The Connected Customer Journey

The digital revolution has raised the bar for retailers. A retailer may offer a smartphone app, same-day delivery, personalised recommendations and, say, mobile payments, but if these capabilities don’t blend seamlessly across multiple channels, the customer experience will be inferior to that offered by a retailer who does some or all of these things well.

In the last decade, consumer behaviours, preferences and expectations have changed beyond all recognition. Retailers must now create consistent, personalised customer experiences by optimising all channels and going to market with an integrated strategy. Doing this successfully requires investment in business solutions that are agile and cohesive.

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To deliver consistent customer experiences, it’s important to…


Today’s customers interact with brands across a range of online and offline touchpoints. They react to in-the-moment views and reviews on social media. They research products on smartphones. They expect immediate access to information, and a personalised service. You have to give it to them or they’ll move on.


Accurate information is vital to effective decision making. A detailed, holistic view of the business is therefore essential to modern CFOs. Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions combined with Microsoft Analytics enables insights that drive better ongoing business performance.


All staff members who interact with a customer by any means need a unified, at-a-glance view of all interactions to date with that customer. Research shows that in growing companies, customer-facing employees are 12% more likely to have seen all the invoices associated with a specific customer than in companies with lower (or negative) growth rates.


To answer customer questions reliably, front-office personnel need consistent data and excellent knowledge of business processes. We found that in growing companies, staff are 54% more likely to be able to track orders than in businesses with less favourable prospects.k3 pic


Most growing businesses are good at building an offline rapport with customers. Yet they must become adept at doing this online, too. Personalised interactions are the key. Offering all customers the same thing makes no sense: they are individuals with different interests, tastes, and requirements. Offering them what they want or need can only be achieved via the application of high-quality customer data.

To find out more visit

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Netwatch – Monitoring solutions for your Retail Premises

Netwatch – Monitoring solutions for your Retail Premises

Since its inception in Carlow in 2003, Netwatch has prevented over 40,000 crimes worldwide. The Netwatch Managed Service option provides customers with a cost effective, accountable, visual monitoring solution for any premises. This utilises the latest technologies, proven across thousands of Netwatch customer sites, including Arboretum Home & Garden, Doyle Hardware Group and Centenary Co-operative Ltd.


– the next generation of Netwatch Technology

Customer needs have evolved over the years, and our in-house R&D department, Netwatch Visual Labs, have ensured our own evolution to service these needs. We are constantly innovating to improve and extend our services; we have expanded our offerings far beyond CCTV. Niall Kelly, Co-founder & CTO of Netwatch commented “It’s not just about video surveillance anymore. Our core service of remote visual monitoring is always a necessity, but retail operations are demanding more internal monitoring resources, Netwatch can now provide these technologies. From people counting to POS CCTV integration, we can support all your monitoring requirements.”



CSO crime statistics indicate that many forms of crime and antisocial behaviour are decreasing. We like to believe that technological advances in remote monitoring are assisting the decline. Unfortunately, there was a 20% increase in kidnapping and related offence. This is a worrying statistic for business owners, especially those who are key holders to premises. Thefts from retail outlets are at their highest level for the past ten years.

Netwatch offers many solutions to assist in counteracting the threats.

  • Our licence plate recognition technology means you can keep track of all vehicles that enter and exit your premises. We can give you access to reports on number of times a certain vehicle has been at your premises. This data can be used for both positive responses e.g. reward best customers as you know they are entering your premises; or negative responses e.g. be made aware of a suspicious vehicle that has been flagged by authorities, or has been loitering in your premises
  • Access Control monitoring takes you out of harm’s way. The Netwatch Communications Hub can remotely manage access in and out of your premises. There is no chance for intimidation or injury, as this is all done from the safety of our Communications Hub. For out of hour’s deliveries or late finishers, Netwatch can liaise with these people and ensure the area is safe.
  • Fire is a very real fear for business owners. The damage can be irreversible. Using our Veritas detection technology, our Fire & Smoke monitoring covers huge areas and will ensure the threat is identified before any damage can be done. This allows for greater information for first responders and can keep you at a safe distance from the threat.
  • Our video data analytics will help you to make informed decisions about your business. Our people counting, visitor mapping and queue control add ons allow you to analyse staff levels, response to marketing initiatives, busiest doors in store or busiest times of day and week.
  • Netwatch provide IT infrastructure monitoring. This is real time monitoring to ensure physical aspects of your IT operation are not compromised. We will be alerted to any unauthorised or unwelcome activity, and detect environmental threats such as moisture or dust.
  • POS CCTV integration allows the business owner to observe and analyse activity at the till location with transaction stamped HD video.


The Netwatch Managed Service

The Netwatch Managed Service is our unique offering. We will eliminate all security worries from your mind, taking care of everything from start to finish. We design, install, monitor, maintain and guarantee your security and monitoring needs, creating a fearless environment for you and your staff.

With the Netwatch Managed Service you get:

  • A clear, fixed daily fee; no capital cost
  • A service proven to be more effective than manned security and passive CCTV combined
  • Complete service delivery including site design, state of the art equipment, installation, monitoring and any on-going servicing
  • Software updates are provided as they become available keeping your security current
  • Peace of mind that your site and equipment are always safe
  • People who have great experience in your industry, we know the risks and combat these


The Netwatch team would be delighted to discuss a bespoke package to suit your business. Contact us now and we will arrange a no obligation site risk assessment.

Contact us on 1890 457 025 or .


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FromMe2You Gift Card announced as a Payments Awards finalist

FromMe2You gift card has been shortlisted for the Marketing Campaign of the Year award 2016 at the Payments Awards taking place in London in October. FromMe2You gift card, issued by Wirecard, gives consumers greater choice with thousands of partner stores and many exclusive spending environments. It is brought to the market by Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) at the request of Irish retailers seeking a fairer deal from multi-store gift cards.

Paula Fogarty, Marketing Manager for FromMe2You Gift Card said: “We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for the Marketing Campaign of the Year award at the Payments Awards 2016. There has been a tremendous amount of support shown by retailers to accept the card and with that backing behind us, consumers are really starting to put their trust in FromMe2You as the gift of choice for any occasion.”

Payments Awards - 2016

The Payments Awards recognise cards and payments excellence and innovation. Winning entries come from those companies, individuals and organisations who have launched and/or implemented the most outstanding payments solutions, initiatives and projects during the past year.

This year’s winners will be announced at the annual Payments Awards Gala Dinner & Ceremony on 20th October 2016 at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.  The event was attended by over four hundred guests in 2015 and this year is set to be bigger than ever.

Find out more: / @PaymentsAwards #PaymentsAwards

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About FromMe2You gift card:
FromMe2You is Ireland’s exciting new multi-store gift card. FromMe2You gives greater choice with thousands of partner stores and many exclusive spending environments. FromMe2You gift card has so much to offer its customers; exclusive retailers such as Smyths Toys, Louis Copeland and Applegreen, a bespoke recognition and rewards platform for corporate clients and so much more.

Find out more:

@FromMe2You_Gift #FromMe2You

Media Enquiries

Please contact;


Tel:   (01) 554 2000

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Retail Management Development Programme Autumn 2016

‘It’s a Big Impact Programme…’

Designed for the development of Retail Managers, Supervisors and Team Members with High Potential!

Over the years, we’ve recognised that many managers just don’t have the time to commit to a two year programme or to spending evenings at home completing assignments – their daily responsibilities just don’t allow them that luxury. So, four years ago, we sat down here in the REI offices and created what has now become one of our most successful training programmes – The Retail Management Development Programme. It is delivered by real retailers to real retailers and we have included some new international speakers (which store managers might not always have access to hear) to present in the Autumn / Winter sessions. It’s a really good time of the year – before the busy Christmas season kicks in – to refresh, re-energise and further educate key people who deliver on a daily basis from the shop floor.

 ‘This programme has had a really remarkable effect on our managers’ confidence, ambition and drive. They are really willing to step up and take initiatives. It has been so practical and so educational. It’s a big impact programme’

Sharen McCabe, Managing Director, McCabes Pharmacy Group


The programme is an exciting and intensive series of four one day workshops delivered during September and October at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Blanchardstown, Dublin. We have developed this programme for retail managers, supervisors and team members with high potential who want to hit the ground running every morning and raise the performance of both their store, their teams and themselves to the next level with the confidence of knowing that they are doing it right.  It offers days filled with new information and opportunities to meet people at the same level, with the same daily problems and the solutions to those problems. No matter what sector you are in, retail is retail and everyone has the same bridges to cross.

Excellent learning – not just from the speakers but also the other managers/owners who attended. Great support to realise that some of the problems I face are also faced daily by others’

The programme is innovative, engaging and the content is designed to challenge conventional thinking.  James Burke will strengthen delegates’ management skills in a broad range of topics, including managing people, finance, time-management and will explain how to plan effectively. The measuring (and understanding) of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will no longer be an on-going worry after hearing David Fitzsimons CEO REI explain how to set them and how to measure them.  Michael Neary (Loss Prevention Manager, Harvey Norman) will cover Loss Prevention, Tommy Smyth will discuss the ever delicate issue of HR, Mathew Brown (Echochamber), Ken Hughes (one of the world’s leading consumer and shopper behaviouralist) Jonathan Bradshaw (Meetology Lab) will all add to the wealth of information being shared over the four days.  Alf Dunbar will deliver his world famous You Are The Difference Customer Service Programme which delegates can bring back to store to train their team members on how to stand out from the competition through the delivery of supreme customer service techniques.

You are the difference

What 2015 participants said about the programme

‘I can’t recommend the course highly enough. It’s given me great motivation and insights. It’s been like a rebirth!’

 ‘It has exceeded my expectations and I have a bounty of new skills and ideas which I began putting into practice from Day1’

‘Great handouts, great speakers – very knowledgeable and motivating. Very practical advice – very inspiring. I am delighted to have participated’

‘Not every session was fully relevant to the role I hold currently yet I have taken information from every one of them which will help to take me to where I want to be’

‘Really good, enjoyed every session. Have lots of solid ideas to work on – great to get out of the daily grind and meet other managers, learn and just have time to think and plan’

Helen O’ Dowd

Head of Learning & Events

Retail Excellence Ireland


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Real World Retail Raises €920,000 Investment to Accelerate Growth

Real World Retail (rwr), the Irish retail analytics start-up, today announced it has closed a €920,000 fundraising round from angel investors and Enterprise Ireland.
Real World Retail (rwr) helps retailers drive more profit and cashflow into their business by using their data to aid decision making. Real World Retail (rwr) has developed an always on Cloud based analytics solution which is already helping retail and pharmacy customers, over 600 stores in Ireland and the UK, deliver better business results.
Retail generates huge amounts of data from a number of different sources. Electronic Point of Sales Systems (EPOS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) head office reporting falls far short of retailers’ needs.

To implement effective Merchandise Planning, Buying, Inventory Control and Promotions, the information needs to be collated and presented back in an easy and actionable way. The results achieved by rwr’s customers since installation have been dramatic. One retailer with 15 stores effectively put over €450,000 back into their bank account through better management of inventory whilst improving Availability.
David Vanns, Director of Operations HI Weldrick Ltd, (a pharmacy chain in England with 61 branches) said, “rwr data analytics is now a business critical tool for us. Weldricks management team are excited about the rwr data available to us in our daily decision making and while nobody can predict the future, companies that use analytics to guide decision making minimise their chances of wasting their time, using up scarce resources and falling behind better-informed competitors.”

Private investment came from Irish and UK customers and other industry experts. Enterprise Ireland provided funding through its High Potential Start Up (HPSU) program.
“We’re thrilled to have such a strong pedigree of investors who believe in our technology and its proven ability to dramatically improve business performance,” said rwr Co-Founder and CEO, Conall Lavery. “Many of the private investors are already customers so their investment is proof that they believe other retailers can benefit from our solution.”
About Real World Retail
Founded in Dublin, Ireland in 2013, Real World Retail (rwr) provides a Decision Support Solutions in the Cloud for retailers with multiple stores based on Data Analytics. At the push of a button users can get the information they need to make informed decisions to control inventory, increase sales/margins and control costs. rwr say, “we put everything that is important at the fingertips of the retailer in an easy, visual and actionable way” and is a service for retailers with a turnover between €2M to €200M.
About Enterprise Ireland
Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. They work in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales on global markets. They are the largest seed capital investor in Ireland and invest directly in start-up companies, while also being limited partners in many of the Irish-based seed and venture capital funds. Enterprise Ireland invests in approximately 95 new High Potential Start-Up companies each year and manages a portfolio of over 800 investments in client companies.

For further information, contact Laura Carey, Marketing Executive, Real World Retail, Unit 8 Fashion City, Dublin D24 EW2P, Ireland e:, t: + 353 1 427 0349.


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Refueling The Gift Card Industry!

Applegreen, the award winning Irish forecourt retailer, have signed up to be the first service stations in the country to accept a third party gift card – FromMe2You.

There are many exclusive retailers that set FromMe2You apart in the gift card market, some of these include  Smyths Toys, Compu b, Avoca, Omniplex, Appleby Jewellers and now Applegreen.

Commenting on the new partnership Applegreen’s chief operating officer Joe Barrett has said:

“We are delighted to kick off our partnership with FromMe2You and to accept their gift cards in our forecourts nationwide and to be the only forecourt retailer to do so. It made perfect sense for us to link up with FromMe2You to open up the doors for our customers to pay the way they want to.

From a business perspective with the Small Benefit Exemption Scheme rising from €250 to €500 and of course the Christmas gifting season not too far away, this was an opportunity we had to take up. We look forward to seeing the partnership grow in the future”.

Speaking on behalf of The Gift Card Company, Managing Director, John Wall has said:
We very much look forward to working with Applegreen. This is a very exciting addition to FromMe2You gift card’s portfolio of retail partners. We are delighted to be able to offer this to our customers. This is a real game changer to the gift card market”.

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For any enquires please contact the FromMe2You customer care team on 1850 911 888 or email

Paula Fogarty

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CBE installs Cashless Self-Checkouts

James Hall & Co. Ltd. has partnered with CBE to install Cashless Self-Checkouts at one of its busy independent SPAR convenience stores. The store at Lancaster University becomes the first SPAR store in the UK and Ireland to install Cashless Self-Checkouts.

James Hall & Co. is a SPAR wholesaler and distributor serving over 580 stores in the North of England and was investigating ways to improve speed of service and reduce queues within their busy sites.

Initially James Hall & Co. updated their point-of-sale software to CBE’s FutaTill solution which brought many benefits to the store operations. However they still needed a solution to reduce the queues in the store and provide additional checkout options without increasing labour costs. CBE, who are an Advanced Solution Provider for NCR, carried out an in-depth site survey in order to identify the stores suitability for Self-Checkout.

Following the survey and a consultation phase with James Hall & Co. management and the store, it was agreed that they install the NCR Cashless Self-Checkout solution which seamlessly integrates to the CBE POS solution already in operation.


“We needed to radically rethink how we wanted the stores to operate”, commented Sheridan Hindle, IT Director at James Hall & Co. “Our customer requirements have changed as they are more technology savvy than ever before. Customers now welcome new innovations and people really dislike queuing. As such, the option of installing the NCR Cashless Self-Checkouts based on CBE’s research filled us with both excitement and apprehension!”

Dominic Feeney, CBE’s Systems Director, stated, “We recently partnered with NCR, the global leader in Retail Self-Checkout, to offer Self-Checkout to the independent retail sectors in Ireland and the UK. It was at this time that James Hall & Co. approached us about ways to reduce their queues and increase speed of service. Our research, both global and national pointed towards Cashless Self-Checkout as being an ideal solution.”

Sheridan Hindle continued, “The owners of SPAR Lancaster University were very enthusiastic about the project. Thankfully it’s been extremely successful with almost 30% of customers using it on a daily basis. It has also more than doubled the credit card usage to 38% of store purchases which we are delighted with. We certainly plan to install more Self-Checkouts in our stores in the coming months and it will undoubtedly become an integral part of our customer offering.”

Contact CBE on 1890 373000 or for further information on their innovative Self-Checkout Solutions.

About CBE:

CBE is a pioneer of retail technology with experience built over three decades. Serving the UK and Irish markets, CBE has a proven track record in developing solutions for retailers to handle the complexities of today’s market within the supermarket, convenience, forecourt and hospitality sectors. To speak with a CBE representative call 1890 373000, email or visit

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