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Choosing the Right Mobile Solution to Support Retail Requirements

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By Published On: September 24, 20180 Comments

As e-commerce giants like Amazon continue to revolutionise the online shopping experience, traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers are looking for new ways to enhance their in-store experience and stay ahead of the curve.

The growth of online retail presents numerous advantages over offline shopping – personalised experiences, product suggestions, reviews and detailed information not found on price tags. As a result, retailers are looking at how they can evolve their stores to stay relevant.

Mobile technology is just one method that’s quickly gaining popularity – as it can maximise return on investment (ROI) and improve the customer experience. However, choosing the right mobile solutions is not as simple as it sounds and will ultimately determine a retailer’s success. On the other hand, choosing the wrong device can drastically hinder productivity, frustrate users, and increase costs.

The retail environment plays an instrumental role when it comes to selecting the right mobile device. There are three choices: consumer devices, enterprise devices or BYOD (Bring your own device).

Consumer Devices

An aesthetically appealing low-cost solution. But these devices are designed with consumers in mind and not retail environments – lacking the necessary tools and applications retail stores need to drive productivity, such as in-built scanners, and do not provide the same level of durability and longevity as enterprise-grade devices.

Enterprise Devices 

These are designed specifically to meet the needs of retailers and have the necessary functionalities to support the entire retail chain. Sometimes more expensive than consumer-grade devices initially, they have greater longevity and durability and are designed to facilitate multiple applications – with quick, interchangeable batteries, ensuring productivity remains high and that devices are always in action.

Bring your own device (BYOD)

While a BYOD approach to retail mobile solutions is the cheapest, as the responsibility falls to the employees to get a smartphone, it’s also the most complex. With BYOD, your store would have a diverse device pool, making unifying applications and standardising training on how to use the retail applications installed on the devices both costly and time-consuming. As devices become more critical to staff productivity it can also create practical problems. What happens, for example, if an employee arrives with a phone that is not fully charged at the start of their shift?

Retailers then need to consider an operating system (OS) that supports their ruggedized strategy and what the device will be used for.

Traditionally, there are three modern OS options to choose from: Microsoft Windows 8/10, Apple iOS and Google Android. When choosing the right mobile OS for retail applications, it’s important to not only look at the IT requirements, but also consider initial and ongoing financial costs, as well as the end-user experience.

With the right enterprise-grade mobile devices, retail stores can not only improve employee efficiency, but also the overall retail experience. Delivering greater overall value due to functionality, capacity and application, enterprise-grade mobile devices – while costlier than consumer devices – can truly enhance retail operations and offer the functionality retail stores need.

To learn more about choosing the right retail mobile solutions for your store and how to leverage its capabilities, click here.

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