Direct Source: Bridging the Digital Experience Divide–Connecting Customers with Retailers

Brad Fick, President
With the excitement of flight combined with a hint of fear, airplanes are a brilliant metaphor for business says Brad Fick, president of Direct Source and licensed pilot. “No matter what problems arise, one has to be versatile enough while flying to ensure that the plane avoids conflict,” says Fick. “Similarly, in the fast-changing retail landscape, retailers need to respond quickly to technological evolutions in order to steer their business safely to new heights.”

Direct Source works in tandem with tier-one retail stores, warehouses and distribution centers to ensure they respond quickly to the shifting landscape of the retail sector. “Currently, the biggest challenge brick-and-mortar stores face is a reduction in foot traffic. And we can trace this back to flourishing e-commerce portals that are attracting consumers with a customized experience, high discounts and home delivery, which saves time and money,” says Fick. Direct Source helps physical stores by giving them a “digital makeover,” which can improve sales and create an experience more like online shopping. Direct Source does everything–from providing hardware procurement, software development, project management, configuration and staging, and integration, to complete installation services.

The company’s specialties include mobile strategies and devices, POS, wireless and networking, digital signage for targeted messaging, Near- Field Communication (NFC) setups, and all-in-one price checker configurations.

“We work with retailers from concept to completion – navigating through network complexities to identify solutions that meet their longterm needs,” says Fick. “We equip our retailers with all the tools needed from data networking to in-store systems, like POS and mobile technologies that enhance store operations.”

Fick believes that digitally connecting with customers is the best lifeline for a store to become shopper-friendly again.
This involves adoption of technology innovations like beacons and applications that support connectivity with shoppers’ mobile devices in the store.

“We are working toward solutions that will allow customers to use mobile devices to check the store and complete their shopping experience without having to hunt for a customer or store associate,” says Fick. “Inexpensive beacon technology can be used to track customers with the help of Bluetooth®, even if the customer has not opted in for the retailer’s mobile app. This can give retailers a wealth of information on how to merchandise and layout a store for the optimal shopper experience.”


We work with retailers from concept to completion


Direct Source keeps a close eye on emerging trends retailers can adopt. Fick predicts there will be more technologies that allow consumers to check themselves out. “Imagine any time that you’ve gone to your nearest Walmart or Best Buy only to see the parking lot is packed, and the register lines are backed up. If you have an option for customer check out, you can select, swipe and initiate payment of the products digitally–avoiding the line altogether. This is a wonderful innovation out there in the market waiting to be adopted,” says Fick.

Direct Source is continuing its journey toward retail innovation, making retailers aware of the interactive digital systems that will help attract customers and create an experience more like the one they experience with e-commerce. “If your business’s engine is starting to stall, determine how much altitude you have and direct all available resources toward getting the engine revved up,” concludes Fick. “By focusing your energy in one area, you can achieve great heights again.”

Company
Direct Source

Headquarters
Chanhassen, MN

Management
Brad Fick, President

Description
Provides tier one retailer, turnkey project consulting, procurement, project management, staging and configuration, integration and installation services.