Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Retail

In Between the Numbers: New Year’s Resolutions

January 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm PST

OK, retail technologists. It’s the new year. Time for resolutions.

Grab the pencil (so you can revise, not erase) and the notepad, plug in the earbuds, and settle into your thinking chair. And take the first step in getting rid of those old bad habits.

Resolve to address those big, ugly, long-standing structural weaknesses that weigh you down like a ball and chain. Weaknesses like the non-integrated, multiple databases residing within the legacy applications. Like the oft taken-for-granted time-to-capability performance (caused by a legacy store architecture) that measures all-store roll-outs in years and gets a constant eyeroll and deep sigh from the SVP of Ops.

Resolve to look that ancient, deeply-customized application that you prop each year with more people and money squarely in the eye.

Resolve to lose weight. Heavy, power-sucking, PO-abusing CPU weight. Virtualize the data centers and start the process of removing CPUs (and all the break-fix maintenance costs) from the store. Thin is in. So is operational simplicity.

Resolve to demand value from your vendors – which, as we all know, is different from the lowest price. Demand that they help you solve specific business problems. Demand that they bring their best strategists and thinkers to the table.

Resolve to ignore all the one-off shiny technologies du jour. Easier said than done, especially with NRF around the corner, the marketing SVP sputtering that “everyone else is doing it,” and the CEO remarking that his nephew had one at Christmas. (Mobility! Smartphone apps! Tablets! Interactive kiosks! Ooooh!)

Resolve to embrace BYOD, and push it forward. Your corporate leaders of tomorrow won’t necessarily thank you. It’s just that they’ll be willing to work for you instead of the competition.

Resolve to toss out of the room any consultant or vendor sales rep who talks about “customer experience” without detailed considerations of your segment, your price point, your brand promise, and the overall customer journey by persona – all the way through service and loyalty. Resolve to ask them how many times they’ve visited your stores.

 What am I missing?

 ##

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Retail Lessons from Las Vegas Vacation Part 3 of 3 – Selling the Experience

In Part 1 of the blog I wrote about video technology, part 2 on omni channel, for the third and last part of the blog series I would like to show what Las Vegas is doing in terms of selling the total consumer experience rather than just products and services.

In one sense Las Vegas has always been about selling the experience when it comes to gambling.  You don’t get a tangible product for your bets (unless you win) but people gamble for the experience.  As gaming is legalized in many countries as well as states, Las Vegas has adapted itself to market the Las Vegas experience beyond gaming.

While I was on vacation I visited the Stratosphere hotel and casino which is the tallest structure in Las Vegas which features casinos, restaurants and thrill rides on top.  Its latest offering SkyJump  (package costs including video via wrist cam and photo) allows participants to jump off the tower at the 850 ft and free fall down and land via decelerator wire.  Certainly a customer experience not easily forgotten :-)

Other examples include Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Retail Lessons from Las Vegas Vacation Part 2 of 3 – Omni Channel

In My  Part 1 of the retail blog series about Las Vegas I wrote about the use of video in Las Vegas to enhance visitor experience in Las Vegas.  In this second blog I’d like to look at the some of the ways Las Vegas using omni channel to reach out across customers across multiple channels to drive loyalty and sales.

Use of Self Service machines

With the high traffic real estate in the casinos, I saw more vending machines than the usual cigarette and soda vending machines.  This one by u*tique at the Cosmopolitan hotel Las Vegas and features a lot of higher end gift items.  Unfortunately my photo did not do it justice but I found the following video

More Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Live from New York – It is Cisco Retail at NRF January 15-17, 2012

January 16-17, 2012 marks the 101st National Retail Federation Annual Conference and Expo in New York and Cisco Retail team and myself will be there.  You can find out what Cisco will be showing at the event and get sneak peeks of the preparations for the show throughout the week through our coverage on Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, LinkedIn Group, YouTube and Cisco Retail blog.

More details Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Retail Lessons from Las Vegas Vacation Part 1 of 3 – Use of Video

Over the Christmas holidays I spent 5 days in Las Vegas visiting friends and ring in the new year in the city that never sleeps.  Over the years Las Vegas continues to transform itself to keep itself relevant from the original sin city and gambling capital to the modern convention/vacation destination.

I spent new year’s eve with 320,000 visitors which is an impressive number by any standards, plus  I managed to do some shopping and visiting a few attractions between visiting friends.

I thought I’d share my observations on how Las Vegas continues to delight visitors in a series of blogs and what retailers can learn from it.

Today’s I’d like to focus on the use of video technology for customers in Las Vegas

One of my stops is at the new Cosmopolitan casino and hotel and their use of video walls in the registration lobby

One of the first impression when you walk in is that it doesn’t look like a video screen but backlit wall panels.  Only when the images start moving do you realize it is a video wall.  As you can see from the video Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,