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The holidays come early with November 2020

2020 is drawing to a close (and maybe that’s a good thing?) – but we have one last bundle of Ascend goodies coming before the end of the year! The November 2020 update will be available to most retailers in the US and Canada starting November 11, 2020. Keep reading to learn about the highlights, then check out the release notes to get the scoop on the smaller details.

However, keep in mind – if you’re using the eCommerce sales import (download) functions and haven’t already been in contact to update to May 2020 or later, our support team will need to manually migrate your data over to a new platform and you’ll need to schedule a time with us to get your store(s) updated.

Set it and forget it: The Ascend HQ Category Analysis report allows you to compare month- and year-to-date sales and inventory performance from year to year, making it a critical gear in your Retail Profit Machine. Back in October, we added the option to deliver this report by email on whatever schedule works best for you. If you’ve been using the weekly Category Health Summary email from Ascend Analytics, this is the replacement you’ve been waiting for!

Check out our knowledge base article to get started.

Communication is key: You’ve previously been able to view your SMS (text) and email history from Ascend Online Reports (AOR)…but we’re bringing this data to the spot you need it – right in the customer record.

Multi-point inspections: Back in the September 2020 version, we introduced multi-point inspections for bikes – and they can be entered as part of a work order/repair or as a standalone record. Now, you can view inspections that were previously entered for a bike from either the customer or serial number record – just look for the MPIs tab in Database Explorer! You can learn more about multi-point inspections in either the knowledge base or Ascend University.

Customer security: When your customers provide you with their information, they’re entrusting you with its security. We’ve added the Customers – Import/Export user permission so you can further restrict employee access to customer data. When you’re applying user permissions, this permission is included in the Administrator List permission template – but to ensure only the correct people have access to manage customers using spreadsheets, this permission will NOT be given to ANY of your existing users when you upgrade.

Ingenico stability: If you use integrated payment processing with Chase, we’ve made quite a few back-end improvements to smooth out your employees’ and customers’ experiences with both the Ingenico iSC Touch 250 and Lane 7000 payment processing terminals. These fixes include:

Tune up your RPM: Keep your eyes peeled, because soon we’ll be releasing a new tool for you to use to keep your Retail Profit Machine running at top efficiency – the RPM Accuracy report on Ascend HQ! This report lets you see how well your store adheres to Ascend’s key best practices. Following best practices means your processes will be as efficient as possible, gets the most out of your system, and frees up your time to focus on selling. Based on your previous 30 days of performance, you’ll see both an overall score (out of a maximum of 100 points) and a score for each metric so you know what areas you need to focus on. You can also toggle each metric to get more insight into the data used to calculate your scores.

We expect to have this report ready to go before the end of the year, so be sure to sign up to get our emails so you can get notified as soon as it’s live! And in the meantime, check out our latest Ascend University module to learn how to navigate Ascend HQ.

TCRM in 2020: If you make use of the Trek Connect Retail Marketing (TCRM) program, you may be wondering what’s going on with the campaigns that normally run over the holidays. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, Trek has CANCELLED the Black Friday and Boxing Day sales/promotions and will not be running any other discount/rebate campaigns for 2020. A holiday catalog WILL still be sent out, but it will NOT have a coupon included for 2020. Watch Trek’s B2B/retailer site to get more details on the Trek holiday marketing campaign.

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