Retail and Stores
Retail and Stores
Retail, shopping centres and supermarkets are faced with high levels of competition and online shopping is eroding the experience of visiting a store.
To encourage shoppers to experience the physical stores and provide an enjoyable experience, retail is innovating to offer guest access, location services to help with wayfinding and locating the product the shopper is looking for.
Retail and Store Requirements
Store and shopping centre operations fall into a number of camps. EFTPOS and bar code scanners for retailing and stock control and the most common staff centric networking requirements.
The back end network has to support security, cameras, data storage and of course the shopper experience.
In addition, retail has some regulatory requirements. Ensuring financial transactions and data are secure is one aspect, but the most basic requirements are ensuring security and cleanliness of the facility.
The shopper experience in retail is all about making life easier for the shopper and increasing the number and duration of their store visits.
Guest Wi-Fi provides the retailer with a number of connection points to the shopper – access to store directories, wayfinding and advertising of promotions.
Some limited tracking of connections is sometimes used to generically track repeat store visitors and can help the retailer determine if they are increasing foot traffic.
Retailers can be innovative how they use this connection to the shopper and ensure the connection made is one that ensures guest satisfaction, ease of finding items and reporting issues. This can elevate the experience of visiting a store or shopping centre.
Supermarkets and Stores
Supermarkets have a couple of up front requirements – bar code scanners and communication devices. These are sometimes multifunction and are one and the same device.
The key thing is that the Wi-Fi is reliable to support these devices.
Supermarkets are innovating with new services, which include COVID safety. The ability to people count and determine when the maximum number of people allowed in a store has been met ensures compliance. Cisco DNA Spaces, coupled with Meraki cameras can provide augmented people counting.
Digital shopping carts, seamless checkout and other innovations mean that supermarkets and retail stores require good network installation.
Cloud based networking such as Cisco Meraki offers a seamless, easy to manage network installation.
Shopping centres need to know the amount of foot traffic around the centre. This is both for determining store rents, but also to design the best locations for signage and special offers.
Knowing the amount of foot traffic, coupled with linger times in locations allows for fine tuning of store and shopping centre layouts.
Cisco DNA Spaces can also be used for task management, so can offer more than just a static one-way information flow, but actually be used to trigger automatic workflows.
The use of DNA Spaces also allows for COVID applications to measure the density of people in a place and provide alerts if they are over capacity.
The work flow could be text messages, API calls or emails.