As technology permeates every aspect of the business, the retail industry has transformed to a comprehensive and cost-effective ecosystem whereby everything is not only digitally intelligent, but the industry as a whole has become a digital enabler in the days ahead. Still founded on retail’s trifecta of “people”, “goods” and “venues”, the digitization of the retail business translates to an application of smart technology across business, operations and management so to amplify the speed of data transfer and allow for creativity never-before-seen.
Such transformations in the retail business have propelled it into a digital, data-savvy age, whereby data becomes a shared language throughout its operations. This poses challenges for retail chains to react quickly in refining its operations as well as optimizing its data analytics capabilities to serve its purpose. The future of retail will see a complete, smart digitization of its chains to ensure transparency, maximum visibility and optimization of all consumer segments and their individual needs.
An Agile and Robust Network makes a Strong Retail Brand. The plethora of network connections gathers retail chains’ fragmented sales branches into a central, powerful hub. Just like how each of these sales branches are the face of the brand and a contact point between the company and its customers, a retailer’s online presence must give an equally satisfactory experience for customers so to protect the brand and the business from any financial losses. Unstable network connections and inadequate network infrastructures, therefore, fail to support the customer online experience. Businesses must also stay abreast real-time commercial and customer experience data, through which they could boost their competitiveness by performing data analysis to derive better business strategies across production, circulation, sales and more. Sales branches must be equipped with reliable and agile network infrastructure to support the heavy usage of these business applications. The headquarters, too, are highly dependent on stable network to monitor the shops’ operations and to ensure business is carried out smoothly on a day-to-day basis.
Security is the Foundation for Smooth Retail Business. Such dependence on the digital world means business security and data security are of paramount importance. In the former, companies are often faced with threats like account theft, fraud, swiping orders and deal hunters. The latter, meanwhile, focuses on the transmission of encrypted, transaction data between the shops and the headquarters to ensure data is neither leaked nor stolen. It also refers to securing a quick and stable payment gateway to promise the customer a smooth shopping experience. Such information security measures must take into account the lack of professional retail IT personnel who are experts in retail chains, transactions and payment.
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