With the end of brick-and-mortar retailing, novel retailers have recognized the power of omnichannel strategies that merge bricks and clicks to increase store traffic, transform customer experiences, and open new revenue systems
FREMONT, CA: Buy-online-and-pickup-in-stores (BOPIS) is a strategy brick-and-click brands’ are successfully blending into their businesses. Another approach that is integrated with the brick-and-click model is the combination of robust mobile shopping platforms with a wide range of products available across channels and well-advertised BOPIS offerings. For bricks-and-clicks to work, there must be absolute fault-tolerance in the supply chain, store inventory, and staffing system as well as web and mobile platforms. Having a core IT infrastructure is essential in the execution of these plans.
Here are five network-centric tips to enhance customer experience inside and outside the store:
Expand Wide-area LANs
BOPIS require extended connectivity to drive-up areas and warehouses, and shipping yards require more connectivity because of IoT, that tracks every step of the customer’s order. With the availability of no-overage LTE data plans from major wireless carriers and the rise of Private LTE, retailers can take advantage of the expandability and security of LTE for WAN use cases across the enterprise.
Providing a micro-segmentation architecture across the store LAN/WAN infrastructure by using software-defined perimeter (SDP), LTE for wireless isolation, and separate wireless WAN/LAN deployments will minimize the impact of infiltration across the network.
Round the Clock WAN Connectivity
To deliver new customer experiences in BOPIS, it is crucial that systems are interconnected across the company. An error in a wide-area-network (WAN) can bring everything to a pause. Hence, retailers need to deploy LTE failover to all stores so that any malfunction in the network does not bring the WAN down.
A number of retailers have store networks that expand beyond major cities into secondary or even tertiary towns. This is because many new and interconnected applications along with guest WiFi and IoT devices require more WAN bandwidth. Wireless carriers have enhanced their cellular networks by include Gigabit-Class LTE, deploying 25 to 50Mbps and even 100Mbps of primary WAN connectivity, thus offering a universal bandwidth upgrade solution that delivers better service time.
The advent of 5G will revolutionize how and where retailers connect with their customers by implementing advanced LTE technologies such as Gigabit-Class LTE into the networks and ensuring the WAN is 5G ready.
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