Mail & Guardian May 31 to June 6 2019 13 News Marc1 brings retailers up to speed A2D24’S revolutionary POS platform bags coveted Cisco award $108 billion T We are excited and eager to put this disruptive technology in the hands of retailers in South Africa and across the continent,” said an elated Muhammad Simjee, co-founder and CEO of A2D24. hat’s how much the global point-of-sales (POS) terminals market is expected to be worth by 2025, according to the latest research. But despite being a crucial cog in the retail machine and the market experiencing rapid growth amid rising demand, advancements in POS technology have been few and far between over the past 30 years. The robust, low-cost Marc1 platform works by tracking wifi signals from passers-by and potential customers’ smartphones near retail locations. These are picked up by an in-store IOT device able to measure distance to device, dwell time as well as uniquely identifying each device to capture loyalty information. Seeking to provide homegrown solutions to African problems, South African tech firm A2D24 looked to bring lagging traditional retailers up to speed with their online counterparts by harnessing the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to produce an integrated POS platform. It has since seen retailers in South Africa and Botswana realise a revenue boost of up to 15%, as well as significant decreases in operational costs. This re-imagining of the POS platform adds value to the transaction point and opens up opportunities for upselling and impulse buys. It also grants traditional retailers access to tools previously only available to their online peers, including insights into customer behaviour, data-driven prompts for sales staff, live updates to marketing material, personalised loyalty experiences and real-time customer conversion funnel tracking. Designed and developed over just four months, the award-winning Marc1, the world’s first Internet of Things (IOT) POS platform, is a truly epoch-making product. And the industry seems to agree. The Marc1 scooped tech leader Cisco’s prestigious Circle of Excellence award at a recent event in Sun City, beating out a strong field of contenders. This came just a year after the platform took home the coveted title of MTN Commercial IOT Solution of the Year. The Marc1 has unlocked significant revenue opportunities by transforming this “dumb” transaction point. And the revolution won’t stop there, as A2D24 looks to establish the platform as an industry pace-setter, with additional features coming online soon. “Our vision is to become the ultimate sales platform for physical retailers, integrating payments and advanced features to be accessible not to just the big players, but to retailers of all sizes. Our feature set wont just be a luxury item but will soon become the industry norm” explains Marc1 Executive Manager Tauhir Jardine. Speaking after the Cisco awards ceremony, Garsen Naidoo Head of Engineering and Partner Organisation for Sub Saharan Africa, highlighted the cutting-edge capabilities of the solution “A2D24 has embraced Cisco’s software strategy and leveraged Cisco Meraki’s open APIS to deliver real business outcomes to the African retail industry. Their focus on driving accelerated innovation through software and leveraging Cisco’s secure intelligent platform has delivered a globally competitive South African technology solution.” To commemorate the achievement, Marc1 has partnered with an SME fund to give a franchise retailer full access to the platform free of charge for one year. Applicants will go through an evaluation process and if successful, will be contacted at the beginning of July. Applications are open until 20 June 2019. “The technology has the potential to revolutionise retail as we know it. To apply go to apply.marc1.io. For more information, or to explore business opportunities, visit: marc1.io or email: [email protected]
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