Prashanth Palakurthi, Founder and CEOThe retail industry has evolved from the realm of traditional brick and mortar stores to individual customers who “click” and “like” and have increasingly high expectations for convenience including home delivery and “Buy Online, Pickup in Store.” Today’s shoppers have an “I want it now” attitude and expect immediate gratification for purchases across multiple channels. A single “like” on a fashion e-store can attract the attention of hundreds more shoppers, thereby increasing the prospects of a purchase, either online or in stores.
“Retail in real-time” is the new imperative with customers expecting a seamless experience in the store or on the web. Traditional retailers can leverage their investment in people and stores as a competitive advantage over online-only retailers. However, they must invest in technology to protect the customer experience. “Previ-ously, stores were staid places where assortments and go-to-market strategies were planned months in advance. Now, they must be able to anticipate and respond to customer demands in real-time,” says Prashanth Palakurthi, Founder and CEO, Reflexis Systems. Reflexis provides software that helps retailers simplify store operations processes such as task execution, labor scheduling, and omni-channel fulfillment ─ and directs best-practice response to late-breaking alerts and trends.
“Stores are bombarded with disparate systems, applications, reports, and metrics that are supposed to help them serve customers,” Palakurthi explains. “All these systems with varying interfaces have the opposite effect of helping store associates serve customers. The applications don’t work the same, causing training headaches. They keep store managers in the back office, and take time away from customer service.”
The Reflexis StorePulse real-time store execution application solves these problems by freeing teams from having to search for the best way to respond to real-time events and customer demand. StorePulse provides a mobile dashboard to update and respond to multiple store systems ─ giving back time and aligning actions to provide optimal associate/customer engagement.
“Instead of having to work with and switch in and out of multiple apps, StorePulse provides a single place to view alerts from and update numerous store-facing systems,” Palakurthi says. “Alerts can come from Reflexis task management, labor operations, and retail auditing solutions, and also from third-party traffic intelligence, Big Data, social media, and other sources.
The beauty of Reflexis StorePulse real-time store execution is retail CIOs do not have to replace existing store systems. They can plug them into StorePulse so that managers can update store systems using mobile devices from the sales floor
StorePulse enables busy retail managers and associates to respond to surprises that are very difficult to plan for but happen all the time: stock-outs, employee sick call offs, click-and-collect orders, and even weather alerts.”
StorePulse also provides a sophisticated, rules-based engine that “throttles” down alert volume when stores are busiest. The platform filters critical from “nice to know” communications so that managers and associates are not overwhelmed.
A multitude of companies have gained benefits from utilizing Reflexis’ solutions. A major department store chain implemented Reflexis software to identify demand and labor operations trends and better align their store’s schedules and activities with customer traffic in the aisles. After implementing Reflexis software, the store saw an 80 basis point increase in sales (about $31 million more annually), $5 million re-deployment in labor costs to better match customer traffic, and a 500 basis point improvement in customer satisfaction based on shopper surveys.
Global Top 50 retailers have implemented StorePulse and are expanding their usage of the software by hooking in additional systems into the Reflexis real-time store execution platform. “That’s the beauty of Store Pulse for retail CIOs,” Palakurthi says. “Retail IT executives do not have to replace existing store systems. They can plug them into StorePulse so that corporate and store managers can update legacy systems using mobile devices from the sales floor ─ even if those systems are older ones that do not run on smart phones and tablets.”