Retailers are always looking for new ways to improve customer experiences to stay relevant in an ever-evolving shopping environment. By taking advantage of the latest technologies, a retailer can set itself apart from the industry competition. But before investing in and deploying new technology, it’s imperative that these retailers ensure that their back-end IT infrastructure is capable of supporting the new demands that will be placed on it. These technologies, no matter how advanced, can’t work effectively if they lack the proper support.

To successfully execute an in-store shopping experience powered by technology, retailers need to focus on three core areas within their IT infrastructure.

Networking

Networks have become a retailer’s central nervous system, the foundation for all in-store technology. A robust and well-managed network keeps store applications running smoothly, operations flowing efficiently, and shopping customers happy. A retailer’s network must support interconnecting POS systems, machine-to-machine communication, digital signage, inventory management, mobile devices, and a variety of other technologies. As more demands are placed on a network, the more bandwidth it needs to ensure ample performance.

To deliver adequate bandwidth, retailers must estimate not only current needs, but also likely future demands. More and more retailers are also offering customers Wi-Fi access. In doing so, they must be careful to prevent customer usage from affecting store systems. Furthermore, they must keep guest network traffic separate from traffic for store systems to prevent security breaches. Without a fast, efficient, and reliable network, retailers are left at a significant disadvantage.

Data Centers

Retailers manage huge volumes of data, from sensitive transaction information and customer details to inventory and staff records and they need a storage solution that can adequately handle that data. Retailers must ensure these data centers have the resilience, security, and scalability to handle their business needs. While traditional servers are still a viable option, more and more retailers are transitioning towards less costly and more scalable storage solutions – namely, cloud-based solutions. The cloud offers businesses flexibility in managing large amounts of data, providing them the ability to easily scale up or down depending upon their current demands. Not only does it assist in storage needs, but the cloud can also help you harness the data to seek better customer insights. The more customer information that can be accessed and analyzed, the better businesses can serve their customers.

Operations Professionals

Deploying resilient, flexible IT systems that can be coupled with the latest technology to deliver exceptional customer service can yield significant competitive advantages. However, knowing how best to implement new technology poses a considerable challenge, and many businesses are unsure of how to invest efficiently in a new IT infrastructure. The solution? Leveraging the skill set of IT infrastructure and operations professionals. It is essential to work closely with partners that understand the industry and can provide the end-to-end IT services needed to facilitate a truly omnichannel experience. With our implementation knowledge and experience, Worldlink can balance your business and consumer needs with best practices and performance requirements to create a sound, stable and secure foundation.

The in-store IT infrastructure is the foundation for all retail technology. As retailers evolve how technology is used within the store, their infrastructures must evolve to perform flawlessly. For more information on Worldlink’s expertise in the retail sector, click here or reach out to us directly. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.