Consumers are getting more sophisticated and want to be delighted as part of their retail experience. They expect it. Retail has changed dramatically, especially since COVID-19, often for the better. Retailers are constantly evaluating new in-store, online, and self-serve options that keep customers returning. They rely on innovative technology to create gratifying customer experiences and loyalty.
Sometimes we don’t think about the technology behind new strategies, but in the background, working to make new options a reality are unsung heroes, IT directors, managers, developers, and security specialists. And Android devices are playing a big part in customer engagement.
Cost-effective and reliable, Android devices are gaining popularity in the retail industry. From line-busting to managing inventory, there is an Android device that fits the bill. But what happens when you want to deploy, monitor, and manage 100s if not 1000s of devices across multiple locations? What if you could remotely provision your device fleet, create policies, and deploy applications, connecting these with continuous delivery through automated scaling and rollbacks?
Retailer uses Android kiosks to build customer loyalty
One of the fastest-growing convenience stores in the U.S., Parker’s Kitchen (Parker’s) averages a new store each month. Embodying exceptional leadership, novel store layouts, and unsurpassed customer service, their customers love them. When it came time to create a more customer-centric business model, Greg Parker, CEO of Parker’s Kitchen, looked at Android kiosks to deliver a self-serve solution for the Customer Loyalty Rewards program.
“Since our founding in 1976, we’ve been focused on delivering the ultimate customer experience… and will continue to set the bar even higher in the future.” said Greg Parker, Parker’s CEO
Their frequent shoppers love the Customer Loyalty Rewards program. But lacking self-serve capabilities often required them to wait in line to check the status of their rewards.
Lacking the hardware and software as well as limited IT resources, Parker’s implementation of the self-service enrollment and engagement capabilities sat on the shelf. Turning the goal into reality meant finding the right company with the right technology.
Parker’s required a partner who could source, configure, and deploy Android-based kiosks at each of their 66+ stores. They wanted a cost-effective, turn-key kiosk solution for the enhanced loyalty rewards program, including a printer and barcode scanner.
Previous experience working with Esper Android DevOps platform gave Parker’s the confidence that Esper had the right Android expertise.
Esper and POSBANK shave months off Customer Loyalty Program implementation
Brand equity and customer loyalty at Parker’s relied on rapidly launching new digital experiences. But COVID-19 created a backlog in the supply chain. Delays meant that getting devices could take months. A multi-year winner of “The Convenience Store of the Year” award, they competed on the quality of their customers’ personal experience. Any self-serve solution chosen had to shave months off deployment!
They first met Shiv Sundar, Esper’s co-founder and COO, at the 2019 National Restaurant Association (NRA) show. Esper’s value proposition, deep expertise in Android devices, and thorough validation process convinced Parker’s to test Esper’s platform on their Android handheld scanners. The experience led them to select Esper to deliver a cost-effective, reliable, robust, and simple to manage solution. But most of all, the devices needed to be ready to go in record time.
Parker’s Kitchen Customer Loyalty Program goes live in weeks not months
Stacks of significantly more expensive offers piled up on Parker’s purchasing team’s desks. But none of them could deliver the right features and expertise. Trusting their previous experience with Esper, they entrusted the Esper team to serve up the right hardware, software, and management capabilities. At 33% of what other vendors under consideration quoted Parker’s was about to get a complete solution.
Esper partnered with POSBANK®, a leading global provider of devices such as:
- Point-of-Sale (POS)
- Touchscreen monitors
- POS printers
Available off the shelf, POSBANK’s BIGPOS 2700 came equipped with Esper Enhanced Android (EEA) operating system for simplified device deployment, management, cloud updates, and protecting public Android kiosks from tampering and misuse. Before shipping, the kiosks were provisioned, configured, and tested. And Esper’s cloud tools connect devices to continuous innovation and continuous delivery through automated scaling and rollbacks.
Esper’s no-touch device deployment allowed the kiosks to be operational out-of-the-box. Two-hundred-sixty (260) kiosks were drop-shipped to over 66 stores in Georgia and South Carolina. The entire fleet of Android kiosks was remotely deployed, so onsite staff only had to take them out of the box and power them up, reducing costs, freeing up resources, and minimizing time-to-value.
Parker’s gained significant cost savings over what other vendors quoted and more than met their requirements. Besides working right of the box, Esper’s solution provided features such as:
- Single-pane-of-glass- Simplifies device management, monitoring and updates from a single console.
- Android Kiosk mode – Restricts device functionality and limits access to a single application or a set of applications.
- Secure cloud tools – Protect Android kiosks from tampering or misuse.
- Faster-time-to-value – Automatic loading of profiles, configurations, settings, etc.
- Protect all-important customer data- Data at-rest or in-transit are encrypted from edge device to the cloud.
- Real-time Telemetry analytics and reporting – Track device use, apps, performance, and health from a single dashboard.
- Remote support and debugging – If a device fails in the field, Esper’s secure, remote debugging resolves issues without an onsite tech.
- Full stack, API-driven implementation – Enable developers to deliver highly secure solutions for dedicated devices, giving them superior flexibility and control over the process.
- Increased ROI – No-touch deployment allows dedicated retail devices to be drop-shipped directly to location and deploy without IT resources support.
- Regular compliance checks and updates – Ensures that all software is free of malicious code or malware that can infiltrate the enterprise infrastructure.
Implementation of Android Kiosks was done in weeks
Parker’s employees unboxed the kiosks on-site, connected them to the local Wi-Fi endpoints, and plugged them in. Rather than waiting months to launch the customer loyalty program, full-functioning kiosks went live within 8-10 weeks. Esper’s seamless provisioning gave Parker’s the desired customized kiosk application straight from the factory.
Custom configurations can replace default settings for a fully managed experience from the moment a device boots up — shaving time off resources, logistics, and deployment.
Locking down their application in Android Kiosk Mode, Parker’s can push new application versions remotely. They are excited that with EEA, they avoid any problematic and forced updates. Unless they reconfigure and provision a device, it remains intact for at least 5+ years.
Esper’s super-fast and reliable way to deploy their loyalty program without bringing in additional consultants or hiring a team of engineers saved Parker’s Kitchen time, resources, and headaches. The joint solution delivers best-of-class deployment speeds and a hands-off approach to updating and debugging kiosks post-launch. Parker’s got intelligent, hassle-free Android retail kiosks in record time:
- Faster performance returns on their kiosk deployments
- Significant reduction in costs over other vendors
- An average of 60% in operational expense (OpEx)savings
- Increased ROI
Now, Parker’s customers can enjoy the benefits of a self-serve Customer Loyalty Rewards program.
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