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How Wireless Technology Innovations are Seamlessly Connecting the Modern Store

The retail store of today is a fast-moving environment operating in a highly competitive market, which is why wireless technology is essential to ensuring long-term survival. From the need to embrace omnichannel services to creating a frictionless in-store experience for the customer, retailers are constantly in need of technologies that not only engage the customer but improve the working capabilities of a retail associate as well.

One key technology that ties so many other technologies together is the wireless network. Kiosks, self-service scanners, printers, tablets, sensors and more all need to connect. Which means planning, deploying and optimising a Wi-Fi infrastructure that can take the high demand of a modern retail store. Here are some of the ways a wireless technology solution can meet that need:

 

A robust Wi-Fi infrastructure is critical for the modern retail environment

A wireless network benefits everyone who uses it. Including both customers who frequent your premises and the staff who provide that all-important customer service. Customers expect to remain connected wherever they go. And that extends to having a Wi-Fi network in store that removes their need to rely on costly data plans.

For retailers, it’s about how these in-store service provides different touch points for advertising opportunities and potential sales. Some organisations may have apps that customers have pre-downloaded. Thus, providing them access to personalised vouchers and offers. But not every customer is going to have an app for every store they visit. A robust wireless network can take advantage of a customised progressive web app (PWA) that offers all the interactivity of an app direct from the Wi-Fi login screen.

 

The impact of utilising electronic shelf-edge labelling and its benefits for customer and colleague

While shelf-edge labelling isn’t anything new, it’s still a very important element enhanced by the right wireless infrastructure. In the simplest terms, shelf-edge labelling refers to the means of delivering automated price updates through an electronic tag. With such fierce competition across a saturated market, customer’s need to feel confident that the price stated on an item is reflective of its value. Compared to other retailers offering sales and promotions on that item.

It also has wider implications for a store’s supply chain. Where not only are prices adjusted to meet market value, but also a means of cost of goods movement. Where a retailer can streamline where stock is displayed and the redistribution of that stock. And it’s all underpinned by a robust wireless network that keeps retailers connected to the data they need to remain agile.

 

Designing a network that can support larger and larger numbers of connected devices

Modern technology solutions have the capability to build and support wireless networks that support thousands of connected devices, providing seamless connectivity even during periods of peak business. Much of that comes back to the importance of how you plan, architect, optimise and deploy your retail wireless network. How many devices will be connecting? Are there devices that require 100% connectivity? Does the network support scalability?

Over the last five years, the number of devices that are connecting to a retailer’s wireless network has grown significantly. For shelf-edge labelling, that system has traditionally sat on top of the existing network. Therefore, potentially introducing complications and stress points. Technology solutions in this space have evolved to individual tags that individually connected to the network. Electronic shelf labels (ESLs) remove the need for laborious tasks such as manually checking individual prices on the shelf. So retail associates can be deployed elsewhere for more complex tasks.

 

Taking away the stress of managing new technologies with Managed Services

With so many technologies at play in a modern retail store, it can be difficult for even the most capable retail operations director/manage to coordinate all those intricacies across several levels. A managed service solves this issue by taking away the stress of managing your wireless network. As well as the various technology touch points involved. From remotely fixing issues to rolling out important updates, it creates an optimised environment for both colleague and customer.

Managed services are fully tailored. Serving as both a full service that supports every aspect of a network and its devices, to a complementary piece that enhances the systems and procedures that are already in place within a retail store. Organisations no longer must create internal support teams to deal with inevitable issues. Now, they can simply outsource it to a technology partner that’s there whenever they are needed. However many stores there may be or however large a single outlet may be. By taking that stress away from an internal IT resource, this ensures that retailers can meet customer expectations without the stress of managing devices as well.

 

Every retailer is different when it comes to finding the right technology solution

Every retailer is different. And so is the technology they may be using or hope to use in the future. Some retailers may be using different types of devices from different manufacturers that require varying levels of service and support. A great technology solution isn’t an ‘off the shelf’ offering. But a tailored solution that addresses the unique pain points a retailer may be experiencing.

Wireless site surveys, for instance, enable a technology partner like Renovotec to visit a site in person and proactively assess its layout. So they can determine where key signal black spots may be occurring. Whether a retailer has a competent network that simply needs to be optimised for a larger suite of devices, or a retailer is starting from scratch, it’s that personalisation that creates an optimised network that covers everything from the dock door to the stock room to the shop floor.

 

A reliable and fast repair service reduces downtime, especially during critical periods

From the end user’s point of view, that retail associate has a job to do. They want to complete those tasks as fast and as efficiently as possible. But with the best will in the world, mistakes happen, and devices can be dropped or compromised. Even the loss of one device from a device pool can have a massive impact on a retailer’s ability to deliver great customer service. A repair support service relieves this stress. Thus, enabling a retailer to operate at optimum performance. Safe in the knowledge that any faulty devices or issues with the wireless network will be addressed, triaged and fixed by an external technology partner.

Especially during periods of business such as Black Friday or Christmas, the ability to leverage a tailored service makes all the difference. From fast remote fixes to hardware repairs all the way to hot swap exchanges, the right selection of repair services gives retailers the opportunity to operate at their best. Even when under continued pressure and customer expectation.

Want to hear more about the benefits of an optimised wireless network for retail? Watch the latest episode of Connecting the Modern Store, a Renovotec Podcast Series below. You can also listen to an audio-only version here.
Contact us today to book your visit to the Renovotec Innovation Centre at our UK Head Office in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside and meet our wireless network solutions specialists for retail.

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