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TABLE OF CONTENTS Is Now The Right Time To Upgrade Your POS Equipment? Top 6 Questions To Ask ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3  How do the latest software offerings and capabilities affect our POS system upgrade decisions? ---------------------------------------------------------- 4 A Commitment To Customer-Facing Enhancements---------------------------------------- 5  Mobile payments and the Chip and PIN compliancy mandate for 2015 are on the horizon. How should we prepare? --------------------------------------- 5 Security: A Key Consideration With Mobile------------------------------------------------------- 5 Prepare for EMV-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8

 What is the cost/benefit analysis (ROI) of purchasing new versus refurbished equipment? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9

 Some of our POS components are outdated. Should we be concerned about the expiration of hardware support? --------------------------------------- 10

 Our company is being acquired/restructured. The new executive team would like to standardize all stores in the newly formed company. Some stores will be remodeled. What are the key issues to address? --------------- 11  How do we select the best hardware path and POS vendor? ------------------------------ 13

Financing the Upgrade--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 14 Choosing Retail-Ready Equipment--------------------------------------------------------------------- 15 Conclusion ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 16

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK POS technology is changing quickly, with each new capability more inviting than the next. So how do retailers determine if now is the right time to upgrade the POS?

Adding to the complexity of this decision-making process is the growth of mobile technology and the prospects of mobile payment.

Budget is a number-one consideration, especially since POS is a retailer’s single largest IT capital expenditure. But saving money in the short term may cause irreversible long-term damage to the stores’ functionality as well as the perception of the retail brand among today’s tech-savvy shoppers. Retailers must weigh the short-term issues with the long-term goals. Adding to the complexity of this decision-making process is the growth of mobile technology and the prospects of mobile payment. More retailers are arming store associates with mobile devices for product lookup and checkout. And while the complete proliferation of retail mobile payment in the U.S. still may be years away, retailers need to consider it when planning POS upgrades. This white paper will walk retailers through the key decision-making process points, highlighting the primary questions to consider internally and when interviewing prospective POS solution providers.

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

 HOW DO THE LATEST SOFTWARE OFFERINGS

AND CAPABILITIES AFFECT OUR POS SYSTEM UPGRADE DECISIONS?

The constant array of newer and faster POS software applications is staggering. IT managers’ first impulse may be to push for the latest and greatest advancements, but the reality is that most retailers don’t require all the new capabilities to meet core business objectives. But when new applications are warranted, it’s important for retailers to know that new software doesn’t necessarily require new hardware; in many cases, it may be able to run on existing hardware.

Retailers’ existing POS “systems may be fully capable of upgrading memory and processor while using existing peripherals to leverage these new software requirements.

- Bob Spinner, Retail Tech

“The POS upgrade decision ultimately comes down to the budget available and the calculated return on investment for the hardware and software purchase,” stated Bob Spinner, President of Retail Tech Inc., a provider of POS hardware solutions. “The traditional POS hardware segment has not seen major changes in the last several years; most of the upgrades have been in increased memory capabilities and greater processing speeds required to accommodate the market’s new software. Retailers’ existing POS systems may be fully capable of upgrading memory and processor while using existing peripherals to leverage these new software requirements.” Merchants should turn to their POS hardware vendors to help determine the hardware requirements needed to match the software. The hardware partners should be able to drill down into software specifications to ascertain the horsepower required for the applications, then offer various alternatives for acquiring that power. This could be as simple as upgrading some pieces of the POS system, installing a cost-effective refurbished model, or using a mix of old, refurbished and brand-new equipment — depending on each retailer’s unique set of goals and needs.

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

A Commitment To Customer-Facing Enhancements To provide an enhanced shopper interaction, retailers are embracing a number of different customer-facing POS services that facilitate targeted promotions, loyalty rewards, cross-sells, upsells and more. But they need to be sure the POS system can accommodate the additional memory and faster processing required by new software features. Each new peripheral also needs to talk to the server to leverage that functionality, again requiring more POS horsepower. “IBM recommends that your investment in POS hardware be leveraged to move forward, with service-oriented architecture, modularity and flexibility that grow with your changing business needs,” said Peggy Weavil, IBM Retail Store Solutions’ Offering Marketing Manager.

such as the “Tablets, Motorola ET1, are retail-hardened and great for adding a mobile aspect to fixed POS registers as well as increased functionality to new or legacy POS systems.

- Bruce Hicks, President and CEO of Retail Technologies Corp.

Mobility may play a key role in creating a more flexible and powerful POS system. Tablets, for example, improve the in-store experience with expanded service on the sales floor; line busting; real-time, mobile access to inventory and product information; and other benefits. “Tablets, such as the Motorola ET1, are retail-hardened and great for adding a mobile aspect to fixed POS registers as well as increased functionality to new or legacy POS systems,” noted Bruce Hicks, President and CEO of Retail Technologies Corporation (RTC), a developer of retail store and enterprise solutions. To facilitate tablet commerce, however, retailers may need to add hardware including a Bluetooth-capable printer, a combo MSR scanner/swipe, and other remote devices, Hicks added. “All this requires more processing power from the POS system. If these mobile devices can’t integrate to POS then the retailer can’t do mobile, and may have to replace or upgrade the system.” One other topic — security — can throw a wrench into the POS functionality. Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standards also demand POS horsepower. This set of controls and processes is designed to ensure credit and debit card data integrity. Merchants must adhere to PCI regulations or face heavy fines. This intricate software, combined with the various POS customer service payment applications, runs more quickly and smoothly with ample POS processing power.

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

 MOBILE PAYMENTS AND THE CHIP AND PIN COMPLIANCY MANDATE FOR 2015 ARE ON THE HORIZON. HOW SHOULD WE PREPARE?

Mobile payments are on the horizon for the U.S. To prepare, some smartphones are being equipped with a near-field communications (NFC) chip that, when waved past an RFID reader, triggers access to the phone’s virtual payment methods, such as Google Wallet, PayPal and other IP-based tenders.

now I would be a fast “Right follower, because…NFC payment trials have not been very positive for retailers. - Greg Buzek, IHL

However, industry experts are debating the speed of mobile payment acceptance. According to a study released in February 2012 from Gartner Inc., only one of the world’s top 10 largest retailers will implement NFC-based contactless payments in store through 2013. By 2015, less than 5% of consumers worldwide will adopt NFC-based mobile payments, according to the report. “Right now I would be a fast follower, because most of the data we are getting back from our surveys indicates that NFC payment trials have not been very positive for retailers,” said Greg Buzek, President of IHL. When NFC-based mobile payments do roll out, perhaps spurred by consumer demand, its expansive software application will require more POS memory and processing power. Therefore, regardless of its infancy, forwardthinking retailers contemplating a POS upgrade should consider the role mobile payment might play in the future.

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

Security: A Key Consideration With Mobile For any payment process, and in particular mobile payment, security must be top-of-mind. “Retailers have to be absolutely certain that there is proper security between the customer’s personal technology and the store-level processing equipment and supporting network,” noted Deena Amato-McCoy, Retail Practice Research Analyst for Aberdeen Group. “While there are standards to be followed, let’s face it ― companies say they have met them, but their systems still get hacked.”

You have to be proactive “ to assure security: Currently 88.3% of our best-in-class retailers identify and remediate application vulnerabilities prior to deployment.

- Deena Amato-McCoy, Aberdeen

She added: “You have to be proactive to assure security: Currently 88.3% of our best-in-class retailers identify and remediate application vulnerabilities prior to deployment.” Retailers also must consider risk tolerance and the safety provided by the POS operating system supporting the mobile payment application. “The three primary retail operating systems ― 4690, Windows and Linux ― have different levels of security; since the latter two are open platforms, they are targeted by fraudsters,” stated Steve Braceland, President, STJ Retail, a retail solutions provider. “Because IBM’s 4690 platform is closed, and never has been compromised, fraudsters avoid it, making IBM POS software and its related hardware a safer mobile payment environment.”

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

Prepare For EMV While waiting for mobile payments to penetrate the marketplace, merchants should focus on implementing the Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) — the global standard for smart cards, including credit and debit, and a more secure alternative to traditional magnetic stripe payment cards. “In countries not using smart cards, fraud has grown by 20% a year,” said Braceland. “I recommend that retailers maintain their store systems and make no quick changes to accommodate mobile payments, because no one has all the answers yet. The main thing now is to have EMV in place. Even if you’re not moving to mobile payments, you’ll still need EMV compliancy — and the hardware power to house it.”

As of Q3 2011, more than 1.34 billion EMV compliant chip-based payment cards were in use worldwide, with 20.7 million POS terminals accepting EMV cards. - Smart Card Alliance

As of Q3 2011, more than 1.34 billion EMV compliant chip-based payment cards were in use worldwide, with 20.7 million POS terminals accepting EMV cards, according to the Smart Card Alliance. This represents 42.4% of the total payment cards in circulation and 75.9% of the POS terminals installed globally. As currently positioned, potential fraud associated with the use of smart cards ― also known as Chip and PIN (Personal Identification Number) ― is the issuing bank’s responsibility, just as with credit cards today. But by October 2015, merchants must be fully compliant with EMV standards, or be responsible for smart card fraud. “The significant impact on POS hardware technology is the ten-fold in memory over traditional payment software that Chip and PIN applications require, as well as the increased memory required to accommodate its codes,” noted Braceland. The decision around where to house the software codes required for Chip and PIN, as well as for PCI compliance, also affects the POS hardware decision. When these codes sit within the POS terminal, each terminal requires expanded memory and processing power. Codes also can sit on the in-store server, requiring less hardware power, but then retailers lose the ever-important redundancy the terminals provide. A RETAIL TOUCHPOINTS WHITE PAPER 2012

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

 WHAT IS THE COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS (ROI) OF

PURCHASING NEW VERSUS REFURBISHED EQUIPMENT?

IT managers want the best and most advanced hardware on the market. But in most cases, retailers can save money by updating just some of the POS system components, either with new or refurbished equipment, while keeping existing equipment in place. Adding more memory, larger hard drives, flat panel monitors, wireless scanners and other new or refurbished add-ons can extend the life of a POS system while cutting overall POS expenses.

Adding more memory, larger hard drives, flat panel monitors, wireless scanners and other new or refurbished add-ons can extend the life of a POS system while cutting overall POS expenses.

Since, as Spinner stated, traditional POS hardware has not changed significantly — and upgraded, older-generation units are capable of accommodating much of the market’s new software — many merchants are realizing the cost/benefit delivery of newly refurbished hardware over a brand-new system. From a maintenance perspective, most new POS hardware components come with a one-year warranty, allowing retailers to avoid maintenance fees for that time period. However, in the long-run, the cost of buying a new lane, for example, is much more expensive than buying a used one: “Refurbished equipment runs more than 50% less than the cost of a new system, and reduces integration time and fees by 90%,” Spinner noted. “It also can be imaged prior to integration and arrive check-stand ready, further driving cost from the equation. In addition, many renovated hardware components come with warranties similar to those of new equipment.” A combination of new and refurbished equipment also is a viable, cost-effective solution, avoiding millions of dollars in new POS hardware, roll-outs and training. “In terms of ROI, often it makes more sense to modify what you have with new or refurbished components; you may not get every feature you want, but a new system for a chain business today may be hard to justify,” stated Hicks. “If I’m dealing with 100 stores with four registers per site, plus the related software, integration, removal, and other logistics, I’ll be spending seven figures, and what am I gaining? Unlike past POS generations, the hard payback is getting smaller and much harder to justify, especially with today’s tougher economy.”

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

 SOME OF OUR POS COMPONENTS ARE OUTDATED. SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE EXPIRATION OF HARDWARE SUPPORT?

Retailers need a quick resolve to any breakdowns and must maintain their equipment to prevent those breakdowns. Therefore, they must be aware of the status of hardware maintenance services and the expiration of those contracts. “Running POS with unsupported hardware is very risky: When one terminal or printer goes down and lines start to form, it’s an expensive proposition from many angles to deal with the downtime and customer dissatisfaction, then pay for off-contract repair services,” stated Weavil. “In the long-run you will spend less and reap more by making an investment in a quality support agreement.”

In the long-run you will “ spend less and reap more by making an investment in a quality support agreement. - Peggy Weavil, IBM

When a service contract expires, retailers may think they cannot acquire new service without investing in a hardware upgrade, but that is not the case. “Several quality, third-party POS vendors offer depot repair plans, expertise to service the equipment, and warehouses full of new and legacy parts and components. In turn, these can be added to existing maintenance contracts or to completely new, thirdparty contracts,” said Spinner. “These agreements can include onsite assistance, component-level repair and 24-hour ‘spares in the air,’ among other services.” Having access to legacy parts and components can be vital to budgetconstrained retail chains lacking the funds to upgrade, and for those hosting different POS platforms and generations operating across a chain.

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

 OUR COMPANY IS BEING ACQUIRED/

RESTRUCTURED. THE NEW EXECUTIVE TEAM WOULD LIKE TO STANDARDIZE ALL STORES IN THE NEWLY FORMED COMPANY. SOME STORES WILL BE REMODELED. WHAT ARE THE KEY ISSUES TO ADDRESS?

After sifting through the pressing issues around forming a new organization — budget, core business objectives, the software applications that address them and the hardware options that best run that software — the next step is to examine the POS assets in the various locations in terms of their value, performance, strengths and weaknesses.

Advancements in customer “experience now provided by POS become very important pieces of the puzzle when you want to standardize across the enterprise, either from scratch or when you acquire.

- Deena Amato-McCoy, Aberdeen

Especially in an acquisition or restructure, retailers must determine which hardware components will best support their customer experience and relationship goals. “The POS terminal is not just a cash register anymore ― it’s the heart of the store,” stated AmatoMcCoy. “It’s an all-encompassing tool on which more retailers are relying to streamline the shopping experience and strengthen customer relationships. Earlier last year we saw almost a third of retailers incorporating mission-critical applications for personalization programs and sales forecasts, with another 44% who were planning to make this improvement by the end of 2011. Advancements in customer experience now provided by POS become very important pieces of the puzzle when you want to standardize across the enterprise, either from scratch or when you acquire.”

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

If a consistent, enterprise-wide POS platform is required in the new business format, retailers should consider replacing the less valuable equipment ― and those requiring the highest maintenance fees ― with upgraded, refurbished components that cost-effectively bring targeted locations up to par with their more advanced counterparts. POS consistency allows for lower-cost field maintenance support, easier help desk assistance and a smoother transition for the hundreds of managers and associates now required to produce uniform store reports and POS functions across the new enterprise.

POS consistency allows for lower-cost field maintenance support, easier help desk assistance and a smoother transition for the hundreds of managers and associates...

In some cases, when two or more chains marry, the standardization process can move along more smoothly if the executives commit to maintaining consistency within each separate chain, especially when one already is rolling out an updated solution. This tactic allows each chain to achieve optimal operating efficiency until an enterprise-wide hardware upgrade is required. Also, many acquisitions and restructures result in a backlog of unwanted older inventory and duplicate POS equipment. Some POS vendors, such as Retail Tech Inc., specialize in used equipment and offer attractive trade-in deals or outright purchase of older hardware, allowing retailers to offset the cost of upgrading.

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

 HOW DO WE SELECT THE BEST

HARDWARE PATH AND POS VENDOR?

Particularly in challenging economic times, expenses must be budgeted cautiously. Once retailers make the decision to move forward with a POS upgrade, the next step is aligning budget allocations with the right hardware platform.

By mixing new with refurbished hardware, retailers get the latest technology and high quality refurbished equipment.

There are three distinct options for a POS refresh: new POS hardware, including the base unit, printers, keyboards, monitors, scanners, tablets and other peripherals; economical and high-quality refurbished systems and add-ons; and a hybrid solution ― a mixture of both new and refurbished platforms. POS vendors who have earned status as authorized business partners by the leading POS companies such as IBM, Epson and Symbol/Motorola can provide the most reliable as well as direct, convenient access to the newest POS hardware. Their relationships with numerous manufacturers also heighten their ability to offer customized hardware solutions that fit various budgets and needs. The value of high quality refurbished POS hardware cannot be overstated. The most qualified reseller is one selected by the industry’s best POS manu-facturers to refurbish their equipment for their own use. Resellers such as Retail Tech Inc., also may be authorized by POS manufacturers to liquidate off-lease, end-of-life and excess POS systems. The best choice for a budget-conscious retailer wanting the “best of both worlds” is a hybrid hardware solution. By mixing new with refurbished hardware, retailers get the latest technology and high quality refurbished equipment. For example, a brand new POS terminal paired with a refurbished cash drawer, keyboard, printer and display provides a solution that not only encompasses the latest technology, but also is very budget friendly. A RETAIL TOUCHPOINTS WHITE PAPER 2012

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

Financing The Upgrade Every POS rollout is unique based on the retailer’s timeframe, products to be purchased, financial situation and vendor expectations. For those reasons, retailers should inquire about flexible payment plans. Some vendors limit retailers to standardized payment terms, requiring full, upfront payment, while the more service-oriented vendors offer customized payment options. Vendors in the strongest financial situations can best customize a payment plan favorable to all parties. “The POS is the single biggest IT capital expenditure for retailers: If they do not have to pay for it all up front, that is a huge benefit to them financially, as it frees up resources for other innovative projects,” stated Buzek. He added that if the equipment can be expensed instead of capitalized, retailers do not have to pay depreciation each year on the equipment.

POS is the single “The biggest IT capital expenditure for retailers: If they do not have to pay for it all up front, that is a huge benefit to them financially, as it frees up resources for other innovative projects. - Greg Buzek, IHL

Amato-McCoy also advised retailers to look at total cost of ownership when choosing a POS vendor. “TCO is a big part of the evaluation process. How long will it take to get your ROI? Twenty years is no longer sufficient; 12 to 18 months is the absolute longest. Also, how long will it take for that vendor to roll-out the system across your enterprise? And what is the longevity of the hardware’s guts, like the fan that cools the chassis, or the processor, which is the brain of the system.”

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

Choosing Retail-Ready Equipment Another important consideration when choosing hardware is finding equipment that is hardened for the retail environment, not just in terms of drop-and-breaks but sometimes where liquids and particles are present. “Grocers, convenience stores and other retailers dealing with liquid items at the register need to be sure the POS vendor’s equipment is protected against leaks and spills,” noted Amato-McCoy. “In addition, in apparel, craft and other stores where larger amounts of raw materials and lint are in the air, the hardware needs to be protected against electric fizzle. I’ve actually had my iPhone short out in a craft store due to a quick electrical shock at the POS.”

In the long-run, “ choosing a hardware vendor is as much about the company, its reputation and the support it provides as it is about the POS itself.

- Deena Amato-McCoy, Aberdeen

Finally, when researching vendor options, “Be savvy by choosing a vendor with a high-value score card and good reputation in terms of segment expertise, service plan value, longevity in the retail industry and the financial strength to still be there years from now when your system really needs their support,” AmatoMcCoy recommends. “Also determine whether the vendor is trustworthy, reliable and plays nicely with others,” Buzek added. “In the long-run, choosing a hardware vendor is as much about the company, its reputation and the support it provides as it is about the POS itself.”

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

CONCLUSION A powerful, multifunction POS system is the retailer’s best chance of creating a memorable experience that will develop a loyal customer that advocates for your brand or store. “People still want to come into a store to see and feel the products, interact with knowledgeable salespeople, then purchase without standing in line,” said Weavil, “and POS plays a vital role in that experience.” When deciding to upgrade the POS to a more powerful, multifunction system, retailers must consider several priorities, including budget, key software capabilities and the hardware that will run those applications, as well as future goals for mobility, security, protocol compliance and support. Until the industry is pushed to the next generation of POS — perhaps by the continuing interest in mobile technology — the TCO and benefits of newly refurbished hardware over a brand new system are becoming more evident. This strategy helps support short-term cost considerations, long-term functionality and the perception of the retail brand among today’s techsavvy shoppers.

We see many retailers “trying to recreate the Apple Store experience by deploying mobile throughout, but I don’t think customers really care about the technology side of the store experience. What they really want is the friendliness and access to information…

- Greg Buzek, IHL

“We see many retailers trying to recreate the Apple Store experience by deploying mobile throughout, but I don’t think customers really care about the technology side of the store experience,” said Buzek. “What they really want is the friendliness and access to information the Apple Store provides, which in many cases can be found in the features and functions available in simple POS updates.” In selecting the right hardware path and the POS vendor, do your homework: talk to industry peers, take some store tours and consult with your competitors, who, after all, are your POS comrades.

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IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR POS EQUIPMENT? TOP 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK

ABOUT RETAIL TECH INC.

1501 Park Road Chanhassen, MN, 55317 Toll Free: 1-877-580-9687 P: 952-380-0493 F: 952-380-0547

Retail Tech is a POS reseller of customized hardware solutions for the retail, hospitality and grocery markets. As the IBM POS Consignment Vendor, Retail Tech is provided with unlimited access to off-lease, excess and discounted IBM inventory. Offering new equipment as well as low-cost alternatives, Retail Tech also buys and repairs parts and hardware. Learn more about Retail Tech at www.retailtechinc.com. Site visitors are invited to subscribe to the Retail Tech newsfeed to receive weekly blog posts, product specials and updated news from top POS manufacturers.

ABOUT RETAIL TOUCHPOINTS

411 State Route 17 South, Ste 410 Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604 P: 201.257.8528 F: 201.426.0181

Retail TouchPoints is an online publishing network for retail executives, with content focused on optimizing the customer experience across all channels. The Retail TouchPoints network is comprised of a weekly newsletter, category-specific blogs, special reports, web seminars, exclusive benchmark research, and a content-rich web site featuring daily news updates and multimedia interviews at www.retailtouchpoints.com. The Retail TouchPoints team also interacts with social media communities via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Is Now The Right Time To Upgrade?  

In this case study, completed by Retail TouchPoints, Retail Tech explores the 6 Questions you need to ask yourself when considering an upgr...

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