Futura Retail Solutions is a leading point of sale technology company founded in Hamburg, Germany. Some 40 years later Futura now powers over 35,000 different retail sites in 27 countries around the world, with an ever-increasing footprint in Australia. Part of Futura Australia’s growth is credited to its diversity of native integration tools. There are six such tools that can act as a turnkey for your POS system: Givex Giftcard, Givex Loyalty, Afterpay, ZipMoney, AliPay and WeChat Pay.
Givex Giftcard offer physical gift cards, E-gift cards and mobile wallets within their gift card system. With the proven experience of more than 300,000 installations worldwide, Givex provides multi-lingual support, translated user interfaces, and dynamic currency conversion. Gift cards can be set up to be sold as corporate incentives and sold through third parties such as supermarkets. While GiveXpress allows you to create a gift card online and receive what you need for a gift card program in a few weeks.
Givex Loyalty allows for custom design or improvement on an existing loyalty system. Either way, they have spend based and frequency packaged programs that work in real-time. A loyalty website can be set up at the same time with only brand colours, logo and images needed to be provided, the rest is done by Givex. A range of reward types are also available including points + promo code, points conversion to local currency, charity, action and lucky winner.
Afterpay is one of Australia’s fastest growing payment providers taking the retail market by storm. With over 1 million retail customers, Afterpay is an option that can be used at checkout and it is quick and easy to get approved instantly as a customer. Afterpay pays for the customer, while the customer pays back the purchase interest free in four equal installments, due every two weeks. Late fees apply.
ZipMoney offers a similar tool to Afterpay, and through their innovative e-wallet you can purchase things such as larger white goods items worth up to $10,000, without the pain & hassle of paying for it all up-front. The differences include that you set up a weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayment schedule. Payments can also be made additionally at any time, but a $6 monthly fee applies for each month a balance is still owing. ZipPay is always interest free and limited to $1,000, while ZipMoney is for above that amount with a guaranteed 3 months interest free, and up to 36 months through some retailers.
AliPay is currently China’s largest payment provider with over 400 million active users, and it is increasingly being seen in the Australian retail landscape. It is largely centred around the AliPay app for smartphones and the website, which has four key features: it allows for retailers to set up online stores within it; it allows for retailers to targets users through a range of promotion methods; it is a secure payment product that can meet different business needs, through scanning barcodes, QR codes, and is available in 25 currencies; it gives the retailer a clear overview of their business data to understand habits and preferences of AliPay users, while showing indicators for what could be done to improve reputation and get more customers.
China’s second largest payment provider is WeChat Pay, and they now have 500,000 active users in Australia. WeChat Pay is a payment model similar to AliPay, in which it is integrated into the WeChat app. WeChat Pay offers Quick Pay, QR Code Payment, In-App Web-based Payment and In-App Payment. Major currencies are supported, and when a Chinese buyer purchases abroad, a spot exchange rate is used to convert the foreign currency into CNY. The WeChat app enables people, services, and businesses to connect not only in China, but around the world.
If you want a POS system that does more than just the transaction and comes with native integration tools that increase the bottom-line of your retail business, Futura is the right choice.
An Interview with Shannon Cooney - General Manager of Mr Vitamins/ Business Development Manager at iRetail
Q: What was your first job in retail?
Shannon: In a previous role, I was Detective within the New South Wales Police Force for twelve and a half years. From there I had a strong interest in risk mitigation and solutions to profit loss. I had acquired this skill-set while being a police officer and saw an opportunity at MYER and began my retail career in the profit loss and risk management department. While acquiring a Diploma in Security and Risk management.
Q: After your career at MYER you went on to work at Sanity (Australia's largest music store chain). How did Sanity adapt to increased competition and scepticism in the survival of the music industry?
Shannon: By 2005, Sanity Music was at maximum capacity, we had acquired Virgin Music and iMV Music to make Sanity the leader in music and DVD retail around the country. We had a significant number of stores, but we had to re-work our business model to change with the consumer. Ray Itaoui (Executive Director at Sanity) led a monumental change by transitioning Sanity towards a regional focus instead of densely populated cities. The result? Sanity today have over 160 stores and the last years were some of the most profitable. Customers still love the tangible product and shopping experience.
Q. What are the growing trends in the retail music industry?
Shannon: Theft. External and internal theft is on the rise, and retailers are starting to wise up to the fact that they need to have systems to minimize the down-side of theft. At Sanity we used to have a really high level of theft. One time there was a group of young men who would come into the store and steal the cases of the CD's and then use them to sell 'pirated' CD's at the local markets on the weekend. The earlier you identify the problem, the quicker you can solve it. There a re a number of local and international music artists that continue to make great music across numerous genre's that are embraced by the Australian music community.
Q:You now work as an Advisor at iRetail, quite a diverse group of retailers, what does your day-to-day look like?
Shannon: In my view, working for one of Australia's best retailers - Ray Itaoui, I'm exposed to limitless opportunities. Recently we opened Bras N Things in South Africa, my main role is to advise on the cultural differences, human resources, finance and warehousing so the expansion can be an effective one. One of our newest retailers to iRetail is Rituals which we acquired from Europe to bring down-under. I advise on the warehousing, supply chain and online. And I am always meeting with new retailers. I strongly believe that retail is its own university.
ABN: 74 096 999 763
The Futura group of companies began in Hamburg in 1975, when Futura directors began working with one of Europe's largest fashion retailers to create their merchandise control system. The key components of this system were then programmed into Futura as a complete enterprise retail system (ERS). Since then more than 35,000 installations have occurred across the globe.
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