Preparing for the CeBIT

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CeBIT 2007

I have started making preparations for this year’s edition of the CeBIT show, taking place from March 15—20 in Hanover, Germany.

My company will have a stand in Hall 1, right in the middle of all POS goodness, so I hope I can pick up some new point-of-sale gadgets and find some trends. I am not sure whether I will have the time and the internet access to update this blog live from the show, but will surely browse around and publish news.

O’Neil introduces thermal printer OC2

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O'Neil OC2

O’Neil introduces the OC2, a light-weight, wireless portable thermal printer. The OC2 prints direct thermal receipts and invoices on 2.25-inch wide media. Caireles printing is enabled by optional wireless local area 802.11b/g networking (WLAN) or wireless personal area Bluetooth network (WPAN). The printer provides 32-bit processing, print quality at 203 dpi and Flash memory for adaptability to fast changing requirements.

Interstore communication

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Communication

There are various reasons retailers around the world are now migrating to advanced POS systems. For the first time in history, relatively cheap, high bandwidth connections are available to virtually any store location. There also are simply more POS options — more advanced, and affordable hardware, easy-to-use software — that give retailers new capacity to track, speed up and advance store promotions and sales. So instead of antique DOS or mainframe relay systems running across slow dial-up or satellite connections, high-speed connections are allowing retailers to quickly ring up sales and keep customers moving through. Additionally, those high-speed pipes allow information to quickly travel between the POS systems at retail locations and company headquarters. This gives corporations nearly instantaneous feedback and insight into sales trends, and the ability to quickly react to changes in the retail environment.

Some of these advances stem from lessons learned through e-commerce operations. Developed over the past five to 10 years, e-commerce admittedly makes up a small proportion of retail sales, at just 5.5 percent. But for many mainstream retailers, the sheer mass of those sales can in fact equal that of up to 30 individual locations. Retailers realize that the efficiency gains and customer service operations gleaned through e-commerce improvements can have a massive and positive influence on how changes are made at retail locations. POS is at the heart of these changes.

Market basket analysis

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Shopping basket

Market Basket Analysis is a modelling technique based upon the theory that if you buy a certain group of items, you are more (or less) likely to buy another group of items. For example, if you are in an English pub and you buy a pint of beer and don’t buy a bar meal, you are more likely to buy crisps (US. chips) at the same time than somebody who didn’t buy beer.

The set of items a customer buys is referred to as an item-set, and market basket analysis seeks to find relationships between purchases.

Typically the relationship will be in the form of a rule:

IF {beer, no bar meal} THEN {crisps}. The probability that a customer will buy beer without a bar meal (i.e. that the antecedent is true) is referred to as the support for the rule. The conditional probability that a customer will purchase crisps is referred to as the confidence. The algorithms for performing market basket analysis are fairly straightforward . The complexities mainly arise in exploiting taxonomies, avoiding combinatorial explosions (a supermarket may stock 10,000 or more line items), and dealing with the large amounts of transaction data that may be available.

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El Canasto

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El Canasto

Today a new weblog has been added to the Brain Network of blogs: El Canasto.

This new sister blog will publish tips and information about so-called life-hacks and the Getting Things Done personal productivity system. Es the name suggests, El Canasto is written in Spanish. Welcome to our group!

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