The way that people make purchases has changed with the dawn of the digital age. Shoppers are accustomed to selecting items and paying for them at their leisure. Online shopping doesn't have long waits at a line of registers. This has led to a change in the way that brick-and-mortar retailers need to address purchasing with their customers.
Mobile terminals are taking retail by storm. Customers want to make purchases on their schedule. They don’t want to wait in long lines after they have made the decision to buy. Mobile payment devices allow salespeople to be more effective in helping customers make their purchases. This is especially true for big-ticket items, such as computers or televisions. By having mobile payment options available on the spot, sales associates can help guide customers to immediate purchases. Before I have a chance to think about how my wife will react to me buying another iPad.
Mobile sales terminals also help retail organizations gain valuable square footage. Instead of designing registers as a barrier to customers to ensure payment, departments can be arranged to highlight popular items and high margin offerings closer to the front. Sales associates can roam freely throughout the area answering questions and enabling customers to make more purchases. This increases the average dollar amount for each sale and allows for more coverage, which in turn can increase sales even further.
Enabling Mobile Sales
Is your environment ready to enable mobile sales? How will you know? The first thing to do is analyze your wireless infrastructure. Mobile terminals need bulletproof wireless connectivity. Customers don't want to hear excuses about wireless being slow or unreliable. Customers want the flexibility of paying for purchases in any part of the store, whether it be in the electronics department or in a parking lot when buying a new lawn mower. Ensuring proper coverage is crucial to enhancing the customer experience and ensuring that purchases can be completed quickly.
Another issue for wireless networks in retail that needs to be examined is compliance issues. Building out a wireless network capable of supporting mobile transactions can also support other kinds of traffic. With cellular companies capping data usage customers want to have access to wireless networks everywhere they go, whether it’s for comparison shopping, product reviews, or checking social media. By providing a guest network for customers, you can help them make purchasing decisions faster. But remember that there are Payment Card Industry (PCI) Guidelines that govern how those networks need to be secured. Specifically, section 2.1.3 mentions that guest wireless networks need to be able to separate from internal networks carrying PCI information. This is very important to ensure compliance for any future audits.
Tying It All Together
How can you ensure that your wireless network is ready for the mobility your customers want? Aruba is here to help! With products like AirWave, you can see your network coverage visualized on your store floor plan. You can ensure proper coverage and know immediately when there is a problem as well as providing PCI compliance reports.
Aruba also has a solution for your segmenting your mPOS data from other traffic. Aruba ClearPass can help you provision guest wireless networks with ease and ensure that the traffic that passes through them never comes into contact with sensitive internal data. An easy-to-use audit trail adds to your ability to combat compliance woes and focus on your primary line of business - helping customers.
The future of buying doesn't have to pass you and your business by. With an investment in wireless technology and the software to help you manage your network, you can focus on the business of providing better services for your customers and helping their purchasing decisions get made faster with less hassle. When customers are happy about the buying process they will want to buy from you again and again. And that's an investment that makes sense.
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