Today, consumerism has evolved from being the favorite buzzword of the 21st century world to a movement that deeply impacts the contemporary retail businesses and the consequential technological advancements within the retail industry. This evolution has brought a myriad of opportunities for retailers along with a newer and more sophisticated set of challenges for them to deal with. “Customer experience in the face of modern consumerism has, in fact, created a gap between small scale and high-end retailers today,” states Adrian Floate, Managing Director, Cirralto, explaining the unnoticed ‘grey area’ in the current retail industry. According to him, even today, the traditional standalone point of sale (POS) and a cash register is considered to be a relevant piece of technology. However, in order to attain a competitive advantage in the digital age, retailers have identified the vitality of a good e-commerce presence and an integrated PoS system connected with financials as well as the supply chain.
The differentiating ability of a retailer for attaining this competitive edge lies in adding and changing their inventory based on sales demand and stock turnover and margin per minute with appropriate scientific calculations, a significant part of which is difficult to achieve while running a traditional POS. This is where Cirralto comes in with its quantitative, integration driven platform to help the modern retailers in achieving this capability and fill the void that has divided the retail space into different sects of efficiencies. Floate says, “We are offering software framework for today’s retailers by bringing the principles of best practices in retail, demonstrated by large scale enterprises down to small and medium players and educating them on how these practices deliver and drive business benefits. We are delivering a backbone for digital commerce, an integrated, end-to-end business ecosystem that you can readily plug in sales and procurement components and integrate these with incumbent Accounting / ERP systems.”
With extensive experience working with electronic data interchange (EDI), Cirralto has a profound understanding of the role of data exchange and the importance of high-quality data contributing to the operational effectiveness of the retailer.With this knowledge, the company helps its clients in the retail business to effectively drive revenue and increase their operational efficiencies.
At The End Of The Day, Retail Service Business Credit Is Just As Important For Us As It Is For Our Customers
The E-Commerce Angle
Along with remarkable services in standard retail POS, Cirralto helps retailers to strengthen their e-commerce expertise. Many businesses today have a respectable e-commerce presence. However, this doesn’t actually contribute to their competitive edge in the market for a number of reasons, including weak product range and inventory management. “Issues such as running out of items for sale might occur as these retailers fail to frequently add new product items to the website,” says Floate. Consequentially, the in-store online experience is completely disconnected with disparate supply lines both online and offline. Moreover, it has been observed that a large portion of small scale retail businesses today haven't figured out how to take their on-premise business to the digital world, which itself is a significant vulnerability for them. Along with data quality issues, these businesses are also experiencing challenges with their current retail technology and low level training of the staff. Cirralto’s proprietary solution Synk’d mitigates these concerns by enabling operational data to be shared between disparate systems in real time.
With Synk’d, Cirralto segregates operational data from financial data and puts a firewall between the two allowing their clients to create rules around how the data must be shared. For instance, the client’s service management division and their retail division can seamlessly share customer's inventory data. However, when these transactions reach the finance department, the client might need to differentiate the data in the general ledger account that they post to. In such a scenario, Synk’d serves as a conduit technology that allows the applications to coexist and share data in real time while also controlling the posting to the financials in the background.
Taking a huge step toward solving retail debt, Cirralto has also developed simple innovations like delivering live accounts receivables at POS that allow POS operators to take the account receivable payments, which reduce debt either over the counter or phone. Floate states, “We have connected this technology to our customer's online environment as well. At the end of the day, retail service business credit is just as important for us as it is for our customers.”
"We are also building a payment business that brings to market the ability to perform deferred payments at the POS terminal"
The Journey Ahead
Striding into the future, Floate hints at Cirralto’s opportunities around customer communication, which opens the door to customer behavior prediction. On the brick-and-mortar front, the company envisions a major upgrade in the checkout counter that will have two iPads, facing the clerk and the customer. As the transaction unfolds, the solution will suggest products, which can be added to the basket via the iPad. This will help retailers up-sell products that are relevant to customers.
“We are also building a payment business that brings to market the ability to perform deferred payments at the POS terminal,” adds Floate, explaining how the company enables customers with large capital items to effectively set up payment contracts. Coupling direct debit services with batch and aggregated billing, Cirralto is setting new trends in the retail space. Using this, the customers can receive a batch invoice from their supplier, where each batch shows the work in progress and total value. Simultaneously, the Cirralto team is also working closely with “beta” customers for better solution localization. From a geographic standpoint, Cirralto has stepped into Asia with its first association in Hong Kong while also pursuing market expansions in the U.S. “In the future, we envision Cirralto venturing into several new markets and regions, while staying at the forefront of innovation,” concludes Floate.
May 10, 2019