CitiXsys Partner ICS Sharpens iVend Product Skills with Training


CitiXsys conducted a five-day, intensive training session on improving CitiXsys iVend Retail product knowledge for approximately 13 staff members of Integrated Computer Systems, Inc. (ICS). ICS is one of the Philippines’ leading IT solutions providers, with over 35 years of experience in providing technological expertise including nationwide sales and services.

ICS was founded in 1978 as the country distributor of Radio Shack. Over the last 35 years, the company has experienced significant growth, added several verticals to its product offering and garnered numerous awards attesting to its success and dedication to its clients. For example, ICS received the Dell Most Valuable Enterprise Partner Award in 2013, and was the Cisco Select Partner of the Year (also 2013).

The objective of the advanced classroom training program was to help the candidates gain in-depth knowledge about Training iVend Retail solutions, including Terminal POS, Mobile POS, Loyalty and Passes. The training was conducted at the ICS Philippines headquarters by David Webb, who is the Director of Partner Enablement and Client Connect at CitiXsys Technologies.

During the training program, the candidates learnt module implementation, configuration and overall use of the software. The ‘students’ also learnt valuable product enablement processes and methodologies including best practice techniques. Through these intensive classroom sessions, the ICS team has increased their skills, which all acknowledge will ultimately lead to realisation of greater benefit to the end-customers, helping them streamline their businesses for greater productivity and profitability.

It is of particular note that all of the participating candidates achieved certification in Implementation of CitiXsys iVend Retail solutions at the conclusion of the 5 day training program.

Talking about the product learning session, David Webb expressed, “It was a real pleasure running the training in our solutions for the team at ICS. It was great to experience their enthusiastic interest in every topic and see such dedication in participation to all aspects of the training activities. The high level of professionalism shown by the ICS staff is something they can be proud of, and worthy of recognition.”

This classroom session with ICS is one of several that CitiXsys is planning for the Middle East, USA, South East Asia and Australia in this coming year. It has been uplifting to see that several valued partners of CitiXsys have already signed up for these training sessions.

In the end, (as the ICS candidates experienced!) what emerges is a smarter, sharper CitiXsys product expert.

Innovate or Face Extinction

A business needs to innovate or they risk becoming irrelevant.

The typical sales model no longer applies for retailers. There’s no doubt that there will always be a need for brick and mortar stores; people need to touch and feel a product before purchasing it. In fact, over a third of online consumers cite this as the top reason they don’t prefer to buy online.

Innovate or Face Extinction in RetailToday, however, it’s really all about convenience: consumers want to buy whenever they want to, wherever they are, and as easily and hassle-free as possible. They may love shopping at your store most of the time; but they also want to be able to purchase from you when they are stuck at the office late or at midnight when they are shopping for holiday gifts. Retailers big and small must integrate multi-channel retailing into their repertoire or they will experience attrition in sales and their customer base consistently.

The latest innovations in retailing tend to be adopted early by large retailers. Consider these interesting new innovations:

  • Nordstrom’s just announced that they are testing a mobile application that will allow customers to order custom made men’s suits whenever they desire. Can you imagine sitting in your hotel room at midnight, while away on business in Asia, ordering several thousand dollars worth of custom, high end suits?
  • Neiman Marcus has a mobile app that allows you to work with your favorite sales associate.

Are you embracing innovation in your business? If not, imagine the impact of the following scenarios on the success of your business.

A frequent client stops by your shop, looking for a dress for an upcoming special occasion.  After trying on several dresses, she leaves, saying she’d like to think it over more. Later that week, she decides on one of the dresses at your shop, but she’s at a mall twenty minutes away and your store is closing.

She looks up your store on her mobile phone’s browser so she can purchase it and then pick it up tomorrow. Alas, your webpage doesn’t have mobile capability. She gets frustrated when it’s cumbersome to navigate your site, and ends up ordering the same dress from another store at a nearby mall.

Loss of convenience = Dollars flying out the window.

Your children’s retail boutique recently started carrying a decorative accessory that is aimed toward the preteen girl’s demographic. It’s predicted to be the new hot trend. While in-store sales are fairly flat for this item, they seem to be selling well online. However, you don’t have the time or the tools to assess who’s buying these items. You soon run out of stock and the item is backordered.

If you had a retail management solution that integrated with your multi-channel retailing, you’d have quick access to important customer data, such as detailed demographics of purchasers as well as anyone who clicks on your site. What if a young teen in Texas wore this to her school and started a huge trend, which quickly spread in the area?

By having quick access to this data and integrating it with your social media platforms and customer loyalty programs, you could have marketed to a targeted demographic. Instead, some other retailer has capitalized on the trend. 

No management tools = Lost sales.

You own a chain of electronic and consumer goods stores. They become crowded during weekends, especially when you are running popular promotions, and it often seems like your sales staff isn’t able to keep up with all the questions.  A male shopper who is well-versed in IT equipment stops by to purchase a computer and other accessories, all of which are on sale. However, he can’t get anyone to help him and the checkout lines are long. Because he’s in a hurry, he leaves and plans to come back later. But he doesn’t get a chance to stop back before the sale ends, and takes advantage of a competitor’s sale on the same item the following weekend.

If your store had been equipped with mobile solutions, such as in-store tablets, your customers could order their purchases throughout the store and speed up the process.

Imagine making your customer’s shopping experiences a simple and easy task. Whether at home, on the road, or in your store, your innovative systems are providing them with ideas, information, and convenience. This translates into more sales and revenue for your business.

Can you afford not to innovate?

Social Media & Customer Loyalty Programs: An Effective Partnership for SME Retailers

Customer LoyaltyImagine that your retail business has continual access to your customer base each and every minute of the day, 365 days per year. You, along with your staff, can tell them anything you want about your business, and there’s a good chance that they will listen. They may even share this information with their own friends and family. You can also request feedback from them whenever you want. Best of all, it’s totally free. What would you tell them?

If this sounds too good to be true, it’s not. Every time you post on your company’s Facebook page, tweet to your followers, or pin an image to Pinterest, you are broadcasting an important message about your business.

The usage of social networking websites is tremendous, representing a real opportunity to market to a targeted population daily. For example, did you know that 48% of Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 34 check it when they get up every morning? This represents a whopping 71% of US users on Facebook, according to the website

But while you may recognize the opportunity in establishing a social media presence, do you really understand what that entails? Peruse several small business Facebook and Twitter pages, for example, and you’ll see the same recurring themes: a posting once a week advertising a sale or special, a comment to come visit the store, or a request for people to “like” them. There’s nothing consistent nor compelling enough to catch your audiences’ attention.

Social media isn’t about advertisements and announcements, and it shouldn’t be treated as a digital bulletin board. Social media, when used effectively, is about building a sense of community with current and potential users of your products. To build a community, you must engage with your customers, plain and simple. And that’s not done by just posting virtual shout-outs of ads. An effective social media strategy involves posting interesting and informative information about your product, your business, and your industry. It suggests to users how you can help satisfy one or more of their needs. And it catches their attention and makes them want to share the content with others.

It also means that you are not just posting and sharing content but participating and commenting on others’ content as well. Remember, it’s not just about shouting about your business, it’s about engaging in the pleasantries of conversation with your customers. If a customer walked into your store, you’d greet them and ask about their day, correct? If you knew their son just got accepted to graduate school, you’d congratulate them. Think of your social media efforts as digital conversations. Wish your customers a happy birthday; comment on their last vacation picture.

Your social media program is really just another component and tool of your  Customer Loyalty program.  Through both, you should be connecting, communicating, and rewarding your customers. Engaging and rewarding your customers is the most cost effective way to build your business, because it costs over six times more to acquire a new customer than keep an existing one.

By integrating your social media strategy with your customer database and loyalty program, you can utilize integral data to find, track, and engage with your current customers on social media. Knowing their buying patterns can assist you in determining the content that you post and when to do so.

For example, if you know that 45% of your client base that spent over $200 during the last week of the holiday season were males purchasing gifts for the significant females in their lives, based on the last several years of data, you can post content aimed toward that demographic during the next holiday buying season. Let them know what items are hot this year, upsell your products by showing them outfits and matching accessories, and even offer a coupon for this demographic to use the week of Christmas. Most of all, remind them that your retail business has the products, service, and capability to satisfy their need.

Your customer database and loyalty program can work hand in hand with your social media efforts. By posting questions about your products on your Facebook page, for example, you might find out that a large percentage of your clientele actually purchases clothing at your children’s retail store for gifts. Why not take that opportunity to market to that demographic, as well as update your customer database?

Set a system in place for staff to obtain names and email addresses of their customers at the point of sale. Encourage customers to follow you on Facebook and other social networking sites by posting displays in your stores and links on all your printed material and digital sites.

An effective customer loyalty program and retail management system allows the retailer to track and analyze myriad types of data. The iVend Retail Management Solution, along with its companion iVend Loyalty – an Integrated Customer Loyalty Solution, provides the flexibility retailers need to track and analyze data, as well as reward loyal customers.

How an SME can Shrink the Shrinkage from Employee Theft

Shrinkage in the retail industry is a serious matter, averaging over $30 billion dollars a year. And the majority of that shrinkage (43%) is due to employee theft, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.

This can be especially problematic for a SME retailer; as the business grows, owners must accede control and oversight of the daily operations to others while focusing on the management and long term strategy of the business. This can leave them vulnerable if they do not have the proper controls in place to guard against internal theft.

Many rapidly growing small and medium retailers tend to rely on the trust of  their employees as well, especially long time members. They may not realize the need for security controls until it’s too late.

A good retail management solution, such as iVend Retail, offers key features that will successfully discourage many leading methods of theft. Consider these common scenarios:

(A) A sales clerk at one of your locations gives her login and password information to a friend, who then accesses the retail POS system and steals cash from the till, as well as hacking confidential customer data.

Security Feature: The iVend Retail management solution integrates with a leading biometric fingerprint reader, DigitalPersona, effectively tying security and user rights to the employee’s fingerprint. This allows for complete employee accountability, confirmed audit trails, prevention against unauthorized access, and more.

(B) An employee works in cahoots with an outside partner, who comes into the store to return a single item several times. The employee scans the return repetitively throughout the day, and processes several cash refunds.

Security Feature: The iVend Retail management solution allows only one return per each specific item. The system will lock that item from being returned multiple times, even if it’s at a different location.

(C) Several employees are pilfering small amounts of inventory from various locations throughout the year. While each item isn’t substantial, the total cumulative amount over a year’s time is significant. The discrepancy in inventory is only discovered at the annual physical inventory count.

Security Feature: Cycle counts of inventory can be performed through the iVend Retail management solution periodically throughout the year, thus identifying discrepancies in inventory on a timely basis.

(D) A store clerk gives random and significant discounts on purchases to her friends without any authorization.

Security Feature: The iVend Retail management solution allows you to set discounts, price controls, and price changes at different levels of management.

Other security controls include the ability to force reason codes and comments for returns and exchanges and till counts at various intervals throughout the day.

In these tough economic times, it is crucial for a business to have access to current information and control over operational data. Our iVend Retail Management solution, an SAP Business One addon, is a complete end to end solution that allows the management team to have complete control over each store’s operations in real time.


Payment Processors integrated with iVend Retail

We get a lots of mails from iVend partners, customers and prospects about recommendations on payment processors. This blog post is about all integrated payment processors that work with iVend Retail currently as on August 2011. We will keep increasing this list and keep adding new payment processors in future. If you want your payment processor to be integrated with iVend Retail, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post or send me an email.

iVend’s Shop and Swipe feature allows cashier’s to complete transactions without the need of clicking any button at the POS. The feature makes the POS operation ‘click-free’ as the cashier just swipes the card after scanning all the items. The feature also removes the need of swiping the card once at EFT machine and then again at the POS for recording the payment details. In constant endurance to provide the hassle free billing at the POS, iVend Retail is integrated with many popular payment processors for different countries. That’s not all; all this comes with the highest standards of security practices recommended by the PCI council.

The following diagram depicts the scenario at the POS

iVend Retail credit card feature


Following are payment processors that are integrated with iVend:

S No. Processor Region
1 Authorize.Net (Both card present and card not present scenario US
2 Commidea UK
3 CyberBit UK
4 DataCash UK
5 EWay Australia
6 Ogone Europe
7 Protox UK
8 SecurePay UK
9 Verisign / Paypal/ Pay Flow Pro(Both card present and card not present scenario) US
10 Moneris US/Canada
11 DPS Australia
12 PC-EFTPOS Australia
13 Caledon Canada
14 Heartland (Certification Pending) US
15 Plutus India




iVend Retail Certified for eSELECTplus Card on Moneris Pinpad

iVend Retail is now certified to process Card Present Transactions via eSELECTplus on a Moneris 7800 Pinpad.

Congratulations to iVend Team on the successful completion of the eSELECTplus Card Present Integration certification performed on Thursday, May 12, 2011.

Solution Description

Solution Type Value Added Reseller Solution
Solution Name iVend Retail
Solution Version 5.X
Operating System and Platform Windows
Transaction Supported for Credit Purchase, Refund, Purchase Correction
Transaction Supported for Debit Purchase, Refund, Purchase Correction
E-Commerce Indicator E00 – Normal Presentment
POS Terminal Moneris 7800 PIN pad (DT20 v6.27 & POSPAD v3.05)
Batch Close eSELECTplus Initiated Batch Close
EMV Capability Yes

Thousands of stores in over 15 countries run iVend Retail to manage their retail operations. iVend Retail, a PCI compliant and SAP Certified solution, is a complete Retail Management Software,seamlessly integrated with SAP suite of Business Management Applications.

iVend is a comprehensive Retail Management Solution to manage Head Office, Store and POS operations. The SAP certified fail safe integration with SAP keeps the head office always connected with the store operations across the complete retail chain.

Integrated Loyalty module, Gift Card features and integration with leading payment processors & gateways allows retailers to have a 360 degree visibility of their operations spanning from Store Operations on one hand to Financial and Supply Chain on the other. High levels of scalability are brought about by latest technology, simple & intuitive interface, with robust Head Office engine backed by SAP – and industry leading business management application.

Its unique replication and integration services completely take away the constraint of being always-connected to the Internet. iVend Retail allows retailers to continue doing business even if the Internet connection between the Head Office and the store is severed.

Moneris 7800 Pinpad is Ideal for use in a variety of merchant environments, including single-lane point-of-sale, multi-lane retail and stand-alone.

Features 7800 Payment Processing Terminal

  • Compact hand-held PIN pad with CHIP card and magnetic stripe card readers.
  • Large backlit graphic display offers clear presentation of data and commands.
  • Long card swipe ensures optimal magnetic stripe card reading.
  • Compatible with the Moneris HiSpeed 6200 terminal and eSELECTplus® card present virtual terminal.
  • Multi-application functionality allows implementation as a basic or intelligent PIN pad.
  • Integrates to ECR/ PC POS environments via RS232 or USB interface
  • Backward-compatible to most Moneris POS PAD, PINSmart and SC550 environments.
  • Compliant with the current card scheme association standards for physical and logical security (i.e. PCI PED certified).
  • 32-bit processor supports powerful encryption to ensure confidential data is secure.




iVend Retail 5.4 certified on SAP Business One 8.8 by SAP ICC

CitiXsys Technologies now has its flagship application iVend Retail certified by SAP for SAP Business One 8.8

New York, October 22, 2010: After releasing iVend Retail compatible with SAP Business One 8.8 in February, CitiXsys Technologies now has iVend Retail certified by Integration and Certification Center at SAP.

The certification confirms that the development of iVend Retail is as per the SDK development guidelines prescribed by SAP and comes just in time when the retailers are gearing up for the festive season. CitiXsys Technologies is one of the largest Software Solution Partner to SAP. With this certification, CitiXsys reiterates its commitment to SAP, its partners and customers to reap business benefits from robust and intuitive applications.

“The certification is an expression of our commitment to adhere to the stringent guidelines laid by SAP. This (certification) will allow partners to confidently position iVend in the market and will provide an assurance to the customers of licensing an SAP certified solution.” says Pankaj Mathur – Vice President, Solutions Delivery, CitiXsys Technologies.

“I’m very impressed with the overall functionality of iVend.  I’ve worked on “RetailPro” and “BeanStore” in the past and iVend is by far the most user friendly POS software I have used” says Marco Albrecht, Director Operations, In Add Minus, Los Angeles, CA

[Read more…]

iVend Retail gets Commidea payment processor certification in United Kingdom

London, October 18, 2010: iVend Retail, a complete Retail Management Solution from CitiXsys Technologies gets Commidea payment processor certification in UK for Ocius for PC.

CitiXsys Technologies got iVend certified for Commidea’s Ocius for PC solution – the leading credit card processing solution in the market today.
iVend is seamlessly integrated with the latest version of SAP Business One 8.8. With this certification, CitiXsys reiterates its commitment to the UK market and its partners in UK & EMEA to reap business benefits from robust and intuitive applications.

“The certification process was done on-site which involved executing a set of test scripts. We were able to execute the test scripts flawlessly. iVend now has certified integration with Commidea payment processor in UK for Ocius for PC. We congratulate the iVend team and CitiXsys Technologies to have achieved this certification.” says Michael Dunkling – Implementations Consultant, Commidea Ltd.

“Commidea certification has been eagerly awaited by our Customers and Partners in UK & EMEA. I feel happy and proud that this certification will help our customers carry out credit card transactions with ease. This certification will also benefit our partners to confidently position iVend Retail in UK&EMEA” says Abinesh Agarwal – Product Manager iVend, CitiXsys Technologies

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Webinar on 5 Ways to Manage and Enhance Customer Loyalty – a resounding success

CitiXsys conducted a webinar on 5 ways to manage and enhance customer loyalty on 29th Sept. and it was a resounding success.

The topic and discussion on Customer Loyalty is quite pertinent – more so after the businesses, especially retail have come out of serious recessionary times. As much important is to acquire new customers, it is equally important, if not more to retain the existing ones. Cost and the time value of money required to acquire a new customer is over 6 times more than what is required to retain an existing one.Happy and Loyal Customer

Customers who are loyal are happy customers. In today’s world where Social Media is an integral part of one’s being; it very soon transforms into evangelism. A happy customer narrates his experience on his social network and soon the experience/testimonial becomes viral.

The webinar also discussed different techniques and ways by which customer retention can be managed and enhanced. The one important building block is to have an integrated loyalty and customer management system – A system that is tightly integrated with the other operational processes for example retail, customer support, finance, sales and logistics.

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Item and Customer Specific receipts

You don’t require any programming skills for this.

iVend Retail Solution lets you configure the receipts to print specific messages in the receipt. For example, messages printed when groceries are sold could be very different from the messages printed when electronics or apparels are sold. Similarly messages for corporate customers could be different from messages for cash customers.

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