Omni-channel retailing and a seamless approach to customer experience….. In today’s retail world, consumers are increasingly knowledgeable, increasingly demanding. The typical retail customer today is well-informed about potential purchases and competitive products even before they enter a store.
These days the retail customer shops online and in-store; often concurrently using “click & collect” fulfilment and mobile point-of-sale and self-checkout. They are accustomed to connecting seamlessly to digital catalogs, virtual assistants, loyalty accounts, personalized offers and historical purchase data via an in-store network.
So how can retailers adapt their use of networking technology to secure a sale before a competitor does?
The Same Information on Every Channel
Today the customer often moves seamlessly between channels, completing their purchase in a different channel to which they began, so ideally the retailer’s stores, web site, supply chain and customer service centers should be in total sync at all times. Product and customer Information needs to be available in-store and online, on mobile platforms, in kiosks or in-store tablets.
A joined-up experience will excite customers and give them reasons to buy again.
Customer Service Is Not What It Was
Increasingly, customers expect to use social media platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat, Twitter and Facebook Messenger to communicate with their retailer. How well retailers interact with customers over a range of platforms can often mean the difference between making a sale and not.
Truly understanding customers can mean improved retention, drive more targeted marketing, and ultimately greater sales. Enabling customers to connect seamlessly to an in-store network can give rich customer insight data in real-time, showing shopping patterns and heat maps to identify which products are hot and which are not. And when fed into today’s sophisticated retail CRM systems, rich insight into customer buying patterns can be derived almost transparently.
360˚ Retail View
Today’s customers crave data; whether fixed centralized information or distributed streamed content.
To deliver a consistently personalized, on-brand experience for each customer at every touch point anytime and anywhere, data is at the heart of the retail operation and easily retrievable through:
- Seamlessly connected stores with the right capacity, wherever in the world they are, and irrespective of where data is hosted
- Customer service staff connected to customer, product and purchase information regardless of whether they are in-store, in Head Office or in a distributed call center
- The supply chain, connected for stock control, just-in-time inventory, vehicle control and tracking
Leveraging the Cloud
Global CRM, E-commerce platform, ERP and customer-care systems have become ultra-critical., and the Cloud is where they should be. But the Cloud can be complicated, slow and even open to cyber-attack; being able to best leverage a multitude of Cloud environments without compromising on performance or security becomes key.
Staying Ahead in the Fast Moving High Street
Success in retail can be even about being agile and flexible; being ready at a few days’ notice to open a new store or “pop-up” concession when the time between store fit-out and opening can be a matter of days. And during this time the connectivity to support the myriad of services and systems required needs to be installed, turned up and tested. Global rapid deployment solutions can ensure time isn’t lost and stores go live on time, every time.
This is where Global Cloud Xchange comes in
We are experts at connecting retailers, providing connectivity wherever it is needed, delivering services securely, efficiently and cost effectively retailers, customers, suppliers and partners. We can even provide secure and cost-effective Cloud connectivity so that on-demand models can be leveraged without compromising on application performance and without impacting consumer experience.
Global Cloud Xchange also helps make retailers responsive to customers, and helps drive efficiency between widespread staff, and integrates supply chains. Regardless of whether the primary channel is a network of retail stores or an online shop, we can make it easier for customers to buy with a more personal and fulfilling customer experience.
Global Cloud Xchange has a variety of products and solutions to help the global retailer:
- Flexible and far-reaching Managed MPLS VPN and hybrid WAN solutions can help IT departments stay abreast of dynamic ever-changing business through cost effective, globally-available networks which leverage both our global infrastructure and innovative in-country options
- WAN Xtra rapid deployment options provide unrivalled agility and flexibility to meet aggressive store opening schedules or temporary “pop-up store” campaigns
- CLOUD X Fusion provides high performance, enterprise-grade, private connectivity from our global MPLS VPN and Global Ethernet platforms into the leading public Clouds (such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Softlayer) on a truly global basis, whether in Asia, Europe or the USA putting these vast Cloud platforms are merely an on-net network port away
- CLOUD X Fusion can also help ensure a retailer remains compliant with data sovereignty laws with MPLS ensuring controlled traffic flows in a way that could never be matched over the Internet
- CLOUD X IaaS provides unrivalled agility, offering access to shared virtualized computing environments and enabling users to deploy whole application server workloads in minutes rather than day, even in emerging markets like India and China.
- Secure Managed WiFi solutions can enhance customers’ in-store experience and provide valuable customer analytics which can link directly into CRM systems and customer retail insight tools.
- X-Shield Managed Security solutions provide vital protection against cyber-attack and help with PCI DSS or other standards compliance.
- Managed Unified Communications solutions can maximise customer-facing resources ensure vital customer contact is not missed.