BT announced its integrated multichannel ordering and returns solution for retailers. This new phase in BT’s strategy recognises the demands placed on retailers by continued growth of online sales. In 2007 this represented 5.2 per cent of all UK retail sales which was up from 3.8 per cent in 2006 (source: Verdict Research).

The BT customers who adopted the phase one multichannel solutions have already seen advantages from integrating product, pricing and location. These retailers have stock availability, pricing, currency and content – all differentiated by channel – and can access unified sales reporting. BT Fresca the ecommerce specialist division of BT Expedite, has successfully implemented this solution at Mosaic Fashions, Thomas Pink and Phase Eight.

Buying goods online is becoming a key element of British retailing. This shift in consumer behaviour means retailers need to focus on integrating their high street- and Web- stores more effectively. BT’s new Integrated Store, the multichannel ordering and returns handling solution enables retailers to respond to these new consumer demands.

Features include:
• Reserve and collect – allows consumers to reserve goods online, and then pay and collect in-store.
• Buy and collect – allows consumers to buy online, and then pick up from a store collection point.
• Return anywhere – goods bought online can be returned to a store or central location. Return information is automatically validated and recorded against the original order.
• Order in store – goods can be purchased in-store from central or other store stock, and then delivered to any store collection point and/or to the customer’s home or business address.

Integrated Store will be released in beta version in autumn 2008, and will then be generally available for deployment from January 2009.

John Bovill, Group IT Director of Mosaic Fashions, said: “Existing solutions typically have limited integration, no joined-up customer view and do not enable intelligent use of data. Delivering an end-to-end customer service experience, through a standardised systems solution, rather than expensive ad hoc development, meets our requirements for an integrated cross-channel proposition”.

Helen Slaven, CEO BT Expedite, said: “The differentiating game for retailers is focused on a seamless customer experience across channels. Creating a single brand experience across multiple customer touch points and across varied systems is very complex but we believe that our solution addresses this using best practice business processes. And we’ll tailor the implementation to make it the right ‘fit’ for each retailer.”

ENDS

About BT Fresca
BT Fresca is the company behind many of the world's fastest-growing and most successful e-commerce websites. Leading retailers such as Mosaic Fashions (Oasis, Karen Millen, Warehouse, Shoe Studio, Principles and Coast), Thomas Pink, Great Little Trading Co., Habitat, Moss, Phase Eight, Whistles and Harvey Nichols retain Fresca to operate their e-commerce websites, running their software and infrastructure on Fresca’s commerce platform.

The Fresca commerce platform offers complete web-store flexibility. Additionally, multichannel support is built-in, as are back-office systems for customer ordering, call-centre and fulfilment functionality. The platform is feature-rich and covers all key retail functions, including campaign and promotions management, catalogue management, trading analysis, and a highly developed content management system for “magazine-style” content. It integrates with leading web analytics and email campaigning software, and offers standards-based integration with merchandising, fulfilment and payment systems.

For more information visit www.btfresca.com

About BT Expedite
BT Expedite is the retail specialist division within BT. They provide best of breed solutions to enable today’s multichannel retailer to thrive in today’s competitive environment. Their solution set spans every area of retailing; planning, sourcing, merchandising, store, sales analytics and CRM, plus network infrastructure, hardware and professional service expertise.

For more information visit www.btexpedite.com

About BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2008, BT Group plc’s revenue was £20,704 million with profit before taxation and specific items of £2,506 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt

For further information about BT
Enquiries about this news release can be made to the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.bt.com/newscentre

Justine Manche, BT Global Services PR, Tel: 020 7356 5371 or email: justine.manche@bt.com

Dominic Weeks , Fishburn Hedges, Tel: 020 7544 3012 or email: dominic.weeks@fishburn-hedges.co.uk

Published on: 12:00AM on 28th July 2008