The role of the brick and mortar store is changing. The experience of online retail has forced the makeup of the store to evolve. No longer just a place to buy products, retailers are reconfiguring their stores to deliver quality digital experiences, showcase products in creative ways, and of course build more meaningful connections between the brand and its customer base – ultimately driving loyalty and profitability.
The good news? A majority of retail purchases still occur in-store today, despite the sustained growth of online retail platforms. So the onus is on retailers to meet the heightened expectations of the connected shopper. What does this mean? It means reconfiguring the role of the brick and mortar retail store, by delivering convenience, reducing friction points, focusing on personalization, creating a 1:1 shopper approach, and incorporating mobile centric services as part of the overarching in-store shopping experience.
In-Store Guest Access to Seamless, Secure, Always-On Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi is now part of every quality guest experience, and this isn’t any different for in-store shoppers, who expect access to Wi-Fi connectivity upon entering a retail environment. Providing pervasive Wi-Fi to in-store guests allows them to stay connected while they shop, interacting with their mobile devices the same way they do day-to-day. There is an incentive for the retailer as a substantial percentage of shoppers state they use their mobile device in-store while they shop to help with their buying decisions.
Simply providing Wi-Fi connectivity isn’t enough. The solution must effortlessly and intelligently onboard guests and their devices, granting them the appropriate access to the network in a seamless and intuitive way. Once connected, guests should not experience an interruption or drop in service while roaming the store environment, and their confidential, private information must remain secure.
Visibility into In-Store Activities and Access to
Brick and mortar retailers have a unique advantage compared to online-only retailers in that the customer can physically engage with the products as well as personally consult with a sales representative. Tracking these interactions with analytics enables better understanding of in-store trends to make more informed decisions related to the business environment, assets, and customers.
Guest’s in-store behaviors and trends should be analyzed and used to create a personalized, 1:1 experience for customers upon entering the store. Data analytics also include operational insights related to in-store movements and engagements, product placement and performance, and customer preferences and buying behaviors. The combination of which equips retailers to make better decisions surrounding their stores, to positively impact the bottom-line moving forward.
Location-Based Analytics for Contextual
Location-based technology is a powerful, important tool for brick and mortar retailers augmenting the in-store experience. Location-based analytics equal a deeper layer of intelligence surrounding the patterns of onsite guests. At a macro level, retailers can determine the visitor trends at a location – or across a set of distributed locations – in real-time or historically; at a micro level, retailers can observe the guest engagement patterns within a specific environment.
Retailers should take advantage of location data to engage onsite guests with contextual, targeted, mobile-based communications and further personalize the in-store shopping experience. Through measuring the analytics, impact, and success of these engagements, retail brands can only increase the value for customers.
Open Standards to Support and Empower Digital
Campaigns, Platforms, and Ecosystems
The retail landscape is transforming into a combination of platforms for customer experience and engagement, partnership ecosystems, IoT, internal IT systems, and business assets - at the heart of which is data analytics and automation. At the center of this shift in retail - what’s enabling these initiatives and the industry’s digital transformation - is the network. A retailer’s network must have an open-standards approach, to flexibly and easily integrate with third party platforms and ecosystems, empowering and elevating in-store digital campaigns.
A retailer’s network strategy is a central part of An Enhanced In-Store Experience today, and the right solution delivered from the right provider overcomes the digital pain points experienced day in and day out. Extreme’s solutions are purposely-built to meet the unique needs of retail brands and their stores. They provide secure and seamless access to in-store networks, Wi-Fi connectivity for guests and staff, deliver analytics surrounding guest behaviors and location-based engagements, and are engineered to integrate seamlessly with third party ecosystem platforms.
Extreme’s Message to Retailers
Retailers are using digital transformation to reinvent themselves to deliver the same level of service and convenience to in-store customers as is delivered online. Extreme Networks enables retailers to create a highly personalized, mobile-centric shopping experience, and to optimize store operations. We provide the solutions to build intelligent, adaptive, and secure autonomous networks that strategically integrate wireless and wired technologies, guest access, analytics, location-based services, and centralized network management. For these reasons and our #1 rated customer support, we count some of the world’s largest retailers including Meijer, Walmart, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, CVS, and Macy’s among our customers.