Wal-Mart works to anticipate customer needs with lockers, pharmacy app

Price, assortment, experience and access is how Wal-Mart execs define what matters most to customers, and they are working to lead in each of these areas by combining physical retail expertise with ongoing innovation from Walmart.com.

Source: www.thecitywire.com

WIth the locker system, he said shoppers go to the kiosk at the locker site in the front of the store. An email or text confirmation is sent to the customer once the order is set for pickup at the store locker. The details for how to access and open the correct locker is included in the confirmation. 

The lockers themselves range in size from (3” X 3”) to (18” X 18”), with six inch and nine inch versions in between. The locker resembles a large billboard display that greets customers entering the store rather than a bank of lockers as there are no handles or numbers of identifying letters. The appropriate door opens for the customer automatically once the code information is entered in the kiosk.

MedAvail Raises $30M for Drug-Dispensing Kiosks

MedAvail Technologies Inc., a Canadian startup that makes an automated kiosk that connects people with pharmacists and then dispenses medications, has raised a $30 million Series C round to commercially launch in Canada, Europe and the U.S., the company said.Attempts to reach Toronto-based MedAvail and several of its investors were not immediately successful.

Source: pevc.dowjones.com

The funding was provided by new investors Pura Vida Investments, Deerfield Management Company and Adage Capital Management , joined by return investors Redmile Group, Walgreens Co. and Alliance Boots GmbH , the company said in a statement.

Walmart Looks To E-Commerce, Mobile, As It Slows Store Openings

As Walmart is conceding lower expected revenues this year, along with what appears to be a challenging holiday shopping season, it is moving to boost investment

Source: www.pymnts.com

Walmart CFO Charles Holley said the world’s largest retailer needs to rethink its strategy.

“Our business and customers continue to evolve and so will the way we deploy capital,” said Holley, according to a report in Internet Retailer. “We will invest more heavily in e-commerce initiatives, while temporarily moderating our global physical growth, particularly larger stores. We are focused on creating an endless aisle and appealing to our customers’ changing needs.”

Robotic bartender Monsieur attracts $2 mln seed

Robotic bartender Monsieur has secured $2 million in seed funding. BIP Capital led the round with participation from other investors that include Base Ventures, Paul Judge, TechSquare Labs, NFL pla…

Source: www.pehub.com

Monsieur developed the world’s first artificially intelligent robotic bartender. Monsieur incorporates sleek hardware and a companion smart application for iOS and Android devices, making drinks that are precisely tailored to meet the most discerning tastes, all at the touch of a button.

Coinme Brings Bitcoin to the University of Washington

Source: bitcoinmagazine.com

In May of this year, start-up Coinme released their first Robocoin kiosk at the Spitfire sports bar in downtown Seattle. On October 1st of this year, they added to their fleet with a new machine located on the University of Washington campus. The release event at UW’s “Startup Hall” also coincided with a Bitcoin meet-up for interested people in the local community to come network and listen to speakers talk about their personal projects. There were about 40 people in attendance.

Posiflex unveils mobile POS solution for retail and hospitality

Posiflex Technology, a global leading brand in the design and manufacture of POS solutions and peripherals, has launched a mobile POS solution – MT-4008W.

Source: www.retailtimes.co.uk

MT-4008W is specifically created for both retail and hospitality segments. It is an 8in tablet that supports MSR attachment, and can be integrated with the choice of a detachable pistol grip or a hand strap depending on the

Gazette Chicago » Mercy adds prescription dispenser kiosk

Mercy Hospital and Medical Center has installed a MedAvail MedCenter outpatient prescription dispensing kiosk in its emergency department. The medication dispensing kiosk is the first of its kind in the United States.

Source: www.gazettechicago.com

The kiosk allows patients to fill their prescriptions through a live, two way audiovisual conversation with a pharmacist 24 hours a day, seven days per week. With this “telepharmacist” on call, patients can get help, find answers to any questions, and receive medication counseling to use medications most effectively. Also, the pharmacist can verify information in real time.

“MedAvail is excited to partner with Mercy in the deployment of this groundbreaking telehealth solution and looks forward to pro-viding the patients with accessible, convenient access to their medications,” said Ed Kilroy, CEO of MedAvail Technologies, Inc.

Stealth innovation: How a Troy company is reinventing vending machine technology

In 2009, Troy-based 365 Retail Markets generated $42K in revenue. This year it’s projected to make $15 million. Read how one of Michigan’s most under-the-radar tech companies is reinventing the vending machine experience.

Source: www.metromodemedia.com

‘I don’t worry about my competitors,” Hessling says. ‘I have two or three that are potential competitors. I worry about the 19-year-old kid sitting in his dorm room in Ann Arbor who is coding my demise. That’s what keeps me up at night.”

Pizza stores popped, sandwich stores sacked in PoS plunder

Signature Systems ‘fesses up to malware raid

Source: www.theregister.co.uk

Some 324 restaurants across the United States, including 216 Jimmy John’s outlets, have had payment terminals compromised by malware after a breach at vendor Signature Systems.

The massive breach occurred when an intruder stole remote log-in credentials for Signature’s point of sale (PoS) kit, according to cyber-crime reporter Brian Krebs.

Major Robot OEMs Fast-Tracking Cobots

Innovating they are. From rival dual-arms to one-arm wonders shedding their industrial barriers to further medical science, collaborative robotics has been around longer than many realize. Each manufacturer is bringing its own brand of converging technologies to the HRC space. Several were on display this month in Chicago at IMTS 2014. Meet the latest dual-arm to enter the fray.

Source: www.robotics.org

Innovating they are. From rival dual-arms to one-arm wonders shedding their industrial barriers to further medical science, collaborative robotics has been around longer than many realize. Each manufacturer is bringing its own brand of converging technologies to the HRC space. Several were on display this month in Chicago at IMTS 2014. Meet the latest dual-arm to enter the fray.

What In-store Kiosks Can Learn from Online Research

Susan Reda wrote an article in the most recent publication of STORES, the Magazine of NRF, about “Upping the Stakes in online retail. Some of the findings should be used to guide retailers as they carry their online offerings and services through to brick and mortar locations via the usage of in store kiosks and in store employee interactions.

According to Reda, The research identified a number of components for analyzing customer service and retailer success

Order Lifecycle

Offer to Complete Transaction

Difference Between Estimated & Actual Delivery Dates

Refund Provided Within 28 Days, Notification of Refund in Process

Chat – Addressed Two Sample Questions Without Reminder

One of the consistent themes with regard to all of the above components is “communication”.  The communication piece is extremely important from purchase to delivery to return.  How can retailers use kiosks and other in store experiences to improve the customer relationship?  Communication. Communication. Communication.

Using kiosks to improve the frequency, style, and method of communication can be a huge asset for retailers.  A kiosk application can be used to set customer expectations from the start.   Kiosks can provide both visual and interactive displays for customers to receive important “expectation setting” information.

To read the article in its entirety, visit the NRF website here and Susan Reda on twitter (@Susan_Reda). How do your customers experience better communication in store than online?  How can those experiences be improved?

Revel Systems iPad POS is the first tablet platform to Offer Open-Source E-commerce Platform for Retailers

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ Revel Systems, the leader in iPad Point of Sale Solutions, has made its E-commerce Platform available to all via its open-source code, making it easier than ever for businesses to offer E-commerce and web ordering. Now retailers who wish to integrate Revel’s powerful E-commerce Platform can customize it to their own business needs. This furthers Revel’s efforts to make its iPad POS fully customizable and give more businesses access to its powerful tools

Source: www.broadwayworld.com

“By making our platform open-source, retailers can simply take our code and build their own E-commerce system the way they want it while still benefiting from our powerful technology. We are giving enterprise-level tools to small business owners so they can compete in today’s economy.”

PayPal Merchants Accepting Bitcoin, Sort Of | PYMNTS.com

PayPal is taking another small step in helping digital currency, particularly bitcoin, enter the mainstream by helping their merchants accept bitcoin payments.

Source: www.pymnts.com

The leader in online payments is pairing up with Bitcoin processors  BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin to allow digital goods (ring tones, games, etc) merchants to take bitcoin with an integration through the PayPal Payments Hub.  Starting today in North America, bitcoin is open for business on PayPal.

Installing Retail Kiosks to Increase Customer Reviews

 shutterstock_188524787Online Customer Reviews

In a recent Forbes article about customer reviews, “Six Simple Ways To Get Customers To Review Your Business Online”, author Nellie AKalp provides six tips for obtaining customer reviews for your business.  AKalp outlines the benefits of customer reviews as well as why customer reviews matter.  She quotes Zendesk survey findings that 90% of participants claim that positive online reviews influence the buying decision and a similar percentage (86%) are influenced by negative reviews.  Increasing rave reviews is a large component to offsetting negative reviews.

Providing Customers Incentives to Review Your Business

Some of the tips for increasing reviews include offering incentives (for any review, not just a positive review), and adding business profiles to review websites.  Providing easy access to review websites is another method for increasing the number of customer reviews.  Easy access can be provided via a link or an email request, but one method not discussed in the article is how to increase reviews by customers while they are in-store.

 Make Reviews a Part of Your Process

Each customer that walks into a store has the potential to be a reviewer of the product or service being offered.  Providing these customers with an easily accessible and difficult to miss method for providing feedback can catch customers while their experience is top of mind, as well as provide sales personnel with instant feedback about their interaction.  This provides additional incentive to store personnel to provide an outstanding customer experience.  Number six in the Forbes list, “Make reviews a part of your work process” suggests incentivizing employees for each review.

In Store Kiosks Locked Down to Review Sites

How can stores provide customers with an easy method of authoring a review, as well as instantly incentivize employees for completed reviews?  The answer; in store kiosks locked down to review sites. Configure an attract screen that links off to each review site and restrict access to only those review sites you want to impact.  Restaurants, grocery stores, clothing stores, home repair stores, doctors, dentists, banks, and more. . . these brick and mortar retailers can benefit from online reviews given by in store customers.

Investing in kiosks is one such way to increase customer reviews.  Expanding on the Forbes article, you can use kiosks to “Ask your customers” (number 2) and “Make it easy to leave reviews” (number 3).  To tie this in with number 4’s “Incent but don’t buy reviews” you can provide customers with a coupon if they submit a review (any review, good or bad).

How do you gain customer reviews?  Can a kiosk help to improve your customer review process?


Apple Deal Sheds Light on McDonald’s Digital Transformation

McDonald’s deal with Apple is the fruit of a concentrated effort by the Golden Arches to remake itself as an ecommerce company.

Source: mashable.com

Some, including Target and Walmart, are resisting NFC and critics point out that the technology is expensive for retailers and has never caught on, despite years of industry prodding.   Merchant Customer Exchange that includes Sears, Gap, Lowe’s and others, is pushing a technology called CurrentC that will use a QR code-like process to handle mobile payments.