Tuesday, 31 May 2022 07:54

    Retailers with omnichannel and innovation strategies are focusing their attention to the mobile as the primary touchpoint. Through the mobile, not only the relationship with customers has higher fidelization potential, but Retailers can deliver services and enable new and customised shopping experience, seamless from online to instore and viceversa.

    Customers are attached to their personal device, but as the latest researches indicated, even if buying online is a growing trend, they do not renounce to the search and selection of products in the store, especially for what concerns the food sector.

    How to combine these two needs and make available the digital experience instore for the customer ?

    Mobile Self Scanning service is the answer.
    Mobile Self-Scanning is the digital shopping process consisting in scanning the barcodes of the products using the device’s camera, and adding them into the digital shopping cart. Even if it could seems just a switch from physical Self-scanning to the mobile, there are several additional advantages for customers and retailer that deserve to be underlined.

    To the benefits related to the introduction of traditional Self-Scanning stations:

    • less queue at the cash desks,
    • increase the value of the average receipt,
    • reduce the time spent inside the shop,

    …there are others arising directly from the personal mobile device:

    • these technologies on mobile version remove the customer’s contact with shared hardware, particular sensitive need in the post-pandemic.
    • By using their mobile customers can get more information about the products, connect shopping lists, obtain discounts and personalized coupons based on their preferences, and even receive alerts regarding ingredients and allergens.
    • Through the use of Mobile Self-Scanning retailers can collect additional data from their customers. In fact, it is possible to integrate the tool with various Mobile features and services, enriching general marketing actions (e.g. awareness, engagement, acquisition and conversion).
    • The introduction of Mobile self-scanning in small stores, where there is not enough space for self check-in and check-out hardware infrastructure, can be the optimal solution for retailers.

    The ways wherewith Retailers decide to redesign the purchasing process in the Self version are in fact diversified according to the spaces, hardware and software infrastructures available.
    The Mobile Self-Scanning can also be provided through a dedicated App or integrated into a brand App that also includes other services, such as the store finder, flyers, loyalty card, rewards catalog, coupons and shopping list.

    Mobile Self-Scanning services can be presented:

    • as Hybrid, integrated with other technologies inside the store. The customer creates and manages his cart with his device but completes the payment operations at the traditional cash desk or self check-out desk;
    • or as totally Digital, where payment is also performed inside the mobile device using a dedicated digital wallet, with high security level.

    The digital form is the most complete and reliable choice for the store of the future. Similarly to the Amazon Go model, it gives a complete opening for the customer loyalty The customer, once inside the store, actives his service with a digital check-in, selects, scans and adds the products; at the end he pays with a few simple taps always using his device, leaving the shop without any interaction with the staff and totally bypassing the code. The customer receives an exit code and his receipt in digital format directly on his mobile. The experience is frictionless and unlike AmazonGo it does not require the introduction of cameras and RFID sensors, therefore much more convenient in terms of investment for the Retailer.

    Looking at the system infrastructure, it is really agile and easy to implement: just a virtual POS is required in the store for both modalities. The server allows the receipt’s registration and keeps track of the shopping activity. Also the promotional data both on single product and on the entire shopping amount is returned and made visibile into the app interface. The same server hosts the typical control algorithm of Self-Scanning for random rereadings. No major investments are required in terms of network infrastructures, it is possible to use the services already present in the stores.

    Recently we have been involved in the implementation of more than one project in large-scale grocery retail chains with some of our main customers both in the hybrid and digital form, which includes digital wallet. The analysis of the first results gives us indications for improving the various steps in terms of user experience, management and control of the receipt.

    The digital transformation of the store with Mobile Self-Scanning follows totally the paradigms of omnichannel and Mobile first. Now is the right time to make this service available for your customers and bring your stores in the next generation. The future is now!

    Click here to contact us

    Tuesday, 08 February 2022 08:40

    Marketing campaigns for chain stores span a range of touchpoints that aren't just online. It is not enough to have an email / sms tool integrated with social media and possibly also with mobile apps. It is not even enough to be able to converge all the various insights into a CRM for customer segmentation and clustering.

    How does all this arrive in a timely manner also to the cash register? How does it connect to the promotional engine for generating, issuing and tracking promotional actions and coupons?

    Marketing managers are now frustrated by the multiplication of single touchpoint management tools and are struggling to keep instore customer activities under control.

    For this reason, over the years we have refined our marketing platform for Retail and we have created a new Campaign Manager within this unified ecosystem that communicates directly with the loyalty system, with the promotional engine and that reaches all contact channels both digital and physical.

    A single tool: Koncentro, within which you have complete control of your retail infrastructure, physical stores, customers, products, promotions and contact channels.

    Three steps for the realization of a marketing campaign (communication and coupoing): 

    • Definition of the ISSUING criteria, where you set in a guided way when, on which channels and to which target you want to direct your action.
    • Definition of the CONTENT details, where you set the type of action, the message, the appearance and all the details that also lead to the generation of coupons.
    • Definition of the FRUITION parameters, where you define when, where and how your customers can complete the marketing action and thus convert into business value.

    All the channels at your disposal can be integrated with your actions and for an omnichannel methodology you do not impose a predefined path to your customers, you leave them the freedom to choose.

    The marketing campaigns in Koncentro allow the implementation of multiple actions that can be of different types, planned and distributed over multiple time intervals and linked on the basis of automation logic and priority criteria.

    In order to further semplify the configuration process, you have a gallery of both campaign templates and preconfigured actions to start from. Save your templates and enrich your gallery so that you can reuse your marketing actions that have performed better.

    When you choose the recipients of your actions, you directly access your loyalty database and you can either select your saved lists but also create dynamic clusters (ClusterByQuery) that self-generate and self-update on the basis of conditions defined by you.

    Are you not sure on the type of action to trigger? Are you not convinced that you have selected the right target? Do you have doubts about the definition of contact channels and distribution priorities? Set your campaign in A / B testing mode and test more than one option, with Koncentro your marketing is data-driven.

    Contact us to schedule a live demo!

  • KWallet: The Retail Mobile App that changes in real time
    Friday, 03 December 2021 08:19

    In the new digital world, the timeliness and consistency of messages along all touchpoints brings back to Retailers customer satisfaction and new business opportunities. 

    Also in the Retail field there are apps and apps: web apps, mobile apps, native or hybrid, all are subject to design principles that respond to the marketing and communication needs of the individual brand. All in some way have the aim to provide services and useful information for the consumer before, during and after the shopping experience.

    However, technologies and development methods differ, and this, if initially is not taken with enough consideration, can cause a lack of timeliness in the updating phases for marketing managers.

    The dilemma between native apps and hybrid apps, where the first are developed for each of the available operating systems (iOS and Android), while the latter are developed directly for both environments, thus requiring compromises related to the physiognomy of the different types of device, has been superseded by the dilemma between web app and non-web app (Mobile App).

    Mobile Apps are those that are made available on mobile stores and the user must install them on their device: the publication process on the stores guarantees greater security, they are faster and have greater functionality thanks to access to system resources.

    However, updating the Mobile Apps is a more complex process to manage, requires the intervention of developers and must still pass through the approval of the stores.

    The web Apps, on the other hand - accessible to users from a specific URL and used via the device's web browser - do not require publication on the stores (AppStore or Google Play) and are managed through a Content Management system that is completely equivalent to that of a normal website. This means  contents can change in real time, in coordination to the marketing initiatives communicated also on the other channels. But on the other hand, web Apps have several cons: first of all security, since they are not screened by the stores; then the impossibility of integrating features that require access to the device system resources  (camera and GPS in particular) and are in general slower and more difficult for the user to find; moreover, they are totally inaccessible offline.

    How can a retailer make a choice between the two options? How to make your mobile channel more dynamic without compromising performance and reliability?

    Simple! By choosing KWallet!

    With KWallet we have kept all the advantages of a Mobile App, integrating the real advantage of web apps: dynamic contents.

    In fact, the new KWallet dashboard is dynamic, content updating is managed through a special console, easy to use, which allows you to update text messages, images and call to action in real time.

    • Once installed, the app is always available to your customers,
    • Once the dynamic sections have been defined, those are under your communication and graphics team control, without going through the developers;
    • Maximum functionality, speed and safety;
    • Availability of key functions even in offline mode: loyalty card, already activated coupons, shopping lists.
    And there is one last fundamental point that we want to highlight:
          • Your app with dynamic dashboard can generate incremental revenue for your business. With the dynamic dashboard, in fact, not only you can decide how to present your messages every day, but you can use the banners of your app as display advertising spaces for the industry and / or for the whole world of programmatic advertising!
          While it is undoubted that omnichannel strategies go through Mobile, the new version of KWallet was designed to act as a real point of contact between customers and the unified retail system of commerce.

          Our customers who have adopted it can no longer stay without it.

        Do you want to know something more?
    Contact us now!
  • Features and benefits of a point of sales designed for omnichannel
    Tuesday, 26 January 2021 09:00

    How to accurately select the digital sales system to optimize the ecosystem of services that the retailer can offer to its customers?

    The digital point of sales, an evolution of the analogue cash register, consists of a series of hardware peripherals (POS, PC or tablet, scanner, printer, cash drawer and pinpad) and software that processes purchase transactions as well as manages the peripherals connected to it.

    The transition from analogue to digital gives retailers a range of opportunities: simplifying operations, ensuring greater control and allowing them to implement an omnichannel customer relationship strategy.

    What are the characteristics that a digital point of sales should have in order to be a useful tool for implementing business strategies and achieving the technological evolution of Retail?

    • A Cloud Architecture to ensure scalability both in terms of the number of locations and in terms of new feature implementations. The cloud also provides a range of benefits related to security and centralized control.
    • Open to integration with new digital services related to loyalty, promotional systems, smart payments and ready for future evolutions.+
    • Natively multilingual, the language can be selected from the profile of each user.
    • Ensure business continuity of sales, even in offline mode.
    • Constant release of upgrades with easy distribution and installation, to stay always up with new regulations and technological advances.
    • Versatility of the system in terms of hardware, which guarantees adaptability to the size of the stores (from single point of sales managed with tablet or smartphone stations, to chain stores that require more complex hardware solutions); versatility of the software in terms of the store concept (food, non-food and mixed).

    There are several aspects to take into consideration when choosing a point of sales and all of them are of great importance for the good performance of sales processes and business growth.

    Konvergence has been developing its KiaraCloud suite for years keeping in mind that these features must be included in the solution developed to create and maintain over time a scalable, flexible and integrated platform that offers retailers a tool that enables omnichannel strategies.

    "We thought about a point of sales that would give the sales clerk a strong freedom of action and the retail manager a complete control, from any web access, for micro and macro data supervision."

    Said Francesco Mignogna, Product Manager at KiaraCloud, and added:

    "In recent years we have integrated KiaraCloud to several loyalty and CRM systems, such as Salesforce and Koncentro, and to many digital and smart payment systems. The almost 2000 Italian installations of the last year have confirmed the development strategy of the solution. The flexibility that we have given to our software allows us to offer a solution to the various needs of the market and users. We are constantly evolving and always ready for change."

    Choosing a digital point of sales influences business growth because it has an impact on marketing strategies, on the quality of services provided and on the work of sales clerk.

    Contact us to learn more.

  • Technological and communicative consistency: the mobile app for retail
    Friday, 08 January 2021 13:00

    In the process that retailers put in place to gain the trust of their customers, the mobile app can certainly be considered the primary supporting channel.

    It is perhaps unnecessary to remember how much the use of mobile has become an integral part of the daily life of all of us. The ease of use of mobile compared to desktop applications has succeeded in bringing users of all age groups to the tool, independently of their level of technical knowledge.
    A research by Osservatorio.net published last March shows that in 2021 smartphones will become the first channel for online purchases, with 51% penetration in the Food&Grocery sector.
    The recommendation when starting a Mobile App project is to consider the entire physical and digital communication context within which the brand presents itself and not to develop an app separately from the rest of the ICT systems.

    In fact, this channel must respect the criterion of consistency and be in total coherence with all the other touch points that the brand displays, both in store and online.

    Consistency is to be achieved from a technological point of view: customer services are digitalized and included within the App that, integrates them into the entire ecosystem as a new front-end, shares the customer's story with all the other tools.
    Technological consistency is strongly connected to the structural choices that the retailer makes for the management of its database. A unified cloud-based platform allows managing, in a stable way, a single view of the customer and in a flexible way the different contact points, in order to map all the possible interaction and purchase journey.

    Consistency is also achieved with a work of graphic and verbal alignment. Colors, icons, ideograms, words and messages that are used in the classic digital or paper flyer, on the website, on displays and totems in stores, must be take up and reinterpreted in a specific key for the mobile tool, within a user experience that is unique for that tool.

    Once the technological and communicative consistency is achieved for everything related to the database and digital services shared with other channels, it is possible to provide a personalized experience to customers with services useful for their purchases shopping lists, product information, prize catalog, coupons and promotions, dematerialized card with account statement and digital receipt.

    Then expand the portfolio with additional features, making the most of those potentialities that, due to the specific characteristics of the mobile medium, make the mobile app a unique and indispensable tool.

    • Geolocation, to guide customers to the store but also, inside the point of sale, to the product.
    • Proximity Marketing, to communicate to your customers when they are near specific purchase areas or perform a specific action.
    • Scanning of barcodes, QR codes and tags for augmented reality, with the smartphone camera.
    • Gamification related to reaching scalable goals and objectives to drive engagement and purchases.

    picNews kwallet 02

    To complete the purchase process, the mobile app is certainly the ideal channel to integrate the digital payment tools that the retailer has enabled on its circuits. Automating the checkout phase is probably the most ambitious process for most brands. Once the customer has established trust and familiarity with the mobile app, a tool that they use and from which they receive benefits, they will look for nothing more than to be able to set up their payment tools there as well. A real digital wallet where not only credit cards but also gift cards and other forms of electronic wallets can be stored.

    Konvergence has developed KWallet, the Mobile App for Retail, modular, customized and integrated within the existing ICT ecosystem.

    Contact us for all the details!

  • Scala Enterprise 12.00 - a lot of new features ready to use!
    Friday, 02 October 2020 15:26

    The Release Features Linux and ARM Platform Support and Significantly Enhanced User Interface

    MALVERN, PA, US—September 23, 2020— Scala today announced the latest release of its flagship digital signage platform, Scala Enterprise version 12.00, featuring five major component upgrades with full support for Linux media players and more than 185 other key product enhancements. Scala, part of the STRATACACHE family of marketing technology companies, provides the tools to create, manage and deploy powerful digital experiences in any environment including retail, quick service restaurants, banking, transportation, gaming, out-of-home media and additional key digital signage markets.

    Highlights of Scala Enterprise 12 include:

    • Linux Playback Engine for both X86 and ARM processors in support of ARM-based devices,
    • Support for the new Scala Designer Cloud, an upcoming advanced web-based composition tool,
    • Updated UI/UX for Content Manager such as new dashboard view for quick status of all digital signage devices,
    • Improved interface for translations across all 17 supported languages,
    • Several key operational improvements for plan generation, inventory building and Python 3 support,
    • A preview of Scala Campaign Manager, an upcoming Scala Enterprise tool which enables digital display ad network monetization,
    • Full support for upcoming new commercial-grade tablets and digital poster-based platforms.

    “Scala has held a long-term, strong position in delivering digital display messaging. The introduction of Scala Enterprise 12 allows our global clients to extend their delivery of digital experiences to embedded ARM devices such as kiosks, tablets and shelf edge displays. This opens up a wide variety of new opportunities to attract and engage audiences for even deeper, personalized consumer activation,” said Joe Sullivan, COO of Scala.

    Enterprise 12 is available at Scala.com/updates for customers under current Scala Maintenance.

  • Compliance with best practices to minimize risk to information security.
    Friday, 18 September 2020 09:39

    Recently Konvergence achieved an important goal with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification.

    This international standard gives guidelines for the creation of an Information Security Management System (ISMS).

    The aim is to implement and organize information security policies by defining a system for the management, monitoring, control of business processes to ensure high levels of confidentiality, integrity and accessibility of information. The field of application is in the core business of Konvergence: design and development of software and related IT services in the retail sector.

    Achieving certification has become a strategic goal for Konvergence to increase the protection and security of managed information and improve corporate governance.

    The certification process, which started in 2019, has involved several professionals with multidisciplinary skills, proactively collaborated in the implementation of the ISMS. The process approach adopted has enabled Konvergence's ISMS to be established, implemented, monitored, reviewed, managed and improved.

    Bureau Veritas, an independent certification organization, has sent auditors to our headquarters to verify the compliance of the procedures implemented.

    Thanks to this certification, Konvergence has developed a conscious focus on information security risks, allowing a clear assignment of responsibilities for information security.

    Konvergence thus continues to consolidate one of its most important assets: security, a decisive advantage for retail operators who entrust their systems to a technology provider.

    Guerino di Giacomo, Head of Development and Projects at Konvergence says: "Undertaking the ISO 27001 certification process has brought several advantages at an organizational level: it has consolidated the global management of risks related to information and systems security, allowed a clear definition and implementation of suitable objectives for security interventions, allowing the constant monitoring of risk areas. In addition, the adoption of best practices delineated by the certification confirms Konvergence's commitment to fulfill its obligations to all stakeholders that daily enter into contracts with our company in order to ensure the necessary levels of security to protect systems, assets and data".

    Konvergence will maintain its commitment to the future by continuously improving processes and practices to protect and manage data.

  • KPay achieves the PA-DSS 3.2 security certification
    Thursday, 09 April 2020 15:19

    Electronic payment transaction security is at the forefront of our development goals. If the speed, flexibility and scalability of our payment platform are relevant features, security is the fundamental principle with which we constantly relate.
    KPay has completed the PA-DSS 3.2 certification process this year.

    What does this mean in terms of security?

    PA stands for Payment Application and DSS Data Security Standard: having this type of certification means having demonstrated that the Payment Application complies with the international standards defined as requirements by the payment security institutions, in this specific case the PCI Standard Security Council.

    The PA-DSS 3.2 certification covers various aspects, from software development methodology, to management and distribution of new software versions and updates, to timely verification of the technical safety requirements of the application.
    Using a PA-DSS 3.2 validated application is a major facilitator for the operator's PCI-DSS certification, who will not have to repeat the checks on the payment application.

    As regards functionality, the validation activity covered the Payment Gateway and on the processors involved in the transactions.

    Specifically, the verifications carried out have shown that the KPay solution:

    • Has been provided with all documentation and resources necessary to reach an accurate assessment of the PA-DSS compliance status.
    • Does not retain track data (magnetic-stripe or equivalent data on the chip), CID, CAV2, CVC2, CVV2 data or PIN data as result of the transaction authorization on any files or functionalities of the application.
    • End-users of the Payment Application receive a validated copy of the PA-DSS Implementation Guide.
    • It complies and will continue to comply with the Vulnerability Handling Procedures document set forth in the Vendor Release Agreement dated 4 October 2019.

    The certification process of a company like ours, which in this case is identified as a Payment Application Vendor, is followed and validated by a third party company, a Payment Application Quality Security Assessor, which is responsible for verifying the veracity of the declarations through a detailed investigation and a series of tests.

    Our Payment Application Qualified Security Assessor is Advantio, a company specialized in consulting, training and testing on cyber-security systems with offices throughout Europe.

    “Advantio announces with satisfaction the successful and timely completion of the validation of the KPay payment application according to the PA-DSS 3.2 standard. In addition, Advantio completed PA-DSS and PCI DSS training for Konvergence, that has demonstrated a continuous learning culture.
    Advantio is proud that Konvergence has chosen our organization as a Trusted Security Partner.

    To get a concrete idea of the solidity of the Kpay platform, in the last year more than 5 billion euros have been managed for electronic payments (credit and debit cards), more than one billion for Food Stamps (paper and electronic) and almost 7 millions Multiservice operations.

    With the renewal of this certification, we formalize our commitment to the development and evolution of the KPay platform, which guarantees retailers secure transactions at all stages of the payment management, authorization and traceability.
    By maintaining a solid level of security at the basis of payment management, we are more confident in implementing new ways of using digital payment services, that are becoming ubiquitous and integrated with the new contact channels.

    Mobile payment, digital wallet and dematerialized services are the new development frontiers that we make available to our customers, without neglecting a solid security base.

    Discover more on KPay.
    For further information contact us.



  • Konvergence is now a Toshiba Commerce Solutions Partner
    Friday, 10 January 2020 16:29

    Toshiba Commerce is a global leader in the retail technologies market and has created a partnership program where companies with diversified capabilities can be in contact, discuss and cooperate with the aim of more widely satisfy retailer's needs.

    This partnership program is called Together Commerce Alliance and makes community between Toshiba, associated ISV (Independent Software Vendors) and associated IHV (Independent Hardware Vendors). The program Together Commerce Alliance includes a set of business and marketing activities, training, products and solutions certifications all focused on the retail market. The organization provides growing and awards with a range of scalable levels based on the company's performance.

    Konvergence became Toshiba Commerce Alliance few years ago and recently has reached first the Gold Partner level and then the Solution Partner level as an ISV.
    Are the software solutions that have been selected by TGCS as cutting edges and innovatives and they are giong to be part of the proposal recommended for the entire Together Commerce Alliance even oveseas.

    The core solutions that TGCS is promoting are strenghts for retailers with customer engagement and loyalty strategies:

    • The Enriched Shopping, includes Digital Signage, Mobile andOmnichannel.
    • The Actionable Insights, for data-driven marketing data-driven enabled by loyalty and promotions systems for a much more personalized customer experience.
    • The Frictionless Checkout, for payment process optimization, fast and smart checkout.
    Konvergence's platforms are perfectly in line with this key points: Mobile Marketing, Marketing Automation and Loyalty, Electronic payments. They come out also from the knowledge and market vision that the Together Commerce Alliance program put at the partners disposal, sharing with them the possibility to better look at the future and follow the best retail market trends.

    Contact us to discover more!


  • Merry Christmas by Konvergence
    Monday, 23 December 2019 12:01

    This year we have chosen to celebrate Christmas with a special gift in favor of the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders projects.
    Our best wishes will be transformed into treatments, assistance and vaccinations for the forgotten populations.
    A small gesture that will give a concrete help to the operators of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders that every day, 365 days a year, provides assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict.

    SMF Eng

    Merry Christmas by Konvergence!