As a retailer operating in a highly competitive environment, you need to find and leverage every advantage you can. Most retailers have a wireless network that enables mobile devices to communicate with the point of sale (POS) and back office — but are you taking advantage of this asset to improve your operations? Your wireless retail strategy should include collecting data for business intelligence, enabling merchandising solutions, and supporting your overall marketing program.
1. Business Intelligence. Your wireless retail infrastructure is the link that helps you gather data on your customers, your staff, and your inventory — data that can help you make informed business decisions and stay a step ahead of your competition. Software applications can enable you to monitor specific types of transactions and to find data collected from smartphones, mobile devices or sensors, or video at the same time. This can enable you to drill down and find common trends that make the customer engagement successful — or to find behaviors or trends that result in not getting the sale.
2. Merchandising Solutions.Solutions that can help you consistently and efficiently manage your merchandise are also possible within a wireless retail environment. Your wireless infrastructure can support digital in-store displays that present up-to-date messaging managed from your POS system, as well as kiosks that can provide product information, engage customers with coupons and special offers, and capture their information for your loyalty program. In addition, displays can help you fight showrooming by letting your customers know you will match competitive pricing. Wireless retail systems can also help you track customers with active Wi-Fi on their smartphones, giving you information on high traffic areas that are good choices for displays and kiosks.
Wireless retail infrastructure also supports digital signage that facilitates quick and efficient execution of corporate marketing promotions, correctly and consistently showing sale prices — which can be preset to change at the moment the sale begins and to change back to the regular prices when the sale ends.
3. Marketing.Your wireless retail infrastructure can also support your overall marketing initiatives. Your sales associates, empowered with information on their mobile devices — thanks to a wireless retail environment — can engage customers with “clienteling,” establishing relationships with customers based on their purchase history and preferences, which will help them provide exceptional customer experience.
Another example of wireless retail infrastructure supporting marketing is a Wi-Fi loyalty program. Offer Wi-Fi to your customers to use in your store if they register — and provide a coupon or special offer for those who do. The next time they enter the store, they are automatically signed into your Wi-Fi network, which gives you a platform for communicating special offers or promotions — as well as collecting customer data.
Your wireless infrastructure can be more than just a cost of doing business. It can actually contribute to initiatives and strategies that help you boost revenues. Moreover — and maybe even providing more value — the exceptional customer services and level of engagement that you will be able to provide can differentiate you from the competition and make you the customer’s choice.