A deep dive into our partners
The road to retail success is full of twists and turns. Constantly changing shopping trends keep businesses moving forward into new, uncharted regions that can leave even the savviest business owners struggling to catch up. For retailers with multiple online sales channels and brick-and-mortar stores, establishing a strong unified commerce business model and finding helpful, reliable partners along the way can help make that road to success a smooth, exciting, and profitable journey.
In this post we will take a deep dive into Retail Dimensions’ POS and ecommerce platform partners to provide a guide for retailers who want to connect all their sales channels and create a unified commerce business model. We will introduce and explore the history of each company and detail the unique qualities that make them valuable partners for today’s retailers. We will also discuss how a highly customized integration tool, like Retail Dimensions’ RD-Ice, creates a seamless omnichannel experience for shoppers through secure connections between the most popular POS and ecommerce systems.
POINT OF SALE SYSTEMS
1. Retail Pro
As a global leader of retail management software, Retail Pro International (RPI) has established a strong, 30-year reputation for providing highly functional and extremely flexible POS software. RPI’s solutions enable retailers to streamline their business processes and save time and money with international capabilities for more than 130 countries. They have five international offices and more than ninety operational offices on six continents that support retailers in over one hundred countries.
Why Retail Pro
Retail Pro’s universal popularity is rooted in its ability to be flexible enough to accommodate every retailer’s unique needs. It’s a full-service software that provides a range of tools for small businesses, chain stores, and global enterprise, including POS processing, inventory management, operations, employee and vendor records, and customer management all in one platform. The system can be used on traditional in-store hardware, mobile devices, and with ecommerce platforms and is available on iOS, Android, and Windows, and RPI provides training to get the retailer off the ground and running once the software is installed.
The Retail Dimensions, Retail Pro Partnership
Since 2003, Retail Dimensions and RPI have taken a collaborative approach to capitalize on our shared expertise, in-depth retail knowledge, and the development of flexible integration projects to meet the unique needs of retailers.
As a charter member of the RPI Certified Development Partner Program and a Strategic Alliance Partner, we have built integrations for over 1,200 RPI clients in more than twenty countries. Our specially trained staff provides the required analysis to ensure all systems properly interface with their data processes to leverage their point of sale infrastructure so the retailer can sell on any device with a fully branded, mobile-ready storefront on top ecommerce platforms, including Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, eBay, and Amazon.
Moving Forward into a Global Market
Retail Pro has built onto their existing operations in response to the sudden need for ecommerce development and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their signature POS software program, Retail Pro Prism, allows retailers to offer curbside service and contactless shopping options.
Due to its reputation as a POS software that can be adjusted to work with systems across the world, Retail Pro continues to grow as an international retail software provider. Recently, they’ve expanded their reach to businesses in Indonesia.
Retail Pro is creating augmented reality (AR) to allow customers the option of “trying on” clothing by uploading a photo of themselves to a dressing room widget. It is just one example of the way Retail Pro innovates through the lens of a consumer.
Retail Pro Continues to Innovate
Retail Pro has gained its traction with retailers by providing a flexible software program and adopting new technologies early in development. Retail Dimensions’ team of certified experts have worked closely with RPI to improve operational efficiency with an integration tool that can address complex requirements and manage the entire fulfilment process, despite the many complex integration challenges facing the data transfer process.
Retail Pro’s philosophy of advancing POS technology and their dedication to leaving avenues open to include important operating tools, such as Retail Dimensions’ RDI-Ice integration tool, provides retailers with a pathway to build a unified commerce business model that is better streamlined to be more efficient and reliable for the retailer.
2. NCR Counterpoint
Since 1884, NCR Counterpoint has served the retail industry as a leader in seeking out and developing new technologies. They were the first to manufacture and sell mechanical cash registers and, today, they produce self-service kiosks, automated teller machines, check processing systems, barcode scanners, and point-of-sale terminals.
NCR’s POS software package includes robust inventory management data processing, touchscreen point-of-sale terminals, built-in customer loyalty capabilities, automated purchasing, barcode label generation, and configurable inventory and sales reporting capabilities. It tabulates custom taxes, processes orders, validates returns, and tracks loyalty programs.
The NCR Counterpoint Customer
Throughout its long history, NCR Counterpoint has gained a reputation as a software provider who thinks like a retailer. Their innovative approach to developing new technologies that work with major ecommerce platform providers, like Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Amazon, keeps retailers of all sizes at the forefront of the digital age.
The Retail Dimensions NCR Counterpoint Relationship
Retail Dimensions has been an NCR Counterpoint preferred provider since 2008. We work with North and Latin American retailers to provide seamlessly blended POS ecommerce integrations that fit each retailers’ unique requirements and empower NCR’s capabilities.
Our integration tool, RD-Ice, is built natively on NCR Counterpoint’s POS software. By doing this, we leverage the infrastructure to sell online and provide immediate updates from the retailer’s website to Counterpoint’s POS software. This allows retailers to download orders, make catalog changes, update customer data, and send returns, order status updates, and customer information back to the website.
Diving into Digital Banking
NCR recently acquired several technology companies in a push to expand their product line. These included Radient System’s Aloha POS and the software and service provider Retalix. In 2011, NCR Counterpoint unveiled the world’s first hybrid laser and imaging bi-optic scanner for retail and introduced a new model of service delivery, called Predictive Services, that fixes assisted and self-service devices prior to system failure.
In February 2021, NCR acquired Terafina, the digital account and omnichannel sales platform for banks and credit unions and added Digital Insight Corporation to their roster to assist in developing their own banking feature, called Digital First Banking Platform. This increases the number of products included in NCR’s onboarding experience and enables financial institutions to build stronger customer relationships. NCR recently announced they have partnered with OnPath Federal Credit Union Partners and expanded their long-established relationship with Redstone Federal Credit Union to leverage their platform to deliver a digital banking experience that will consistently yield strong adoption rates and top App Store ratings.
Retail Dimensions and NCR Counterpoint
Retail Dimensions has worked with NCR throughout our long history to ensure our integration tool advances alongside their new product offerings.
Our team is provided with the necessary information and training to spot opportunities to improve and grow with NCR’s products. With each integration, we review their expanding product line to devise the best solution for the specific needs of the retailer. This allows us to offer more options for retailers, while ensuring the integration tool remains fully functional while syncing data and automating fulfillment and backend activities despite the introduction of new technologies. Retailers receive full control over product data, descriptions and photos and can sync customer information from the website with the POS software to offer loyalty and gift card incentives and provide delivery or curbside pickup options to their customers.
3. Smyth Retail
Smyth Retail Systems Inc., located in Alliance, OH, is focused on helping their clients simplify their work and increase their profits through better software solutions. They build relationships based on a shared partnership that encourages their clients to challenge them so they can develop solutions that assure mutual growth.
Smyth’s humble beginnings started by selling simple paper ledgers to retailers in 1933. By 1949 they were manufacturing cash registers, and a decade later they introduced automated data processing. In 1981, they developed the first in-house micro-computer platform for multi-user, multi-tasking systems designed for small to medium sized companies. Today, Smyth Retail offers Merchant Plus!, a software suite based on open system technologies and real-time, relational database.
The Smyth Retail Customer
Smyth Retail’s client list has grown with their company and now includes names such as The Limited, Ames Department Stores, and J.J. Newberry, and Acme Grocery stores. Due to Smyth’s on-going tech support, many retailers who purchased their POS software years ago are now running the most modern version of Merchant Plus!
They are focused on working with Retail Dimensions to adopt valuable new technologies that are designed to provide solutions, prevent breaks in the retailer’s working system, and are highly adaptable to other connected systems, such as our RD-Ice integration tool.
The Smyth Retail Journey
Smyth Retail offers a true open system software that lets the retailer take the lead in deciding how their software works. They own their data and choose their own networking, hardware, and bank card processing partners to streamline their data transfer. Their software includes store management tools for better efficiency and employee and customer management, allowing retailers to increase profits through superior customer service, targeted promotions, loyalty programs, etc., and their integrated accounting feature assures accuracy and speedy delivery of information across the entire business.
On-site installation and training webinars make it easy to train. Post installment training is available in documentation and unlimited toll-free phone and email consultations to ensure the retailer can effectively utilize the software.
The analytics feature in Merchant Plus!
Merchant Plus!, Smyth’s signature software, includes ShopperTrak©. This analytical tool combines data from sales, labor, and traffic to help monitor conversion rates and pinpoint opportunities to cut expenses and increase profits. Evaluate response rates, promotional events, and staff scheduling data to compare a store’s performance to similar stores in the area to better understand the competitive conditions.
Data from ShopperTrak is recorded in real time and delivered immediately to all stores and remote locations across the entire business. The information is date driven for flexible accounting periods and transaction details are archived. Product availability and pricing data is published and updated each time activity occurs. Perhaps most importantly, when products are no longer available, they are removed from the site.
Retail Dimensions and Smyth Retail
Retail Dimensions has been a Smyth Retail preferred ecommerce integration partner since 2015, providing integration services for their North American independent specialty boutique retailers.
Smyth Retail and Retail Dimensions work together to achieve the best results within a highly efficient ecommerce synchronization process. We connect the Merchant Plus! infrastructure with RD-Ice to enable POS ecommerce retailers to sell online and at their physical store under one unified system. Our two teams bring expertise, in-depth retail knowledge, and a thorough collaborative approach retailers of all sizes have come to rely upon to grow their business.
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, BigCommerce makes it their mission to help merchants sell more at every stage of growth. Their goal to “build, innovate, and grow” embraces the theory that an ecommerce business must have the ability to shift and adjust to meet the changing market demands in a virtual environment.
With a broad range of clients spanning multiple sectors and backed up by their clients’ history of high-volume sales, they’ve more than proven their ability to create systems that will easily adjust as the market demands.
The BigCommerce Solution
Retailers of all sizes choose BigCommerce to host their ecommerce platform because they are able to bring on new technologies while still supporting the ones already in place. They offer complete storefront design, search engine optimization and conversion tools, such as digital wallets. Their engineers have developed headless commerce to allow retailers to work in Wordpress to design and manage their online storefront with cross-channel commerce, and core commerce solutions. It is an open platform with application programming interfaces (API) that drive reliable and secure commerce, and their expertise extends into post implementation support and documentation.
The BigCommerce, Retail Dimensions Relationship
Retail Dimensions was the first integration service provider to work with BigCommerce and our collaboration has allowed us to customize better solutions and streamline integrations more effectively for our clients. They design advanced features and provide resources to make the integration tool deliver better results so that our clients will have the traction they need to gain momentum in an increasingly competitive online marketplace. Our partnership’s record of success has elevated Retail Dimensions to be their only Certified Integration Service Provider.
The Future of Online Retail Platforms with BigCommerce
BigCommerce was recently named a leader in ecommerce technology in the article “Worldwide Headless Digital Commerce Applications 2020-2021 Vendor Assessment” (IDC MarketScape). The report evaluated eleven headless digital commerce platforms based on their ability to provide that technology or API-first experiences that satisfy both B2C and B2B commerce requirements.
“Consider BigCommerce if you are a fast-growing, experience-driven brand looking for a multi tenant SaaS headless digital commerce platform” and “if your organization is primarily focused on differentiating with business agility and a fast time to market with a platform that is very business user-friendly.”Jordan Jewell, research manager of IDC’s Digital Commerce program
BigCommerce’s Partnership with Retail Dimensions Clients
The RD-Ice integration tools developed by Retail Dimensions for BigCommerce retailers were created in collaboration with their team of engineers. Together, we create a connected system that empowers our shared clients with out of the box thinking that addresses both the online and traditional needs of a retail business, as well as the individual needs of each client. They support back-office operations to save you and your team time and money, and include the flexibility every retailer needs to stay competitive.
Since its beginnings in August 2007, Magento was developed to support another ecommerce platform osCommerce. It has since become a powerful, flexible, scalable, and easy to shape system. Today, with more than 250,000 hosted online stores, Magento is a leader in open-source ecommerce platforms, providing retailers with a fully branded, mobile ready storefront with options that keep them at the forefront of online retailing.
The Magento Solution
Magento provides two distinct platforms that are designed for online stores at different stages of growth.
Magento Open-source (previously Magento Community Edition) delivers ecommerce tools for smaller retailers to build basic, yet unique, online stores from the ground up. Ready-to-use extensions from Magento Market can be included, such as customer support, payments and security, marketing, finance, fulfillment and shipping, and optimization tools. They offer technical support, education resources, and offer extensive technical help both during and after the initial set up.
Magento Commerce is for retailers who need a full-featured ecommerce solution. It builds on the Magento Open-source solution with optimized cloud architecture, hosting, and AI powered merchandising. Analytics are available through an on-premises version or as a platform-as-a-service (previously Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition). The platform comes with more features and functionality and is designed for large businesses that require technical support during and after installation for help with usage, configuration, and troubleshooting.
Magento’s commitment to improvement
Magento offers alternatives for both small and large retailers. Their software is robust and affordable and aligns with their company’s mission to bring on new technologies and make them available to ecommerce retailers of every size.
Retail Dimensions’ RD-Ice integration tool provides the connectors that enable control over the creation and maintenance of a Magento online store’s catalog navigation and the ability to merchandise products from an easy-to-use interface. Our engineers are Magento experts who can integrate their systems with Retail Pro Version 8, 9, and Prism, NCR Counterpoint, and Smyth Retail’s POS systems.
The Future of Magento
Magento continues its role as a leader in ecommerce platforms by staying ahead of the curve in adopting emerging technologies to support increasingly complex business scenarios.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) will soon be available through Magento’s PWA Studio and the developer tool kit. These apps will allow retailers to develop online stores that can deliver an app-like experience for the customer. Artificial intelligence (AI) will track visitors to the store and which products were viewed. This will allow the creation of personalized product recommendations for customers.
Magento partnered with Akeneo to create an advanced product information management (PIM) solution that will enable retailers to provide improved product information by unifying product data across Magento, ERP, and CMS. This will simplify the process of product creation and approval workflows for faster product launches.
The Magento, Retail Dimensions Relationship
The Magento, Retail Dimensions long-standing relationship continues to deepen. In 2015, we were honored by being designated as the very first Magento 2 POS integration company used during the launch of Magento 2.
Retail Dimensions works closely with Magento to make sure our integration tools are ready to adapt right alongside Magento’s innovation and we collaborate to create solutions that help retailers grow online so they can offer their customers more products, services, and a more personal relationship with the retailer through their ecommerce platform.
Shopify was established in 2006 by two retailers who wanted to take their own store online. After struggling to find a suitable ecommerce platform, they decided to build one themselves and hired a computer programmer to design a simple open-source web application framework. That collaboration resulted in one of the most popular ecommerce platforms available today.
Today, retailers turn to Shopify as an alternative to complicated, time consuming, and costly ecommerce platforms. It is a full-service ecommerce platform with intuitive tools built right into the program that allow retailers to take advantage of new technologies and spot profit making opportunities on one of the internet’s most active sales channels.
The Shopify Solution
Shopify is a safe and secure ecommerce platform that seamlessly connects with multiple POS software through a versatile integration tool, such as RD-ICE. It is a cloud-based, web hosting service that businesses use to create an online store, enter and store data, add products and process orders through an admin dashboard. They are a that protects your site from hackers.
Shopify offers three service plans to address the needs of small, medium, and large ecommerce retailers.
Basic Shopify® provides foundational elements most new ecommerce stores require to start selling their products online. Retailers can create online branding, have access to admin support, receive shipping discounts, and connect their store to all major online marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, and the marketplaces on social networks.
Their signature Shopify® product is an effective tool for those retailers who want to grow their business beyond their streetside locations. It includes advanced reporting, priority mail pricing features, foreign exchange calculations, and international domains for business conducted outside North America.
Advanced Shopify® is for enterprise businesses. They receive all the advantages of the Basic Shopify and Shopify retailers, with advanced features for reporting, manual foreign exchange rates, and third party calculated shipping rates.
Shopify and Retail Dimensions
Shopify provides a basic structure to follow when mapping data between a POS system and its ecommerce platform. Creating an online store is relatively straightforward for most retailers, however, gaps can occur in the data flow and must be addressed during the integration. An RD-Ice integration addresses these breaks by using a flexible mapping system that tags corresponding data elements in Shopify’s platform with those occurring in a POS software. These tags alert the web developer to identify and use custom elements through a seamless connection of multiple POS stores with their ecommerce store, turning them into one unified business.
The Future of Shopify
Shopify has partnered with Walmart to sell Shopify’s merchants’ products on the discount store’s online platform. This has boosted sales for both companies and adds more investment money into Shopify’s developing technologies, such as the Shopify Balance Account, Shopify Balance Card, and Shop Pay Installments. They also launched a mobile shopping app called “Shop” so customers can discover local stores, track online orders, and receive product recommendations based on their purchase history. These reinvestments into development creates better service for retailers and potential growth for Shopify.
Shopify Grows with the Ecommerce Marketplace
Shopify has the ability to adapt to varied business processes, work with multiple sales channels, and cover the fulfillment process from start to finish, while giving the retailer options in how they run their business. Retail Dimensions’ RD-Ice provides that same flexibility, with a flexible integration tool that addresses Shopify’s many nuances and the needs of the retailer.
First developed in 2011, WooCommerce was originally built to support the ecommerce platform Jigowatt. It has since become an open-source Wordpress ecommerce plugin built for online merchants of all sizes to design and maintain their online store. They are an operator of WordPress.com and a core contributor to the WordPress software.
Automattic acquired WooCommerce in May 2015, and in December 2020, WooCommerce acquired MailPoet, a popular WordPress newsletter management plugin.
The WooCommerce Customer
WooCommerce serves small and large businesses around the globe and partners with all major payment and credit card processing apps, such as PayPal, Stripe, and Square. They offer services through MailChimp, Facebook, Salesforce, and other marketing services and websites, as well as search engines and tracking services, like Google. ShipStation supports their shipping features, and exchange rate conversion and tax tools are offered through TaxJar and Avalara.
GitHub connects WooCommerce with their retailers through an online repository to collaborate on the development of new technologies and solve issues. with their ecommerce customers through an online repository called. It’s shown great success for reporting bugs, issues with documentation, and spreading the word about changes and upgrades to their online and local community.
Adaptability and Customization
In just one week in January 2021, WooCommerce platforms were installed 310,026 times. This is, in part, because of its ability to be highly adaptable and customizable. It offers over 980 plugins through WordPress, 1,875 plugins on CodeCanyon, and 520 official WooCommerce plugin extensions.
The Future of WooCommerce
WooCommerce is now owned by the WordPress company Automattic, making them even more desirable to retailers. They offer a team of WooCommerce experts and a large selection of themes, plugins, and hosting that allow retailers to take immediate advantage of tools to better attract consumers to their online store.
One such way that WooCommerce is drawing the interest of retailers is by creating a customer-friendly platform for retail consumers, such as their Recommendation Engine. Similar to Amazon’s style product suggestions, the WooCommerce Recommendation Engine allows customers to configure product suggestions and receive recommendations based on their viewing and purchase history and the products they frequently purchase together for automatic cross and up selling opportunities.
The WooCommerce, Retail Dimensions Partnership
Retail Dimensions’ RD-Ice integration tool synchronizes POS inventory, order processing, and fulfillment with an WooCommerce online store. It provides a comprehensive solution and is designed to automate the task of keeping the product selection and availability fresh on a WooCommerce website while keeping your inventory, orders and customers synchronized between your POS and online store.
Retail Dimensions has seen great success performing integrations with WooCommerce. We typically experience an easy, standard process during development and use their selection of customization options to accommodate a retailer’s specific needs.
In its short history, Amazon has grown into a globally recognized brand and dominant ecommerce platform. Consumers turn to it for easy, one-stop shopping, where they can buy products from multiple retailers around the world.
Amazon’s modest beginnings began in Jeff Bezos’s Seattle, WA garage just as the internet business boom was taking off in the 1990s. He launched the site in 1994 as an online bookstore and has guided Amazon.com to be the world’s largest online retailer.
Amazon has grown to include services that go beyond typical consumer buying and selling activities, including a cloud computing marketplace and banking. The company invests in emerging national and international companies, and in 2014 Amazon acquired top level domain.buy for over $4 million to offer ecommerce retailers even more.
The Amazon Seller
Over 2.5 million active Amazon sellers sold to 197 million U.S. shoppers in 2019. Of those, approximately 25,000 sellers made over $1 million in sales and 200,000 sellers made over $100,000. In 2017 alone, more than five billion items were shipped worldwide from Amazon and more than 50% of all sales during the year came from third-party sellers.
Many retailers conduct their business on Amazon through their seller central account, where several retailers we’ve worked with report selling as much or more than they do on their branded .com site. Amazon provides storefront websites in over a dozen countries and ships to almost anywhere in the world, with new brands and established brands, like Sears Canada and Harry and David.
Because Amazon is such an active selling platform it is crucial to have a dependable integration tool that works seamlessly with POS systems to provide valuable insight into selling activities. Specific requirements addressed during integration and issues that arise make it a streamlined and profitable process. RDI’s integration tools can address these specific requirements directly with each retailer via an a la carte menu of products and services developed based on years of experience integrating to Amazon.
A second Amazon integration option is integrating directly from a retailer’s POS system to Amazon. This is a more economic approach, using either a native or third-party service, like Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify, or WooCommerce to connect with Amazon. These services can list and update products, download orders and upload shipped order confirmations automatically into the Amazon platform. They are usually a low-cost service that acts as multiple integrations for the price of one.
The Future of Amazon
On February 2, 2021, Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos announced that he will be stepping down from his leadership position and transition into the role of executive chair. Andy Jassy, the chief executive of Amazon Web Services will take his place. What this means for Amazon’s future is unclear, but the announcement alarmed Wall Street and the business community. After a year of record growth in 2020, including a 38 percent increase in net sales from 2019 which brought in $21 billion in income for the company, it seems unlikely that there would be swift, severe changes to the current structure.
Retail Dimensions and Amazon
Amazon is a great sales channel for retailers of all sizes, but their performance policies are very high. Retailers must provide accurate inventory availability and order fulfillment execution and confirmation to enable Amazon to inform the customer about current progress and payment information, and new sellers are expected to integrate their policies into their order and fulfillment processes from day one. The benefit of these rules is that it lessens the retailer’s responsibility of communicating with their customers and, by turning that piece over to Amazon, the messages stay clear for both the customer and the retailer.
For retailers who do want to become an effective Amazon seller, it is crucial to have a timely and dependable integration tool connecting the retailers’ POS system and Amazon’s platform. To do this, Amazon’s unique system requirements must be met. They offer templates for setting up a site, tools to add product information and update prices and quantities, and they offer information on orders being filled. RDI addresses Amazon’s requirements with an a la carte menu of tools developed through years of experience integrating multiple POS systems with Amazon. With the integration tool in place, retailers will be assured that their relationships with their Amazon customers will receive personalized service through the most popular ecommerce market in the world.
Integrating POS eCommerce Business with RD-Ice
Choosing the right POS and ecommerce combination to create a unified commerce business model is an individual choice based on the needs of each retailer. Retail Dimensions has chosen to partner with companies who share our values of working with the retailer to ensure they have all the tools they need to create a business that is united through a flexible integration tool, like Retail Dimension’s RD-Ice©. We are dedicated to helping retailers take their business into the digital age with more efficiency and better oversight as they expand their reach to more customers around the world.