Retailers are keen to bring all sorts of interactive gadgets that rely on internet connections to their stores.
But often their Internet of Things strategies are slowed down or fail entirely because their network connections aren’t up to scratch.
Why does the network matter?
The quality of network connections from shops to the internet and data centres determine the speed of data transfer and the ability to handle massive data volumes.
Data also needs to be transferred seamlessly between various devices such as sensors, cameras, and customers’ phones within the store through reliable local wireless connections.
Without high-performance connections, information can’t be exchanged in real-time.
As a result, customers can also get frustrated if they have to wait longer at checkouts or if applications are slow.
This can then negatively affect the retailer’s brand and drive customers even more towards other online stores (recently Amazon has been picking up a lot of these).
Security and integration are absolutely crucial
Retailers can’t afford to expose themselves to damaging data breaches.
They need to design their networks with the highest security considerations in mind rather than adding security features on the side.
Network infrastructure also needs to be integrated with various business applications and should link to suppliers’ systems.
Networks need to be set up to support any new systems and flexible cope with growing data volumes.
Telcos are taking on the established network infrastructure companies
Telcos are heating up competition against other tech firms with their efforts to target retailers by offering an all-in-one package.
Other vendors with network expertise could team up to apply pressure on traditional providers in order to get a foot in the door with major retailers.
There’s going to be a fierce battle between major vendors for control of the retail market, which is most likely to be won by those who control the network.
This could also lead to new alliances and smaller niche players being picked up by the behemoths.