Category Archives: Tensabarrier Online

NRF Captures the Pulse of Retail 2013; Tensator Virtual Assistant Captures the Attention of Show-Goers

This year’s NRF had a decidedly energetic and enthusiastic feel to it.  The year is new and fresh – and so were the ideas and topics being discussed at NRF.  From debates on “showrooming” to  wowing in the store and not cutting prices – retailers came to learn about the latest trends and to get exciting ideas on how to capture customer attention and create one of a kind in-store experiences.  

The exhibition floor was positively a beehive of activity with large crowds of retailers swarming the floor.  We chose to showcase our next digital signage solution, the Tensator Virtual Assistant using our female standing model (the Tensator Virtual Assistant can be male, female, a celebrity, historical or a brand character, and it can be standing, sitting etc….).

Tensator Virtual Assistant

And she was in her element – determined to shine.  Literally glowing, (pun intended) she stopped people in their tracks, their jaws dropped, and their faces broke into smiles at her compelling human form that stood ‘head and shoulders’ above a sea of flat screen signage. 

They stopped to look and to listen to her tell her story — her voice rose above the show floor noise but she never had to raise her voice, and she just kept reeling people in.  She informed, guided people to the next available service agent as part of her integration with Tensator’s call forward system and she showcased Tensator’s custom, sleek PDUs.  She pulled long booth hours – never complaining about her shoes or how her feet hurt, didn’t take a lunch or bathroom break and never got tired of smiling or of telling her story. 

A conversation starter?  Oh yes, but so much more than that  – she captured people’s attention enabling Tensator’s team of experts to really engage 1-on-1 with retailers; half hour booth-side conversations were more the norm than not. The creative juices were flowing as retailers envisoned using Tensator Virtual Assistants in a myriad of forms, sizes and shapes from animated brand mascots to celebrities to helping sell promotional products to providing recommendations on dinner, recipes and wine pairings.

And while Tensator was at NRF to promote the Virtual Assistant, along with our newly launched MSM solutions, ironically enough, she did the promoting herself.  Judging from the reaction she got from retailers, she proved her point by just being her attention-getting self.   

Tensator Expands Retail Offerings, Launches Integrated Virtual Assistant Call Forward System and New Self Service Solution at NRF 2013; Interactive In-Store Technologies Improve the Customer Experience

Press Release

NRF 102nd Annual Convention & Expo – NEW YORK, NY – January 7, 2013 – Tensator, (Booth #632) the world leader in queue management and customer journey solutions, today announced it is launching several new retail solutions at NRF 2013 ‘Retail’s BIG Show’ being held January 13-16 at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, New York. 

The leading next generation digital signage solution, the Tensator Virtual Assistant is now fully integrated with Tensator’s eQ™ SLQ 3000 (single line queuing) call forward system.  Combining best of breed technologies, Tensator offers retailers a powerful solution to guide, inform and enrich the customer journey by engaging with and informing the customer as they are called forward to checkout. Also being showcased for the first time is a new slim line casing for the Tensator Virtual Assistant that allows for a smaller overall footprint and is now offered as a standard option, giving more flexibility to retailers. 

The company is unveiling its newest product portfolio addition, Multi-Service Machines (MSM), a range of self-service machines, which empowers customers to independently, efficiently and securely perform retail services themselves, such as the sale and dispensing of gift cards, payment of services and invoices, and mobile phone account refill. MSMs are ideal for the retail environment as they provide swift and efficient self-service options to customers, improving the overall customer experience and delivering resource efficiencies to the retailer.

Also present at the booth will be Tensator’s virtual queuing solution, a ticket-based queue management solution that allows the customer to use a touchscreen interface to select and enter into a virtual queue for a particular product or service. This solutions makes customers feel that they are being served as soon as they enter the retail environment, with a positive experience of ‘first come first served’ and also brings the added benefit to the customer of being able to relax, browse or shop while they wait. When combined with Tensator’s Corporate TV solution, retailers are presented with an effective tool for increasing revenue and better serving customers. With Corporate TV, retailers can promote products, services and special offers to their customers and generate or increase impulse purchases resulting in higher revenues.  It can also provide entertainment to customers waiting in any line throughout the store to help generate interest or excitement and the feeling of speedier service time.

According to NRF’s STORES editor Susan Reda, retailers that leverage in-store technologies focused on improving the in-store customer experience will breathe new life into traditional stores. “In an effort to be more in sync with today’s shopper, technology is being woven into the store environment wherever it makes sense. Getting shoppers to interact with in-store technology translates into more time spent on the selling floor and more opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell. Time-starved consumers covet speed and convenience. Big boxes need to reconfigure real estate to aid shoppers who want to get in and out quickly or risk losing them.”

For the third year running, Tensator is a bronze sponsor of NRF and is providing its eQ™ SLQ3000 call forward system and Tensabarrier® crowd control stanchions with post top signage to help quickly and efficiently guide attendees through registration while providing up-to-date show information. 

“We are committed to helping retailers—both smaller footprints and big boxes improve their in-store customer experience through innovative, affordable and time saving solutions,” said Bill Vetter, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Tensator USA. “Mobile consumers have become accustomed to helping themselves, getting fast responses and having instant access to data.  2013 is all about retailers delivering a progressive, engaging experience – one that values the customer time, enables customer empowerment and one that captivates the customer from the moment they enter the store to the time they leave.” 


Tensator set to display digital signage Virtual Assistant, self-service at NRF Big Show

Press CoverageRetail Customer Experience

Tensator, a global provider of queue management and customer journey solutions, today announced it is launching several new digital signage and 

self-service retail solutions at this year’s NRF “Retail’s BIG Show” being held Jan. 13-16 at the Javits Center in New York City.

The company said its next-generation digital signage solution, the Tensator Virtual Assistant, is now fully integrated with Tensator’s eQ SLQ 3000 (single line queuing) call forward system. With these solutions mixed together, Tensator offers retailers a solution to engage with and inform customers as they are called forward to the checkout, the company said. Also being showcased for the first time is a new slim line casing for the Tensator Virtual Assistant that allows for a smaller overall footprint and is now offered as a standard option, giving more flexibility to retailers.  

Check out Retail Customer Experience to read the full article.

Come Meet Tensator at NRF 2013 for BIG Retail Solutions that MOVE Customers

We’re excited to kick off 2013 as we gear up for NRF’s Annual Convention & EXPO,  “Retail’s BIG Show”  being held January 13-15 in NYC.  Tensator has a whole host of new, interactive retail tech solutions we’ll be showcasing at this major, global event – specifically designed to help you extract the maximum value of every inch of square footage while providing your customers with an exciting customer experience.  

Tensator is all about guiding the customer journey and helping you create the kind of retail environment that helps ensure repeat business.  Tensator’s newest solutions being launched at NRF have the ability to really MOVE your customers…emotionally and physically….with exciting branding and promotional digital signage, next-gen queue management, self-service and personalized service offerings that empower your customers to get the products and services they want more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

If you plan to be at NRF, we invite you to schedule a one-on-one meeting with us to see firsthand how our solutions can help you boost sales and profitability while ensuring your customers have the kind of in-store experience that garners rave reviews.  Check out Tensator’s Booth #632 at NRF and come see how we can MOVE you! 



Tensabarrier’s Patented Retractable Belt System

The retractable belt mechanism in the popular Tensabarrier portable post and retractable belt line management system for crowd management is based on a patented seat belt retractor.

The 1998 patent, which the inventors assigned to Tensator Limited, detailed a seat belt retractor which presented a relatively low tension when the seat belt was actually in use, but which applied sufficient tension to the seat belt when it was being wound onto the retractor.

The patent described the specifications for the retractor’s spring, gear arrangement, pawl, release lever, and more. When these same specifications are applied to a retractable belt system which is part of a portable post queuing system for line management, the result is a safe, efficient belt.

Crowd control stanchions contain a powerful constant force spring used to retract the belt.  Tensabarrier’spatented braking system for its retractable belts slows the retraction of the webbing, eliminating the risk of an accident.  This unique braking system incorporates twin brake shoes. This slow retract technology allows the webbing to fall to the floor upon release and then slowly and safely retract back into the post.

The anti-tamper tape end means that you have to actually press the button to release the tape end connected to the post, preventing accidental release of the webbing by customers in a line. The Tensabarrier also has one of the best topple angles on the market, at over 30 degrees.

Inefficient Check-Out Lines are Biggest Customer Frustration at Grocery Stores

Ask customers to identify their most common frustrations in a grocery store and a wide variety of answers will abound.   Many shoppers are annoyed by the arrangement of products within the store, or instances when stores re-arrange the merchandise.  Others reserve their highest frustrations for the behavior of their fellow shoppers (such as other customers blocking aisles, abandoning carts, or writing checks in the check-out line).

But in general, the check-out experience seems to be the most common frustration expressed by grocery store shoppers.  Unfortunately, grocery stores have largely been unable to go to single-line queuing systems (utilized at banks, airports, fast-food restaurants, etc.).  So, customers still have to choose a check-out line, and nervously hope they picked a fast-moving one.

Additionally, many studies have found that self-service checkout lines, which are often less populated than lines which have a working cashier, do not get customers through the check-out process any faster.

One potential time-saving process is being tested.  Some stores are experimenting with technology which enables products to be scanned (and even bagged) before a customer arrives at a station featuring a live cashier.

While superstores such as Target and Walmart also operate with multiple-line, rather than single-line, queuing systems, they have improved customer satisfaction on high-traffic days (such as Black Friday) by utilizing line management systems at their entrances and at other locations both inside and outside their stores.  Portable stanchions with retractable-belt systems have created physical line space which results in first-come, first-serve line management which is organized and fair.

Get your customers to make Impulse Purchases!

I was paroozing the internet today looking at ways to boost your customer’s impulse purchases when I stumbled upon Barbara Thau’s post , “‘Buy Me!’ 7 Ways Stores Get You to Make an Impulse Purchase“.  Her statistic, 9 out of 10 customers make a purchase that they did not intend to make when shopping, caught my eye.  That is an impressive statistic.  Exposing your customers to the opportunity of impulse purchases is a given, what Barbara drive home is the WAY you can expose your customers to that opportunity.

Two of her seven are ideally implemented in your checkout queue although you can probably take elements of all seven.

Color Coordinating Displays – We all know that color can make a huge impression on us human beings.  Try testing your line queue with complimentary color combinations and see what kind of impact it was on impulse buys.

Quick Before Its Too Late Messages! – Offer promotions in the queue that make people want to buy more!  Buy two items and save 30%, Buy one get one free, etc.

I highly recommend any retailer to read her entire post!