Focused on the nurturing the needs and wants of its customers, Westport, CT-based Douglas Cosmetics, the largest cosmetics and fragrance retailer in Europe, is familiar with the sweet smell of success. Since its inception over 35 years ago, Douglas has focused on appealing to the customer’s “heart and mind” by delivering an exceptionally high level of face-to-face customer relationship management at the point of purchase. The company trains its salespeople to be experts in every line so they can help customers find exactly what they need.
The company has several other CRM initiatives, including rewards programs designed to drive customer loyalty, and enhance the one-to-one personalized shopping experience. In some countries as customers purchase products, they earn points that can be redeemed for additional merchandise or a percentage off their next purchase, depending on the country. The selling and processing of gift cards also drives an increasingly large percentage of store sales.
Douglas operates more than 1,200 perfumeries in 23 countries, including over 900 across Europe and 14 in the United States. The stores sell a broad range of high-end brand name perfumes and cosmetics, including Clinique, Chanel, Dior, Estée Lauder, Giorgio Armani, and Lancôme.
Douglas delivers these customer services through the recent deployment of store point-of-sale (POS) systems running the Windows Embedded for Point of Service operating system (OS). “
Douglas has partnered for several years with Wincor Nixdorf, a Windows Embedded community partner with specific expertise in Windows Embedded for Point of Service. Douglas’ in-house IT knowledge of the Microsoft Windows ecosystem complements the Wincor Nixdorf expertise. “Most importantly, we now can provide all the processes, such as online connections, that we need to satisfy the customer, ” said Alexander Rack, head of IT Infrastructure at Douglas.
In mid-2008, Douglas decided to migrate to Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 and joined Microsoft’s Technical Adoption Program (TAP) at the recommendation of Wincor Nixdorf. “It was wonderful to have direct contact with Microsoft technical support, product development, and business representatives, and it helped us move the pilot project along very quickly,” stated Rack.
Delivering Optimal Customer Service
The Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 system supports a corporate focus on delivering exceptional customer service with state-of-the-art information technology. These benefits to the customer help drive their loyalty and further anchor the brand.
With POSReady, Douglas IT staffers can add and remove OS components post-deployment to enable new features and applications that provide more information to help beauty advisors, which optimizes their service deliverability.
“With the information we have about a customer, such as past purchasing habits and membership in loyalty reward programs, we can service them better and achieve higher profitability at the same time,” said Rack. “For example, if a beauty advisor sees on the POS system that a customer is only a few points away from the next reward level, they can use that information to encourage the customer to make an additional purchase.”
Douglas also finds that the POS system interface helps salespeople deliver better service to customers. Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 supports a convenient touch-screen keyboard user interface, which it is designed to make training new personnel easier and enable beauty advisors to see customer information more easily and faster at the moment of service.
Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 also features a streamlined multi-language support process, allowing Douglas beauty advisors to serve more customers in their native language, as Douglas operates stores in 23 countries around the world.
“Windows Embedded provides us with an extensible software platform for meeting present and future business needs,” said Rack. “We anticipate deploying POS systems with USB flash drives over the next few years based on our confidence that POSReady 2009 will support flash and other popular data storage technologies. With fewer moving hardware parts, we hope to achieve high levels of reliability and longer system lifecycles.”