On the path to a brave new world


Having made the decision to commit to the introduction of a next generation shopper engagement solution in Woodlands Local, another world-first we believe, the hard work really begins as we test and trial the solution and prepare it for a live launch.

by Antony Begley

Breaking new ground can, as we’ve dicovered before, be a very nerve-wracking experience. The implementation of our new ‘shopper engagement’ solution in-store is a hugely exciting prospect but is also causing some sleepless, anxious nights.

We believe it’s the first time a system of this type has been implemented in a convenience store so we are learning everything ourselves here and it’s a challenge for all involved.

Darius, as the solution is known, is a complex system for gathering all of our customers onto a database which will then allow us to send them individually personalised messages. These messages could be special offers, birthday wishes or just news and advice on things happening in the local area.

The current work is on ensuring Darius speaks efficiently to our RS Epos system – a challenge that is far more complex than it sounds! But we shall overcome, and we are confident the end result will be fantastic.
Darius flowchart

Darius implementation: next steps

As we progress towards the live launch of Darius in-store we have a number of technological and practical hurdles to overcome:

  • The Darius system needs to talk fluently in real time with our RS Epos system
  • The Darius and RS Epos teams are currently working together to ensure that the data pushed through Darius and received back via Darius is communicated efficiently and accurately to the Epos system
  • This is particularly important when, for instance, a specific offer is emailed or texted to a customer who then comes into the store to redeem the offer; the till has to recognise the customer, rcognise the special offer and then provide that offer to the customer at the tillpoint
  • The Epos system also has to capture all basket spend data and forward it to Darius so that the data can be allocated to the relevant customer’s profile
  • Over time each customer’s profile will grow and will contain more and more data about that customer’s buying habits
  • Darius will also allow us to include a wide range of other data and information within each customer’s profile; data such as birthdays, Facebook ‘likes’, place of work, etc
  • All of this can be used to ensure more tailored communications