OPERATIONS

IHL study links in-store WiFi to increased customer loyalty, sales

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — Deployment of in-store Wi-Fi had the most significant positive impact on retail sales and loyalty of any technology initiative, according to a survey by IHL Group. Almost half of the participating retailers claimed increased customer loyalty due to deploying in-store employee Wi-Fi, with an associated 3.4% increase in sales. One-third of retailers (28%) reported increased customer loyalty due to deploying in-store customer Wi-Fi, with an associated 2% increase in sales. And 21% of retailers reported an increase in customer dwell time in their stores due to deployment of in-store Wi-Fi.

One of the key findings that emerged from the study data, noted IHL’s Greg Buzek, is that the “greatest bang for the buck for increased loyalty and sales is the deployment of Wi-Fi to store associates for use with mobile devices.”

“This allows them (the employees) to get more item information and save sales otherwise lost as well as replicate the experience of their best salespeople across the chain,” he explained.

The results highlight the importance of a creating a connected, flexible workforce untethered to point-of-sale stations, according to IHL.

Additional key findings of the study, Impact of Store Networks and Wi-Fi on the Customer Experience, include:

• 40% of IT budgets are now allocated to deploying new and innovative systems, compared to historic measures of 15%-30% of budget.

• Nearly 70% of specialty retailers are designing their next point-of-sale system based on a central order management system, which will put up to five-times more load on the network and will require a WAN infrastructure refresh.

• Per the increased push towards WAN, 34% of participants plan to update their WAN network security within 12 months, and 34% also plan to update their WAN bandwidth optimization to take advantage of changed software architecture and enhanced customer experience options.

The IHL study was done in partnership with experts from cloud-managed Wi-Fi solutions provider AirTight Networks. Click here to download the complete report.

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Home Depot names its first-ever chief information security officer

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — The Home Depot Inc. has appointed former Time Warner and Visa executive Jamil Farshchi to the new position of chief information security officer (CISO), the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. The move comes months after the home improvement retailer said its payment systems were breached at some 2,200 U.S. and Canadian stores.

Farshchi, who most recently served as CISO for Time Warner, will have responsibility for managing Home Depot’s information security, data protection and vulnerability management. He will report to the chain’s CIO, Matt Carey.

Prior to Time Warner, Farshchi was VP for global information security at Visa Inc.

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Adidas reduces loss with Micros solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

Herzogenerauch, Germany – Employing 45 profit protection managers and using three different POS systems across 11 global markets, Germany-based vertical athletic apparel/footwear retailer Adidas does not have an easy time managing loss prevention. But as demonstrated in a presentation at the recent Oracle Industry Connect 2015 conference, Adidas is simplifying loss prevention with the use of the Micros XBR loss prevention solution.

Before implementing XBR, Adidas lacked visibility to identify specific causes of shrink and could not perform loss prevention exception reporting to quickly isolate unusual occurrences that suggested a loss prevention incident.

Adidas, which was an existing Oracle financials user, initially implemented XBR in its North American operation, where the retailer felt there would be the best commercial and functional fit. Satisfied with the comprehensive visualization XBR provided into North American loss prevention data, Adidas launched XBR in Europe in 2009, but encountered initial difficulties.

However, Adidas retrenched and underwent a two-year global implementation plan that included change management focused on issues such as password-sharing and refund fraud,. The retailer focused on its own stores first and then implemented XBR in licensed stores.

Based on success in reducing loss due to theft and fraud, Adidas continues to offer lifecycle support for XBR and also engages in continual user training, as turnover for store associates reaches as high as 150%.

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