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Furniture Wizard says new retail kiosk will help sell add-on items

 Furniture Wizard says its Ultimate Point-of-Sale kiosk will help retailers build tickets with high-margin add on items.Furniture Wizard says its Ultimate Point-of-Sale kiosk will help retailers build tickets with high-margin add on items.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Furniture Wizard Software will launch a new point-of-sale system during the Las Vegas Market designed in part to help retailers close larger, more profitable sales with add-on items.

The retail technology company is calling it the Ultimate Point-of-Sale Solution, a touch screen kiosk inspired by the toucah interface offered through Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.

"The touch screen kiosk is an extremely user-friendly tool that sales associates and customers can browse in-stock and special order inventory, providing a new experience not available anywhere else," the company said in a release.

It will operate like a super catalog and doesn't require Internet access, so there is no wait for pages and images to download. Once a consumer has selected a primary furniture item, the kiosk can intelligently suggest add-on items. For instance, the consumer or salesperson can touch a designated pillow tile on the screen, and additional tiles flip over to unveil all the coordinated pillow choices available.

"For many retailers, a customer will come in and buy a sofa, and they're lucky if they cover the expense to even have them walk in the door," said Marty Fischbein, Furniture Wizard founder and president.

Some retailers, he added, don't do a great job merchandising and selling accessories, so that customer just buys the sofa, leave the store and head to competitors, such as Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond or Macy's, for the higher-margin add-on items.

"We're creating a tool that can help fight that and keep that profit at the retailer's store," he said.

The company said the new kiosks will be used by retailers in two ways: as a catalog station and a place to handle a transaction from start to finish, allowing associates to show the add-on items along the way; and in conjunction with Furniture Wizard's iFurniture iPad application. In the latter case, after a sales associate gathers order information on the iPad, they can move to the kiosk to review the order with the customer, and get a second chance to sell the higher-margin related items.

Fischbein said the cost to retailer customers is still being determined, but he added that Furniture Wizard is going to make the kiosk software available to its current customers at no additional charge through Jan. 1.

Furniture Wizard also is talking to suppliers, who plan to use the kiosk and iPad app to enhance their sales forces and streamline marketing tools, it said. Among other things, vendors would be able to remotely update the store kiosks to keep them current and well as suggest items a store should buy.

Retailers, in turn, would be able to purchase directly from these vendors via the kiosk.

The company will be demonstrating Ultimate Point-of-Sale at the July 29-Aug. 2 Las Vegas Market in the Retail Resource Center, World Market Center B-1050, booth 15.

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