Retail Trend or Hype? How to Discover the Difference Between Them 

If you haven’t read an email or post lately on “2023 Retail Trends” you might be living under a rock. During the month of January this type of content is everywhere. It’s kind of like your New Year’s resolution. A good idea at first but now somewhat overwhelming to keep up with. But all the new hashtags and predictions are not without merit. To offer your customers best-in-class solutions, you need to understand industry trends inside and out.

So off we went to NRF at the Javits Center in NYC. Followed by StorePoint in Dallas. We spoke to new and existing clients, fellow competitors, industry experts and a lot of Uber drivers! Similar stories and common challenges dominated our conversations. Buzz word after buzz word. Personalization, Loyalty, Workforce, Immersive Technology just to name a few. It can be tough to know exactly where to place your bet, but one thing is for certain, Intel. You only know, what you know.

Don’t believe the hype? Well, maybe you should. I spent 20 years on the other side of the table as a retailer and wholesaler. I merchandised what seems like a million different Collections for all FOBs. I pored over stock and sales reports analyzing businesses every way possible. Whether boutique or big box, I always came back to the same thing. You must know your sales floor. You must know square footage, quantity and type of fixture as well as capacity. You must know signage: promotional as well as aspirational marketing.

I searched long and hard for a solution to help keep track of ALL these variables. It was always a band-aid workaround involving tons of spreadsheets belonging to multiple parties with “hopefully” accurate information. Daunting, even scary, and hardly reliable. But it doesn’t have to be. This is the part where I tell you about my knight in shining armor, AccuStore.

Brands and retailers are reassessing their strategies and evaluating stores, and they need accurate data today just as much as I did years ago. So, when I tell you that AccuStore’s Site Intelligence is the real deal, I mean it. Through a unique and completely customizable profile you know what lives in every individual store. Think of it as the gatekeeper of your most important by-door attributes. Fixturing, marketing and equipment all accurately displayed. Any stakeholder can view. All parties utilizing the same data cutting down silos. If I had AccuStore back in the day, I would be queen of the world by now.

Clearly, I am no queen, we all know that’s Beyoncé. I think she needs AccuStore to keep track of all her Grammy’s! But in all seriousness, the visibility and intelligence you gain with AccuStore is eye opening. In addition to housing all your physical store assets, it can store immersive virtual 360-degree scans, marketing distros and merchandising directives. Communication is seamless through task management, check-ins and captures via the mobile app. No heavy lifting for store associates already wearing many hats. Quick and easy updates for profile-driven execution and management.

I met brave souls at StorePoint that candidly shared that they have zero knowledge of what’s inside their stores. I completely understood. I could 100% relate. Fixtures get down streamed, large acquisitions occur, staff turns over and historical data is lost. No different today, than 20yrs ago. What’s different is that there is now an amazing robust solution.

So, as you are planning for 2023, really stop and think about how much insight you honestly have into your stores. This is crucial knowledge for your total company. It’s time to stop guessing, padding orders, and crossing your fingers. AccuStore is readily available to help you improve your accuracy and visibility. Accurate data, a profile for every store and ease of execution. Like I said, believe the hype.

How Can I Keep My Stores Compliant During a Pandemic?

“How can I keep my stores complaint, and my employees and shoppers safe during a pandemic?” If you’re a retailer, you may be asking yourself similar questions. Why not consider deploying a store intelligence solution to help gain total visibility into your stores. With store intelligence technology you can effectively monitor new social distancing guidelines as well as manage OSHA compliance across your entire organization.

5 Ways Store Intelligence Technology Can Help

    1. If an incident occurs, you can use the mobile app to communicate incidents in real time, with images. The old-fashioned way would be to create reports and save them in folders in stores across the country. That can create confusion. Having one source of truth or shared data, information stays in one place so it’s easily accessible.
    2. A store intelligence solution allows you to define and share training updates on these new store policies helping your teams follow store capacity rules and frequent scheduled cleaning routines.
    3. Track which stores or employees are due for training or send new state mandates or guidance to specific stores to help them prepare by generating alerts in real time to your store teams.
    4. Protect your stores by creating a custom cleaning checklist for store audits to address site-specific concerns and set up a scoring system and analyze results. Don’t waste time with paper checklists and emails, use your store intelligence to assign and manage cleaning or inventory tasks to be performed and keep employees and team leaders accountable. 
    5. Easily configure surveys, forms and reports to capture the information you need. Want to make sure stores are using social distancing floor clings in each store? Shoot out a quick survey to the stores and receive an instant update.

Store intelligence software gives your teams anytime, anywhere access to new COVID-19 safety rules, checklists, information and updates from your mobile device or laptop.

To learn additional ways store intelligence can help keep your teams compliant, set up a demo or ask us about a free trial today.

Tips To Help With Your C-Store Skimming Prevention Program

According to Rippleshot’s State of Card Fraud 2018 report, a single compromised pump can capture data from roughly 30-100 cards per day. In a single investigation, the Secret Service discovered 59 skimmers at 85 locations in 21 states. As credit card fraud skimming continues to become problematic, retailers can fight back by creating a skimming prevention program for their customers. Why not use your store intelligence solution as a tool to help streamline your program?


Tips to Optimize Your Fraud Prevention Plan

Tap Into Tasks
The Secret Service recovers approximately 20 to 30 skimmers per week, with the average skimmer collecting information from about 80 cards by the time it’s recovered by authorities. If you’ve posted signage informing fuel customers of what to watch out for, use Tasks to prompt store-level employees to ensure signage is intact and current. When skimming occurs at gas stations, it often takes place at only one pump. Create hourly or daily tasks reminding your staff to check the fuel pumps for evidence of tampering.

Save Time With Audits
Have your store employees create and run Audits as a smart addition to your gas stations’ fraud, skimming and security prevention program. Audits provide your teams with a foolproof method to address issues without resulting in hours of follow-up work. Audits allow your employees to spend less time reporting possible skimming or credit card security issues and more time resolving them.


Capture and Share 
Employees can use the time-saving Site Captures feature to easily report compromised fuel pumps to their teams. Instead of sending mass emails, employees can take photos with their cell phones and submit observations and notes regarding tampered machines. For skimming prevention programs featuring signage, employees can use Captures to verify placement of proper signage near fueling areas.

Today’s leading retailers rely on AccuStore to help streamline communication, accelerate growth and reduce marketing costs. Contact us for additional tips on how AccuStore can help you streamline your skimming prevention program and more.