Doing that one thing that makes your store better than the rest and lets your customers know that you care.

November 14, 2017

I was speaking to Imad Khalil from Kelly’s Fuel Mart in Melvindale, Michigan about the Scan Data Service that we provide for Altria and RJ Reynolds Tobacco Incentive Programs.  Imad was wondering if the service was right for his business but after speaking with our team of experts he knew this program was key to staying competitive in his area and that is something that he takes very seriously.

I enjoyed visiting with Mr. Khalil where I learned more about his business and what he does to provide a great service to his customers.  He explained that his latest customer service feature was the addition of U-Glove’s at each pump station.  “U-Glove?” I asked.  I was so interested to hear more because I can’t stand to have the smell of gas on my hands.  He explained that each pump is equipped with a dispenser of plastic gloves that are provided at no cost to the consumer.  These disposable gloves offer a clean and germ free experience for the customer.  “I LOVE IT!” I said, “Can I share this on my blog?  Tell me more!!”  He said there is a cost to the merchant for providing this service but he believes that these little things make a big difference to his customers.  [I know I would drive out of my way and pay a few pennies more per gallon to have a nice clean environment.  Not to mention saving a manicure.]  Even if the gloves aren’t used, I believe that just offering this service shows that Imad cares about his customers.  I am certain that Moms with a carload of kids would greatly appreciate having gloves since they aren’t always able to go inside and wash their hands.

So – Good job Kelly’s Fuel Mart and thanks for being an Insight Retail Software Scan Data Customer!  We appreciate your business.

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Imad is also participating in InsightRS Scan Data Program that keeps him competitive in his tobacco market.

Tobacco Scan Data Program For

Altria and RJ Reynolds

Your Key To Higher Tobacco Profits

Altria’s PM USA 2017 Retail Leaders Program and RJ Reynolds Scan Data Reporting Program offer incentive money to retailers who submit transaction-level scan data (“Scan Data”) from their Point of Sale on a daily basis. Inclusion in the program also entitles you to offer multi-pack and loyalty discounts.

If you sell cigarettes you need to be on this program!

We help you compete with the big guys.

http://www.insightrs.com/scandataservices

Call Chris Floyd for more information:  518.633.4111 x 108

 

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Congrats to Touch Dynamic – An Awesome InsightRS Vendor

September 6, 2017

We are so happy to see this new facility!  Good Job Guys!  Touch Dynamic All-in-one Terminals are working great for our Tobacco Store installs with our InsightRS Scan Data Service.

Touch Dynamic Headquarters

Irvington, NJ- August 23, 2017 – Touch Dynamic, a leading manufacturer in all-in-one POS systems, small form factor PCs, rugged tablets and POS peripherals, has moved to a new facility in South Plainfield, New Jersey.

Touch Dynamic’s rapid growth has caused the hardware manufacturer to expand beyond the capacity of its location in Irvington, New Jersey. The new space located at 121 Corporate Boulevard in South Plainfield boasts double the amount of warehouse and office space.

The new 36,000 square foot facility also has extra space for visiting sales team members and other personnel when they are working at the facility. Multiple conference rooms are available to accommodate simultaneous team meetings. The new parking lot is triple the size of the lot in Irvington, perfect for hosting guests and Touch Dynamic team growth. Touch Dynamic has also updated its phone system to a new, state-of-the-art communication system and the production floor has been customized with an ESD (Electric Static Discharge) compliant floor.

“This has been an excellent move for the company,” said Craig Paritz, President of Touch Dynamic. “With more production space for product integration, more office space for staff, and in a great location, we will be able to continue to grow and serve the channel as effectively as possible.”

To learn more about Touch Dynamic and its products, visit http://www.touchdynamic.com.

About Touch Dynamic

Founded in August of 2001, Touch Dynamic is an ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturer of all-in-one touch terminals, small form factor PCs, touch screen monitors and mobile POS devices for a variety of industries. We understand the demands on our channel partners and provide unique products and additional value-added services to help them meet the specific needs of their customers. For more information, visit www.touchdynamic.com

Touch Dynamic Website – Click Here

Insight Retail Software Website

 

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And just like that, summer is over.

September 1, 2017

Scan Data for Altria September

Back to school, football season and the wonderful beauty of fall.

So now that vacations and summer travel is over it’s time to sign up for our Scan Data Service.  Give us a call today! Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity for tobacco incentive money.

Call Chris at:  518-633-4111 x 108

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Hurricane Harvey: HOW DISASTERS AFFECT FUEL PRICES

August 31, 2017

Five most devastating storms in recent US History.

5.  Ivan – 2004

4.  Ike – 2008

3.  Andrew – 1992

2.  Sandy – 2012

1.  Katrina – 2005

As Harvey continues its path of destruction it’s certain to make the list above.  We continue to think of our many customers, friends and vendors that are affected by this horrible storm as it now heads to Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee.

Attention IRSI customers:  Insight Retail Software will securely store a copy of your backOffice™ database please let us know.

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This article from NACS online

Higher prices at the pump often lead the public to assume a retailer is price gouging.

 

August 31, 2017

 

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The retail fuel marketplace is the most competitive commodity market in the nation. There are an estimated 150,000 retail fueling facilities in the United States. Of these operations, less than 1% are owned and operated by the major oil companies, and about another 4% are owned by a refining company. The majority—about 95% of stores—are owned by independent companies, whether one-store operators or regional chains. Each of these companies has different strategies and strengths in operations, which can dictate the type of fuel that they buy and how they sell it.

Most of the nation’s fuel retailers purchase their gasoline and diesel supplies from a refiner. As such, these businesses have no influence over the wholesale price established by the refiner and, during a catastrophic event such as a hurricane, these retailers can incur extremely volatile wholesale prices and restricted wholesale availability. Wholesale prices are largely influenced by activity in the commodities trading market, in which traders bid prices up or down based upon actual and anticipated changes in supply availability. During disruptive events, these contracts can vary widely in a very short period of time.

Refiners seek to ensure they have sufficient product to satisfy their contractual obligations when supplies are disrupted. Refiners often will place their branded retailers on allocation, restricting their volume to a certain percentage based upon the previous year’s activity and ensuring the refiner’s product is available throughout their service area. While these branded retailers are likely to have at least some supply guaranteed, they have one supplier for product. The unbranded retailer, meanwhile, who relies on the uncontracted gallon of gasoline, often pays an elevated wholesale price or is completely denied access to supplies. This limitation on supplies for the retail segment as demand remains constant results in increased wholesale prices.

It’s common for retailers to operate daily in a volatile wholesale gasoline marketplace, where costs often change several times a day. Under normal market conditions, retailers may seek to adjust their prices upward in response to increasing wholesale prices to pay for their next delivery. This practice is known as factoring in replacement costs and is a critical element in the pricing decision for many retailers, especially during periods of extreme volatility.

But including replacement costs in retail prices may not always be feasible. But because price-sensitive consumers will switch locations to save a few cents per gallon, retailers will often remain competitive in their fuel pricing strategy, which affects their ability to recover the full cost of wholesale price increases, resulting in reduced margins and, in some cases, net losses at the pump for transactions.

Higher prices at the pump often lead the public to assume a retailer is price gouging. Price gouging is defined by some government entities as the increase in prices or value for goods and services that are higher than the prices ordinarily charged for comparable goods and services at or immediately before the time of a state of emergency. In the wake of natural disasters that affect the U.S. transportation infrastructure, governors may declare a state of emergency and institute a price gouging prohibition.

Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, some members of Congress sought to enact legislation on price gouging that would have punished honest retailers for violating an ambiguous definition of price gouging. The legislation that passed both the House and Senate defined “unconscionably excessive prices” as:

  • Significantly higher than the average price charged by that supplier during the 30-days prior to the emergency;
  • Significantly higher than the competition; and
  • Not attributable to increased costs, including replacement costs.

NACS argued at the time and continues to advise policy makers that the concept of price gouging is very complicated and must be carefully considered. Laws that do not adequately protect the normal operating practices of fuel retailers can have a very damaging effect on the market. Retailers must be given the opportunity to respond to changing market conditions and to recover their costs. For example, laws that prohibit a retailer from increasing fuel prices following the declaration of an emergency yet provide no allowance to adjust prices in response to escalating wholesale prices serve only to penalize retailers who stay open for business to serve their communities and accelerate the exhaustion of already limited supplies.

While Congress did not ultimately enact price-gouging legislation, several states that experience hurricanes and flooding have price-gouging statutes:

Texas
The Office of the Attorney General has authority to prosecute any business that engages in price gouging after a disaster has been declared by the governor. §17.46(b) of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act provides that it is a false, misleading or deceptive act or practice to take advantage of a disaster declared by the Governor under Chapter 418, Government Code, by:

  • Selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price; or
  • Demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine or another necessity.

Louisiana
Once a state of emergency is declared, the price gouging ban is effective during the period specified in the declaration and for an additional period not to exceed 30 days after the declared state of emergency ends, unless expressly extended by the governor (La. R.S. 29:732(B)). Louisiana’s price gouging statute is not to freeze prices. Wholesalers and retailers may increase prices as long as the increase in price charged by the seller is attributable to regional or national market trends and fluctuations, or to reasonable expenses and charges for a business’ risk incurred in obtaining or selling the goods or services during the state of emergency (La. R.S. 29:732(A)).

The state’s price gouging ban covers goods and services necessary for use as a direct result of the state of emergency, such as gasoline or diesel fuel of any grade, hotels, motels and generators.

Florida
According to the Office of the Attorney General, Florida Statute 501.160 states that during a state of emergency, it is unlawful to sell, lease, offer to sell, or offer for lease essential commodities for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price for that commodity during the 30 days before the declaration of the state of emergency, unless the seller can justify the price by showing increases in its prices or market trends. Examples of necessary commodities are food, ice, gas and lumber.

The law compares the reported price of the commodity or service during the state of emergency to the average price charged over the 30-day period prior to the declared state of emergency. If there is a “gross disparity” between the prior price and the current charge, it is considered price gouging.


7 Reasons Why Merchants Want to Change Their POS System

June 13, 2017

Over the past few years, many merchants – regardless of what kind of businesses they operate or how big their companies are – have come to reconsider their previous ways of handling purchases. Many decided to buy point-of-sale devices for the first time, while others were led to think about the ways modern payment technologies may be able to help their businesses take a big leap forward when it comes to security and customer engagement.

To that end, it’s worth thinking about the most common reasons businesses – and smaller ones in particular – may want to adopt or change their POS options these days, as a means of keeping up with changing preferences and security standards. The better they can keep up with industry-recommended best practices for point of sale security and adoption, the better off they’re likely to be going forward.

1) Staying on Top of the Latest Trends

While many managers have at least thought about making the switch to a point-of-sale device that can handle EMV or mobile purchases, some may still be on the fence, according to Digital Transactions. But the fact is, these new purchase types are the way the whole payments ecosystem is now heading, and merchants may need to consider such a move for themselves.

The vast majority of businesses nationwide now accept EMV, and most consumers also have at least one EMV card in their wallets these days. As a consequence, simply having the ability to accept such transactions can be a boon for any business, in addition to providing themselves and their customers with greater security.

2) Navigating Affordability

Many businesses may shy away from payment card processing of all kinds simply because of the cost involved, according to Shopify. For this reason, it may be wise for companies to look at their options for finding POS resellers who can meet their needs both in terms of technology and ongoing costs. This is especially true for first-timers who may not have as much operational knowledge when it comes to dealing with these issues.

In general, when resellers can explain what they do for merchants – and why it costs what it does – in plain language, that can provide a big boost for those getting on board with modern payment processing.

3) They Want to Branch Out 

For many smaller businesses that want to find a new revenue stream, the ease of modern e-commerce provides a crucial option, according to Business News Daily. The good news is that modern POS can meet both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar needs for just about any business, and all it may take is working with a reseller to determine the best path forward. Having the ability to handle both real-world and online transactions through the same POS can go a long way for any small business.

4) Getting Better Data 

Another key benefit of modern POS is that it comes with more tertiary features than ever before, which give merchants the power to collect and harness more information than ever from a single source, Business News Daily added. Now, POS platforms collect all kinds of data on every transaction to help merchants identify areas where they can potentially improve their operations, from managing the supply chain to better catering to evolving consumer preferences in real time. That kind of knowledge can really empower better decision-making for years to come.

5) Saving Time and Impressing Customers Simultaneously 

Another big innovation in point-of-sale technology in the past few years has come for restaurants specifically, according to PointofSale.com. Tableside POS devices are all the rage among chain restaurants, which favor the devices for their ease of use and help in increasing the efficiency of any operation. Now, smaller restaurants are taking the same step because of both that ease of efficiency and people are coming to expect this kind of ease in ordering.

6) Keeping Up with Consumer Expectations 

Indeed, the idea that larger merchants are taking steps to innovate on POS – often because they have the budget to do so somewhat freely – is something that should give reluctant small business owners pause, according to Payments Source. As consumers become more accustomed to ubiquitous next-generation POS technology at the big stores where they shop frequently, it’s vital for smaller competitors to do what they can to keep up. After all, if consumers already expect to be able to pay with EMV – which is a technology that’s still relatively new to them – just about anywhere, the need to keep up with those trends quickly becomes self-evident.

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7) Being Ready for What Comes Next 

Upgrading to modern POS isn’t just a good idea for the present, but also for the future, according to Silicon NYC. Having the ability to upgrade now allows merchants to familiarize themselves with the latest and greatest options in payment processing before the next generation of options arrives. “Skipping” a generation isn’t likely to be a wise move, because merchants could find themselves in the dark about where they should turn, and how best to take that next step.

Focusing on smaller steps to meet ever-evolving needs will be crucial for any merchant as they try to navigate the POS environment today. After all, if the goal is to simultaneously make owners’ lives easier and provide more options for their customers, the wide variety of options now available is just waiting to meet those needs.

 

Article from Sterling Payment Technologies June 2017 Newsletter “The Edge”

 

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MARS, WRIGLEY UNVEIL MORE THAN 30 NEW PRODUCT INNOVATIONS

May 24, 2017

From new Starburst and Snickers to M&M’s and Skittles, iconic candies are getting flavor extensions.

May 24, 2017

​CHICAGO – During this week’s National Confectioners Association (NCA) Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago, Mars Chocolate North America and Wrigley will share a unified vision of driving growth for customers through three key areas: product innovations, effective activations and selling strategies. Taking center stage at the trade show are several new flavor extensions to consumers’ favorite brands, including: Extra Chewy Mints; 5 Gum Mega Packs; M&M’S Caramel Chocolate Candies; M&M’s White Chocolate Candies; Skittles and Starburst Sweet Heat; Snickers & Hazelnut Bar; and Twix Dark Chocolate Cookie Bars.

“This year we’re launching more than 30 new products and packs that offer a range of choices to meet consumer preferences,” said Timothy LeBel, president of sales for Mars Chocolate North America, in a press release. “Our new products deliver on several key industry trends, including focusing on transparency and choice, offering the opportunity to indulge in moderation, and meeting consumers’ desire for fun and functional gum and mints, as well as new formats and flavors in chocolate. We’re tapping into consumer trends and producing surprising twists and experiences from our most popular brands.”

In addition to product innovations, Wrigley and Mars Chocolate will unveil new selling strategies aimed at driving sales for retailers. “We’re looking within and even beyond our category to not only understand what innovations will resonate with consumers, but also to truly understand the way they shop for those products,” said Edward Taylor, vice president of U.S. sales and operations for Wrigley. “Helping our partners maximize opportunities is a top priority for us and to expand on the success of our Transaction Zone Vision program, we’ll be highlighting a variety of new shopper behavior findings from our Path-to-Purchase research at this year’s show, as well as sharing online insights.”

Read NACS Online here


⇒  Are you sick of adding new products?  

Please tell me you aren’t doing this at the register or gas pump controller?

Don’t tie up your POS system with price changes and entering new products.  DO THIS IN YOUR BACKOFFICE SOFTWARE!  backOffice™ from Insight Retail Software makes the time consuming job of price changes and new product additions a breeze.  Your gas pump controller should be used to ring up SALES, not changing prices.
Group price changes and our EDI module will more than pay for your backOffice™ Software.  Give us a call today:  518-633-4112
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Altria / RJR ScanData Service More Important Now Than Ever

November 14, 2016

On November 14, 2016 NACS Online reported that Cigarette Smoking among adults has dropped by 6% in the past 10 years.  The only way for cigarette retailers to stay competitive in this market is to gain revenues from submitting their Scan Data.  These programs not only pay residuals on sales, but also open up new discounts that are only available to those participating in the program.

DON’T LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE!

More importantly, don’t stress about

“HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS”.

Insight Retail Software will do the work for you.  Once you sign up for the program, we do the rest.

Give us a call today to discuss how this program can work for you.  518-633-4111 x 108.

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CIGARETTE SMOKING DECLINES BY 8.6 MILLION

A new CDC report shows the smoking rate among U.S. adults dropped 6% from 2005 to 2015.
November 14, 2016

ATLANTA – Smokers are lighting up less in the United States, NPR reports. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the smoking rate among the adult population dropped from 21% in 2005 to 15% in 2015. The rate declined 1.7 percentage points between 2014 and 2015—a huge decrease, according to the study in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Overall, 8.6 million fewer adults are smoking today than in 2005.

With California approving a $2 per pack cigarette tax last week, health advocates predict even more Americans will kick the habit. “Raising the tobacco tax is probably the single most effective way to reduce smoking, especially among kids,” said Vincent Willmore, vice president for communication at the Center for Tobacco Free Kids.

The new report finds that the West has the lowest smoking rates, even though taxes are higher in other parts of the country. Smoking rates are the highest in the Midwest. More men smoke than women too.

As cigarette smoking has decreased in the United States, vaping has become more popular. Some researchers are considering whether smokers have simply switched to electronic cigarettes rather than given up tobacco altogether. No data supports that claim, however.

NACS Online article found here


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