Electronics Vertical – Evolve to Expand

Consumer electronics globally has out performed all other industry verticals and has been resilient to the downturn of economy. Dynamism is inherently associated to this Electronics Vertical - Evolve to Expandvertical and managing a Consumer electronics Retail Store is a challenging task. More so because people visiting electronics store, walk in to Experience the Best in technology and feel its pulse.

Store formats in this vertical are variable with no limitations to size or range. One may see an e-store, mobile store, or large multilevel electronics and appliance superstores with elaborate displays and self-service Kiosks. But at all the places the one sentiment that electronics retailers share in common is that meeting customer expectations is a daunting task with a bigger challenge being efficient utilization of resources & retail space. Retailers strive hard to provide the right product mix to their customers in a constantly transitioning landscape of new product launches, models, and configuration.

It is therefore mandatory for these Retailers to strategically integrate their operations to differentiate themselves on high customer service levels while maintaining firm control of inventory at store and back office warehouse

Thousands of stores in over 45+ countries are running iVend Retail from CitiXsys Technologies and are more profitable and efficient. CitiXsys Technologies has a strong focus on Retail, Warehouse, and Inventory management offering innovative software solutions to its customers globally.

Enhancing modern retail industry experience, iVend Retail is a fully integrated, comprehensive Retail management solution to manage Head office and In-Store processes. iVend Loyalty, iVend eCommerce, iVend Mobility and  iVend Analytics are a few integrated modules making iVend the right choice for modern retailers of any size.

iVend eCommerce is an eCommerce and mCommerce solution that allows retailers to sell efficiently into multiple channels, all from one integrated system. With its seamless integration with iVend Retail, shoppers can conduct their business on the web in the same way as is done at the physical store – imparting customers a unified experience – where they have access to all products, images, virtual studios, promotions and schemes.

This application is not limited to retail and can be extensively used in industries like manufacturing, for listing their products and services on-line on the Internet

With 24X7 accessibility buyers can choose the buy products anytime, anywhere and retailers can sell their products to achieve the higher ROI. Our reporting tools are very comprehensive and allow you to see exactly what has sold where so you can make adjustments to maximize your sales and minimize your overheads.

An increasing number of leading retailers across the globe operating iVend Retail have realized significant business improvements and service differentiation. iVend Retail seamlessly integrates Head office functionality and In-Store functions efficiently into a unified organizational system with the backend ERP delivering better business results.

iVend Retail offers view of inventory across all stores enabling store managers and merchandize planners at the head office to have complete control over organizational inventory stock levels. Special orders with integrated shipping is available at all customer touch pints whether store or online. This allows better customer service right from Point of Sale by enabling product not in store stock to be drawn and shipped from the warehouse or to be delivered from another store

While buying electronics more and more consumers are using smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to make purchases, find coupons and learn where they can get the best deals. iVend Retail mobile solution helps shoppers browse e-store using their smartphones with comparative pricing features. Retailers using iVend find an effective way to leave a positive impression among customers and take advantage of this technology to Click Sales..

Retailing to e-tailing

Retailing has a long history, dating back to medieval traders and merchants. Since hundreds of years, retailers existed in defined geographies, with limited access to customer eCommerceneeds &  their shopping behavior with merchandise often limited to a single product category. All of that changed with the industrial revolution. With average incomes rising, markets emerged at a steady pace, and so did the consumer’s craving for consumer products.  This led to the rise of modern retailing with subsequent evolution of various channels of distribution, customer communication and transaction.

Modern retailing has rocketed with introduction of internet & mobility leading to wide acceptance of eCommerce & mCommerce platforms which in turn emerge as one of the fastest growing industries in world with likes of Amazon, eBay etc…  By 2020, online sales are projected to be USD500 billion or 20 percent of nonfood retail sales. For many types of retailers, the percent-to-total sales could even be higher, as eCommerce growth continues to significantly complement overall retail sales growth. Much of this will be fueled by the accelerating use of mobile platforms for shopping online.

Forward looking retailers have started integrating their brick-and-mortar stores with integrated Web stores to penetrate deeper into the market & boost their sales productivity. With Integrated eCommerce solution retailers no longer struggle to redefine the role of the store in a multichannel, millennial-led world.  They see Webstores as extended medium of their traditional store and want their customers to shop there with same ease & comfort.

With iVend Retail Management Suite retailers can successfully engage consumers wherever it makes sense in order to make it convenient for them to shop. Integrated eCommerce, Loyalty application and intelligent displays integrated with mobile devices can offer customers a satisfying multichannel experience that keeps them engaged. It is clear that all retailers need to aggressively embrace customer-shopping platforms of all types unless they find a way to create a differentiating value proposition that exploits the physical store advantages in a more compelling way.

For more details contact a CitiXsys representative in your region or mail us on [email protected]

Benefits of BI for Small & Medium Businesses

Business intelligence and analytics have long been pivotal tools for large corporations and financial firms, but these strategies are equally effective for small and Business Intelligencemedium-sized businesses. In the modern marketplace, business intelligence and analytics can give your retail enterprise a crucial edge up on your competitors.

iVend Analytics offers an intuitive, user-friendly interface that allows business owners to track customer trends and turn data into meaningful, actionable intelligence. With this software, you will be able to accelerate purchasing, more accurately manage pricing and promotion, and ultimately increase sales volume. Business intelligence tools provide an accurate, easy-to-read view of the costs, liabilities, and risks involved with your business. They make it easy to decipher customer purchase patterns. They simplify back-end procedures such as inventory and stocking. And, they help you decide when to kick off a promotional campaign, and with what products, based on your customer patterns.

iVend Analytics provides business intelligence in a user-friendly format. Dashboards cover various sectors of your retail enterprise, and these dashboards present vital information in an instantly readable, visual format so you don’t have to go searching for trends in haphazard data fields. An associative search function allows you to quickly and easily find the insight you need to make vital business decisions. The dashboard templates are customizable for category management, meaning you can put the data that matters most at your fingertips. Thus iVend Retail software is highly flexible, and can grow with your business.

A further benefit of the iVend analytics is that it functions seamlessly with other business tools in iVend Retail. Point of sale, customer Loyalty, eCommerce and Mobile solutions from iVend Retail all work in tandem with iVend Analytics. The business intelligence end of iVend Retail, iVend Analytics works to seamlessly integrate the other tools in iVend Retail, and indeed all aspects of your retail business enterprise, so that you can make better-informed business decisions.

The iVend retail suite covers all ends of the business, from customer relations at the register, to back-of-the-store functions, to head office procedures. The software is fast, secure, is SAP and PCI certified, can integrate with almost any ERP, and is powerful enough to handle large retailers with hundreds of stores. Whether you are a single store or a retail chain with an online component, iVend Retail can help you simplify the many complexities of running a retail business. Our software can help you optimize pricing, promotion, purchasing, and all facets of retail, in order to increase your bottom line.

As an example of the type of scenario iVend can help you with, consider a promotion designed to increase sales volume during the holiday season. How do you ensure that excess stock after the holiday season rush is not sold under the same clearance as during the holiday promotion? Business intelligence from iVend can help you plan ahead to not only decide how best to reach your market with efficient, targeted sales, but also how to manage those sales through the duration.

Business intelligence software can help you simplify and streamline all aspects of your business. The improved efficiency delivered by sound business intelligence can help your enterprise save money and increase net profit. iVend Analytics and the iVend Retail Suite are the superior choice in business intelligence, because the software boasts a harmonious blend of speed, security, and power, with a user-friendly interface. In order to be competitive in the modern marketplace, business intelligence software from iVend is an obvious choice for your business.

Webinar on enhanced features of iVend Retail 5.6

iVend Retail version 5.6 is indeed by far the most path breaking release of iVend Retail. This version incorporates a substantial number of iVend Retail Enhanced featuresfeature enhancements, which include:

Training mode: to help retailers ramp-up their new staff on realistic LIVE data without integrating these training transactions in to the LIVE system.

Coupons: Retailers can define their own coupons or allow coupons extended by manufacturers to be redeemed in the retail chain

Enhanced Promotions Engine: This includes bonus buys by defining “buy conditions” and “get options”. There are over 20 different types of promotions, which can be configured.

Tax Condition Setup: There are approximately 9 different parameters based on which tax condition can be determined

Discount Groups: The application can now categorize discounts into 4 types – Manual, System, Coupon, and Promotion Discount

Store Groups: To ease manageability of stores by categorizing them into different groups.

Not only this, the application is now capable to be implemented in a stand-alone mode – we call this iVend Unplugged – an ERP agnostic, complete retail management solution.

Join our webinar as per your convenience on the dates mentioned below to know more about iVend Retail

1.30pm – 3.30pm AEDT – Sydney Time
September 11th 2012
7.30am – 9.30am EDT – New York Time
September 13th 2012

Mobile POS as a Customer service opportunity

Whether or not you know it, you have used a Mobile POS system and it has made your experience at a retailer much better. As far as customer service is concerned, aMobility Mobile POS system puts the store at a customer service representative’s hands, which allows them to answer questions, look up prices, access inventory and stock, and contact their suppliers all from the same system.

But what exactly is in it for you, the customer? An integrated retail system stream lines what used to take several employees: it inventories, price checks, orders, and keeps stock current all while you are checking out at the cash register. Let’s say you are purchasing a pair of socks. As soon as the bar code on the socks is scanned, the Mobile POS system lets the inventory know that there is one less pair on the shelves and subtracts that pair from stock as well. The pair subtracted form stock is added to the order from the supplier and once the stock is decreased by a certain amount, the supplier sends the order to your retailer. The automation of an integrated retail system takes the menial processes out of your hands and allows you to focus more on what your company relies on: The Customer.

Another key feature of the Mobile POS system is the effectiveness of its customer loyalty systems. Keeping track of details is what POS systems do best and customer rewards, although essential, are just another tiny number that can be overlooked. A POS system can tell you all of the facets of a customer’s buying experience down to the very last detail: How much they spent? How often they shop? How many items they bought? &all of this data can be utilized as a positive information to engage with clients on the shop floor. It suddenly becomes much easier and more reliable to reward customers for their loyalty in an unbiased way.

The real benefit of a Mobile POS system is the elimination of long queues at the POS and the freeing of floor space, which enhances customer experience & saves investment in Real estate. It allows the floor manager to move out on Retail floor equipped with all information & move freely to interact with the customer actively ; combined with the mobile accessibility of inventory and ordering, the sales person can more effectively close a deal while the customer is present. The mobile POS system seamlessly integrates with your existing POS system, thus eliminating overhead for a new system.

The cutting edge technology that a Mobile POS system brings to a retail cannot be underscored enough; with immediate return coming from the customer experience and the sales person interaction with the customer heightening the overall customer experience at your company.

The roaming checkout –Why mobility is the new imperative for Retail?

iVend Mobile Today’s tech savvy shoppers are adopting new mobile technologies at a record-setting pace. The use of wireless devices is multiplying exponentially, with countless app stores and applications springing up to meet the demand.

As customers use Internet-enabled technology to accomplish even more of what they do, these applications and devices have become increasingly personal, anticipating customers’ needs and offering goods and services to meet them. Retailers must keep pace with this rising expectation of on-demand service whenever and wherever desired—including inside the retail establishment.

Mobile POS (Point of Sale) is a readily available solution. Mobile commerce has become increasingly familiar, convenient and secure, with consumers feeling more comfortable making purchases using this option. Big retailers have capitalized on the change—boosting sales and gaining repeat business via transactions on mobile devices.

But there is no reason to limit such sales to Smartphones. With the advent of wireless networks, Mobile POS equipment offers an ideal solution to (1) address poor service and missed sales opportunities resulting from insufficient information about features and promotions at product displays; (2) alleviate customer frustration due to long or slow-moving check-out lines; (3) replace outdated and non-scalable immobile software systems; and (4) avoid lost revenue from reduction in valuable floor space when additional hardware is installed to increase sales points.

Typical features include:

  • User authentication / security
  • Equipped for credit card payments
  • Scan and manual entry capability
  • Access to item details such as inventory
  • Recovery, suspension, cancellation or deletion of transactions
  • On-screen stylus signature

As a portable solution for completing sales transactions and processing returns, Mobile POS makes it possible to add to the number of “cash registers” without multiplying the number of stationary machines. Whenever there are long lines at the registers, portable POS devices can be distributed to store personnel so customers can engage them to make purchases.

Associates scan the customers’ items with the attached UPC (Universal Product Code) scanner, after which customers are able to pay by swiping a credit/debit card along a slot in the same machine. The transaction details are transmitted from the mobile POS to the business’s server using a secured wireless network. The server then communicates with third party agencies such as Visa or Master Card to authorize payment.

Once authorized, information is sent back to the business’s server, which then communicates with the mobile POS to produce a receipt for the transaction. The design of the device allows it to be integrated with legacy POS systems so the store’s data and processing will not be disrupted.

When using the mobile device to process transactions, the payment gateway connections should not be disrupted (they should be as effective as broadband) and location specific mobile payment security guidelines should be strictly followed. That said, it is clear mobile POS represents a positive change with a number of benefits and features to help forward-thinking retailers leverage technology to improve business.

Closely related to a reduction in customer wait time are:

  • Interaction with the store personnel to assist in making shopping decisions
  • Retailer can increase the number of POS without adding new cash registers
  • Can be carried to any location in the store, as needed.
  • Helpful in handling additional volume during peak shopping seasons
  • Keypad will feed in customer information with receipts sent to customer’s mail ID

Mobile technology represents an enormous opportunity to improve store operations and consumer interactions, with mobile POS offering another innovative way to win customer loyalty and gain greater market share by addressing the consumers’ never-ending desire for speed and convenience.

iMatrix 5.5.5 Released for SAP Business One 8.82 with major enhancements

This post outlines the enhancements in iMatrix 5.5.5

This post also explains the business context of the 3 new features which have been developed in this release and has a video embedded which briefly describes these new features.

Release Description

This post outlines the enhancements / issues fixed in Item Matrix version 5.5.5.

Item Matrix 5.5.5 is only supported on

  • SAP Business One 8.82, PL04 and above
  • SAP Business One 8.81, PL03 and above
  • SAP Business One 8.8
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008


  • Multiple 2D Attributes – With this release, user can now define multiple 2D Attributes in the system and can associate any one of defined 2D attributes to any 2D grid item.

Till the last version of iMatrix, the user could only create one 2D attribute for the entire SAP Business One company. This release now allows to create multiple 2D attributes in the same SAP Business One company. For example – a multi brand retailer can now have multiple 2D attributes. One for shoes and the other set for apparels.

  • Item Matrix Initialization –With this release user can start working on Item Matrix with their existing SAP Business One Item Codes. A tool called IM Initialization is now available for mapping existing SAP Business One Items to Item Matrix SKUs.

Another major enhancement to the earlier version. Just like any other SAP Business One Addon from CitiXsys, it is now possible to implement iMatrix in an already implemented SAP Business One. This means that it is now possible to convert existing items to parent / child items.

  • Named Licensing – With this release Item Matrix Licenses would be consumed on named basis but not on login sequence basis, wherein authorized IM users would always be able to create SKUs irrespective of their login time.

It is now possible to name the user(s) in the organization who will use iMatrix. Till the last version the licenses were consumed based on login sequence.


Innovations in iVend Retail – a three part webinar series

A three part webinar series on iVend Retail Suite of Applications focuses on the recent innovations in iVend Retail. The sessions are beneficial to modern age Retailers looking for integrated retail systems for better profitability & efficiency.

Session One talks about about retail analytics and how a CEO/ CFO take better decisions to make a profitable retail business. iVend Analytics is a Business Intelligence (BI) platform that provides Dashboards and Analytics for iVend Retail, SAP Software or any other Application .

iVend Analytics is a set of pre-packaged, shrink wrapped Business Intelligence dashboards which seamlessly plug into iVend Retail. With in-memory processing of iVend Analytics, SAP and/ or iVend users can use Sales, Inventory, Executive, Loyalty or Retail BI applications. Additional applications can be built based on customer requirement.

Session Two talks about in-store management, multi-channel retailing, customer loyalty management and how does iVend Retail help retailers improve their operational efficiencies.

Effective in-store management involves making routine tasks easy and configurable to adapt to different business situations.

Store is one place where one gets to see and experience Merchandizing, Warehousing – the larger supply chain, accounting – from a finance viewpoint, marketing and customer relationship management. It is the store manager who effectively orchestrates these different business processes

Multi Channel Retailing which is indeed the buzz word these days in the retail industry is also discussed in session two. More and more retailers are today adopting and incorporating Multi Channel Retailing as a mainstay part of their business and overall retail strategy. As the name suggests, it is about having multiple channels of carrying out retail business. This session explains the ease of taking ones business on-line using iVend eCommerce and how does iVend Retail Suite of applications makes a business truly multi-channel.

Customer Loyalty Management is the focus area of almost all the retailers. For the consumer, it makes absolutely no difference whether this relationship building happens actively on a Brick & Mortar store or on a web store front or through a mobile application. He wants a similar Overall Retail experience and customer service let it be any medium / channel he uses to complete his business. This session explains the seamless integration of iVend Loyalty – a points and rewards management application into iVend Retail.

Session Three discusses Importance of Inventory Planning & management, Different retailer types and their expectations.

Inventories being the biggest investment (to the tune of over 80%) that a retailer makes, even a small percentage reduction in inventory holding costs will make a huge contribution in savings of the retailer.

This session talks about the tools available to the retailers to effective plan and manage their inventory.

At the operational level Enhanced MRP helps retailer plan day to day replenishments and Inventory Pro – RF helps improve the warehousing processes.

At the strategic and planning level, Sales Forecasting and OTB (Open to Buy) in iPlan help retailer better plan the sales forecast and the associated purchase budgets.

How to enhance customer loyalty leveraging Social Media?

It was a mere half-decade ago that loyalty marketers began to start investigating seriously into how social networks and loyalty relate to one another. The rising power of social networks and customer word-of-mouth forced them to Loyaltyacknowledge its impact & importance since it has shown an inordinate effect in a short span of time.

Nurturing and leveraging virtual consumer networks has now become a prime evolutionary trend in loyalty over the next few years. Obviously, consumer use of social media has exploded since then, led by the seemingly boundless popularity of Facebook, followed by Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and blogs, as well as the more recent location-based success stories such as Foursquare and raise-your-hand-together models such as Groupon.

Research depicts that in 2010 worldwide internet users spent nearly a quarter of their online time on social networking sites and blogs, an increase of almost 19 % over 2009. Thanks to the iPhone and other smartphones, the use of social networks through the mobile phone is increasing at a rapid clip. These trends are bound to show a rapid increase with the number of mobile social network users to double between 2010 and 2015 i.e. from around 40 million users to close to 80 million.

Engaging social media to churn loyalty

Marketers need to integrate “social” into their cross channel loyalty program efforts and ensure it is given proper attention from all channels. Hence- Reach out to them: Social media from the very beginning offered many natural connections to loyalty marketers seeking to cultivate customer loyalty. With its emphasis on word-of-mouth, sharing, linking, “friending” and “liking,” social media provides dominant & dynamic tools to implement such core loyalty principles as relationship-building, customer service, personalization and data gathering/analytics.

Develop a Strategy:  Social web provides the ideal platform to nurture higher engagement and advocacy.

Most brands already have some sort of social web presence, but it is not an integral part of their Retail / loyalty program. Marketers need to begin their efforts by setting up a fan page; an online community; and provide access to relevant information, promotional offers, exclusive online only events/contests. This should then evolve, as-

  • Allow customers to earn, burn, purchase & donate
  • Integrate loyalty & brand fan pages to mainstream Retail
  • Have exclusive offers & promotions via Facebook to Fan comments
  • Socially active members to have a star status, inaddition to reward points
  • Status points can be translated to social currency (like Facebook credits) or converted into “money
  • can’t buy gifts”, e.g. exclusive lunch invite or a memorabilia
  • Engage fans on socially active themes with special rewards
  • Acknowledge & respond to Fan comments

Engage into trialogue

The need for the evolution of a dialogue to a ‘Trialogue’- where the members’ social networks become a part of the retailer – consumer conversation, is of great importance today and in times to come.

Develop a 3-way dialogue where the brand has easy access to the best customers, the customers have easy &direct access to the brand, and the customers can talk to each other freely from which both customers and the brand can extract value

Groom Brand Advocates

With transactional and social interaction data available, loyalty marketers can spot community managers and brand loyalists, their help can be leveraged to spread out a positive word to enhance brand image with success stories. With quantification of ROI on social media initiatives being a challenge for all marketers, it is important for loyalty marketers to begin connecting in measurable ways with their best customers. Marketers thereby should identify their brand loyalists, take them seriously (Because they can elevate or tear down a brand), and engage with them continuously.

Social media clearly offers transformational loyalty-marketing opportunities to retailers, but all of its unique benefits are yet to be tapped. And, as with any loyalty effort, gaining consumer trust, & providing a good value proposition—and a superior product or service—are essential. In Retail market the businesses that shall bring disciplined decision making, strong buy-in from the top, constant efforts at measurement and proof, and willingness to experiment that will win in connecting social media and loyalty and move to the next stage of success in the social media space.

Social media offers the opportunity to see customers as more than just numbers. Through trialogue, social tools help bring customers to life—which helps loyalty marketers learn the right ways to reach their goal of building long term relationships.

Take better Retail decisions with iVend Analytics

Some of the top challenges rated by three types of retailers – the winners, the average performers and the laggards

While 58% laggards agreed that they are not able to identify their best customers so that they can offer special incentives to them while shopping, 33% of retail winners were also of the same opinion. Predictably – only 10% of the retail winners had issues in matching inventory to demand, where as 50% of the laggards struggled to match inventory to demand. 68% of the average performers and 57% of the laggards feel that they do not know the customer sentiment till the time they see it in sales. And interestingly, 57% of the retail winners feel that their merchants don’t get information fast enough to react to differences between forecast v/s sales whereas only 33% of the laggards share a similar view

Similarly, talking about how does BI help overcome business challenges, 74% of the respondents felt BI helped them improve promotion effectiveness. 73% said that BI helped them respond better and faster to changes in customer demand. 43% of the respondents feel that the Brick and Mortar selling channel gains the most for a BI solution, 37% feel that all channels gain from a BI solution and given that e-commerce and mobility are relatively new channels of sale – they tend to gain 14 and 6% respectively.

Have a look at the video to know more about these retail challenges and ways to solve them.

iVend Analytics is a set of pre-packaged, shrink wrapped Business Intelligence dashboards specifically for retailers. iVend Analytics integrates seamlessly into iVend Retail which is a complete Retail Management Suite and is being used by diverse retailers ranging from Electronic Stores, Apparel Retailers, Footwear, specialty, departmental stores and many more.

One of questions that we are asked many a times is – what is the minimum threshold for a retailer to embrace a BI solution? Is the decision based number of stores, transactional volume, or a completely different parameter. Honestly, there is no fixed equation which would determine whether a retailer is BI ready or not. However if a retailer’s data is Diverse, Dynamic, Dense or any one of these, the retailer is BI ready.

It is more than obvious that BI has now become an essential tool – in an integrated retail environment – for a retailer to be successful.