On January 6th PCMS became Flooid. Flooid’s CEO Tony Houldsworth explains why.
We’re living in an age of disruptive retail. Over the past few years, retailers have had to adapt their operations massively. Today they need technology that deals with the core capabilities they must have for now, because that is where they make 98% of their money, but they also need a flexible platform that they can build and innovate on, so they’re ready for the future. We’ve evolved our technology to help them meet these demands. We’re working in a new way from the old PCMS style, so we needed an identity that better reflects who we are today.
How does Flooid differ from PCMS?
Flooid is a complete change to our model, our way of thinking and our way of engaging with our customers. The days of a traditional siloed-stack solution from us are gone. Today the retailer can still buy our point-of-sale – we’ve got a world-class point of sale, it does exactly what a retailer needs – but alongside that they may or may not take our other applications. They might want to build on top of Flooid and create their own solutions, or make use of the core services we provide. We give them the freedom to do what suits their business.
We wanted something that reflected the new way that we work, and the new way that our customers work. We looked at different ways of presenting this and Flooid just resonated. Every time we looked at it, Flooid said what we needed, which is that retail is fluid, the way we engage with the customer is now fluid, the way the customer engages with us is now fluid. That’s why we adopted the brand.
What’s the big challenge for retailers?
Retailers are operating from traditional siloed stacks of technology. They’ve bought their point-of-sale solution and it’s stack from one supplier, they’ve bought their eCommerce solution and it’s stack from another supplier, and so on. Trying to create a very flexible way of working is almost impossible because they’re tied to those stacks. Today, retailers have to break apart those siloes, pick the key components out of them, and then implement those capabilities across their entire environment. That leads to the rise of the platforms. You might have a platform for payments, you might have a platform for tax. Flooid is a highly specialized platform and what we really do best is provide a seamless platform for the basket.
Why is Flooid focusing on the basket?
We focused on the basket because we see it as one of the key cornerstones of the new retail space. There will be many, many ways retailers engage with the customer. There will be many ways of doing promotions with those customers, many ways of delivering content, many ways of doing demand generation. All of that is futile unless the customer puts stuff in that basket and pays for it. The basket is not going anywhere, whether the point-of-sale register disappears in five or 10 years’ time doesn’t matter – there will always be a basket. So, we see basket as one of the lynchpins that we can deliver to the retailer that they can base their strategy on.
What makes Flooid baskets different?
People have tried to create baskets before, often coming from the eCommerce space and trying to bring eCommerce baskets into the store. They fail because fundamentally there is a difference between a very complex store basket and an online basket. So what we’ve done with Flooid is actually marry the two so we can deliver the reliability, the throughput, the performance, the security that’s needed in a store environment, plus the lighter touch for mobile. Flooid baskets can run in the point-of-sale, and then the same basket can deliver the mobility that’s needed on a mobile device, and the scalability that’s needed on an eCommerce or social platform. In all cases, it’s the same basket, so as the customer moves through all those channels the Flooid basket just stays with them.
How does Flooid level the playing field for retailers?
We’re creating an environment where retailers don’t have to try and second guess the future. It’s impossible, they just can’t, because something will come from leftfield, it will disrupt and they will have to react. We want to create an environment where they could be the first ones there. They could be the disrupter. Or if their competitors disrupt, we want to equip them so they can react very quickly.
Can you explain more about Flooid’s retail heritage?
Flooid’s already working in some of the biggest retailers in the world; we’re not a start-up. We’re a brand that’s well established. We have hundreds of retail brands using our technology across the world in multiple verticals, from some of the very largest grocery, pharmacy chains in the world, through to mid-tier, through to international fashion brands and specialty brands. We’re working right the way across the spectrum. This technology is already installed and allowing our clients to do amazing things. That’s what gives us the confidence to go forward, and open up what we do to a much broader audience with our Flooid Hub innovation community.