In the early days of e-commerce, shoppers stayed at home to browse and buy online. And there was little if any connection between retailers’ in-store and internet-based shopping experiences.
But in recent years retailers have awakened to the benefits of understanding and catering to shoppers throughout the customer journey. In response to this epiphany, they’ve married their bricks-and-mortar and online efforts into larger strategies.
Those strategies typically enable customers to return products they buy online either via mail or in their stores. Many retailers outfit in-store personnel with connected devices and applications to help customers check the details and availability of products, and to check out more efficiently. Retailers sometimes even employ special apps and in-store networks and sensors to understand customer location and movement, and provide shoppers with special incentives based on that intelligence.
All this requires a lot of planning when it comes to strategy creation, implementation, and execution. Building apps that address business goals and allow for clerk and customer ease of use is also paramount. So is training in-store help, so these individuals can use mobile apps and point-of-sale solutions to deliver the best possible customer experiences.
However, one aspect of delivering optimal customer experiences that is often overlooked is the in-store network. To ensure mobile and other point-of-sale systems and other in-store connected experiences and solutions are secure, available, and perform reliability also includes a fair amount of planning, management, and investment. But taking the time and effort to establish an advanced network can pay off by delivering better customer experiences, driving sales, and even reducing operational costs, notes Joseph Harding, executive vice president and chief marketing office at Windstream (News - Alert).
“Giving customers and employees new apps and systems that run at a sluggish pace is a surefire recipe for frustration. Seamless bandwidth and instant connectivity are must-haves,” he says.
Harding adds: “Empowering retailers with the visibility to see the performance of their applications in real time enables the flexibility to choose the best connection and bandwidth allocation for each application, ensuring optimal performance.”
Edited by Maurice Nagle