How is SD-WAN making it possible for Retail expansion into Rural areas?
The pandemic has taught us to manage with limited resources available to us. Most importantly, it has altered how we make purchases and pay for products and pushed millions of retail shop owners to change and adapt to business models that would suit their customers’ needs and interests. Even after the pandemic subsides, retailers will continue to equip their businesses to digitally stand out in the crowd. To support their marketing strategies, retailers must implement better connectivity and internet structures to help customers enjoy uninterrupted online purchases.
Smart Connectivity – A Necessity to Urbanise Rural Areas
Maintaining a seamless connection with simple WAN infrastructure can be pretty challenging for retail owners with multiple locations. SD-WAN comes as a blessing to such stores; it uses the best available network route and enables network traffic to be prioritised as required. For shop owners operating in rural and semi-urban areas, a combination of managed wireless and IP connectivity with SD-WAN can be used instead of solely depending on MPLS or regular broadband alone. When numerous managed communications are coupled with SD-WAN, you can enjoy uninterrupted network connectivity and finally get rid of the fear of POS terminal failures resulting in sales drop.
Retailers have started using SD-WAN to centralise communication across the multiple stores they own. Stores located in remote areas (with low bandwidth) can also be managed from a single location. This centralised structure also allows easy technical troubleshooting, and the retail shop owners benefit from the cost-effectiveness and reliability that this smart connectivity option offers.
How Does SD-WAN Aid in The Digital Transformation of Retail Chains?
SD-WAN has successfully delivered reliable connectivity that retailers desire to avail for their in-store and eCommerce processes. Here are the 5 significant ways SD-WAN has assisted in the digital transformation of retail chains.
1) Free Wi-Fi in Local stores
While most consumers prefer shopping online, there are chances that they would visit the physical store as well. Most consumers, especially women, prefer trying out a product in person and getting the feel of it before making a purchase. Another behaviour to be noted about such consumers is that they love comparing deals and prices which leads them to rely on connectivity even when inside a store. Hence, retailers must consider offering free Wi-Fi to consumers visiting their stores. This will help them improve consumer experience and help identify the customer’s preferences, frequency of visits, and behavioural patterns.
SD-WAN allows retail owners to offer free Wi-Fi without compromising the quality of connection, the working ability of payment portals, and other digitally reliant processes.
2) Digital Connection with Consumers
Implementing digital communication and online support is essential for customers who prefer shopping online and have never visited a physical store. This allows them to connect virtually with the store’s customer relationship officer and have their questions answered and considered. SD-WAN can handle even high-bandwidth software and applications such as live video calls and audio chats. This live support service may continue even after the pandemic disappears.
3) Secure Omni-Channel Payments
The pandemic has not only given rise to multiple shopping options but has also drastically changed the way consumers prefer to make payments for the goods they buy. SD-WAN helps expand connectivity across a vast region, thus allowing retailers to accept payments at different locations and mediums. With the flexibility of payment methods, security also becomes a matter of concern. With SD-WAN, retailers can enjoy secure payment options.
4) Smart Cameras
When retailers install smart cameras in stores, they enjoy the benefit of the security it offers, and most importantly, it also helps analyse the customers’ purchase patterns. But with so many smart devices and applications on the network, the quality of connectivity shouldn’t be compromised. SD-WAN allows retailers to manage traffic and prevent the network from getting overloaded effectively.
5) Optimising inventory systems
Efficiently managing the inventory system is the key to successfully completing a sale. The pressure from customers for eCommerce options and faster delivery has made retailers look for quicker inventory checks, automating high-demand stocks and real-time tracking. SD-WAN streamlines the operations and removes network downtime to keep your system functioning round the clock.
Most business organisations have started realising the numerous benefits that SD-WAN has got to offer. SD-WAN has helped retailers modernise the traditional Wide Area Network to ensure the supply of better connections, enhance customer experience, and efficiently manage cloud-enabled applications. If you haven’t considered implementing SD-WAN to support your business, it’s high time that you understand the benefits of embracing the capabilities of SD-WAN.
Software-Defined Mobile Aggregated Data (SMOAD) provides affordable solutions anytime, anywhere internet. The SMOAD routers come with scalable and high-performance SD-WAN features. Centrally managed SD-WAN in branch stores cuts down on operating costs. It is easy to install, configure, manage and update the network devices at the branch level. SMOAD solutions are compliant with PCI DSS security protocols to protect from risks to payment solutions even in the outside space like a kiosk, tablets, self-service counters, etc. SMOAD devices are equipped with multiple SIM slots to help in remote connectivity by aggregating multiple SIM Cards, giving you broadband-like connectivity without broadband!