This is the first article in a multi-part series on Social Media Basics. While this series focuses primarily on MobileBytes Point of Sale for restaurants, there are still some great practices and concepts that you could easily apply to other systems and retail operations. With that being said, let’s talk about Loyalty Programs.Read More >
We have been keeping in touch with the State of Alaska regarding the new eWIC program and wanted to give you a quick update.
(What is eWIC? EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer. WIC stands for Women/Infant/Children - a program providing nutrition, education and other support. WIC EBT is an electronic process where the food benefits are automatically added onto a card, similar to a debit card. This card, which will be known as the eWIC card, replaces the current paper vouchers/checks.)
Here's a list of roll out dates from the state's WIC website:Read More >
Do you feel like you barely have enough time to run your business? Could you use another employee to help you manage your social media presence but don’t have the budget for one? Do you want more reviews for your business but aren’t sure how to get there? If you’re like most business owners, the answer to all these are likely - yes!Read More >
The holidays are fast approaching, and your customers will be looking for gift cards to give to their family and friends – do you have enough to meet their demand? Typical turn around times takes around 2-4 weeks from time of order, but the closer it gets to the holidays, these lead times can double.
If you don’t take gift cards, keep reading below or click here to learn a few reasons on why you should!
Once a year, we travel to the Lower 48 to a conference called RetailNOW. We meet with point of sale companies just like Skurla’s and with the nation's leading vendors. It’s an amazing event that helps us find out what the future holds for the hospitality/retail industries, but it also provides us with a wealth of information on how we can better serve you. This year’s event was in Nashville and for us Alaskan’s, 90+ degree days are way too hot. But the knowledge we bring back makes it all worth while.Read More >
If you are like most folks, you have a handful of passwords that you reuse for all your online accounts. You may change a number or two when it’s expired, for example: Password1 gets changed to Password2, and so on. It’s very likely that some family and friends know some of your passwords too, like your WIFI and Netflix password. In a world full of hackers and breaches, you really are making their job all too easy.Read More >
Like most businesses, we are constantly looking for ways to improve. We have a flyer we have pinned up on the walls here that lists some of the key points we are looking to focus on for the year and one of these is: “Better communications with our customers.”
As a technology provider, our phones are our life line to just about everything we do, whether it be assisting customers, working with vendors or communicating internally. We decided that it was time to invest in a new phone system, and we reached out to GCI for assistance in getting there.
Starting this month, our new CISCO 8800 series IP phones will be changing the way you hear from us. This new system features:Read More >
Our world is changing, quicker than some of us would like and for others, not quick enough. All this change affects restaurants and retail like no other because your customers are on the forefront of these changes. As your trusted Point of Sale (POS) provider, we find ourselves changing too. We can’t just be a company that provides for you today, we also have to be able to provide for your future. To help us do this, Skurla’s has been a member of RSPA (Retail Solutions Providers Association) for the better part of 40 years. RSPA isn’t just for retail though. At its heart are hundreds of POS providers and vendors, working together for a common cause: to help you.
Every year, RSPA members, vendors and partners meet at an event called RetailNOW. I was fortunate to be able to attend and see what the future holds for restaurants and retail. There were too many things to cover here but there were a few that stood out as key areas for merchants to take note of.
Customer engagement was one of the most popular areas that other POS dealers such as us were interested in. A lot of this revolved around things like customer loyalty, data analytics (using it) and mobility. These three things are fast becoming inseparable to the modern merchant. They don’t have to exist together but when they do, it’s a big win for the customer and the merchant.
- Customer loyalty is a system that rewards the customer for coming back to a merchant and giving them repeat business. It’s usually offered up in the way of points that are redeemed for good and/or services. The big change here is making it as easy as possible for not only the customers to participate but having the merchants staff understand the process and help the customers engage. Your staff are the “face” of the business and if they are engaged in the process, they will sell it like no other. But to make it easy, you need to make another change: mobility.
- Mobility is a two-way street and your customers are already experts. If you don’t have the right mobility options to engage them, you’re falling behind. New POS options have beacon technology, which enable merchants to know who is in the store or if they are close. Utilizing this, smart merchants can know what a particular customer likes and market or sell to them direct and the customer will cheer you on for it! But in-depth knowledge of your customer preferences takes more than just data.
- Data analytics isn’t enough – utilizing it is key. There are plenty of companies out there who will gather data for you but what do you do with it? Using that data in a meaningful way is the third piece of customer engagement. Have you ever been to a store or restaurant and filled out a comment card and never received a follow up call or email? Or maybe not seen the changes that you would have expected? Sadly, customers see this all too often and the result is that they don’t patronize that merchant again or are dissatisfied and share their experiences with other potential or existing customers. Having tools and systems in place to act on your data will help you better serve your customers and turn them into raving fans.
There has been a lot talk about ransomware and the Wanna Cry outbreak recently and we’ve heard lot of questions:
Am I vulnerable? How can I protect myself?
We are pleased to announce that Oracle has opened up MICROS 3700 for EMV integration for third parties. We have vetted and recommend the current solution provided by Elavon Payment Systems, Simplify, that offers an EMV solution for your MICROS System.
Elavon’s Simplify solution isa gateway processor very similar to the predominate Merchantlink solution most MICROS customers currently use. Its secure gateway allows the use of EMV transactions as well as providing robust credit card security.Read More >