Retail is a dynamic industry where enterprises are continuously seeking an edge and are constantly implementing change. Omni-channel strategies are increasingly common, and technologies such as SD-WAN can provide a strong foundation for growth. The limitations of old technology deployments become apparent to consumers and investors alike in a fine balance of extracting maximum value from incumbent networks and embracing disruptive new approaches.

Within the retail environment there is the added demand on IT to enhance the digital experience for customers both in-store and through omni-channel structures. This convergence between the online and in-store experience requires increased IT services at the store level, dramatically increasing the demand on the corporate WAN which it simply wasn’t designed for.

Challenges faced by the retail industry

  1. Operate with high availability and performance levels while undergoing constant changes due to new or relocated stores and iterations to core business systems
  2. Increase adoption of cloud-delivered applications such as Retail Management Systems and CRM, which can result in performance challenges on slow traditional WANs that can be cost prohibitive to resolve
  3. Constantly look for opportunities to reduce the unit costs of every store component and improve productivity of the support teams
  4. Enable greater bandwidth for new applications demanded by the business and customers

A sustainable economic model for the WAN is required to enable the growth needed to support requirements such as:

  • Develop big data analytics on customers, building individually tailored experiences in-store and online
  • Use of in-store beacons for analytics and targeted alerts
  • Real-time digital signage with audio and video content delivered over the WAN
  • Secure in-store employee and guest Wi-Fi
  • Digital surveillance, streaming audio and video footage to off-site locations
  • E-Learning systems
  • Unified communications and video conferencing
  • Pop-up marketing initiatives (heavy with video & interaction)
  • Point of Sale transactions over a converged data network (with PCI compliant data backhaul network) and support for future payment systems (Apple Pay, Stripe, etc.)

With Coevolve’s services, we can help the retail industry overcome these challenges. Our Professional Services team will work with you to understand your world, and help solve your unique challenges. Used with Coevolve’s Integrated SD-WAN Solution, we can deliver a superior global networking experience to the ever-changing store environment.