Retailers must prepare for increased uptake of new tech or risk being left behind

Many retailers aren't able to properly meet the demand of increasingly popular retail technology and may be stretching their infrastructure to breaking point, warns retail IT service provider, Barron McCann.

Predictions show that Apple Pay users will almost double in 2017, reaching around 86 million by the end of the year. Whilst this is positive for the retail industry on whole, retailers that don't have sufficient mobile and Wi-Fi infrastructure to implement such technology will find themselves left behind.

Barron McCann is therefore urging retailers to consider upgrading their infrastructure in order to remain competitive in the marketplace.

Many retailers have allowed their stores' IT networks to develop in an ad-hoc fashion over years. The pace of today's technological change is greater than ever, and it's critical that retailers can retain market share by implementing the latest innovations in systems and applications. If the infrastructure is not up to the job, they simply can't do this.

Along with offering new technology and improved customer experiences, retailers have a duty to ensure all electronic payments are secure through fully compliant point-to-point encryption (P2PE), while ensuring Wi-Fi and mobile services are up-to-date and stable to allow for uninterrupted connections. Retailers should consider investing in omnichannel services in order to reduce waiting times in queues – if they aren't able able to provide such facilities, customers are likely to turn to a competitor that can. UK retailers could also be missing out on valuable customer data if they don't have a proper network connection installed, which can help inform future marketing activities across all parts of the business.

Sean Chandiram, Sales and Marketing Director, Barron McCann says: "Poor infrastructure is an issue we see on such a regular basis at the moment. We have recently addressed this issue for several national retailers, including the wholesale re-cabling of a major supermarket's 700+ store estate with a completely new cabling infrastructure. This is not a problem that is limited to one sector of retail, but can affect any. Before any retailers even consider implementing advanced new technology in store it's vital they ensure their in-store infrastructure is able to handle such demand."

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