Have you been to the mall lately and noticed that people don’t really watch where they are going anymore? We will continue to see faces buried in phones and tablets as wireless mobile device ownership continues to skyrocket.
The other side of the wireless device dilemma is the retailers themselves and how they go about providing that wireless connectivity for the consumer. Especially now that the market is being flooded with personal mobile devices that have various operating systems and run multiple types of applications.
There are solutions on the market today that allow for simplification of the provisioning customer and Wi-Fi access which will support mobile marketing efforts. Here are some key features to include in your retail wireless network solution.
Wireless Security and Scalability
In the retail environment, your wireless network solution needs to be secure and PCI-Compliant. The wireless network system also needs to be easy to scale, no need to spend hours of engineering time configuring each access point when you’re ready to grow. Obviously, hundreds of customers and employees will be connecting at the same time in the same store. Retail stores can utilize a solution that allows for segmented groups of customers, employees and credit card transactions - all utilizing the same network.
Customer Wi-Fi portal
Register shoppers, capture your demographics and award returning consumers while building a large customer database. Retailers can launch targeted campaigns to deliver personalized offers to shoppers that have registered on the network while also providing other relevant content to enhance the consumer’s shopping experience.
Provide your customer-facing staffs with tablets and smartphones. By controlling network access and writing policies for mobile devices the wireless solution you chose could have a positive impact on the employees and shoppers perspectives by providing secure transactions and allowing BYOD.
Visualization of shoppers with smart devices logged into the retail wireless network system can give management real-time awareness as to which marketing displays are most effective at capturing a consumer’s attention. Features can be enabled and software added to a retail wireless network that can monitor, report and locate merchandise, as well as supporting loss prevention initiatives.
In a secure retail wireless network infrastructure, retailers will need features that support Wi-Fi access for store associates and shoppers while blocking inappropriate material, botnets and malware. Eliminating vicious, unwanted web traffic and malware frees the network for business-critical traffic.
Today’s retailers need to manage security risks, while simplifying compliance issues. Retailers can streamline compliance efforts and enhance physical security with IP video surveillance by relying on the same Wi-Fi infrastructure to handle both tasks. A secure wireless network will give businesses the ability to control network access across wired and wireless network infrastructures, thereby supporting PCI requirements.
So, while you may not be able to stop your customers from walking into water features, you will at least be able to enhance their in-store experience before they do!