How Retail Wi-Fi Helps Deliver a Superior In-Store Experience
In an increasingly aggressive market, retailers are looking for the smaller ‘1% factors’ that will enable them to compete and beat competitors. The consensus seems to be that the retail store needs to evolve to be part of a different type of retail experience. Look no further than retail Wi-Fi.
It certainly has become far more of an expectation that customers now expect in-store Wi-Fi that allows them to quickly and easily access the internet. A retail Wi-Fi experience is proven to result in increased footfall and greater product dwell time, meaning more customers and longer browsing periods.
Now, imagine a solution that can help to enhance the experience of your store network without disrupting it. There are increasingly complex solutions available to retailers to help solve the problems around in-store Wi-Fi. However, Cloud-based networking technology can offer easier deployment options and increased capability. This offers rich features along with added scalability, all simply delivered through a single cloud-based management console with a user-friendly interface. With this, retailers are able to enhance their retail Wi-Fi, analytics, marketing, and sales capabilities.
Retail Wi-Fi environments have traditionally been labour intensive to set up, and complicated to manage. Cloud-based solutions easily bridge the gap between traditional networking and software-defined networking, without having to reinvent a retailer’s entire infrastructure. Retail businesses looking for flexible, scalable, and easy to manage solutions that can easily be integrated across their stores should look towards cloud-based technology. Additionally, they can manage all of their infrastructure from a single management interface, reducing the need for any on-premise maintenance, and allowing them to manage their physical devices anywhere.
What Are Some Of The Benefits Retailers Can Achieve By Using Cloud-Based Retail Wi-Fi Platforms?
Enhanced Behaviour Tracking
Of all the impressive things cloud-based networking can do, one of the key aspects that makes the technology perfect for retail is its ability to collate customer data and capture analytics via Location Analytics. For example, when a customer connects to the retail Wi-Fi, businesses can then use heat mapping via the network to track the foot traffic of the visitor in store. This can help to target market towards the consumer and provide insight into popular items or enhance orthotic sales. Retailers can gather customer data about what visitors are browsing for and entice the customer with target advertising based on the collated analytics. Additionally, cloud-based networking technology can also give retailers insight in to store design, product placement, and staff requirements based on the traffic data.
An additional key aspect to consider about cloud-based networking is its potential for visibility. Businesses are able to view their entire connected network through a single network map, allowing them to visualise every aspect of their infrastructure, and how it is functioning. This simplifies the identification of issues and allows the IT team to troubleshoot easily, creating an easier gateway for problem-solving. If you think about the complexity of a retailer’s infrastructure spread out across locations, a visualisation of the network can prove to be extremely useful for troubleshooting problems amongst large, interconnected networks.
In 2018, it is predicted retail specific automation technology will continue to mature and gain more power to enhance the retail experience . Laborious and time-consuming processes can now become a thing of the past, as cloud-based networking technology returns control to the hands of the business. With software-defined networking, businesses are not depending on delivery times, install times, and maintenance that could all effect the ease of deployment. Instead, the business can set up cloud-based before it is even delivered, enabling the tech to work as soon as it is plugged in as the setup process is not physical. In short, cloud-based technology is going along way to deliver increased efficiency without the challenges of maintaining and deploying traditional networks. Deployment and updates are automated, relieving pressure from internal teams.
Omni-Channel Touch Points
Customers have many different levels of contact with a retailer, and so it is important that this interaction is consistent, personable to the consumer, and engages the shopper in a trustworthy relationship with the brand. With cloud-based networking technology having even one touch-point with the customer can be utilised to build multiple opportunities. For example, if a customer simply logs in to the retail Wi-Fi, their activity can integrate with the network and create a more personalised experience. Often, retail Wi-Fi allows businesses to complement their in-store experience . Online and in-store environments can be united to create a personable brand experience for the customer, and this also builds a profile of shoppers, allowing retailers to identify frequent visitors, target advertise, and send location-based advertisements.
Flexibility and Scalability
Cloud-based networking technology is extremely easy to deploy and can be scaled up or down depending on demand. This amount of flexibility is great for growing businesses, who predict more growth, or want to cut down on excess costs or overhead. Additionally, cloud-based can be implemented regardless of the size of the business, which may be pricier with traditional networking infrastructures.
Maintaining a software-defined network infrastructure can allow retailers to avoid the costs that come with lengthy deployment of traditional networks and avoid the timely/labour-intensive physical maintenance of those systems. Additionally, cloud-based networking can easily be deployed and isn’t costly over time, so retailers who are looking to grow can really benefit from the use of this networking solution. The solution doesn’t require additional staff or training, as the interface is easy to understand and simple to deploy.
Lastly, cloud-based networking technology streamlines all business worries in to effortless automation. Any updates, new features, or service upgrades are automatically updated, without the need for manual intervention. This removes the need for internal IT teams to maintain upgrades and updates on the system, and instead free up time for more important tasks. All of these updates are visible via one centralised system, giving the business full visibility over their entire networks, retail Wi-Fi, analytics, and updates. There is no doubt that cloud-based simplifies once burdensome tasks and provides a clear visualisation of every process that is happening among a retailer’s network.
Timico is a managed service provider that delivers world-class connectivity, workplace and cloud technology to over ten thousand customers.