Cost Saving Measures at the Point of Sale

Cost Saving Measures at the Point of Sale

Many retailers often focus on various cost-saving measures in their stores that could actually end up doing the opposite, generating increased costs instead of savings.

For many brick and mortar retailers, Internet competition is eating away at both market share and profit margins, as many businesses are looking for ways to reduce overall operating costs. Just one way that this is being done by many retailers is to cut down on material overhead at Point of Sale.

To accomplish part of this, one simple thing that some Retailers have resorted to is not printing or giving out receipts to customers unless they ask for one. For many of these business owners, the most often used logic for allowing this could be any or all of the following:

  • I’ll same money on receipt paper.
  • There will be less wear and tear on my printers, so they will last longer.
  • If I don’t hand out receipts, I can get more people through the registers faster.
  • If people don’t have receipts, they can’t return items. So fewer returns equate to savings.

Some of the unintended consequences of this can be:

Theft at the Till – For cash transactions, employees may not ring up the sale, and subsequently bag the items and pocket cash at the register. This is especially critical risk area in businesses that do a lot of cash transactions.

Irate customers – If the stores return policy states that you must have a receipt, and the customer was never given one, they may be angered when they find out that they can’t return the item. So this could end up actually costing you, customers. This is one such reason why I personally ask for a receipt forever purchase that I make.

Customers being erroneously charged with theft – I know of multiple situations involving Credit Card transactions where the clerk printed a receipt and charge draft for the customer to sign, but never gave the customer a copy of the receipt. Later that, the customer was forcibly detained for shoplifting by store security, and held for several hours while being berated by the security people, and is continually being threatened with arrest for theft for something that they had legitimately paid for. However, these customers were later vindicated when the security personnel reviewed the store’s video surveillance footage. The video clearly shows the customer paying for the transaction. as well as the failure of the clerk to give the customer a receipt. This scenario’s later involved the customer taking legal action to sue the store for violating their rights. The end result was a lot of legal fees and undisclosed out-of-court settlements, plus the loss of a long time, loyal customers.

Shrinkage/Inventory Control Issues– Items bagged for customers that were never rung up in the register. In these cases, the customer leaves with merchandise for which they were never charged. Since there is no paper receipt to verify what is in the bag, the customer could also end up walking out without some of what they legitimately purchased.

You got my order wrong – This I really common in the restaurant and fast food arena. You order something very specific, and you get something completely different than what you ordered. In most cases, the customer has a receipt ends the debate over what was actually ordered.

If you would like assistance in reviewing your existing Point of Sale register procedures, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department.

– John

Passport Version 12.06 Update for July 2018

Passport Business Solutions
Passport Business Solutions

Passport Version 12.06 Update

With the release of PBS 12.06, Passport completes a major infrastructure project on field expansions begun with the version 12.05 release. Enhancements for PBS 12.06 will include:

  • Expanded field sizes for both the name and addresses in Customer, Ship-to, and Contact files.
  • Field expansions in A/R, O/E, POS and Customer Order Processing in PBS Manufacturing.
  • Professional Time & Billing fields expanded.
  • PO # expanded to 30 characters to accommodate Amazon, etc.
  • Approximately 12-14 Accounts Payable SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) reports have been created
  • Three new SSRS reports have been created to replace the previous standard reports for wholesale distributors.
  • Passport 12.06 includes a new runtime, version 10.2, so a fresh install will be required and the use of EZ Convert is required to migrate your existing data to the new format.

Currently, version 12.06 is being thoroughly beta tested in-house at Passport. A Limited release will begin mid-July, 2018 with general release anticipated to be available at the end of July 2018

Please consult the CCS Support department if you have any questions on the above release.

– John

Where’s My Automatic Updates?

Where’re My Automatic Updates?

Over the years I have seen people assume that a software manufacturer, software supplier, or support vendor should be doing something automatically.

Here are some fairly standard examples of things that are most often NOT automatic:

1. Operating System and Security

  • Installation of Windows Security Service Packs – While this can be scheduled for automatic download and installation, by default this is not turned on.
  • Installation of Anti-Virus And Anti-Malware Software Updates

These items may not be configured to auto-download, auto-install, or auto-notify of success or failure. If something in this area is only partially automated, one needs to take care that these processes are not going on while end-users are on the system and using applications that would be affected, especially if a server or workstation reboot was required. As examples:

  • Scheduling windows updates to only download and install in off-hours while users are not logged into servers or workstations.
  • An anti-virus update might be prompting for a computer restart to complete the installation of a specific update. If this isn’t addressed in a timely manner, your systems could be at risk of being compromised.

2. Application Software – Application Software Security Service Packs

  • MS Office Suites
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Java

There are regular updates for the above applications that should be installed. Failure to do so could result in security holes being present with these applications. While some of these installations can be automated, others cannot be.

3. Application Software Data/Usage issues.

Care should also be taken to make sure that certain updates are not auto-applied especially in situations where there are a lot of customizations.

  • Point of Sale – Sales Tax Rates, which are typically by state, or By Taxing Jurisdictions. The rates should be updated regularly so that the proper sales tax is withheld. While there are some
  • systems that update automatically, some do not.
  • Customers – Taxable Status. If Tax Exempt, the Tax ID number, and expiration dates may need to be updated. Doing this protects you in future tax audit scenarios.
  • Items – Taxable Flags, Item-Based Tax Categories – If tax Flags and item based Tax Categories are not assigned, the result could be incorrect tax amounts being withheld.
  • Payroll – Federal Tax Tables – This includes such things and Social Security and Medicare tax rates, and FUI, 401K Maximums; State Tax Codes – This includes SUI rates; Workers Compensation Rates.

If you have some specific issues or questions, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department.

– John

To Purge or not to Purge? – The data migration dilemma

To Purge or not to Purge? – The data migration dilemma

When anticipating an upcoming Data Migration, here are a few things that you should consider in making purge decisions.

  1. The Time Crunch.

Depending on the application, a typical Data Migration can take at least several days to complete, if not longer.

Depending on the amount of data that one currently has, the entire process can be artificially extended. and cause you to have extra support expense and unwanted downtime.

As the amount of data that you have increased, more disk space is used and so exponentially does the number of resources required to do various tasks. This situation puts more resource pressure on your server and increases the amount of time that it takes to complete tasks. As an example, running history reports could end up taking a considerable amount of time, which may end-up reducing overall staff productivity of people are constantly waiting for something to complete. Generally, this scenario is true whether you are doing a data migration or not.

  1. Do I really need to migrate all of the data?

Typically, most Retailers only keep about (2) two years of detailed history. I have found many instances over the years where companies have decades of detailed history on file. However, with some industries, it may be necessary to retain more history, as examples of this might be if there were extended product warranties or high-priced items with serial numbers (e.g. Water Heaters, Pool and Spa Equipment, Wood Stoves, Tools, Farm Equipment, Electronics, etc.).

  1. What kind of time constraints do I have regarding the purging operations?

Normally, it is best to schedule purging related work for times when there is no one using the application software. Generally, there are at least (3) three good reasons for this as follows:

  • Purging operations usually require a lot of CPU and memory usage. So if this should normally not be done during peak hours, as it can bog-down your server.
  • Some historical purging operations will hang and wait if it encounters records within the selected range that are in use. This artificially extends the amount of time required to complete the purging operation.
  • Smaller databases generally mean faster backup times.
  1. What is the general condition of the source data?

Most purging and data migration operations require that the data be in good shape, otherwise separate and extensive work may be required to accomplish complete removal of the data or the ability to migrate it.

Some examples of this kind of issue would be.

  • Historical sales data that references sales reps or users that are no longer on file.
  • POS ticket history that involves sales data for customer and items that are no longer on file, or that have corrupt ticket lines.
  • Set-up and supporting data for features that are no longer used, such as sales prices, discount codes, and other pricing schemas.
  • Old customers that haven’t purchased anything for many years. This could include customers with invalid or obsolete contact data.
  • Items that are obsolete/discontinued or haven’t been used for many years.

In many cases, some of this kind of data can be cleaned up ahead of your data migration date,

If you have questions about purging, file utility usage, and data migrations, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department

John

Security and Encryption Malware

Security and Encryption Malware

Despite one’s best intent, systems can be infected by viruses, hacked, or crashed due to various reasons and through various sources. Having good security programs, and redundant data/program backup functions in place should be considered a must-have. However, even with these policies and procedures in place, sometimes things can go very wrong.

As a recent example:

A company’s application server was infected with a file encryption ransomware program during the middle of the day. Most of the operating system, and various programs where encrypted.

Doing a repair installation attempt was unsuccessful in correcting the issues, and ultimately, a recovery required pulling selected programs and data from multiple backups. Because the back-ups were incomplete, this created a number of residual issues related to some operating system files/features and selected programs.

This infection was later determined to be the result of all of the following:

  • Failure to restart the server after an anti-virus software update.
  • open RDP Internet ports on the server’s firewall.
  • An un-patched known security flaw on the application server that was known to be vulnerable to remote brute force connection attempts.

In this particular case, the saving grace was…

Their core application software programs and data on at least some of the redundant back-ups were undamaged by the encryption Malware infection.

The end result here was… a recovery project that could have taken weeks or months of work to complete or that could have resulted in massive irreversible data loss, ended up causing only several days of disruption and only a couple of days’ worth of data loss

While all of this might seem like a no-brainer to some, a focused plan that has built-in redundancy should be considered a must for any business.

If you would like a review of your current system for either security or and/or backup integrity, please contact CCS Retail Systems Support Department to schedule your System Security and Recovery evaluation.

– John

The Disadvantages of Using Duplicate Document Numbers

The Disadvantages of Re-using Document Numbers

They are numerous reasons for not doing this as follows:

Typically, in most software applications, a document number is considered a Primary Key, so it should be considered “Unique” and would not be duplicated. However, there are some programs where it might be a Secondary key where multiples might be allowed, such as using a sequence Number, such as when using duplicate entries and historical tables such as Check History (e.g. checks, voids for the same checks, or manual payments, EFT transactions, etc.).

Even in situations where the programming might allow for this sort of thing, a duplication might cause other issues with software functionality, As examples.

  • GAAP – According to GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practice) document numbers should also be considered unique. This also makes auditing easier. If an auditor sees a lot of duplicate documents, it may prompt the auditor to dig deeper looking for other accounting irregularities, thereby artificially extending the length of the audit.
  • The same Ticket/Invoice number exists in history multiple times – A user runs a report on ticket #20324 without having specified a date or date range. The subsequent report returns eight documents created over a period of 10 years.
  • Problems posting – I have seen examples where end-users have used the same invoice number dozens of times. When they try to post a new voucher using the same invoice number, the program may hang or crash while it attempting multiple times to create a “New” document for one that already exists to previously. As an example, the program might attempt to write the same document into history 10 times, and then just stop the attempts to write the new data.

The worst example of this that I have seen so far, is with one vendor that 21 manual payments on file using an invoice and check number of “SUPPLIES” – In this case, a better example would create the numbers would be something like “SUPMMDDYY” (e.g. SUP031518).

If you have any questions or need assistance with the creating your own document number assignment schema, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support department.

– John

Historical Data Migrations From Old to New Platforms.

Historical Data Migrations From Old to New Platforms.

Data migrations can go awry for many reasons, however, most often these bad situation scenarios can be avoided with consultation with CCS Retail Systems Support and some careful planning.

Here are some recent examples.

  1. Data Migrations where corrupt data is present.

An IT person did an in-house test migration to a newer NCR Counterpoint software version. The company preferred to not purge history regularly. There were some known corrupt data records complicating the procedure. The company had some history that was over 10 years old. (A recommended policy is to try to keep 3 years of history at a maximum.)

The IT person planned to start the upgrade on a Friday night and complete it by the following Monday morning. This approximately 48+ hour time frame would be very aggressive when considering the scope and complexity of the conversion.

  1. Trying to using the current software on antiquated hardware and unsupported antiquated operating systems.

Attempting this sort of migration can be a recipe for disaster because damage to your data could occur from system architecture and software limitations.

For example, a business owner copied his current updated software installation onto an old server running an older, unsupported operating system. The performance of the software was then extremely inadequate for the task. Program completion times were decreased by as much as two orders of magnitude from current systems available.

  1. Some things that you can do to prevent the above-referenced scenarios are:

1. Verify that existing hardware, operating system, and software infrastructure meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for the new software. This should be considered mandatory

2. Get proper training on the new software in advance of doing either a test migration or a live migration.

3. Read all of the documentation related to the entire data migration process.

3. Plan to do a thorough test migration, This would include having end-users replicate normal processing work that represents a least several days’ worth of live data that was done in their old system.

4. Schedule CCS Retail Systems Support to do the entire data migration or provide your organization with assistance on the migration project.

– John

Employee Retainage in the $15/Hour Minimum Wage Era

Employee Retainage in the $15/Hour Minimum Wage Era

Small business has seen the fallout from the $15/Hour Minimum Wage mandate.

As an example: One small business that I know recently lost two key employees over wage disputes related to new hires that were now being paid equal to or more than what existing long-term staff was. Because the employer could not afford the additional

wage increase requests made by the long-term employees, they quit after finding jobs that paid higher wages. The additional fallout from this was that the employer was forced into working 14 – 16 hour days doing the work that the other employees had done previously. This included having to spend existing time training the new employees. Another issue that came up was with the quality of new hires coming into the workplace. In some cases, this involved new workers with a lesser skill set than the previous staff, and those with a poor work ethic.

In discussing some of this with the business owner, the following creative suggestions came to mind.

Business Model Changes

Consider making various business model changes such as:

  • Increase Prices – Gradually raising retail prices over time in order to help offset the increased cost of wages – As an example, one might increase prices by 1.25% a quarter rather than hitting customers with an immediate 5% price increase up front.
  • Diversification – Consider diversification of product lines to include new items or items that provide for a higher margin. This might include items from new sources or be carrying more competitive generic or “home-branded” products that you can obtain from suppliers at a lower cost.
  • Subletting – Consider subletting a seldom used or unused part of your facility to another business. – One good example of this involved a retailer/distributor who leased out part of their fully paid for the warehouse to another business. This scenario generated additional revenue that helped offset increased personnel and overhead costs.
  • Customer Loyalty Programs – Establish a customer loyalty program or other by using such promotional programs such as NCR Customer Connect or BLoyal to help incentivize your customers to spend more at your business. If you would like more information on these programs, please contact the CCS Sales Department.

Employee Based Incentivize.

Consider incentives long-term employees with benefits that are not initially offered to new employees, such as:

  • Commissions Based on Productivity – Set-up an employee commission structure that incentivizes employees based on total sales volume over time, and/or that pays a higher commission the longer that an employee works for the company. This could also include establishing a company-wide profit-sharing program
  • Additional Paid Time off – Offer additional paid time off based on longevity of employment. As an example, instead of offering just a standard 2 weeks of paid vacation, you might offer an additional day per year that they work for you.
  • Higher Employee Purchase Discount rates – Offer higher employee discount for long-term employees than for new staff. As an example, if you normally offer a 10% employee discount on purchases, you might consider offering an additional percentage point per year that the employee has worked for you.
  • Employer Paid Healthcare – If not already offered, consider providing partially or fully paid health care benefits.
  • Employee Wellness – Offer to subsidize an employee’s health club membership, meditation classes, or Yoga classes.
  • Additional insurance – Consider offering paid personal life insurance benefits and/or disability insurance for long-term employees.
  • Retirement Benefits – Offer a 401K or other pension benefits.
  • Educational Benefits – Offer College tuition assistance, or tuition for continuing education classes.

– John

 Tis the season to be stormy…

 Tis the season to be stormy…

With the fall season upon us, so comes the inclement weather. This month has been a reminder of just how volatile these storms can and just what kind of havoc power issues can wreck on a business.

Why are proper system shutdowns important?

While using the proper system shutdown commands during power events, or when otherwise required, may seem to be Computer 101 level procedures to some, to others, especially the untrained it is not.

Based on my experience, this seems to be a bigger issue with retailers than any other group. The core issues seem to reside primarily in the following four areas:

1. Lack of written plans and/or procedures for shutting-down and restarting servers and POS systems.

2. Lack of a training program for employees working in the stores, so that they know what to do when the power goes out.

3. High employee turnover. – New staffers are either not familiar with the system, and who have little or no training.

4. Insufficient security authorizations – some of the staff at the store have a level of security access that does not allow them to login to the server and properly shut it down.

What happens when equipment is not shutdown properly?

When an application server or POS workstation is shutdown improperly, very serious issues can result, such as:

  • Loss of active unsaved data. – This might mean incomplete, and un-editable tickets, or orders.
  • Critical damage to application databases that can require having to restore data from backups.
  • Damage to the operating system, which might require having to restore part of it or having to go as far as restaging the entire computer. This would be especially true if a downloaded Windows Security Service Pack was to schedule to be installed on the next system shutdown, as it could cause the update to fail to be properly applied.
  • Physical damage to critical components in the computer, such as the hard drive, motherboard, memory, required the machines) to be down for an extended period of time Proper Power Protection

One common oversight regarding computer installations is not having proper power protection for the systems. Normally, one should have UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) battery backups that are adequate to protect your Servers and PC’s, as well associated hardware such as modems, network switches, etc. CCS also recommends this for both new and existing systems.

Most current UPS systems allow for line conditioning, surge and brownout protection, as well as automated Server/PC shutdown capability (in the event of a complete power failure). One historical example of this involved the following:

With a new system purchase, where the customer opted not to purchase a UPS for the primary CP SQL application server. This was mainly over budgetary concerns. During a particularly bad seasonal winter storm, they were having both erratic power fluctuations combined with complete outages for extended periods of time. The staff chose to leave the server running during this time period. At one point, the power went out several times while the server was powered up, causing the server to crash and then reboot repetitively. These events resulted in damage to some critical operating system files. The resulting support work required to recover the damage was almost equal to the cost of the originally quoted UPS.

Being a firm believer in this technology, I also have my home Computer, Monitor, External Hard Drive, DSL Modem, Alarm System, and Telephones protected.

Recommended Power Protection Updates

One common oversight regarding computer installations is not maintaining power protection for a network, location servers or registers/PC’s. The following are some often neglected things.

  1. Old and Damaged Power Strips.

Often while on-site at various companies, I find power strips that have no power or surge protection. Often there are many that have surge protection, however, the surge protection components have failed. The normal indicator of a damaged power strip is that the rocker switch light and/or the surge light is flickering off and on or burnt out completely.

  1. UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) maintenance.

Under normal circumstances the battery in a UPS battery backup needs to be replaced every 3 – 4 years. Failure to do this can result in systems crashing because the battery won’t hold a charge or the battery drains before the machine can be properly shutdown (in wither automated or manual fashion).

Despite its design and intended use, a UPS is not damage proof. Since it is an electronic device under heavy usage or extreme power events, it can sustain damage or fail completely.

I have seen some instances of where the UPS charging circuit has been damaged causing the UPS to overcharge the battery, both damaging the battery, and causing the unit to overheat. A common indicator of this is the UPS is extremely hot to the touch (enough to warm coffee, a pastry or burn you). This is also a fire hazard, so this situation could be putting much more than just your computer at risk.

Also, If PC’s and peripherals have recently been replaced, the older UPS may not be adequate for the job because it doesn’t have the proper wattage and amp rating to support the new equipment.

An example of this: A user had a PC connected to and older 180 Watt/230 VA UPS, and the new equipment that was installed used a combined total of 500 Watts. When the power to the UPS was disconnected, the UPS couldn’t handle the load, and immediately terminated the power before anything could be shutdown, resulting in damage to both data and the operating system.

While you can purchase a UPS for a relatively nominal fee, cheaper retail UPS units are inadequate for the job of protecting most business systems. Most new business class “Smart” UPS systems allow for line conditioning AVR (Automated Voltage Regulation), surge and brownout protection, as well as automated Server/PC shutdown capability (in the event of a complete power failure). This takes the burden of doing this away from your staff, and ensures that equipment is properly shut-down

With the fall storm season already upon us, right now is the best time to address these issues before they become critical. CCS can evaluate your needs, make recommendations, and make sure that the proper equipment is both ordered and properly installed. Please call the CCS Retail Systems Support Department to schedule your power review.

– John

6 top reasons for using bLoyal as a Customer Relationship Management tool.

 

6 top reasons for using bLoyal as a Customer Relationship Management tool.

bLoyal adds an extension to what NCR Counterpoint standardly offers for loyalty programs.

1. Offers and Promotions

Loyalty Offers and Promotions

Offers and promotions enhance your loyalty reward programs by offering short-term values that generate immediate sales and complement long-term loyalty member rewards. Offers and promotions work to your advantage in many ways. They provoke interest in new products, give members an opportunity to try something different, provide added value to your customers to help encourage loyalty, and ultimately generate more revenue for your business. bLoyal’s loyalty system gives you endless opportunities for offering sales and promotions to members and member segments.

Offers and Promotions from bLoyal allow you to go beyond the old style punch card by introducing exclusive loyalty program member benefits, scaled to help meet your specific needs and goals.

  • Gift Card Sales Promotions

Gift card marketing and promotions give you multiple opportunities to gain return customers and repeat sales.

As an example: If you offer a $5 gift card with a purchase of $25 or more, there’s an excellent chance that customer will either return to use the gift card or give it to someone else. Either way, statistically, there’s a 68% chance that the returning shopper will spend significantly more than the $5 offered.

Also, since bLoyal gift cards are loyalty enabled, every gift card can become a loyalty card, creating a new opportunity for building customer relationships.

  • Buy One Get One Loyalty Promotions

By one get one (BOGO) loyalty promotions are easy to configure within the bLoyal system, and despite the name, you aren’t limited in what you can offer. Buy-one-get-one promotions can span multiple product categories and use any combination of qualifiers and quantity pairings.

For example,

offer a buy two get one 50% off, promotion, or buy three and get bonus loyalty points.

With bLoyal’s loyalty system, the combinations are limitless and give you opportunities to create unique offers.

  • Coupon Loyalty Offers

Digital and print coupons significantly influence customer loyalty, sales, and word-of-mouth marketing. Customers are much more likely to be loyal to a business that provides coupons and more willing to tell friends about that business, however, the coupons need to be relevant to the consumer. bLoyal combines the power of loyalty member segmentation with targeted coupon creation and distribution, so you can create exclusive coupon loyalty offers for your members and distribute them through bLoyal built-in outbound marketing tools, or post shareable, viral coupons across your social media accounts.

2. Frequent Buyer Programs

  • Frequent Buyer Programs with bLoyal’s Loyalty Software

The following feature would be in addition to or instead of anything that you might currently be doing through NCR Counterpoint.

Building loyalty with frequent buyer programs provides a great way to reward customers for shopping with you often, or for choosing specific products or manufacturers regularly. bLoyal’s loyalty system lets you configure any frequent buyer rewards that you want, in real-time or for any other reason. With flexible points, coupons, and recurring purchase benefits, you can configure custom programs that provide value to your members instantly while encouraging more return visits.

  • Frequent Buyer Loyalty Reward Points

Rewarding your customers doesn’t mean you need to give them discounts every single time they shop. Establishing a point’s reward system provides incentives that add up over time, so your members know that once they reach a certain level of point’s rewards, they can redeem those points for a valuable rewards experience. You can set thresholds to reward customers for a certain number of visits, spending a set amount of money over time or within a limited period, or award bonus points for specific products or categories. The options are truly limitless.

Frequent buyer programs from bLoyal were designed so that you can reward loyal customers for what you want, when you want, how you want.

  • Dollar Amount or Cash Back Loyalty Rewards

Launching frequent buyer programs that are based on dollar amounts are effective at increasing both short and long-term customer spending. For example, you can offer $10 back on purchases of $150 or more, and provide a dollar reward amount on a gift card, or offer a coupon with a time limit. Dollar loyalty programs sometimes offer shipping credits based on spending caps, dollar amount discounts on future purchases, and more.

  • Award Programs with Tiers

Offering tiered loyalty rewards programs gives your members goal-based incentives to shop more often. Tiered programs can be implemented based on the number of visits, point value, or how much a customer spends during a period. Each rewards program

tier offers new benefits and rewards, with incentives to either maintain that loyalty tier, or reach it again after the related rewards have been redeemed.

  • Electronic Punch Card Loyalty

Electronic punch cards are a simple way to award members for frequent visits, purchasing a particular product, or choosing items from a certain manufacturer repeatedly. Digital loyalty punch cards can be configured in multiple ways and activated through many member check-in options from point of sale devices to mobile phones or loyalty gift cards.

  • Segmented Frequent Buyer Programs

One of the most powerful features of bLoyal’s loyalty software is the ability to segment loyalty members based on anything you want and reward customers based on where they are in the buyer’s journey as an individual. This level of targeting is powerful and personal, and with bLoyal you can offer targeted frequent buyer programs to different market segments based on

their interests, demographics, preferred store, or custom channels.

Frequent buyer rewards programs configured through bLoyal’s loyalty software are completely customizable to reach your customers in personal ways to create stronger, longer lasting relationships and boost the lifetime value of your members.

3. Outbound Marketing

Engage program members with the outbound marketing tools that are built right into the bLoyal system. You don’t need a separate, third-party system to send out exclusive offers through email, text, social blasts or remarketing campaigns. Segmented lists and categories keep your member contacts organized, so you can send targeted promotions to users based on their demographics, behaviors, and preferences without the hassle of managing separate mailing databases.

  • Loyalty Marketing with Email

Bulk emailing within bLoyal is simple. You can create newsletters with custom branded templates and send them to member groups or all members. Send event announcements, promotional campaigns, exclusive member content, surveys, and easily track engagements from

and promotions based on real engagement metrics.

  • Text Message Marketing

Schedule promotional announcements, coupons, event invitations, and more to reach your members anywhere through text message marketing. Members can opt-in or out at any time, and you can personalize messages for each user. Text message loyalty marketing is an excellent way to grow your audience, and it’s all possible in the bLoyal system without leaving your loyalty dashboard.

4. Remarketing with bLoyal

Remarketing helps you increase average order value and frequency by targeting loyalty program members based on their purchase history and other trackable loyalty program behaviors. Create remarketing campaigns by downloading segmented customer lists from bLoyal and

adding this data as a ‘custom audience’ on your next campaign.

  • Loyalty Rewards and Outbound Marketing

bLoyal offers a single platform for managing all of your outbound marketing and loyalty program efforts from one location. Engagements are linked to each member’s profile in our 360 CRM, as well as our reporting system, so you can view loyalty program engagement history

and evaluate the effectiveness of your targeting.

5. Segmentation

Marketing and Loyalty Segmentation

Member segmentation is a fundamental part of every loyalty rewards program and outbound marketing campaign. bLoyal’s built-in options give you the power to deliver the right rewards to the right customers at the right time. bLoyal provides static, dynamic , and SKU level dynamic segmentation options to help you make sure your engagements are on target and truly relevant to each of your members.

Members can be added to segmented loyalty lists automatically during sign-up, based on their demographics or where and how they signed-up, as well as being able to opt into segments online. Managers can create segmented loyalty lists manually, or lists can be automatically populated based on user behaviors and more.

Valuing your customer’s time is key to building a successful loyalty program. Marketing segmentation from bLoyal allows you to send the right message to the right customer’s at the right time.

  • Static Segmentation

Static segmentation is simple and intuitive within the bLoyal system. Mailing list managers can create member lists based on any criteria, directly within the system and use bLoyal’s outbound marketing tools to send out targeted sales, promotions, announcements, and more. Once created, managers can make changes to static lists manually. Static lists are useful for running short-term campaigns or sending engagement announcements that only apply to a very particular group of people.

  • Dynamic Segmentation

Dynamic marketing segmentation is an automated grouping of members based on any combination of behaviors and/or demographics.

For example, you can configure bLoyal to add every member of a particular demographic who has shopped at a specific store location to a precisely targeted mailing list. Customer history can be automated based on order history, purchase history, and even purchase of an individual product.

  • SKU Level Dynamic Segmentation

Product or SKU level segmentation is a highly targeted way to reach members based on their past purchases. bLoyal can automatically group customers that buy a particular product or brand into a list that you can use for precision marketing and promotions.

Highly Targeted Loyalty Solutions

With bLoyal’s loyalty and rewards system, customer partitioning is easy. Our solution allows you to create outbound marketing campaigns that will activate and engage your loyalty program members based on products they’re really interested in. You’ll also have access to analytics based on the member segments you provide, so you can quickly report on results and make adjustments as often as you need.

If you’re looking for a powerful loyal marketing solution for your business, call CCS to schedule a demonstration and learn more about bLoyal’s powerful features.

For more information on the above, please contact the CCS Retail Systems, Inc. Sales department (sales) or 1-800-672-4806.

– John