NCR Corporation [NYSE:NCR]: Reinventing Retail

NCR Corporation [NYSE:NCR]: Reinventing Retail

CIO VendorWilliam Nuti, CEO Today's well-informed shoppers expect speed, flexibility, and convenience of e-commerce from their retail stores as well. Armed with a smartphone in hand, they want to shop to their preference, get up-to-minute and relevant information, instant interaction with the retailers, easy navigation across store floor, flexible payment options and delivery, and more. Helping retailers embrace the new mobile-empowered customer paradigm is the Duluth, GA-based firm, NCR Corporation, by creating a better digital to the physical shopping experience.

With a versatile mobile management application, NCR allows retailers to monitor their store 24/7 with actionable, real-time information. The application lists the shopper's purchases and also keeps a track on the customer's spending. Throughout the shopping process, the application is connected to the store server such that every bit of information is kept up to date. The application then interfaces with the POS at the front of the store to facilitate checkout and payment— covering the entire lifecycle of a customer. A retailer can easily meet the customers' omni-commerce needs by using the firm’s mobile solutions. With NCR’s powerful mobile POS solutions, a retailer’s sales associates can access capabilities as a cash-wrap station—all on a lightweight, easy-to-use mobile device. As Emily Mitchell, Store Manager, Hobby Superstore, one of the many prestigious NCR Corporation customer rightly puts it, “The touch screen interface is extremely user-friendly. It only takes me 20 minutes to train new employees. This is especially important during the summer where we are hiring seasonal employees and need to bring them up to speed quickly.” With NCR’s mobile POS software—NCR Counterpoint Mobile, retailers can run their business from the sales floor as they assist customers in locating products and cite the assistance of a sales executive right on the spot. The solution also allows retailers to showcase and sell their products wherever their customers are gathering: events, sidewalk sales, or trade shows. Furthermore, it also allows retailers to find any item in their NCR Counterpoint database in a seamless manner by just entering an item number or description, or by scanning a barcode.

To further enhance the mobile retail experience, the firm caters NCR Power+Mobile Store that brings the power of mobile order management conveniently and vibrantly into the hands of distributors and their customers. With Power Mobile, distributors and their customers can now experience a feature-rich and media-rich order management system that delivers the capabilities you need on any tablet or smartphone running any mobile operating system, including iOS, Android, and Windows.

Our software business is shaped around helping our customers to tackle the challenges they face, while navigating the retail mobility space

A mobile-enabled ordering solution, NCR’s offering combines the usability of mobile with targeted functionality of the NCR Power Enterprise suite of applications to deliver an intuitive solution that meets the needs of both account executives and customers.

Navigating through the Omni-Channel Era

Boosting consumer engagement and loyalty has always been an important concern for retailers. As customers demand more personalization throughout their shopping journey, retailers require a seamless communications strategy to interact with them regardless of the channel. This communications strategy enables retailers to maintain a strong brand and smooth engagement across all channels making it a true omni-channel experience for consumers. Adopting an omnichannel approach has now become a pre requisite to stay competitive in the retail arena. NCR Retail ONE better addresses omni-channel requirements, and help retailers position themselves for success by blending analytics into their IT systems. The innovative commerce hub unites an open ecosystem of retail applications and data with an omni-channel software platform to help provide frictionless shopping experiences for consumers. NCR Retail ONE allows retailers to mix and match innovative applications from NCR, its partners, and third parties.

Accelerating the shift from store-centric to consumer-centric experiences, NCR Retail ONE makes the most of today’s retail touch points, while enabling the touch points of tomorrow. This is achieved by implementing NCR Retail ONE commerce hub which can be deployed on the cloud, on-premise software or on a hybrid model— delivering a mobile base for the retailers and their customers to join in unison. The commerce hub unleashes the potential for retailers and re-defines the shopping experience for consumers.

Retail ONE is powered by a flexible omni-channel platform that brings together an open eco system of applications, offering their customers with the interconnectivity they need to break the silos and obtain the power of turning complex data into actionable insights. The product connects to a continuously expanding selection of applications, ranging from clienteling to mobile - all developed by NCR, its partners and third parties. Published, standardized and stable interfaces provide a base level of interoperability across any application. With NCR Retail ONE, a firm can leverage both existing and novel applications. With multiple deployment models to figure strategy, commerce can be merged seamlessly with online capabilities of an enterprise, optimizing its present and preparing for tomorrow.
Benefits of the new commerce hub include faster time to market and accelerating innovation by breaking down technology silos and enabling true omni-commerce. NCR Retail ONE provides the interconnectivity needed to achieve this, and handle complex volumes of data generated by retail businesses. “Increasingly digitally savvy and mobile-enabled consumers expect retailers to offer an integrated online and brick-and-mortar based shopping experience. NCR is one of the few vendors offering retailers with an Omni-channel integration designed to help them maximize the value of their existing, legacy IT assets,” comments Miya Knights, Senior Research Analyst, IDC Retail Insights.

At the same time, NCR Retail ONE offers a cost-effective, gradual transition by integrating and leveraging existing hardware and software assets to increase the efficiency of retail operations. Retailers can choose applications from a portfolio that is customized to meet their unique business needs and provides the agility and adaptability that they demand. This approach to applications also reduces time to market as retailers deploy new services for their customers.

The Growth Trajectory

NCR has a bold and aspiring vision—to lead how the mobile world connects, interacts and transacts business. This single vision philosophy has transformed NCR from a mere cash register company to a firm that taps into contemporary trends and technologies. “Our software business is shaped around helping our customers to tackle the challenges they face while navigating the retail mobility space," says William Nuti, CEO, NCR. It was in 2015, when the retail giants marked a significant change in its retail strategy, as it looks to set up its business solutions to serve the future needs of the industry. It came after a period of acquisition activity for NCR, with the 2013 takeover of the software firm, Retalix coming just two years after it completed a purchase of Radiant Systems. While the move expanded NCR's presence considerably in the hospitality and specialty retail spaces but also contributed to duplication of NCR's capabilities. As a result of those acquisitions, the firm has a huge amount of software intellectual property, which it plans to bring together to plan for the future.

"With a versatile mobile management application, NCR allows retailers to monitor their store 24/7 with actionable, real-time information"

At the heart of NCR's approach, 2015 was the launch of its new Retail One commerce hub, which met the needs of retailers as the Internet of Things era unfolded and businesses demanded system connectivity. With two years down the line, what's next for NCR Corporation? What does the vision look like from this store's window? NCR has high hopes for the future, and the vision looks all sunny! Nuti believes that the company can take advantage of its leadership position in the industry over newer entrants and "take advantage of the expected widespread increase in connected devices and continued the shift in consumer transaction preferences." Moving ahead, the firm is looking to enable retailers to give their customers an omni-channel experience and to encourage a long-lasting partnership with their customers.