Reimagine Your Store

by Ken Morris
November 14, 2018

We are in the midst of a retail renaissance, with digital technologies transforming the traditional store model. While that transformation isn’t over, we’re sufficiently far enough along that today’s disruption points the way to the store of the future. Retailers who emerge as winners will be those who infuse digital features into the store environment, delivering a rich and personalized customer experience that online shopping cannot provide.

Retail store of the future using digital technologies to the enhance shopping experience

The store of the future

The future success of brick-and-mortar retail depends on stores embracing new technologies to ensure the experience is mobile, relevant, personal, ubiquitous, and secure.

  • Mobile. Shoppers already browse the web on their phones from within stores. The store of the future will leverage this by enabling shoppers to easily complete purchases on their mobile devices – freeing associates from checkout desks for more personal interactions while also eliminating lines at registers.
  • Relevant. Innovative technologies will identify and track customers who enter the store, enabling associates to personalize the shopping experience with recommendations based on customer data, including real-time, relevant offers based on customer context.
  • Personal. Mobile devices used by store associates to assist customers with clienteling, guided selling, inventory look-up, and even checkout anywhere in the store help to personalize the customer experience. While the store is still the heart of the shopping experience, personalization needs to be integrated across the brand.
  • Ubiquitous. Real-time retail delivers a seamless, custom experience to the shopper whenever, wherever, and however they choose to shop, and is a requirement for the store of the future. It enables retailers to identify shoppers and gather, analyze and disseminate customer, product, pricing, and inventory data across all channels – instantly.
  • Secure. The same information that enables a personalized experience also provides opportunity for data theft and fraud. Retailers need to ensure data privacy so that customers feel comfortable providing personal information.

The new network imperatives

These five essential elements of the store of the future all require a robust, resilient and real-time network. Apps must be responsive and fast to provide useful information to customers and associates. Network speed and reliability are critical as network outages will be unacceptable. Unfortunately, few, if any, existing retail networks are fully up to this task.

The key is migrating from legacy infrastructure to advanced networking technologies and cloud applications that have the performance, capacity, and reliability the store of the future requires. Fortunately, these are all available today – and now is the time to transform the network to support your store of the future.

It’s a complex topic requiring careful consideration. For an instructive dive into technology options and the benefits they can deliver, you can download BRP Consulting’s The Future Retail Network Manifesto and chat with BRP Consulting and Windstream Enterprise at NRF 2019 January 13-15 at booth #4609, we will be talking about this very topic.