Since the dawn of humankind, retail and commerce have helped communities thrive. While retail has morphed throughout time, it remains a crucial industry today, providing worldwide access to food, fashion and other essential goods. However, retailers are undergoing transformation; a major disruption is currently underway.
Retailers recognize that customer experience drives customer loyalty. Consequently, retailers are working to create more intelligent environments that capture customer preferences and use those insights to elevate customer experiences. Tomorrow’s retailers are racing to embrace intelligent stores and gain a competitive advantage in the highly competitive world of retail.
Dell Technologies is helping retailers accelerate innovation by simplifying how they deploy and leverage technologies at the edge.
Why retailers must have intelligent stores
In retail, brick and mortar’s time has come again. As customer experience trumps price and product as the key differentiator in retail, it is the in-store experiences that are the linchpin to customer loyalty. In fact, 51% of shoppers say that just a handful of poor in-store shopping experiences will cause them to stop shopping at a retailer forever.
Thus, retailers’ focus is shifting, striving for new ways to deepen customer relationships and enhance customer loyalty. As retailers seek to better understand customers and their needs, the push is on to gather new in-store insights and enable highly tailored customer experiences.
Intelligent stores do exactly that and use those insights to inform better decisions spanning inventory, store design, retail services and beyond.
Consolidate to innovate
To leverage the incredible potential of intelligent stores, technological infrastructure must first be addressed. Many retailers have a sprawl of technology, built application-by-application on a diverse set of platforms, both within stores and across locations. Point of sale solutions, loss prevention cameras and pharmaceutical systems are often on disparate systems using cloud, on-prem and SaaS. They have not been, and in some cases cannot be, integrated or optimized.
The existing retail technology landscape is cumbersome and unable to effectively run containers, virtual machines and applications side by side. As the first step, consolidation removes a hefty impediment to innovation; using the edge enables retailers to do so with speed and agility.
The Dell Validated Design for Retail Edge with VMware is a solution that simplifies the path to intelligent retail. Built on hyper-converged VxRail or vSAN Ready Nodes, the solution consolidates applications and enhances edge manageability, providing retailers with speed, agility and scalability.
Intelligent retail via a simplified edge
The Dell Validated Design for Retail Edge with VMware solution provides the foundation for smarter retail, catalyzing agility and unlocking innovation. In retail technology environments, reducing complexity is directly correlated to improving profitability.
From an infrastructure perspective, Dell’s solution helps retailers to reduce infrastructure overhead and tech debt, freeing up resources for other business priorities. The solution provides a foundation of flexibility and growth, enabling retailers to optimize customer experiences with smart services rooted in rich, ongoing customer insights.
The simplified edge consolidation establishes a foundation for building novel retail solutions that can unlock deep customer insights. Dell Validated Design for Retail Edge with Deep North is a solution providing intelligent video analytics to bolster a retailer’s customer insights.
The solution uses existing in-store cameras leveraging AI/ML to perform intelligent video analytics via digitized video feeds. Retailers are then able to capture and analyze customer preferences to better inform store operations and planning. This elevated level of visibility will help retailers optimize decisions across locations and in individual stores, including store layout and design, inventory choices, and in-store customer support.
Leverage intrinsic security at the edge
As retailers move intelligent devices to the edge, security is a top-of-mind concern. Cyber-vulnerabilities are a growing risk and retailers are especially vulnerable. As a proactive measure, Dell Technologies employs intrinsic security at the edge.
Dell Technologies’ secure supply chain ensures no-to-low touch handling of all components. When retailers receive a Dell Technology solution, it can be deployed quickly, and retailers can be assured it is a secure system. Dell Technologies also offers a suite of add-on cybersecurity software and solutions to assist retailers with cyber protection, recovery, and resiliency.
Retailers can boost business outcomes by embracing intelligent retail with edge technologies. In retail’s highly competitive world, speed and investment matter, especially to elevate customer experiences – the key to winning in retail. Dell Validated Design for Retail Edge with VMware and Deep North will facilitate retailers’ deployment of intelligent stores, providing a stronger future by facilitating customer-centric optimization, flexibility, and profitable growth.