SD-WAN: Power to Boost Retail Success

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SD-WAN: Power to Boost Retail SuccessSpring is in the air. And if you're in retail, that can only mean one thing: the 2017 holiday shopping preparation is underway for most retail organizations. This means NOW is the perfect time to prepare for your in-store and online experience to be spectacular.

As of today, we have 229 shopping days left till Christmas, and even less for Chanukah.

For retailers thinking they need a better way to ensure network up-time and success for both their virtual shopping and brick and mortar environments – many are finding the solution is SD-WAN. This option delivers many benefits, one of which is performance that will reverberate through the end of the year. SD-WAN has proven to be the transformation for retail outcomes. SD-WAN offers most brick and mortar retailers a platform to effectively compete on a digital level alongside their leading online rivals.

Transform Brick & Mortar Retail CX with SD-WAN

Software defined WANs provide a cost-effective, reliable, high speed connectivity capability to nearly any multi-located organization. On the shopper side, SD-WAN can transform the experience by speeding up transactions, which, with EMV chip cards, can be slow enough to annoy even patient customers. Also, retailers can expect an easier method of delivering in-store messages over WiFi, offering personalized promotions, product features and benefits, and just about any other incentive to buy now.

With proper bandwidth under an SD-WAN solution, retailers can strengthen their CX with price-matching technology, presenting a chance to defend against lower pricing among online rivals. While brick & mortar retail grew 2.9% in the 2016 season, desktop-based online sales were up 12% (Comstore Research). Nearly 50% of shoppers use smartphones in-store to check prices (Pew Research), making competitive price matching an important part of any in-store shopping experience.

Pew Research Center, 2016, Online Shopping and e-Commerce

Engaged customers are loyal customers

Another example of SD-WAN benefits in action -- Imagine a responsive, reliable network that makes it easy for shoppers to access store loyalty programs in-store. Using in-store WiFi, they can check bonus points, product options, online customer reviews, store credits, loyalty status. Consider making inventory available as well, giving shoppers a way to locate products at your other store locations, or online. This will help you as the retailer strengthen your customer focused, unified commerce experience. As you can see, this adds up to more time shopping, and positive service-related reasons for shoppers to return for more.

Employee Morale Boost

For store associates, a positive customer experience from inventory to purchases processed smoothly boosts productivity and employee morale. Imagine the satisfaction of quick, accurate sales transactions and no customer wait times. Easy to access inventory; simplified order placement; and streamlined cross-company communications across functions and locations. And that is the tip of the iceberg of positive benefits that SD-WAN can deliver to retailers looking to boost their competitive edge this holiday season.

While no single technology can keep stores from meeting the fate of recent retail casualties like The Limited, or from closing stores, like Macy's and others, SD-WAN CAN help power a range of other technologies, applications and services that can truly move retail mountains.