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Retail Ready How will sci-fi technology streamline your store sales?

By Gwen Moran Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

From smart scanning devices that tally purchases as customersshop to payment systems that work from a watch pad or mobile phone,some retail technology sounds more like science fiction thanreality. But new developments are becoming more affordable forentrepreneurs.

  • Systems integration andcustomization: Entry-level software applications, likethose by Celerant Technology Corp. (,Kliger-Weiss Infosystems Inc. (, and off-the-shelfpackages like Retail ICE ( or Retail Pro (,make it possible-and affordable-to link transactions withback-office functions like inventory and marketing, says BobAmster, principal at retail systems consulting firm RetailTechnology Group in Stamford, Connecticut.

Scott Langdoc, research director at Boston-based AMR ResearchInc., a technology research firm, agrees: "What used to be astand-alone cash register can now be the window to information[about] the entire customer purchasing experience and can extend tomarketing and merchandising programs for the entire store." Hesays capturing information about a customer's buying habitslets you customize offerings and loyalty incentives while choosingthe products, assortments and store layouts that work best.

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