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New App Boosts Epicor's Tablet Chops in Retail Setting

By Erika Morphy
Jan 27, 2012 5:00 AM PT

At the National Retail Federation's annual convention, Retail's BIG Show 2012, Epicor debuted its latest mobile offering: the Epicor Retail Clienteling application.

New App Boosts Epicor's Tablet Chops in Retail Setting

Epicor Clienteling Tablet
(click image to enlarge)

It is an add-on for Epicor's existing CRM app, Dave Burton, product director of CRM services, told CRM Buyer -- meaning a retailer has to be an Epicor customer to use it. However, the app comes with a few additional features designed for the tablet form factor.

"The current version we have introduced is optimized specifically for the iPad, but this can run on any tablet," Burton said.

The application is available for customers, although Burton is hesitant to call it "generally" available. The company is looking a few more beta clients before it gives it that label.

A few major retailers, including Burberry, have rolled out the app thus far, he said.

The Closet View

Much of the functionality for the clienteling app translates from the flagship Epicor CRM product as one would expect. A retail clerk in a high-end store -- the expected user of this product -- is able to look up a customer, create a new customer file, or see a customer's purchase history with a few clicks -- or in the case of the tablet -- finger strokes.

"One extra piece we have added that we don't have in the CRM product is something we are calling the 'closet view,'" Burton said. That name changes, though, depending on the user. If it is a store -- such as GNC or the Vitamin Shoppe, for example -- the Epicor sales rep might refer to the feature as the "medicine cabinet." Or, say, "the wine cellar" in a wine-and-cheese shop.

This feature provides a visual view of the items a customer has purchased. It gives the rep -- who is likely using this device on the sales floor with a customer hovering nearby -- an easy reference to that customer's purchase history.

"Sometimes product codes can be vague, and a sales rep might have to look up what it means," said Burton. "This way, he or she can see the product without taking that extra step."

For a high-end clothing boutique, it could be invaluable sales too, he added, allowing the rep to refer quickly back to previous purchases that might match something the customer is considering.

Scheduling Appointments, Customer Data Capture

Other changes have to do with the tablet format. Scheduling appointments cannot be typed in easily from a tablet, especially when on the move. New navigation features were developed for that function.

The device is also well suited for customer data capture, Burton said. "The customer can look over the sales rep's shoulder to make sure the name is spelled correctly for instance -- or for that matter, the sales rep can hand the tablet over to the customer."


Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.


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