportunity to ask questions and network with like-minded retailers. You can even purchase Karen Millen Autumn/Winter 2016 products at the event! There are limited tour spaces left, so register your details online now to secure your space for Nexpo. After the tour we will invite you to join us for networking drinks and canapes.…
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retail technology news
  • 30 Aug

Latest Retail Technology News

It’s been a bumper August for Retail Assist retail technology news, so we wanted to bring you the latest in today’s blog. Harvey NicholsWe were proud to announce news of our latest Merret upgrade project with iconic luxury brand, Harvey Nichols. We’ve supported them since 2004, and as the relationship continues it’s been fantastic to grow the brand’s omnichannel capabilities with Merret. In the latest version of Merret, based in the cloud, Harvey Nichols has experienced the benefits of real-time stock availability, allowing them to fulfil the omnichannel customer promise 24 x 7 across the globe. Technology Director, Fatima Zada, said: “The Merret upgrade provides much more in terms of scalability, as our international growth trajectory and ecommerce offer goes from strength to strength. Retail Assist facilitated our journey into omnichannel over 10 years ago, and the recent project has created a solid foundation for our growth vision going forward.” To read the full press release click here. Bidvest Logistics Although Bidvest is in the logistics sector, IT is a key driver of their business. As IT specialists, we’re supporting Bidvest to retain a competitive edge, enabling them to be agile and meet the demands of its customers, for example, servicing 12,000 deliveries a week. Our 24 x 7 IT Help Desk service also helps Bidvest reap the benefits of greater systems uptime. Bidvest renewed their Managed IT Services contract with us this year for another 5 years. Since virtualising Bidvest’s key server environment in 2013, we’ve supported Bidvest Logistics on numerous projects to improve performance and maximise productivity. In a project to upgrade disk storage for increased systems performance, Bidvest’s warehouse management system, Minster, experienced a 40% decrease in the time taken to complete overnight scheduling. In a recent server upgrade, we were also able to reduce Bidvest’s disaster recovery time from 4 hours to just 15 minutes. This has had a very significant impact, and represents just one of many benefits. To read the full press release click here. Oasis and WarehouseThis summer we supported the launch of Oasis and Warehouse’s new websites, after re-platforming them on to Demandware. The new ecomm platform enhances the customer experience in new and sophisticated ways. Thanks to the single stock pool of our supply chain solution, Merret, Oasis launched ship-from-store in 2012 and gains stock visibility updates every 10-15 minutes. It really capitalises on this retail advantage through the new ‘shop by store’ online tool, where customers can search specific stores and concessions for available products with real-time inventory. “So if you’re researching to go to the Argyll Street store at lunch time, you can select black dresses, in a size eight, which are available in that store […] this is something I haven’t seen at any fashion retailers I’ve been shopping on – it’s valuable and it’s useful.” – Briony Garbett, Director of Digital at Oasis. Using stores as distribution hubs through ship-from-store has also delivered 20-30% incremental web sales for the brand. To read the full press…
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retail it solutions
  • 22 Aug

4 weeks until Nexpo

With just 4 weeks to go until we unveil Nexpo, our pop-up retail technology store at Hoxton Arches, London, retailers and hospitality businesses are signing up to be taken on an immersive and interactive customer journey of the future.  We’re proud to partner with our customer, Karen Millen, who will be showcasing their latest collection, as well as cutting edge technology they’re already invested in, for a first class customer experience. So, if you’re looking to invest in RFID, mobile payments, fitting room technology, beacons, in-store atmospherics, tablet inventory technology, and omnichannel integration – and more importantly, how to integrate this technology within your own stores today – come down and see us. If you’re a retailer in a position to influence technology within your business, sign up now. With attendance from leading UK and international fashion, footwear, lifestyle and beauty retailers, there is also the fantastic opportunity to network with like-minded retailers, as well as exhibiting partners. Thursday and Friday 4pm tours are almost full; we have availability left on Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm. Don’t miss your chance to experience Nexpo.  …
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retail IT solutions
  • 15 Aug

Do we really need to “save” the high street?

News dominating the retail headlines this week: the high profile closure of BHS’ flagship store on Oxford Street. Videos of the last minute shut-down scramble for 80% discounted goods, and the shutters finally closing on the crumbling, 88 year old brand. The last of BHS’s total 163 stores are scheduled to close on August 20th. Commentary from John Ryan at Retail Week puts BHS’s demise down to “falling behind”: “Cue lamentations and commentary asking how this could have happened. It happened, bluntly, because both shops and stock weren’t, latterly, up to much“And yet, track back just one week – we had glowing reports of a sunny July accounting for a retail sales rebound of 1.1 per cent, and a recovering high street. On a total basis, sales rose 1.9 per cent, against a 2.2 cent increase in July 2015. Nonetheless, the BRC said this was the “strongest growth since January”.So, does the high street really need “saving”, as many daily papers have headlined for the past year? We think it requires a more sophisticated approach. In today’s omnichannel world, the store needs to be much more than just a store. In a recent survey we conducted, we found that the biggest High St advocates were Gen Z – the up and coming younger generation, with a newly found spending power and a connectedness across all channels. 84% of them see shopping as part of their day out activities, and so the customer experience must be prioritised. With a growing appetite for convenience, and a need for seamless digital integration, stores need to become a critical part of your retail strategy to service the “need it now” desire. Product showing as out of stock online? It shouldn’t be, if the product is hanging in abundance in one of your stores. Not available in-store? There should be the ‘endless aisle’ option to shop your entire inventory in-store on responsive tablets. As always, it’s about joining up your retail offering across channels, ensuring that your stock is visible in real time, inventory is flexible ready to fulfil orders across any channel. As Retail Week’s latest industry snapshot revealed (LCP Consulting Report), retailers with omnichannel capabilities are twice as likely to report double digit growth. If you’re looking for technologies that will influence the future customer journey, sign up for our latest event: a concept pop-up technology store, in partnership with Karen Millen. Coming to Hoxton for just 3 days only 21st-23rd September, retailers are signing up to be taken on an interactive experience, with in-store technology that is affordable, easily deployable, and available now. Registration for a Nexpo tour can be completed in just 1 minute, using the following link: www.retail-assist.co.uk/nexpo…
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international help desk support
  • 8 Aug

International Help Desk Support

Who’s looking after your IT systems overseas? Wouldn’t it be great to have the peace of mind that everything is looked after, 24 x 7. Commerce stops for nobody. If no one’s ensuring maximum uptime of your IT systems, you could be risking lost sales, and a negative customer experience. Our international Help Desk support enables you to trade without disruption or downtime. Cover is as much or as little as required: if you wish to boost support during seasonal periods of peak trading, add multilingual support for your international stores, or outsource resource outside of the traditional 9-5 remit, we’re here to help deliver your exact requirements. Pizza Hut Restaurants, Bidvest Logistics, Karen Millen and World Duty Free Group are just some of the brands we support, who are reaping the benefits of reduced disruption to service.If you have a global store estate, or international expansion is on the horizon, having a globally minded service desk may be critical for your growing IT and technology infrastructure. When outsourcing your IT support to Retail Assist, not only will you benefit from a shared service model, but also a fixed fee; our cost-effective approach means that you are not charged per incident. For example, last year, though the number of stores we support increased by 8%, the number of incidents our customers experienced fell by 10%. With international expansion across nine territories and the acquisition of 4 cinema groups, Vue Cinemas came to us in 2009 for IT support services to support their rapidly expanding cinema estate and IT infrastructure. With increased business reliance on IT, Vue identified a critical need for a more streamlined support services network: one service desk to own all calls, and one number for staff to call. Retail Assist’s IT Help Desk will be on the other end of the phone to efficiently resolve any IT or systems issues that disrupt trading; whatever the time, whatever the location. 40% of our expert team is bilingual, ensuring better relationships with store teams on the ground across the globe. Our international Help Desk support provides 24×7 IT support through a single point of contact to over 30 customers in a wide range of business sectors. In this way, we enable brands to provide the best experience for their customers, maximising sales whilst minimising disruption. There’s a big market to engage, so ensure you’re supported to position your brand in the best possible way!   …
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retail it solutions
  • 1 Aug

Nexpo: for next gen retailing

To read the official Nexpo launch press release, click here. For the Nexpo website page, and to register for the event, click here.“Store of the future” has become a buzzword term over the last year, as technology vendors across the UK and Europe have showcased the “latest” or “future” technologies to “impact” retailers, providing us with a vision of what “tomorrow’s retail” will look like set up in a mock-up store environment. Unfortunately, this has often featured technology of the kind that is too expensive to deploy as the “standard” brand experience, hinging on one-off gratification for the customer. As a forward-thinking business, with an ability to identify and respond to real, contemporary issues in retail – stock visibility, falling footfall, discounting – we understand that any technology implementation project must have real benefit, and not just another in-store gimmick for consumers to toy with. So, these events got us thinking: why hasn’t there yet been a showcase of retail technology that integrates with your current software, that is available to implement now, that is easily deployable, with real, measurable benefits that impact retailers’ key pain points? This September, in a pop-up space in Shoreditch, Retail Assist is partnering with Karen Millen to bring you Nexpo: a concept store for retailers to experience the ultimate achievable customer experience, now. Nexpo is an interactive, live demo store environment that will provide solutions to the following questions:How do I maximise relevant, usable technology in the fitting room space, without gimmicks like magic mirrors? How do I integrate the ability to shop my online stock when in the store environment? How do I utilise data (customer profile, loyalty) and analytics, in order to provide an engaging, but comfortable, customer experience? And more . . .Joining forces with leading global technology companies such as InovRetail, Enactor, Vodat, Vista, Adyen, DB Pixelhouse and Catalyst, our concept store will demonstrate retailing experiences through guided tours, to help you understand how technology can assist with this future journey. When? Wednesday 21st – Friday 23rd September Where? Hoxton Arches, Arch 402, Cremer Street, London, E2 8HD Spaces are filling fast, and booking onto tour slots is obligatory – tours run twice daily at 4pm and 6pm. Make sure to register at www.retail-assist.co.uk/nexpo, or to find out more about the event and partners, and the technology we’ll be demonstrating, call our Head of Marketing Alex Broxson on 0115 904 2713.…
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pokemon go
  • 25 Jul

Why Pokémon Go is more than just a game

If you’ve noticed rare groupings of millennials roaming the outside world in the last week or so, excitably shouting “Charizard!” seemingly at thin air, the likelihood is you’ve witnessed the latest gaming phenomenon to hit the UK: Pokémon Go. Since Pokémon Go launched, a couple of weeks ago in the US and a week ago in the UK, it already has circa 21 million daily active users in the States, knocking the popularity crown from Candy Crush, previously the most widely played game to date. Pokémon Go is free to play and accessible for anyone with a camera enabled smart phone: a demographic totalling approximately 5 billion people worldwide. Usage data released by SensorTower has revealed that the average iPhone user already spends 33 minutes and 25 seconds a day on Pokémon Go, which is greater than Facebook (22 minutes), Snapchat (18 minutes), Twitter (17 minutes and 56 seconds) and Instagram (15 minutes).What’s clear, is that Pokémon Go has made AR technology a part of an everyday experience: including smart phone use, Google Maps, and gaming. It has smashed AR critics, who thought the technology could only come to mass adoption stage unless VR headsets or Google Glass took off (the former – too expensive; the latter – now discontinued). The key with Pokémon Go and AR is its accessibility. So how does it all work? Pokémon Go integrates the real world (reflected by Google Maps) within the virtual Poke-universe, projecting it through your smartphone. Users explore the world around them with AR (augmented reality) presenting the opportunity to “catch”, “train” and “trade” Pokémon monsters. Pokestops, which provide critical in-game resources, are positioned in the real world at notable landmarks, as well as within businesses such as pubs and restaurants. And what’s this got to go with retail? The following quote is one that should make retail and hospitality businesses sit up and take notice. Pokémon Go is quite a big deal: “In the history of the internet and consumer tech, nothing has had an adoption of more than 100 million global users in six days. The last record was Candy Crush – that took one year and three months to reach the same level.” – Ambarish Mitra, CEO, Blippar. Smarter businesses have already caught onto the in-game ‘Lure’ item – which attracts Pokémon to a specific location for 30 minutes for all users of the game, costing £1.58/hour – using it to tempt potential customers through their doors. The launch of Pokémon Go in Japan, the birthplace of Pokémon, saw the first and biggest “tie up” deal yet: full sponsorship by McDonalds, in its 3000 restaurants throughout the country. If its aim is to lure more customers to eat, it looks like it’s working…Using AR to lure potential customers in hospitality is also evidenced by the effect of Pokestops within Costa Coffees. Costa reported a 30% increase in footfall across its Pokémon seeking stores, resulting in a 10% sales uplift on the day of launch. As in…
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