Which Retail Technology Solutions are Best?
by Natalie Schlueter
Retail environments all across the country, and world, are experiencing pressure to increase mobile Point of Sales (POS), customer satisfaction & experience, and improve inventory systems management.
How can retail improve and expand on each of these at once? Help from technology. iPads, tablets and other small devices can assist in creating a clean, helpful environment in all retail spaces…
If the devices are charged.
For a large fleet of devices, having fully charged devices at all times can be difficult if there is no mobile device management system in place. IT teams cannot take on many tier 1 tickets as well as trying to manage the device charging, syncing and provisioning for future use.
How can retail tech environments manage device deployment, updates and charged solutions? Charging solutions. Read below to find the best technology solutions for any environment in retail.
Why Does Retail Need Tech, Anyway?
The consumerism trend in the past year has lent itself toward e-commerce or Buy Online, Pick Up In Store models as well as contactless payments. Not only are contactless payments becoming a large, almost expected trend in all retail spaces, humans are losing their attention span.
According to a study conducted by Microsoft Corp., humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. What effect does this have on the retail consumer experience and environment?
Consumers, more than ever, are looking for the easiest, and quickest way to achieve what they need. They do not want to stand in lines, wait for someone to check them out, or even check out themselves if it means they have to wait to do it.
They want efficient, quick service. Retail can give consumers this by providing large device deployment to employees with integrated software for mobile POS, and mobile inventory checks. Additionally, retail environments are maximizing self-scanners located through stores and should continue to explore and expand how these can benefit customers in new ways.
In addition to customer experience, retail technology, when used correctly can serve a great purpose with managing mobile inventory. In fact, a study conducted by Gartner University suggests that by 2022, 65% of enterprises will require indoor location asset tracking.
The mass adoption of electronic shelf labels also suggests that retail environments need to provide solutions to employees and customers that assist them in their technology needs and satisfy the customer’s attention span and expectations.
Small Fleet? What Should be Done First?
There are many moving parts to any retail organization or location. What to tackle first when addressing technology shortage issues can sometimes be daunting. There are a few questions to ask before jumping into one area:
- Where is my mobile device management (MDM) struggling the most to get on its feet?
- Where is the mobile pos system most likely going to be used the most?
- Will smartphones or tablets be used for the main pos software?
- Are my customers more interested in mobile POS or e-commerce and pick-up in store?
These are just some of the questions that should be addressed to find where you need to focus in on your MDM strategy. A small fleet of devices means less work for updates, but also means more trust in devices being charged when they need to be.
Smart charging can assist fast-paced environments with small fleets by providing a safe, secure charge to devices in an efficient manner that will ensure usability throughout the day for anyone who needs a device.
A smart charging solution with a security system for overnight use, and a small footprint is the best option for a small fleet of devices. What solution does Bretford have?
That solution is the CUBE Micro Station® Pre-Wired. Investing in this solution means you will have:
- A safe place to store company devices overnight or to store employee personal devices during the day if needed with a locking door.
- An all-around efficient device management solution that is compact, but mighty.
- A full-rate charging product that distributes the right amount of power, in the right amount of time, with the right amount of force for a full charge.
- Minimal cord management with Bretford’s CableBoss Cord Management System.
- An opportunity to grow with daisy-chained solutions.
In order to manage your small fleet, ask what the top priority is and then work down from there. Although having a solution like the CUBE Micro Station is good for a small fleet, it does not have provisioning compatibility. This can be handled with a small fleet by doing manual updates, but if your environment would like a provisioning solution that automates data transfers.
Large Fleet? What Should be Done First?
A large fleet of devices, although they can be hard to manage actually provides an easier transition to having a fully automated data transfer and wipe process. The return on investment can be higher with large fleets of devices.
When considering how to manage a large fleet of devices for the first time to maximize productivity and customer experience, ask yourself these questions:
- Do the devices need to be refreshed after every use or after every transfer from an employee?
- Am I needing to provision devices and move them from place to place?
- How frequently do these devices need to be updated?
- Are tier 1 IT tickets something that the organization has many of?
- Are the devices currently being used only Apple products that can be connected to a Mac mini?
Considering these questions will help you deduce whether or not you need a provisioning solution. An environment that is fast-paced, and continually needs updates on devices due to IT tickets or other software issues should utilize a provisioning solution.
A solution like the PowerSync Pro 2nd Generation allows for Apple iOS devices to simultaneously charge, sync, and provision to ensure the best, most efficient experience for your employees and customers. Investing in this solution means you have:
- Lower support costs with less tier 1 tickets to IT teams.
- Self-contained provisioning with a perfectly crafted spot for the Mac mini to sit inside of the hub.
- A growth mindset with the ability to daisy-chain and power up to three trays, or 40 devices all from one Mac mini.
- Simultaneous charge and sync with full rate charging, even with Mac mini.
- Easy connection with a larger L port to connect external devices, if necessary.
The PowerSync Pro 2nd Generation is the perfect solution for when you need to have easy access to devices and need the most powerful solution available.
What About Employees?
Employee’s being nearly stress-free is important to ensure maximum productivity, efficiency, and excellent customer support. Part of this cultivation of a stress free environment relies on their devices being properly stored during working hours.
Having a solution for employees to manage their own valuable devices while at work can be important in having a healthy working environment. The Bretford solution that can provide this is the TechGuard Connect® Charging Lockers. These lockers have:
- RFID or personal pin code access to each individual bay with LED status lights to see which bays are currently full.
- Ability to use the lockers as a dual capacity to assign devices to certain employees, if necessary.
- Bundled software subscription to ensure the best use case with each purchase.
- Developer API’s to build integrations with your existing IT systems.
- A network ready space with a built in area for a network switch for device updates and management functions.
If employees rely on their devices throughout all parts of their day, investing in lockers to help them manage their own personal devices can potentially ensure a healthy working environment and therefore lead to happy customers and more sales.
Find Your Solution
To read more on retail solutions, visit our blog “Retail Mobility: How Mobile Technology Empowers Retail”. To find your perfect solution today, visit our website, or call us today at (800) 521-9614 and connect with an expert Sales Representative.
Your MDM strategy is waiting for you to help. Don’t let it go. Buy Bretford.
For retailers looking to advance their sales and support their customers, the PowerSync Pro allows employees and IT teams to have clean devices when needed with minimal support 24/7. This advanced charging station provides the ultimate user experience with storing, charging, and provisioning capabilities.