As stores introduce more technology to attract customers, the risk of downtime leading to lost revenue increases. If a network incident does occur, it can bring all of the in-store technology down. Not only is there the initial cost of lost sales, but also the long-term risk of frustrating customers and driving them to choose a competitor the next time they shop.
Fortunately, as we discussed in a recent article, advances in IT automation are beginning to help retailers manage these challenges more effectively. But when all of your in-store technology relies on the network, the network needs to be up and running – all the time. Wireless failover technology can be easily implemented in stores so that technology is always available when customers need it most. This article will explain how wireless failover technology can benefit your stores.
The First Step – Network Connectivity
A typical landline provides 99.5% uptime. While this sounds good, it actually amounts to an average of 22 hours of downtime each year. Spread across a district, region, or the entire store network, this quickly grows into a major concern. Consider one national convenience store chain that averaged 265 hours of downtime each month. Avaya estimates that a single network downtime incident costs enterprises an average of $140,000, and retailers, who rely on a high number of transactions, suffer even more.
As a result, continuous connectivity is critical, especially now that nearly all of new in-store technologies, including point-of-sale systems, interactive digital signage, endless aisle kiosks, and guest Wi-Fi, all depend on reliable, continuous internet access. If this connection goes down, your store staff are left scrambling with customers in line who can’t pay for their orders. In these situations, where network downtime is estimated to cost an average large retailer $5,600 per minute, waiting around for the network access is not a good solution.
Some retailers add a second hardline connection to take over if the primary connection fails. But in many cases this is prohibitively expensive, and these secondary connections often share the same conduit, making them just as vulnerable to physical damage or other issues at the street.
So what is the alternative for retailers who need to keep their stores connected?
Wireless Failover – The Reliable Option
Advances in mobile technologies such as 4G LTE have made wireless secondary connections a reliable, cost-effective alternative to traditional broadband or T1 lines. Since it’s over the air, local disruptions to landlines, including damage from construction or major weather events, are much less likely to impact the wireless service. Wireless is affordable and capable of keeping advanced retail applications and multiple devices online until the primary connection is restored.
For retailers looking to start implementing a Self Healing Store™, wireless failover is a great first step. The necessary hardware is easy to install and the service is monitored and managed from a central location. In the event of a network failure at the store, the system automatically detects the outage and makes the switch to the wireless back-up, mitigating the impact on stores and providing uninterrupted connectivity to keep transactions and customers flowing as smoothly as possible.
For a low monthly cost with no capital expenditure, retailers get continuous service and peace of mind that their in-store technology will be up and running when customers need it most.
Keeping Stores Connected and Bringing In Revenue
Network downtime quickly adds up to be a costly expense for retailers, especially as stores introduce more technologies that rely on internet access to be effective. Providing a fantastic customer experience means retailers need to invest heavily in this technology and make sure it works when customers go to use it. Wireless failover is a cost-effective, reliable, and easy to install solution that keeps stores online in the event of an incident with the primary connection, and in many cases it represents the first step toward implementing a true Self Healing Store.
How much revenue does your store lose when your network goes down. Use our calculator to find out.