Strengthening Customer Relationships through Technology
In Seoul, South Korea, Hyundai Department Stores is a retailing powerhouse with 14 stores and more than $340 million in annual sales. Hyundai serves an upscale clientele and has built a solid reputation for delivering exceptional customer service, which is key to its ongoing success. To maintain this reputation, Hyundai has become an innovator in the use of technology.
Most recently, Hyundai developed a mobile, WiFi POS system powered by SQL Anywhere. The system runs on PDAs, 2,400 of which have been deployed for use by 5,000 store employees. The solution enables sales associates to assist customers from the beginning to the end of the sales process. It helps customers choose merchandise by allowing the associates to check stock and to inform them of options that facilitate up-selling and cross-selling.
The associates can then process transactions (reading product bar codes and scanning credit cards) on the spot, eliminating the need for customers to wait in line at traditional stationary registers. As a result of this one-stop-shopping process and the elimination of wait time, Hyundai customers tend to spend more time in the store and spend more money.
"Our WiFi mobile system facilitates one-stop-shopping because merchandise selection and payment are combined," says Taek Sang Ryu, general manager of Hyundai System Integration Company, Ltd., which deployed the system storewide. "This shortens counter time and gives customers more time to shop. It's quicker, and the customer has a better shopping experience."
Empowering Associates with Mobile Access and Control
Using the mobile POS system powered by SQL Anywhere, associates are able to quickly and conveniently log onto the system to â€œopen the register,â€ from anywhere in the store. They can easily access basic product information to answer customer questions, and process a variety of cash, credit and debit card sales as well as sales involving store credits, gift cards, coupons and foreign currencyâ€"all on the spot, without ever leaving a customerâ€™s side, and thereby jeopardizing a sale.
To further save time and increase customer satisfaction, associates are even able to manage inventory by item, category and shift, stay on top of the latest product discounts, and even "close out the register."
Speed, Security, Synchronization and Significant Benefits
"For this project, we compared the performance of several vendors including Sybase, Oracle and IBM. According to our evaluation, SQL Anywhere Studio was superior in various aspects such as data security and synchronization. SQL Anywhere's strong global market share also contributed to our decision," said Seok-Do Jin, general manager of Hyundai System Integration Company.
Using the new system , customer transactions are completed in 10 seconds. Additionally, customers feel more confident about the security of their personal information as their transactions are processed on the mobile POS devices because they can stand right beside the sales associates while their cards are scanned.
Company executives and store managers also use the system to do real-time analysis and facilitate dynamic merchandising activities. They've found that the application increases both accuracy and efficiency.
The mobile POS system has delivered significant benefits. Hyundai has realized a 40 percent reduction in total POS hardware costs while deploying more mobile WiFi systems compared to traditional stationary POS systems.
"We have also achieved a 30 percent reduction in administrative costs," says Seok-Do Jin, who attributes this achievement to less paperwork, improved sales tracking, applications in desktop, server, mobile and remote office environments.
Looking to the Future: "This is Just the Beginning for Us"
"The reaction from our customers has been very enthusiastic," says Jung Jee Young, marketing manager at Hyundai. "Before, each customer transaction was divided between a salesperson and a cashier. Now it's a one-stop-shopping process."
"Our competitors envy our technology lead in implementing our mobile POS system," adds Ryu. "They're working to catch up with us."
"This is just the beginning for us," he continues. "The system can be used any place where people are moving products. In fact, our system is being integrated by our business partners—including hotels, tour and leisure product suppliers, catering services and highway rest area stops—to enhance their own systems."
With 14 stores selling upscale apparel, fashion goods and accessories, home furnishings and food, Hyundai Department Store Company Ltd. has built a solid reputation for delivering exceptional customer service. That's why, when they needed to deliver a personalized, convenient shopping experience while at the same time reducing administrative costs, increasing employee effectiveness, and improving sales tracking, they turned to Sybase. The solution? A wireless, handheld point-of-sale (POS) system powered by SQL Anywhere that eliminates the need for traditional stationary registers.