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Consumer tips on using personal technology to cut lines, get deals and dodge crowds Print E-mail
Written by NCR Corporation   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Tech-savvy consumers who plan ahead can save themselves valuable time and get real-time deals while shopping, banking and travelling over this holiday period
MISSISSAUGA, ON – Tech-savvy consumers who plan ahead can save themselves valuable time and get real-time deals while shopping, banking and travelling over this holiday period, according to Linda Fitzgerald, president NCR Canada, the leading provider of self-service technology in Canada.
Combining self-service technologies such as kiosks, ATMs and shelf-checkout with mobile phones and Internet services will make a real difference to people’s lives this holiday season, according to Fitzgerald. "Seamless multi-channel self-service is transforming the customer experience in so many industries in Canada, enabling people to interact on their terms when and how they want," said Fitzgerald. “As we head into the busiest season of the year, people should be using technology to get real-time deals, enjoy more convenience and better service so they can free up time and money for the most important things."
Eighty nine percent of Canadians said they prefer to do business with companies that allow them to personalize and control how they interact through self service – including smart phones, internet, kiosks and ATMs, according to a 2010 global consumer survey conducted by BuzzBack market research for NCR.
Fitzgerald offers her advice for Canadian consumers on how to use personal technology to cut lines, get deals and dodge the crowds during this hectic holiday season.
When shopping for the perfect gift
  • Know the best time to shop – Monday and Tuesday are the best time to avoid crowds with the worst time being Saturday and Sunday with two exceptions – department and home improvement stores, according to a study by M/A/R/C Research.
  • Technology in the palm of your hand – Canada’s mobile penetration currently sits at 70 percent, so don’t forget to bring your mobile device to look up product information, check online customer reviews and leverage incentives such as coupons.
  • Information Kiosks – Many retailers offer information kiosks to deliver online information to you while you’re in-store to locate your product, provide more information and offer reviews to help make an informed decision, and track down which store carries the item.
  • Look for Rewards – If you’re collecting loyalty points through your favorite retailer or financial provider, the holidays are a great time to review your balance and cash them in for extra savings.
  • Gift Cards Value Check - Do you have a gift card and not sure of the value? Retailers have price verifiers in store to allow you to quickly scan to determine the value.
  • Click and Collect - if you're ordering online, but can't hang around at home for deliveries, you might be able to collect in-store at a convenient time for you.
When preparing your holiday meal
  • Look for a self-checkout – Self-checkout enables retailers to open up more lanes and cut down lines, reducing wait times by up to 40 percent, according to NCR Research.
  • Order and Pay – Check to see if your grocery or convenience store offers a kiosk to pay for deli purchases or quick meals.
  • Your Online Groceries – Food retailers offer online sites that provide an overview of their weekly specials on products and services, offer advice on preparing the perfect holiday meal, help you create your grocery list and provide coupons for extra money savings.
When banking
  • Visit your ATM before you shop - If you plan on using cash for your purchases, stop off at your branch’s ATM – or use the drive-in option if you have one in your neighborhood -- before you go to the mall, to avoid lines and the urge to use another bank’s ATM where you may incur extra fees.
  • Mobile Banking – Now offered by the top banks and credit unions in Canada, the mobile channel is expected to explode in the future with ABI Research estimating 400 million global consumers will be using mobile banking by 2014. If you haven’t signed up, you might want to consider this option to start using your mobile device while you’re out and about to check your account, transfer money, pay bills, receive text alerts on activity and find the closest bank branch or ATM.
  • Benefits of banking – Many banks offer rewards for using their debit and credit cards. The more you spend, the more points you earn that can be redeemed for goods and services like travel, electronics, toys, Internet services, groceries, petrol, etc. Explore if there are any offers available to you to redeem your points balance to purchase presents for the kids, get gift cards or treat yourself to a travel voucher to get away during the holidays.
When travelling to visit your family and friends
  • Advance planning can help avoid unwanted stress - Self-service check-in is available on your terms from the comfort of your home or when you’re on the way to the airport. Go online to take advantage of all of the services offered from your carrier to help keep an eye on the status of your flight with mobile text and email alerts. Sign on to your carrier’s website to check-in online or have your boarding pass sent to your mobile. Or use the various airport check-in kiosks to print your boarding pass, and choose or modify your seating. Visit your airport’s website for departure area maps to locate the check-in and baggage drop-off areas.
  • Mobile boarding passes – Airlines are enabling travelers to check in and download their boarding pass over their mobile phones, making the whole check in process even more hassle free.
  • Start you holiday vacation at the airport – A recent NCR study revealed the widespread adoption of self-service technology has expedited the check-in experience, giving travelers more time in the terminal to shop, eat, relax and sightsee. Thirty-two percent of travelers like to shop at the airport and they’re enjoying the extra time saving by exploring the retailer opportunities at the airport to dine and do some last minute holiday shopping.
  • Get your own key for your rental car or hotel – Many hotels and car rental companies offer touchscreen self-check-in that allow you to skip any lines and get your room key in minutes.
In search of holiday entertainment
  • In search of movies and games - If you’re in Western Canada, check out the Blockbuster Kiosks at Safeway and stock up on the latest releases and holiday classics.

About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a global technology company leading how the world connects, interacts and transacts with business. NCR’s assisted- and self-service solutions and comprehensive support services address the needs of retail, financial, travel, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, gaming and public sector organizations in more than 100 countries. NCR (www.ncr.com) is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia.




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