?Few industries are as volatile as retail which is driven by the constant need to adapt to the rapidly changing consumer trends while working on wafer thin margins. Technology can be an enabler that helps retailers cope better with this unpredictability.
The retail industry is likely to gain the most from new technologies such as wireless. Few key points from a Wipro article discuss the impact of wireless technology in retail:
a) Customer experience: It can make significant improvements in the customer service experience ensuring a loyal following for the retailer. Thanks to smart phones and tablets, customers now have an entire retail experience literally on their palms. From scanning bar codes for product comparisons to online catalogues and shopping, the "line-breaking" appeal of wireless is massive.
b) Operational Efficiency: From a business angle, wireless can ensure accurate, quick and cost effective transfer of data on transactions and inventory. It binds together all processes in an organization and simplifies the monitoring of activities.
Acknowledging these benefits, food retail giants including the likes of McDonalds and Pizza Hut have ventured into the wireless payment systems arena.
However, despite its obvious benefits, wireless adoption in the retail industry is slow. Even those retailers who have turned towards wireless for some processes in their organization are doing so only on an ad-hoc basis. Could fear of exploratory technology be a deterrent for wireless? Or is the scale of investment needed putting off retailers?
A valid concern that retailers have about wireless is the security issue. Incidents like the one faced by clothing giant Marshall’s of TJX Companies can result in massive data integrity loss. Security issues, however, can be overcome with the right technology in place and organization wide understanding on how to protect sensitive data.
Today, wireless remains a largely unexploited opportunity that can be a great boon for retailers. The question is – who and when will they capitalize on this new technology?