Years ago, creating a wedding registry required choosing from a small selection of big box stores, then working with an oversized scan gun to make selections. Independent retailers often missed out on this market, due to the fact that the technology required to create and store this data came with a $30,000 price tag. However, when the Cloud began to take shape as a content and software delivery tool, mom and pop stores gained a chance to use technology to help their brick and mortars stay competitive. Once Apple came out with the iPod touch, developers at NCR Silver realized it was the perfect foundation for a point of purchase and data service, because suddenly the device hosting such a service cost a mere $200.
“NCR Silver stresses accessibility in two ways,” states Christian Nahas, VP of the NCR Small Business Team. “It’s not enough that our product is economical in price. We also recognize that customers need to be able to take advantage of the power of this system, meaning it must be easy to use.” The system helps small businesses track sales, connect with customers, and sell from any location, whether a shop floor, behind a counter, at a trade show, or anywhere else.
Following extensive market research, NCR Silver found that many of its customers are drawn to Apple systems because of their prevalence in the industry, so all the company’s systems and devices are compatible with Apple products. While the iPad has been a wonderful point of sale countertop device, the iPod touch is an inexpensive tool that allows NCR Silver to put an amazing amount of power in customers’ hands. “As we got our system into small business owners’ hands, they came back to tell us that it helped them get more of their lives back,” Nahas points out. “It frees them from hours and days of paperwork that would otherwise need to be tended to on a weekly basis.”
NCR Silver plans to release an Android platform next year, along with more features in the coming months, as the company continues to add functions to the core product. Among the new options are scanning technology and Bluetooth wireless printers, to provide shoppers with paper receipts if they prefer, integration with social media networks and text marketing. “This fall, we’ll also be adding further analytics to our Apple devices,” Nahas reveals. “Small businesses appreciate having this data available via the Apple dashboard, and they have informed company representatives that they want to see that dashboard on their smartphones.” In addition, the company is adding a loyalty function and gift cards. The biggest hurdle the firm has had to overcome was not in perfecting new technology, but rather in branding the product as one intended for serious businesses. “It’s for businesses interested in engaging with customers through e-marketing tools, not just someone who wants more mobility in their payment options,” Nahas explains.
“We designed all of the infrastructure ourselves, which removes more costs that would be associated with maintaining a back office of equipment and software, and what once cost any retailer $25,000 or $35,000 now costs $79 per month.” This price includes the point of sale system, the back office hub, the ability to track sales, and access to profitability figures. Additionally, retailers can track and market to customers. NCR Silver also provides hardware maintenance, replacing any problematic equipment the day immediately following the event of an issue, which Nahas says is rare. “We offer customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he notes. “You will always get a live person at our support desk to help guide you through the process.”
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