In the retail realm, customers want buying experiences that are fast, easy, and intuitive. Sales associates want to work in environments where their feedback is appreciated and valued. If a retailer wants to maintain a competitive edge, they consistently have to look for ways to improve both the customer and employee experience. This is the world that WOW! mobile boutique operates – and excels – in.
For the last few years, the mobile phone kiosks at WOW! were using PCs as their point-of-sale (POS) platform. These were not particularly designed for the workload of point-of-sale or to be all day long, nor did they have digital signature functionality – a feature necessary to enable a seamless digital customer transactions. With an eye to delivering excellent customer and associate experience, and compliance to CRTC rules and regulations, Tarek Ragab, Manager, Retail Systems and Business Intelligence at WOW! mobile boutique, started looking for a new solution that would support a streamlined transaction experience. "We needed to upgrade our technology to align with our goals," explained Ragab.
With their current POS system, customers had to wait 7 minutes on average for their wireless service contract to be printed, signed and scanned. The overall experience was taking up too much time in store. The experience was slow and unnecessarily complex. In addition to improving the transaction experience, Ragab needed to follow the new CRTC guidelines. "We are required to provide our customers with a digitally signed copy." It would be much easier, and quicker, if the whole process was digitized.
Compugen and WOW! mobile boutique had worked together for 4 years prior to this project. "There is a lot of trust here. I like working with these guys." Ragab mentioned. Account Manager Richard Ashman explained that Compugen provided help desk services to WOW! mobile boutique, so Compugen was intimately familiar with the kinds of issues the retailer experienced on a day-to-day basis. "We really listen to each other," Ashman stated.
The team at Compugen understood WOW!'s retail requirements and recommended to consider a POS solution that would better match their environment. When Ragab started considering a hardened POS solution, he was immediately drawn to the total cost of ownership savings and the obvious customer benefits. Ashman and the Compugen team brought in their partners at HP to develop a custom unit that provided the exact functionality WOW! mobile boutique was looking for.
Compugen and HP worked together to build a solution leveraging HP's Intel based RP9 All-in-One POS and touch-enabled display. Among the many benefits were the small form factor and the ease of implementation. In addition, the flexible connectivity options allowed WOW! to re-use their existing retail peripherals including cash drawers, keyboards, mice and fingerprint scanners – making the solution cost effective, and retaining elements that were already working well for their associates and customers.
Before giving the go-ahead for the project, WOW!'s IT team tested the proposed solution in the field for a number of weeks. "We were very pleased with the test pilot. HP's support was crucial in this process," Ragab stated. "Plus, the ability to test the POS in store was critical when considering a nationwide rollout."
When it came time for the implementation and delivery, the teams at Compugen and HP worked within intensely tight timelines to finalize the project in time for Black Friday, which is one of the biggest and most important retail events. "Compugen and HP really came through for us, no doubt. They had all 270+ POS units running efficiently on time," Ragab stated. "Like every project, there are hurdles along the way. We met each challenge head on," Ashman said.
In a survey of sales associates about the new HP POS solution, results show 94% satisfaction. "We really value what our associates in the field say." Ragab stated. "These new POS are ergonomically designed and have a smaller footprint which frees up space to store other items, which the associates love. We have a remarkably tall store manager who I witnessed slouching while trying to read from our old screens. Now users of different heights can just adjust the screen position that doesn't cause them physical strain."
The digital signature functionality enables WOW! mobile boutique to save customers and associates about 7 minutes on each transaction, and reduce printing expenses by 41% as contracts can now be digitally signed and emailed, eliminating the need to print and scan. This means that the sales associates are able to spend more time doing needs assessments with customers, instead of printing and scanning contracts. The reduction in transaction time is key for our associates especially during period of high traffic such as Black Friday, Back to School and Christmas
In addition, the digital signature functionality helps the organization meet CRTC guidelines and remain sustainable and green. "We're very happy with the results." Ragab said. "The hardware helps us work much more efficiently. We've got great reports from the field, and our customers now experience a quick and easy sales transaction – the ultimate goal. Compugen and HP delivered great results."