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The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 08, 2010 • Issue 10:03:01

Research Rundown

Understanding grocery shoppers

#dch_According to a survey by the Aberdeen Group - part of a report entitled, The Food Retail Technology Guide: Key Success Factors for 2010 and Beyond - the top business pain points for grocery outlets in 2009 were: increased competition in a tough economy (cited by 76 percent of respondents); rapidly changing shopping preferences (70 percent); escalating costs of operations (61 percent); need for improved sales channel service or product availability (43 percent); and increase in complexity due to multichannel retailing (38 percent).

"Food retailers are beginning to comprehend the need to ensure enterprisewide business process connectivity and technology integration between customer-facing and noncustomer facing functions," the report says. It names POS consumer data capture and multichannel loyalty programs among the solutions that many grocery outlets are beginning to adopt or grasp. In the survey, 86 percent of food retailer respondents cited "improving customer behavior-based promotions" as a top current strategic action to boost sales - by far the most oft-sited strategy.

For more information, go to: resources.aberdeen.com/vault/membership

Boosting B2B profitability

#dch_A survey of more than 2,000 credit professionals by global transaction management company Multi Service Corp. found that "slow pay or delinquencies" was a leading concern for the 2010 business year. But according to a white paper in which the survey's results were included, titled Adapting Your Consumer Payment Program to Commercial Customer Requirements, late business-to-business (B2B) payments are often the result of factors other than customers' inability to pay.

Among them, the paper said, are the use of consumer collections practices that aren't adjusted for targeting commercial customers and the lack of electronic payment processes in a company's commercial payment program.

Regarding the latter problem, the paper cites the use of purchasing cards (p-cards) as a possible solution. P-cards afford businesses certain purchasing controls and reporting options in doing B2B payments.

The white paper also cites a survey conducted by the National Association of Credit Management that indicates most companies have to correct anywhere from zero to 10 percent of their invoices for disputes, corrections and other issues. It states that in business-to-business "the cost differential between handling zero percent of disputes and 10 percent disputes is substantial."

The report further states, "When classifying invoice processes, be sure to separate legitimate disputes from other disputes. If you see dispute numbers creeping above 2 percent, it may suggest that your customers are missing some point of information (P.O. number, authorization number, proof of delivery or price verification) to confirm that the transaction is authorized or has been conducted appropriately.

"By implementing these data points into the transaction process at the point-of-sale, you can avoid unnecessary disputes and improve" your efficiency as well. For more information, visit: www.multiservice.com end of article

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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