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Today’s customers have high expectations. With so many choices and ways to buy, customers know that if they don’t find exactly what they want, they can easily go elsewhere. In a race to capture these demanding customers, retailers are adopting an omni-channel approach—an integrated strategy of delivering a seamless, consistent customer experience using every possible touch point, including mobile devices, retail websites, brick-and-mortar stores, TV, catalog, and direct mail.
But consider what happens when a shopper tries to get information on in-store promotions and the network bogs down because everyone else is trying to get on the network at the same time. Or when a consumer tries to access loyalty rewards but can’t connect because the WiFi coverage is spotty. Or a retailer’s worst nightmare: the network goes offline completely—even for just a few minutes.
An omni-channel strategy is only as good as the network and the technology that support it. Without robust bandwidth and speed, for example, retailers struggle to manage today’s band- width-intensive applications. Similarly, downtime is the enemy of retail networks, with even a few minutes offline impacting the retailer’s reputation and bottom line.
Another area of concern is getting consumers to access retailer-generated content such as how-to videos, special promotions, and product reviews. While most retailers have implemented mobile applications, many do not provide in-store guest WiFi that enables customers to use those applications.
Security is also a major con- sideration, as recent headlines about customer credit card breaches at top retailers can attest. It is essential for retailers to implement strong security that guards against growing and ever more sophisticated attacks, and to safeguard the privacy of both customers and the store network.
Finally, communication is key to supporting an omni-channel strategy. An important store advantage over online shopping is face-to-face engagement between sales associate and customer. When a knowledge- able sales associate adds value to the shopping experience, customers are more favorably inclined to purchase from the store. But retailers are challenged with communicating up-to- date information, not only to engage customers with a positive customer experience but also to engage and train employees.
Managing such a range of challenges can be an overwhelming task. That’s what HughesONTM is all about. HughesON is a comprehensive set of managed network and digital media solutions designed to meet the unique needs of the distributed enterprise from a single provider. From high-capacity access to high-availability networks, from digital signage to employee communications and training, from managed security to managed WiFi, HughesON provides retailers with a solid foundation beneath their omni-channel strategy—with the coverage, scalability, and performance they require.
HughesON High-Capacity Networks, for example, provide the speed retailers need to enjoy peak application performance, even to remote branch offices, while HughesON High-Availability Networks ensure that stores stay open for business even if the primary network fails.
At the same time, retailers can safeguard both the customer and the business from security threats with HughesON Managed Security Services, while keeping customers and employees connected with HughesON Managed WiFi.
Similarly, HughesON Digital Media Solutions enable retailers to deliver high-impact, effective messaging to all audiences, including customers and employees. MediaSignageTM delivers compelling messages to customers via dynamic in-store signage, often influencing buying decisions at the point of greatest impact. MediaTrainingTM solutions keep employees well-informed and engaged with video-on-demand and live content via smartphones and tablets.
“The brand is everything,” said Doug Medina, senior director of enterprise marketing at Hughes. “Our suite of HughesON Managed Solutions protects the brand and ensures that retail- ers can deliver on their omni-channel strategy with a high-perfor- mance network that will delight customers, motivate employees, and streamline operations—and save money doing it.” Omni-channel marketing holds an important key to winning over today’s savvy consumers. And with HughesON solutions, retailers will ensure they have a robust network, along with powerful network tools that support both their omni-channel strategy and their brand.
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