Powering network connectivity for retailers

Walk into a retail outlet today and there is a tremendous amount of technology that exists whether it’s electronic tags, traffic counters, point of sale (POS) systems, security cameras or initiatives for transforming the in-store journey like kiosks, beacons, tablets or even virtual reality experiences. The networking for all these initiatives is becoming increasingly complex and costly with more and more data traffic to meet the needs of the fast-moving retail environment. Powering Wi-Fi and store applications, powering the day-to-day operational demands, powering unified commerce, powering the customer experience and demands for more digital services has made connectivity a primary challenge facing retailers.

So, what must retailers do to meet the abundant expectations for connectivity?

Retailers are embracing cloud, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to increase business agility, enable distributed locations, and gain operational insights. As a result, an increasing amount of enterprise network traffic is moving off private IP networks and onto the public internet. The Cradlepoint NetCloud platform is designed specifically for this new “interprise” era and allows retailers to deploy private cloud networks over wired and wireless broadband Internet services for branch, pop-up, and IoT networks.

Achieving business goals in today’s retail environment requires a networking strategy that is wireless, secure, agile and reliable. Having a robust networking solution that offers flexibility and the numerous options for providing internet failover, router redundancy, and business continuity across a variety of locations and circumstances is paramount.

With the ever-increasing number of devices in retail locations, customers and, just as importantly, associates have come to expect network connectivity just as much as they expect electricity when they flip on a light switch. Further, they expect the response on their devices to be essentially instantaneous. When connectivity goes down, POS services, business operations, profits, and even customer satisfaction suffer. Downtime happens when there is a physical disruption to cables. Network failover to 3G/4G LTE is more reliable because it needs only a signal for true redundancy bandwidth.

Increased flexibility and agility gives LTE an advantage over traditional wired connectivity solutions. As well as no longer being fully reliant on fixed lines, Cradlepoint’s solutions can act as your primary network providing a high-level of security, as well as protection from downtime. Configured, deployed, and managed from the cloud, Cradlepoint’s security suite provides a layered approach that defends against evasion attacks, improves network availability, and protects sensitive data from malicious malware and advanced threats. Shared networks are not secure. This is particularly relevant for retailers that have a store-within-a-store model although branches that share network functionality are also vulnerable to threats. LTE provides true ‘air-gapped’ isolated networks for POS services and protecting customer data.

Almost a third of new businesses launched in the UK over the next two years will start life as a ‘pop-up’ shop. Many long-established brands are also exploring this model as a way to build awareness and interact with their customers in new ways. These pop-up or tertiary businesses need a networking solution that is mobile, available 24/7, rapidly deployed, cost effective and secure.

As well as being simple to install, Cradlepoint solutions are also easy to manage. For retailers with limited resources and IT expertise, our value-added distributor will provide local support. For bigger businesses, or companies with multiple pop-up locations, our out of band management (OOBM) software allows distributed enterprises remote access from a central location so teams can troubleshoot issues and get networks back online even when off site. Through Cradlepoint’s NetCloud platform retailers can configure, deploy, monitor, upgrade, and manage remote networks with ‘zero touch’.

Today, customers and associates drive the ubiquitous expectation of connectivity. Tomorrow it will be driven by the still-evolving data requirements in-store. Not only will there still be a need for transaction and customer relationship information, but there will also be a requirement for device management information to assure a smooth customer experience.

Cradlepoint’s purpose-built hardware platforms powered by NetCloud software and cloud services have been designed to transform and enhance the retail environment. That’s why 75% of the world’s top retailers rely on Cradlepoint solutions. Get peace of mind and ensure the best possible experience for your customers with Cradlepoint’s world-class products and cloud management.

Visit Cradlepoint at RBTE stand # 640

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