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Cybertill Shortlisted for the Knowsley Business Awards 2018!

We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for Medium Business of the Year for the Knowsley Business Awards in what has been a highly contended year! Edward Perry Chair of the Knowsley Place Board and Operations Director of Knowsley Hall and Safari said “This year’s nominations have been superb, every business deserves recognition for their sheer hard work and determination and I feel privileged to be part of the judging panel.  It never ceases to amaze me what tremendous businesses we have on our doorstep.”

Celebrating its 16th year, the awards has become an established date in the business and social calendars, attracting guests from across the North West. The awards celebrate the energy, determination and commitment of the of the individuals and organisations that are driving forward Knowsley’s economic success. (www.knowsleybusinessawards.com).

Knowsley (in Liverpool) is where you’ll find Cybertill HQ. Situated in the picturesque grounds of Lord Derby’s Estate, Cybertill is a proud member of the dynamic and diverse business community all contributing to the Knowsley growth and success story.

In our nomination we highlighted our many key achievements over the last 12 months, including being nominated for 3 other prestigious awards: Retail Week Tech Team of the Year, Big Chip Awards: Best Tech for Good Project and Most Innovative Use of Technology. Cybertill has also had great success with our customers; we rolled out Cancer Research UK with our retail management system in just 3 months and signed Barnardo’s charity retailer as a customer with over 700 stores! We also launched an education initiative that helps Cybertill customers get the most from their retail systems including training for Gift Aid, customer user groups and strategy workshops.

Whenever possible, we invite customers, suppliers, and other professionals to the Cybertill Head Office in Knowsley. Our CEO, Ian Tomlinson, gives visitors a personal tour of our gorgeous office estate, complete with a brief history of Lord Derby and the surrounding area. We are very proud of our location, team, and products, and want to surprise and delight customers and prospects when they come to visit. Lesley Martin Wright, Chief Executive of Knowsley Chamber said “Knowsley has an outstanding business community and the annual ceremony enables us to recognise and reward their achievements.  This year we are expecting in excess of 850 guests, so we are in for a wonderful evening, the atmosphere will be electric and with so many deserving companies it will be a memorable occasion.”

The Medium Business Award is Cybertill’s fifth award nomination this year; we were also nominated for the Retail Tech Awards, Big Chip Awards x2, Amazon Growing Business and now the Knowsley Business awards; so it’s safe to say we are very proud that our hard work is being noticed in the industry!

The rise and rise of the pop-up store

Hosting a pop-up shop is a growing retail trend, and an ideal approach to reaching a wider audience and increasing footfall to your retail business. With brick and mortar stores your business can be limited in obtaining those customers who might not usually come across your store. Pop-up shops can make your business mobile, increase brand awareness, whilst keeping your brand fresh and current.

5 benefits of pop-up shops:

  1. Brand awareness
    Be the fresh-faced store in town and attract the trend-driven Gen Z market. It’s important to always be working on increasing your brand awareness, with the aim of consumers being more familiarised with your image, qualities, goods and services.
  2. Brand hype
    A pop-up can create hype and excitement, with a well-planned out marketing campaign, your pop-up can be the new kid on the block. Research the latest retail trends, look on social media and implement them at your pop-up. Customers are drawn to limited availability if your store is only there for a short period of time, you can roll-up those customers who will miss you when you’re gone.
  3. Maximise footfall
    By having a pop-up you can give your stagnant brick and mortar store, legs (sort of)! By moving about, you can increase your reach and bring your brand to your customers, instead of the other way around.
  4. Experiential retail
    A pop-up is a great way to offer customers more than just a chance to buy something, it is a chance for you to get to know your customers and offer them an experience – offer a personal shopping experience or a chance to win a competition.
  5. Test-market products or services with key consumers
    A pop-up doesn’t have to be a replica of your store, it can be a chance to market research new products or ideas and gain some feedback from those who matter most.

And although there are many benefits to independent retailers doing a pop-up shop, it has also become increasingly prevalent with big name brands and pureplay ecommerce shops.

A store within a store is often quite popular, collaborating with companies that may compliment their own and also share increasing rent prices (which is a big bonus!) For example, fashion retailer Next has a Costa Coffee café within some of their stores, providing a chance for shoppers to take a break with some refreshments, without having to leave the store! Sainsburys, which acquired Argos in 2016, now has concessions of the ‘digital retailer’ within 250 of its supermarkets. This has proved beneficial to both parties as visitors to Argos often pick up a few items in Sainsburys, meaning that the Home Retail Group are able to keep up with the competition coming from the US in the shape of Amazon.

 

“We’re seeing more and more ecommerce companies that want to test offline”
Elizabeth Layne, Chief Marketing Officer at Appear Here

 

Amazon recently launched a pop-up shop in central London to seek shoppers’ views on its own clothing ranges, prices and store experience by handing out questionnaires to shoppers in store to gauge their response.

As well as a store within a store, there are many other different types of pop-up shops that you can try, based on your logistics, budget and planning. Pop-up types include, a kiosk or booth, which have quite a low-cost set-up and are usually located in high footfall areas. Pop-up or general vacant space, can be beneficial as you’ll be dealing with space owners who understand the whole pop-up concept. In-line shopping centre stores, where you will benefit from the existing footfall in the shopping centre. And vacant street level space, which means that being on street level means you’re again open to existing regular footfall.

If you’re considering having a pop-up it can be difficult to know what retail technology will help you to manage transactions and feed information back to your base. A mobile EPoS system that is cloud hosted providing real time data and results could be the answer.  For example, British Red Cross used Cybertill’s cloud-based EPoS system to manage its pop-up store in Westfield, London.

Infographic images courtesy of http://www.colourfast.com/

Cybertill nominated for The Amazon Growing Business Awards 2018

Cybertill is thrilled to announced that we have been announced as a finalist for “The Amazon Web Services Digital Business of the Year” award!

The award is part of the Amazon Growing Business Awards that will be taking place in London in November. The awards, now entering the 20th year, are described as the ‘most credible and highly valued recognition of exceptional growing business’.

We have been recognised for our electronic Gift Aid donor sign-up module that we have developed specifically for Charity retailers. Charities rely on donors to register Gift Aid in order for charities to receive an extra 25% on top of the original donation.

Historically, the donor Gift Aid registration process was quite lengthy, required a lot of admin, and the charity needed to store paperwork for HMRC in case of audit, which can be a time-consuming, and not really GDPR compliant. Our cloud software solution has streamlined the Gift Aid process for charities, making donor sign up and data storage digital, secure, simple, and HMRC compliant.

With our electronic Gift Aid donor-sign up module on a tablet, charities can take the sign-up process away from the till, reducing queues and allowing for other volunteers to process sales whilst another completes the sign-up form with a donor elsewhere in the store.

Electronic Gift Aid donor sign-up is a functionality that works within the EPoS system which provides charities with a central supporter database, so charities can integrate donors into their fundraising operation.

 

“This is great news. I am very proud that Cybertill has been shortlisted as the team worked very hard to deliver a high quality and future-ready solution to the once time-consuming sign-up process. Once again proving how the Cybertill team has a strong ability to stay agile in the changing retail and technology market.”
Ian Tomlinson, Cybertill CEO

 

It is a great encouragement to be recognised for our effort in developing and delivering software that has helped, and continues to help, charities run successful retail operations.

The Amazon Growing Business Awards judging day brings together over 150 entrepreneurs and CEOs. The day will provide an opportunity to get to know some of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses and a chance to network. You can read the full list of nominees and more about the Awards on The Amazon blog.

The awards will take place on Wednesday 28th November, wish us luck!

 

 

*photo credit Caspian Media

What do Gen Z want for Click and Collect?

In Cybertill’s consumer research focused on the ever-current, ever-curious Gen Z, we found that when it came to click and collect, even though a dedicated click and collect entrance and car park may appeal to older consumers, Gen Z are not really bothered by these features, but they did tell us what they do want from retailers.

Gen Z spoke, and we listened. We were surprised that they were not telling us what retail experts and industry academics have been telling retailers for the past 5 years. They don’t want flashy gimmicks in-store, or personalised shopping experiences’ its actually quite simple, they want great customer service that is efficient, easy and pain-free. Heck! Gen Z would much rather find an item in-store themselves with self-stock check (38%) or pay for their items themselves with self-checkout (35%) than have to wait for shop assistants. This is the “instant generation” after all…

Gen Z are all about the information, with the internet at their fingertips this group of consumers can be more informed than ever before, and they want to retailers to provide clear and precise information straight to their mobiles on their orders. At the top of the list for Gen Z is real-time updates via text message, email or push notification so that they know exactly when they can pick their item up.

 

“Gen Z are sceptical, blunt, and impatient due to being raised in an environment of information transparency and dominated by technologies that offer instant gratification” (Bolton, 2013)

 

Retailers should ensure that they are still providing a quality experience for Gen Z even though they are not shopping in-store. 57% of Gen Z want their click and collect item to be packaged appropriately, i.e. a luxury item in good quality branded packaging and not unnecessarily large packaging depending on the item. It’s important to note that Gen Z are very eco-conscious and will be annoyed if retailers over-package items. As explained in Forbes, Gen Z have a shared desire to make a positive impact on the world and are passionate about environmental causes.

Earlier this year, Zara unveiled its first digital store in London, which alongside the usual departments, also houses a dedicated online area of the store for the purchase and collection of online orders, with automated online order collection points. The Spanish retailer’s target market is “young, price-conscious, and highly sensitive to the latest fashion trends” (Harbott) aka Gen Z. The digital store concept may resonate with Gen Z, our research found that this tech-savvy generation want a dedicated click and collect till or area, i.e. a till separate from the main checkout till when collecting click and collect in-store. Once more, 46% of Gen Z shared that they feel very frustrated when they realise they have been queuing in the wrong place to collect their order.

There is often a misconception with Gen Z that they merely shop online on their mobiles, however this is not the case. According to the National Retail Federation and IBM, 98% of Gen Z consumers buy in-store some or most of the time (Forbes, 2018). Gen Z shared with us that they often get frustrated when there is no WiFi in-store or if they are unable to retrieve the order confirmation due to poor mobile phone service in-store when picking up their click and collect order.

 

Retailers can really ace click and collect for Gen Z if they remember these 4 things:

  1. Don’t waste their time – Provide clear and concise order information about when they can pick up their item.
  2. Create a separate Click and Collect Point – Have a till or area that is specifically for Gen Z to pick up their order, don’t let them queue at your main till and waste their time.
  3. Be considerate with your packaging – No ones hates waste more than Gen Z, its also doing your bit for the environment if you make these small changes and reduce your packaging waste.
  4. Cater to their in-store phone use – Have WiFi readily available so that Gen Z can retrieve their order confirmation.

Our Latest Consumer Research, Download Now

Loyalty is Royalty: How to Capture the Gen Z Audience

In the fast-paced retail environment of today, customers have endless choice both offline and online, it can be hard for retailers to entice the always-on Generation Z when there is so much competition out there and they are exposed to so much chatter from retailers.

But it’s not only the increased competition from other online and offline retailers, Kobie Marketing also explains that there are now more customer touchpoints than ever before – giving rise to a fragmented customer journey (Kobie, 2018). Gen Z are multichannel shoppers, they move from one channel to the next hitting various touchpoints along the way, so it’s important that your loyalty schemes are easily transferable from online shopping to in-store. Attracting Gen Z to your store definitely requires an online presence. According to online marketplace, Down Your High Street, “Lots of people prefer to shop local, but convenience means they go to bigger stores.” Ensuring your operation is omnichannel, online, in-store and even on social, will all help to attract Gen Z and keep them coming back.

Our latest consumer data research with YouGov, asked Generation Z (18-24 year olds) what they want from loyalty schemes and the results were quite surprising. Gen Z are a generation that appreciate a good deal and enjoy knowing that they have received value for money.

 

“Despite their age, Gen Z are more akin to their grandparents than they are to Millennials when it comes to money. They are hardworking and value financial stability and witnessed their parents in the recession” – Angie Read, 2018

 

Their top incentive to sign up to a loyalty scheme is discounts with 75% of Gen Zers selecting this option. This is in comparison to only 18% who said that VIP events (e.g. launch parties, masterclasses, celebrity signings etc) would encourage them to sign up.

Loyalty schemes are a great way to add that personal touch in this tech-heavy world we live in. Gen Z like to feel as though they are connected to brands and are cautious and sceptical when choosing which brands they want to support. So, creating a sense of community with this generation through a loyalty scheme, is great way of retaining this influential consumer segment.

Each generation from Baby boomers, to Generation X, to Millennials, to Gen Z, will use loyalty schemes differently. Baby boomers are more likely to want a physical loyalty card to keep in their purses, compared to Gen Z and Millennials who may prefer an app which they can use online and show at the till in-store. 35% of Gen Z would like it if they could view and redeem their offers/discounts on a mobile device.

“Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to join mobile app programmes than their Baby Boomers and Generation X counterparts” – Kobie Marketing, 2018

 

Our research did find, however, that all generations are bound by a love for discounts, and who can blame them, who doesn’t love a bargain! But although flashy PR gimmicks may work for other generations, you better think twice about investing in such things for Gen Z. VIP pre-launch access to stock or sales and personal recommendations based on their purchase history, both were voted only 22%. They do not offer instant value-for-money and so Gen Z are really not enthused by such offers in return for their loyalty.

 

“Despite expecting to see dramatic differences between the Millennials and Generation Z, the results were actually very similar. The only instances where there where differing results was when comparing the answers of over 55’s to Generation Z or Millennials” – Ian Tomlinson, CEO, Cybertill

 

So in order to point retailers in the right direction we have created our top 5 Tips for Cracking Loyalty with Gen Z!

5 Tips for Cracking Loyalty with Gen Z

  1. Make it an easy sign-up process – Ask them at the till if they would like to sign-up, grab their email address, send them a link and you’re done! No long-winded paper-based sign-up process
  2. Offer real value in return for their loyalty – We all know that customers love a bargain and Gen Z are no different, 75% want discounts and 67% want points that equal money to spend in-store
  3. Steer clear of gimmicks – Gen Z will see straight through this, only 22% liked the ides of VIP launch parties and events in return for loyalty
  4. Show them you care – Thank them with emails and special offers, reward them for their continued loyalty
  5. Offer personalised promotions – 39% of Gen Z want promotions based on their purchase history

 

References:

Kobie Marketing, 2018, Loyalty in the age of the Connected Consumer [Available Online] http://www.kobie.com/wp-content/uploads/KobieMarketing_LoyaltyintheAgeoftheConnectedConsumer.pdf

Angie Read, 2018, Marketing to Gen Z: The Rules for Reaching This Vast and Very Different Generation of Influencers

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