RBTE 2014: Star Micronics back with a bang!

What makes your business stand out from the crowd? 

With over 30 years’ experience and a dedicated R&D team Star has developed one of the most extensive ranges of PoS printers and accessories designed for a variety of applications, environments and budgets. During 2013 Star has demonstrated its pioneering approach with the launch of more products than any other PoS printer manufacturer to now offer the world’s largest range of mobile PoS solutions from the unique 38cm high ‘All-in-One’ interactive communication platform, the AsuraCPRNT, to the world’s largest range of Apple and Android mobile printers as well as the market’s first iOS Bluetooth desktop receipt printer. Unique mobile accessories, including Star’s WiFi Power Pack and DK-AirCash, which ‘mobilises’ any RJ-11 cash drawer, demonstrate Star’s determination to dominate this market area.

What can we expect to see on your stand at RBTE 2014?

At RBTE 2014 visitors will be able to see and experience first hand Star’s extensive portfolio of Retail Printing Solutions.

What core benefits to retailers do your solutions bring? 

Star understands the needs of retailers and is always one step ahead in terms of developing products that respond to the changing retail environment and especially today’s rapidly evolving MPoS marketplace. Retailers benefit from the very latest technology given Star’s pioneering approach. From its new compact kiosk, AsuraCPRNT, to its position as one of the leading providers of advanced driver and platform support for mobile PoS applications, Star effectively meets changing customer demands with innovative and reliable, yet low cost solutions. Whatever the environment, application or budget, Star has a solution or will use its considerable experience and expertise to tailor a solution to meet a retailer’s exacting requirements.

How does your offering fit in with the requirements of today's multichannel retail business?

In today’s multichannel retail business, technology is the enabler. Retailers need to develop and invest in cost effective, integrated multichannel strategies in order to effectively engage with customers and offer a seamless experience whatever the channel of delivery. Customers want choice, convenience and flexibility and innovative PoS technology in a retail environment can successfully meet these demands from BYOD to the more imaginative fully interactive compact kiosk. 

Star’s extensive range of products meets the requirements of multichannel retailing whether it’s the flexibility of mobile printing or an interactive communication platform to enhance customer engagement. With connectivity key in today’s tablet world Star has demonstrated its continued investment in advanced driver and multi-platform support to allow simple integration of platform-specific applications with Star products.

What reasons were behind your decision to exhibit at RBTE 2014? 

RBTE attracts a wide range of retailers and end users and having had a very successful show in 2013 Star has taken the decision to exhibit in 2014.

Who are your key customers?

Star’s key customers include a wide range of Tier 1, 2 & 3 retailers and hospitality operators from Harrods of Knightsbridge, Selfridges, Hamleys and B&Q in the UK to McDonald’s across Europe.

Sum up your understanding of the key challenges currently facing the community?

The exponential growth of digital has created a new retail environment. With mobile device sales growing and the volume of m-commerce conducted from tablets ever-increasing, there are a growing number of tech-savvy consumers with access to smartphones and tablets. These consumers want content delivered in a way that suits them as individuals and their particular device. They are increasingly demanding stating where and when they want to shop, and in some cases, what they are prepared to pay for a product. 

One of the key challenges today is to respond to and meet the technology needs of the more discerning consumer. Consumers are increasingly expecting to find product information, are ‘showrooming’ and making purchases via their mobile devices. Devices need to sync together with other products allowing consumers to order from one device and check progress of delivery from another. Retailers can drive loyalty and sales via a seamless mobile experience.

What does the store of the future look like with the continuing growth of online and omnichannel?

In-store technology is fundamental to the future success of in-store retailing. As a result, retailers need to embrace a truly omnichannel approach that encompasses personalised multichannel customer communications.

Today, the in-store shopping experience has become less compelling as online and mobile trends shape consumers' mindsets and values. Consumers are ‘showrooming’ as going to the store is still fun but will not necessarily purchase in-store when online is more convenient. The challenge therefore facing retailers is to emulate a customised online shopping experience in a physical retail outlet and close the sale there and then.

Using ‘Big Data’ analysis and real-time content adjustment to customer profile and shopping environment provides a highly-targeted product offering, a collection of customer insights and allows loyalty to be built. Star’s extensive product range in conjunction with the imagination of the system integrator can provide this cost effective solution.

By leveraging data analysis results, personalisation of messages becomes possible not only in-store but also through mobile apps, SMS, emails as well as website content. Driving closer relationships with individual customers at multiple points in store with interactive ads, virtual customer service and special offers can result in greater customer loyalty, a unique shopping experience as well as increased revenue.

With retail space at a premium, maximising valuable store space will be key. Inventory will have to be reduced and endless aisle applications will become essential to allow customers to search the entire catalogue. In-store terminals, such as the Star AsuraCPRNT, can integrate seamlessly into any environment or mobile infrastructure as a stand-alone terminal, server or thin client solution whether at store entry, point-of-sale or shelf edge to run product advertising, retail merchandising and point-of-sale promotions. 

A wealth of applications from queue management solutions to in-store browsing and endless aisle reservation systems, loyalty and coupon redemption and ticket validation are possible. With the ability to drive applications and web content to other digital devices such as smart screens, customers’ smartphones, merchant tablets and store kiosks, such a terminal offers a unique hardware platform for developers to build custom apps to create a complete value-added solution.

To understand more about Star Micronics, visit them on stand 310 at RBTE 2014, which takes place between 11-12 March at London's Earls Court.

Click here for more exhibitor testimonials from last year's show.