Digital disruption has been a force to be reckoned with across a range of industries. But nowhere has it been more recognizable than in retail.
Amazon has been the major retail disrupter, particularly in the U.S. A staggering 89 percent of 2017 holiday online spending was with Amazon. The Amazon experience has pushed everyone from Wal-Mart to mom-and-pop shops to up their online games.
Still, it’s important to recognize that less than 10 percent of total U.S. retail sales are transacted online. But, it’s also noteworthy that more than half of retail spending is influenced by digital interaction.
“Brick-and-mortar retail companies face formidable competition from e-commerce players; yet traditional retailers need not give up the battle for growth,” writes Deloitte (News - Alert). “By seeking an in-depth understanding of their own customers and by using their physical assets to their advantage, retailers can put in place strategies for customer engagement that allow them to thrive.”
That means retailers of all types – and in both the physical and virtual worlds – need to take a holistic view of the customer experience. And that, Ciena suggests, should include both the online content and catalog of products they offer, and the underlying infrastructure they use to deliver it.
In terms of the underlying infrastructure, says Ciena’s Brian Lavallee, retailers need should do what they can to ensure good quality connections to their content. And they should consider adoption distributed NFV solutions to expedite development efforts, allow for high-quality connectivity, and address security.
Ciena’s senior director of portfolio marketing adds that retailers’ networks should be secured end-to-end – not just at the point of sale. That entails keeping networks up to date and patched, ensuring compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, and being able to manage and assure security at various retail locations.
Edited by Mandi Nowitz