Want to Increase Holiday Sales? Click and Collect Services Attract the Connected Consumer

by tensator-usa 20. October 2014 16:17

The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article on research firm eMarketer’s Holiday sales predictions. The good news is that they’re estimating that U.S. retail sales will climb 5% in November and December, besting last year’s growth rate of 3.4%. While that is excellent news for brick and mortar retailers -- holiday eCommerce sales are projected to also grow 16.6% to $72.41 billion, ahead of last year’s 15.3% rate. As connected consumers continue to buy both in-store and online -- what is clear is that retailers need to maximize their opportunities across their various channels by offering digital incentives that according to the article, “merge the physical and mobile space.”  

One way to do this is via “Click and Collect,” a rather recent phenomena that has gained traction in the US and is already popular in the UK. “Click and Collect” services allow shoppers to order products online and have them delivered to their local store or to a designated store. Not only does this ease shipping costs for customers and offer an additional option for purchase, but customers can extend their shopping – especially around the holidays by buying other items in the store while there for pickup.

In order to make “Click and Collect” a successful bridge between virtual and in-store shopping – retailers need to be cognizant of delivering a seamless customer journey that is consistent with the ease of purchase online to the in-store pickup experience.  

To maximize the “Collect” experience here are some ideas to consider:

  • Create a clearly designated, attractive area – incorporate interactive digital signage for maximum branding and visual appeal along with colorful media panels to guide and inform customers about your particular “Click and Collect” program.  
  • Arm your staff with inline greeter technology – so from the moment the customer arrives they can be quickly, easily and personally assisted based on their preferences.
  • Since you can expect this to be a busy area in the store – implement virtual queuing technology so customers can shop and be alerted on their mobile phones when their pickup is ready or take a ticket from a touchscreen ticket dispenser.  Display queuing information alongside branding and advertising information by incorporating Corporate TV, multimedia management into an inline dispersed virtual queuing system will keep customers informed and entertained while they wait.  
  • Ensure the checkout line is equitable and clearly designated.  Make the most of the space by using the time your customers have while waiting on line to share exciting offers and promotions via next generation digital signage and by showcasing thoughtful last minute merchandise items for purchase with in-queue merchandising

“Click and Collect” is a great opportunity to improve the overall shopping experience, win your customer’s loyalty and boost Holiday Retail purchases.  If you are ready to set up your “Click and Collect” area but aren’t sure how to get started, contact Tensator’s customer journey specialists today.

Bilingual Tensator Virtual Shopping Consultants Land at Miami International Airport

by tensator-usa 15. October 2014 14:08

MIAMI, FL and BAY SHORE, NY -- October 15, 2014Tensator, the world leader in queue management and customer journey solutions, today announced that the MIA Concessions as part of its Marketing Program has installed two bilingual Tensator Virtual Assistants in Miami International Airport’s (MIA) South Terminal (Concourses H and J), providing passengers with exciting, high-tech virtual shopping consultants and offering a vibrant advertising vehicle for shops and restaurants to effectively reach high net worth consumers: multi-lingual air travelers to Miami.

The MIA Concessions program selected the Tensator Virtual Assistant, with its interactive push button panel, to help capture the attention of passengers so that they can make the most out of the 55,000 square feet of concession locations throughout the two concourses. Unlike traditional signage, the Tensator Virtual Assistant next generation digital signage uses innovative HD projected imaging, surround sound and video technology to create the illusion of a real person and is fully customized to deliver specific messaging, and to showcase products. The MIA Concessions’ Tensator Virtual Assistants, named Leticia, offer passengers on demand information in both Spanish and English about where and what they can eat, and provide shopping ideas, tips and information about products, stores, restaurants and services in the Terminal. 

“Passengers are often overwhelmed with all the activity that typically goes on at the airport and they typically end up wasting  time trying to figure out where they can eat, what services and shops are available or how they can best spend their time,” said Adrian Songer, Chief of Airport Concessions Business Development at Miami International Airport. “The Tensator Virtual Assistant virtual shopping consultants cut through the noise and distractions, capturing people’s attention and holding it. Not only are they seeing and hearing about specific retail, service and dining options in English and Spanish, but they are provided with real-time friendly guidance with real directional cues and offered suggestions on what they can buy and advice on currency exchange and duty free that enable them to make the best use and get the most out of the time they spend in the Terminal.”

“We are extremely pleased that Miami Airport Concessions has chosen our Tensator Virtual Assistants to be their virtual shopping consultants at Miami International Airport, said Louis Ruiz, Business Development Manager, Tensator, Inc. “By working closely together and by exploring the product’s full potential, Tensator delivered a completely customized, personalized, bilingual, high tech digital signage solution that provides passengers with rich media that empowers them to make the absolute most of how they spend their time and money. ” 

To learn more about the Tensator Virtual Assistant please visit www.tensator.com.

TY KU Realizes 600% Uplift in Sales with Tensator Virtual Sommelier

by tensator-usa 25. September 2014 14:01

MONTEREY, CA and NEW YORK, NY - September 24, 2014 Tensator, the world leader in queue management and customer journey solutions, today announced that TY KU, the premier Sake & Spirits company has realized a 600% uplift in sales following the deployment of Tensator’s Virtual Assistant interactive next-generation digital signage at a national retail chain in Monterey, California. 

While wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs have been bowled over with TY KU’s Sake, TY KU wanted to attract a broader consumer audience. Getting consumers to try something new is always challenging - and with dozens of beverages for consumers to choose from, attracting and holding customer attention long enough to get them interested in trying something new and different is hard to achieve using traditional signage.  

Much like having a friend or an expert that people can relate to for trusted recommendations, TY KU was looking for a way to make a direct connection with retail shoppers in a personal, yet professional way to engage, entice and educate prospective buyers about TY KU Sake.

The Tensator Virtual Sommelier

TY KU turned to Tensator’s Virtual Assistant, an innovative HD projected imaging and audio-visual technology that creates the illusion of a real person, capable of delivering customized messaging. Working together with Tensator’s Customer Journey experts, TY KU identified the exact persona they wanted and developed the script they had in mind for a virtual sommelier. TY KU’s Virtual Sommelier was designed to provide a whole array of deep, rich, and of course, highly visual information about TY KU Sake, covering everything a customer would want and need to know about TY KU Sake - from how the sake is prepared, how best to enjoy various different kinds of TY KU Sake and even recommendations on which food pairings are best with which sake, along with the right temperatures to serve them. The Tensator Virtual Sommelier also included messages for health conscious shoppers to let them know that TY KU Sake is all natural, gluten free, sulfite free and has very low acidity - making it the perfect complement to seafood, sushi and lighter, health conscious cuisine.

600% Sales Uplift within two weeks

Before deploying the Tensator Virtual Sommelier, TY KU Sake sales were flat for six straight weeks. After the first week, TY KU saw an incredible 500% increase in sales followed by a second week of 600% lift. 

There is literally no other form of signage that could have achieved the amazing boost in sales that the Tensator Virtual Assistant delivered,” said Adrian Molina, Brand Communications Manager, TY KU. “Its ability to captivate shoppers is unparalleled.  Not only did shoppers stop, look and listen -- they bought TY KU Sake -- providing us with an amazing 600% lift in sales in the first weeks of deployment. We are delighted with the results of our Virtual Sommelier.”

“TY KU turned to Tensator with the idea that by having a Virtual Sommelier they could engage, educate and inform retail shoppers about all the delicious, healthful benefits and options that TY KU Sake extends,” said Keith Carpentier, Senior Business Development Manager, Tensator, Inc.  “In today’s fast paced, noisy world, being able to capture and hold a potential customer’s attention is priceless. We are extremely pleased to have partnered with both TY KU in this innovative deployment which has proven how instrumental and effective the Tensator Virtual Assistant is in driving new sales.” 

To learn more about the Tensator Virtual Assistant please visit www.tensator.com.

Tensator Reports Continued Growth; Expands Next Generation Technology Service Partnership with AST to Support Market Penetration

by tensator-usa 8. September 2014 14:18

BAY SHORE, NY and DAYTON, OH—September 8, 2014Tensator, the world leader in queue management and customer journey solutions, today announced that as a result of the increased adoption of its next generation queue management technology solutions, it has expanded its relationship with Advanced Services Technologies, LLC (AST), a leading Retail Field Service Company. AST has over 3200 technicians throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Hawaii that service Fortune 500 retail companies and high end boutiques.  With this expanded partnership, Tensator continues to build out the service arm for the company; the two companies are currently working together on 11 new, Tier 1 retail and government customer engagements.

AST Support Services for Tensator clients now include:

  • Project roll out, service calls, move add change
  • Staging and Integration
  • New store construction, relocations, remodels
  • Installation, service and ongoing maintenance
  • Structured wiring, low voltage cabling, voice – data
  • Wired / wireless networks, access points, intrusion prevention, CCTV
  • Queue management / Digital Signage
  • Inventory management, depot services

“We are happy to expand our field service partnership agreement with AST to support the growing demand for our product range,” said Bill Vetter, SVP and GM, Tensator, Inc. “AST’s trained field service representatives have always exceeded our customer expectations and we are now available to further maximize our customer’s investments in Tensator’s leading technology solutions - quickly and cost-effectively.”

“This partnership is the perfect fit for Advanced Service Technologies,” said Jerry Abner, President and CEO, Advanced Service Technologies. “Retailers continue their search for ways to increase productivity, cut costs, and increase sales.  When you can supply all 3 in a seamless fashion, you’re really on to something. Tensator’s next- generation digital signage and integration solutions are world class.  We’re excited about working with an organization so quality driven.”  

To learn more about the joint partnership please contact sales@tensator.com.

About Advanced Service Technologies, LLC

Advanced Service Technologies is a leading Retail Field Service Company. Headquartered in the greater Dayton, OH area, Advanced Service Technologies' 50,000 square foot Staging and Integration Facility enables it to offer unprecedented design capabilities, implementation support, and a wide range of technology-based solutions for its clients.  The company’s commitment to flexibility and dedication to innovation provide its professional, highly certified staff the ability to create custom solutions that solve clients' information technology challenges. Clients served include Fortune 500 companies, as well as mid-market clients. AST helps its clients realize their business goals and objectives by simplifying complexities, increasing productivity and reducing costs. For additional information please contact sales@astservice.com.

About Tensator  

Tensator is a recognized leader in the management of the customer journey. The company offers a large range of digital media platforms, electronic and virtual queue management, display and signage products, crowd and access control solutions, in-queue merchandising, self-service systems, and the Tensabarrier®, one of the most respected barrier in the world. Tensator empowers blue chip retailers, international airport terminals, transport providers, financial institutions, major exhibition, leisure and entertainment venues, construction sites, restaurants and hotels to speed customer flow through the queue, improving operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Tensator helps eliminate lost revenues through walk-aways and drives high value impulse sales with its range of queue management solutions. Visit www.tensator.com for more information, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.


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Passenger Journey Innovation Takes Off -- Tensator Crew Heads to ACI-NA Conference and Expo in Atlanta

by tensator-usa 5. September 2014 17:29

Join us at Tensator's Booth #230 this September 7-10 at the ACI-NA Conference and Expo in Atlanta.Our "flight crew" will be on hand to answer all your questions about how our proven queue management solutions -- from interactive next generation digital signage to cutting edge queueing innovations -- can help you significantly increase passenger journey satisfaction/safety and realize greater efficiencies.

Recognized by Fast Company as one of "The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Travel"-Tensator solutions are deployed in leading shops, airlines and airports around the world -- from Heathrow, Dubai International, Frankfurt  to Boston Logan Airport and many more. We earned our trusted reputation for the valuable role our Tensator Virtual Assistants have taken on at airports -- speaking in multiple languages, answering passengers' questions about security, flight and gate locations, and providing overall airport navigation -- even offering new product information - round the clock - freeing up airline staff and security teams, as well as retail staff to focus on critical and important responsibilities.

Come learn how we can help you:

  • Increase Communication and Advertising Channels - Tensator helps direct passengers efficiently through airports via our next generation digital signage and interactive way finding/guidance systems; we optimize communication of both security information procedures and promotional messaging. Where time is of the essence -- we help ensure passengers make the most out of the time they have to shop at airport retail outlets with efficient queue management and virtual queuing systems to help airport retailers increase their revenue streams.
  • Speed Passenger Journey Times and Increase Satisfaction levels - Tensator’s products are proven to speed queue flow and maximize efficiencies at ticket offices, check-in, security screening & immigration areas within airports, which in turn reduces passenger waiting time, frustration and anxieties.
  • Protect Passengers - Tensator ensures that the passenger journey can be safely managed with cost-effective 'Access Control' solutions, whether at the terminal or in airport retail and service areas.

If we are already working together -- come and say hi!  If we aren't yet, we'd love to meet you!

To arrange an onsite meeting at the show - please contact ingrid.principe@tensator.com


Show rooming reversed: shoppers choose brick-and-mortar retail experience

by tensator-usa 4. September 2014 18:27

A recent report from BI Intelligence has found that retailers have discovered "reverse showrooming," or "webrooming," where consumers research products online, but then head to a brick-and-mortar store to make their purchase.  In the U.S., 69% of people reverse showroom, while 46% showroom, according to a Harris poll. And it's not just the younger consumers, millennials are also reverse showrooming for everything ranging from electronics, shoes, sports equipment to cosmetics.

Chain Store Age reported that almost one-in-three (31%) of U.S. consumers say wanting to see/feel items in person would make them shop at a physical store instead of online. And while this survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers noted different reasons for consumers opting to make in-person purchases, (29.9% wanted items immediately, 16.9% believe it protects their privacy, 14.4% shop in-store to save on shipping costs and 6.5% want to ensure easier/cheaper returns) retailers need to capitalize on this trend.   

The BI report goes on to say that only recently have traditional retailers begun to take advantage of the opportunity that reverse showrooming extends – making sure they have knowledgeable sales staff, in-store pick-up of online orders, in-store Wi-Fi, and smartphone discounts to help convert showroomers to buy in-store. They’re also using new technologies for a better, more connected  in-store experience. 

This is a trend we at Tensator have definitely seen on the rise – with shopping centers and brands leveraging the Tensator Virtual Assistant next generation digital signage solution to engage, inform and entertain shoppers while also offering them promotions and discounts:

Equally important is having customers be able to help themselves with self-service solutions and have a smooth checkout process – from virtual queuing, call forward queue management to tablet armed staff who can address customer preferences with an inline greeter solution.

As noted in the report -- retailers are beginning to think of themselves less as purveyors of goods, and more as all-around consumer resources. Talk to a Tensator customer journey expert to learn more about how we can help you maximize reverse showrooming. 

Major League Baseball: Does Increased Security Have to Mean Longer Lines?

by tensator-usa 14. August 2014 19:52

Major League Baseball is implementing metal detectors at all its parks, so every team will have enhanced security in place by the 2015 season. 

Some big league parks, like the Angels, have already starting testing or implementing security screening already that has fans feeling like they are going through an airport. And with the increased security, some parks are experiencing longer lines. Longer lines as everyone knows, can lead to frustration - especially as last minute arriving fans try and make it to the opening inning.  

To help combat the crowds, the lines and the heightened inevitable frustration, MLB parks can take a tip from airport security by making sure they have the highest quality heavy duty barricades and barriers, like the world renown Tensabarrier®, on hand to help provide dependable and trustworthy crowd control and fan guidance at entry and exit points, as well as all concession stands. Clear signage and call forward queue management software can also help set fan expectations, enabling them to know exactly when and where they will be assisted, while also empowering parks with real-time knowledge to ensure staffing support meets fan volume and needs.  

Taking another page out of airport security, MLB parks can also leverage next generation digital signage such as  the multilingual Tensator Virtual Assistant. The Tensator Virtual Assistant uses cutting edge technology to project an image and create the illusion of a real person – such as security staff, park executives or celebrity athletes, who provide guidance and value-added information to fans. The Tensator Virtual Assistant is proven to help move lines quickly and efficiently by providing captivating audio visual instructions - security related information – what to bring, what not to bring, size of bag/s allowed etc… It can even keep fans entertained and engaged by sharing MLB game and scheduling info, show highlight videos and provide interactive special offers to help fans get all the info they need and want to know.

Today, security is more critical than ever at any event where crowds gather; Tensator queue management experts are on hand to share their expertise on how to help keep fans safe, informed and entertained while helping reduce lines and frustration.

Tensator Celebrates the 24th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

by tensator-usa 11. August 2014 18:33

Just this past month, the United States celebrated the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This landmark law significantly improved American society for people with disabilities by prohibiting discrimination towards those with disabilities, and guaranteeing equal opportunities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. The ADA also provides for making sure that people with disabilities have the same capabilities to access the places and items they need to be able to reach – helping blind and visually impaired users and people who use wheelchairs better navigate their world.

Whether you are a school, bank, event venue or transportation hub -- Tensator’s guidance solutions can help ensure Path of Travel Accessibility requirements are code and American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. Tensator’s TensaGuide Advance Dual Line and Heavy Duty Dual Line stanchions help physically challenged people move safely through their environment and our wide selection of signs and accessories will help ensure you have adequate signage wherever needed.

Providing safe passage and clear guidance is not only critical to meeting the code and preventing expensive litigation – it’s a subject near and dear to Tensator’s heart – having been the leader in the queue management space - guiding people safely and intelligently on their journeys for over 130 years. 

Talk to a Tensator Safety Expert and ask about our special ADA discount as we celebrate the 24th Anniversary of this landmark law.

Back To School Retail Survival Guide – Tips for Increasing Profits and Store Loyalty

by tensator-usa 29. July 2014 15:48

The Back To School (BTS) and Back To College (BTC) shopping season is upon us. Second only to the Holiday season, BTS and BTC shopping offers retailers a great opportunity to increase their profits and their reputation of being the "go to" source for all things back to school or college. All too often however, retailers don’t order enough or the right kind of supplies, price them wisely or worse, fail to keep the items stocked and displayed attractively and logically.   

According to a recent USAToday article, back-to-school shopping is no longer a frenzied one-day spending spree. Families are spending more, but they are doing so over a longer period of time as they search for the best deals. This means repeat business and could lead to additional spending provided they have a great experience the first time.  

Families are expected to spend $670 on average on back-to-school shopping, up 5% from last year, according to the latest data from the National Retail Federation. That includes spending on school supplies, clothes and electronics. With cost conscious parents and students, and lots of in-store and online options to choose from, retailers need to make their in-store experience is one that consumers will rave about to their friends and families and return to, for additional shopping.  

Here are some easy to implement in-store retail tips to help shoppers successfully score all their BTS/BTC supplies:

  • Designate a BTS/BTC space in your store and make sure you have bold and exciting signage that helps shoppers find what they need and helps create excitement as they visualize using or wearing new products.
  • If you plan on demoing new technology, branded solutions or you are promoting celebrity, sport teams/campus themed items – consider investing in Tensator’s Virtual Assistant next generation digital signage solution with the industry’s smallest footprint and watch the items fly off the shelves!
  • Make sure you stay on top of how merchandise is displayed; shelving should be accessible (items shouldn’t be placed too high or too low) and the right kind of items should be placed on the shelves so there is a logical flow to the display (see related Chain Store Age article on "Impulse Merchandising - and Why Selling a Toaster on the Checkout Line Won't Fly").
  • Make the best possible use of every square inch of retail space and use in-queue merchandising and impulse towers for point of sale must haves – from hygiene, safety, dorm or locker room items.
  • Ensure your checkout line is clearly defined using Tensabarriers®to help efficiently guide your customers on their way.

Creating a visually appealing, well stocked, and a service first in-store experience this BTS/BTC season will help increase your profits and ensure your customers return again and again. To explore any or all of these tips further please contact our customer journey specialists

In-Store vs. Online Shopping Experience Survey

by tensator-usa 14. July 2014 15:56

Do retailers need to up their game to avoid continual losses to online rivals?

Consumers have more choices than ever before on how to shop. Armed with their mobile devices they have instant access to pricing and availability information; they can even choose Click and Collect to pick up items shipped to store or have them shipped direct to home. How does all this impact the in-store experience?

Will Webrooming, the practice of researching items online and then purchasing them in-store or Showrooming, browsing for items in a store and purchasing them online later, win the consumer heart? Are shoppers willing to wait in line or prefer going online? Is there a sustainable business model for both, and are there any crossovers?

Take a moment to fill out our in-store vs. online shopping survey and let us know what you think about the latest trends and factors impacting the shopping experience.


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