Already a successful Systems House specialising in the IT based retail project arena, Unipower has embarked over a number of years on an ambitious transformation and unification project; driven by its vision to create a seamless multi-channel software suite for its retail clients.

Even at the turn of the century is was clear that the on-line world was growing but few would have predicted that in 2007 British consumers would spend in excess of £10 billion on-line in the ten-week run up to Christmas alone. The impact of this shift is far reaching for retailers with many still having a long way to go before they can offer the internet and in-store shopping experience their customers demand.

Today’s customers are often described as cash rich and time poor and this is a fair description of many multi-channel shoppers that are increasingly represented across all age groups. One of the most profound statements made on the subject of positioning comes from Lewis Carroll's, ‘Alice In Wonderland.’ When Alice asks the Cheshire cat which path to take, he responds, "If you don't care where you're going, it doesn't make a difference which path you take.”

Multi-channel shoppers do care where they are going and if they are unhappy in one retail channel, current research is already suggesting that there is a good chance they won’t try another with that retailer and will be propelled to go elsewhere! On-line experiences do affect in-store expectations and vice-versa.

Unipower’s retail suite has been built from scratch rather than the typical software marketplace approach of endeavouring to bolt together new on-line software with legacy in-store software. The Unipower solution means that on-line, catalogue and in-store channels do not work alone and in addition, the order management software designed in conjunction with the House of Fraser gives clients the ability to handle the fulfilment expectations surrounding the complexities of on-line sales, multi-channel returns and exchanges, and extended supply chains. For example, software should be easily configurable for customers to order on-line and for in-store staff to view that order. If you want to make the right impression such visibility is critical for the cash rich, time poor customer.

New statistics are emerging all the time. Recent research suggests that over 50% of shoppers now believe they get better product information on-line and even more challenging and worrying for some, is the number that want to research products on-line while in-store. Some surveys indicate 40% of shoppers like this idea! The successful retailers of today and tomorrow must convert this research into sales. To deliver, complete visibility of all channels at all times is paramount.

So if you are considering either a Point of Sale and Back Office solution or a transactional webstore on behalf of your business, then you need to consider the Unipower offering as it will deliver not just a best of breed point solution, but one that can be expanded upon to deliver your ultimate business goal – satisfied customers supported by a “single point of responsibility” IT solution that will provide lower running costs and higher management information systems

In summary, all the industry gurus currently putting pen to paper state that modern retailers simply have to provide a seamless multi-channel retail approach which demands a single, consolidated retail data and transaction platform. In other words you need to facilitate your customers buying on the web and returning in-store with complete transactional visibility, rather than trying to glue together disparate technologies and platforms.

True multi-channel retail solutions should no longer be seen as the province of the risk taking early adopter, but as the mandate of the empowered, successful 21st century retailer.

-ENDS-

Unipower Solutions

Founded in 1992, Unipower Solutions is recognised as an international retail solutions company serving major clients in the UK and the rest of Europe. Our continual investment in products has created a world-class portfolio, enabling our clients to implement systems quickly and with minimum risk.

We develop and tailor multi-channel software which handles all customer-facing retail activities including point of sale, web stores and order management

For further information about this topic or to find out more about Unipower Solutions, please contact Leslie Coelho, Business Development Manager on 01727 890888 or visit our website at: www.unipowersolutions.com

Published on: 12:00AM on 14th February 2008