Innovation, the Ibuprofen of retail

For a company that supplies the biggest retail chains in Norway and Sweden with everything from point of sale functionality, via shopkeeping utilities, to reporting and analytics tools in shop and as well as on HQ, innovation is about pain relief. We aim to find new ways to reduce or remove the sore spots in our customers’ processes.

Grocery chains operate on high volume and small margins, and with maybe 1000 stores open at any given time, small improvements make a huge difference on the bottom line. Innovation for retail is therefore a game of the volume of details.

To identify the areas that can yield the most improvement at any given time, we combine our close relationship to our customers with retail know-how and a keen eye on emerging technologies. Together with our customers, we search for steps that can be done differently, and find new solutions to make those steps more efficient. Together with global partners , we then go forward and implement the proposed solutions.

The solution can be a process change, a change in existing software, it can imply new hardware, or a total, integrated concept like electronic shelf labels from ZBD or our new self checkout system. But it will always be a relief of pain.

The search for new ways to a better bottom line for the retail chains run along these two natural axes:

– Where can we reduce costs?

  • What can be done more efficiently?
  • How can we reduce shrink?
  • How can other shops learn from the best ones?
  • How can we reduce turn over and its negative effects?
  • How can fewer cashiers provide the same or better level of customer experience?

– How can we increase sales?

  • How can we help attract more customers?
  • How can we help make customers return?
  • How can we help increase the basket size?
  • How can we help make the selection of items perfect?

The outcome of answering any of these questions is always a more profitable store concept, and the tool is innovation. With the biggest pains reduced, we can focus on relieving the next..

I'm Innovation Manager at Visma Retail, thus responsible for handling our innovation process and follow generated ideas through to implementation and distribution.
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