Omnichannel retail isn’t a passing fad, it’s the new industry standard. Customers don’t distinguish among the many ways they interact with their favorite retail brands, so retailers must merge online and in-store contacts to deliver the seamless experience they expect.
— Apps let in-store users scan product barcodes with their mobile devices to highlight product details and buyer reviews
— Supply chain projects such as “buy online/pick up in store” systems erase the lines between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar sales.
— Shoppers can browse outfits on interactive digital signage, save size and item data from in-store fitting sessions, then purchase those items later from their mobile devices.
In retail, downtime is money. Retailers compete to make the buying experience smoother than ever, making even momentary downtime unacceptable. POS connectivity failures can cost enterprises thousands of dollars in lost revenue and brand damage. In the case of a long-lasting outage, such as a wired-line breakage of the primary connection, wired failover solutions such as T1 lines usually are laid in the same trench as primary wired lines — and subject to the same outages. Solutions for Improve Uptime Reach 99.99 percent reliability with an LTE-enabled failover network, an option that’s affordable and isn’t typically subject to the same outages as wired lines. This is a solution that can easily overlay the existing network infrastructure.
The rapid growth of applications for connected devices and opportunities presented by increasingly connected retail environments must be met with sufficient bandwidth and data to support the increase in network utilization by both customers and company-owned technologies. Retail network administrators face a particular challenge in bandwidth management due to the varied data usage that comes from customer traffic surges and peak selling seasons.
With wired connectivity, it’s impossible to instantly provision more bandwidth. Solutions for Bandwidth LTE connectivity can provide the extra bandwidth needed, and can be pooled among multiple locations to avoid data going unused. Simply choose a network management solution that allows network administrators to remotely monitor and adjust usage to avoid overages.
Already viewed by attackers as highly lucrative targets due to the massive amount of credit card data being processed, businesses face mounting challenges as IoT continues to grow in retail settings. Each device is another network on-ramp and adds to the complexity of security management.
While security threats continue to evolve and employee errors continue to threaten information security. IT departments cannot directly supervise the network at all times. Hackers are well aware of this, and in-store staff members often find themselves in the crosshairs of malware or phishing schemes.
Customers of just about every type of business have come to expect guest WiFi, but especially in retail. Omnichannel experiences and highly interactive apps drive people to use their phones or even tablets while shopping. Retailers can benefit from guest WiFi, too. They can use splash pages to deliver surveys, gather key analytics, and provide sales announcements or coupons to entice additional purchases.
Beacons use Bluetooth low-energy technology to make smartphones location-aware and to notify nearby devices of their presence. As a shopper moves through a store, beacons transmit data about the device owner.
Beacons enable customers to make in-store payments from their phones, and receive targeted advertisements and information about sales. In turn, retailers gain data about customers that can help them make informed decisions about staffing and store layout, influence buyer behavior, and customize each shoppers’ experience through real-time and predictive analytics.
Unlike traditional signs, digital signs have the flexibility and interactivity required for effective omnichannel marketing. The ability to instantly update content from a remote location, offer personalized purchase recommendations, and integrate with apps and beacons makes digital signs a truly versatile investment. Even in less futuristic settings, the cost savings of reduced personnel hours spent manually updating pricing and other content can deliver an immediate boost to the bottom line.
In an outdoor deployment, digital signs might be leveraged to raise brand awareness or drive in-store or online traffic. During peak selling seasons, such as Black Friday and during the holidays, in-store digital signs can be used for staff training. Finding multi-use solutions for in-store deployments will lower the total cost of ownership of your network while maximizing your organization’s productivity.