Mobility spans the entire retail value chain from warehouse to storefront to corporate employees and the connected customer. Mobile technology is helping retailers to keep pace with the change in consumer buying preferences and disruptive business models that are redefining the retail landscape. Innovative retailers are using mobility across their operations to increase efficiencies, speed innovation and time to market, and provide a superior level of customer service across channels, fulfilling the brand promise to keep the customer engaged and galvanize their brand loyalty. At SOTI’s Retail Center of Excellence, we are constantly engaged with our retail customers to get a pulse on how mobile technology is playing a transformative role in their businesses, and we’re happy to share some of the great insight that we received recently. 

The supply chain is retail enterprise's greatest competitive advantage

The retail supply chain is key to driving the success of omni-channel strategy with each mobile endpoint becoming crucial to meeting customer demand and driving brand loyalty. As mobile technology continues to disrupt and drive new efficiencies, the supply chain is evolving into a strategic driver of innovation enabling retailers to expedite the cycle from product inception to availability at a historically accelerated pace.

The customers’ expectation to make purchases from any place at any time, from any channel has challenged retail enterprise to find and incorporate new mobile technologies to support customers’ requirements. It is becoming an omni-channel world after all – fulfillment accuracy and efficiency have become the single most important factors in ensuring purchases find their way to customers in the most expeditious manner possible.

Mobility helps retailers stay ahead of the curve

Keeping mobile technology “healthy” – enabled, secured and optimized – with the right applications and enterprise services to provide first-rate customer service and facilitate transactions is critical across the supply chain and in the store. Deployment of mobile technology in-store is driving up conversion rates and customer satisfaction by empowering store associates with the tools to influence the customer at the point of decision, not just the point of sale. Mobility is powering the acceptance of new transaction models including buy in-store and deliver to home that give consumers a new level of convenience. At the store level, mobility is helping redefine the store experience to make shopping more personal and engaging with interactive signage, self-service kiosks, and mobile point-of-sale. To maintain these critical capabilities and meet the needs of today’s connected consumer, retailers realize the need for a comprehensive mobility management solution to enable, secure, and optimize mobility across their in-store operations.

Unify mobility management for omnichannel success

Optimizing operations across the retail value chain is a critical step in a successful omni-channel strategy. Mobility spans each checkpoint along the product journey from the point at which the product is manufactured to virtual and physical customer touch points. Today’s mobility strategy for omnichannel retailers needs to be closely aligned across channels and usage scenarios to meet the increasing demands of today’s connected consumer. Today’s aggressive fulfillment models leave little room for device downtime, and real-time inventory visibility across the retail supply chain is a critical use case, from the manufacturing facility, vendor network, or warehouse straight through to the showroom floor. Clear visibility into orders and demand is required across all channels to be able to meet the demands of today’s connected consumer.

Seamless Experience Across Channels

It seems like yesterday when customer data was siloed across channels, in disparate systems  – telephone orders were managed in the call center, e-commerce and  POS data were housed separately. Likewise, mobile devices utilized in operations, in-store and at corporate HQ were managed by different systems, with no single view of assets in use across operations. Many retailers are realizing the benefits of consolidating multiple point solutions with a unified mobility management solution across their purpose-built devices, in-store devices, and corporate-liable and BYOD deployments. A single view of mobility across operations helps IT mitigate issues faster, provides consistent policy management and upgrades, and holds all device users to a consistent standard of acceptable use to conform with corporate security and regulatory policies. Much like a single pane of glass for inventory, ERP and ordering, a comprehensive enterprise mobility management solution needs to support critical business processes from the manufacturing floor to the storefront.

IT support for mobile is more important than ever before

Enterprise mobility strategy no longer lives in a silo – it’s now deeply embedded into the business process driving your omnichannel strategy, including manufacturing, logistics, merchandising, fulfilment, e-commerce and point-of-sale. As mobile devices begin to play a larger role in your mission critical business operations, it’s become vitally important that desktop grade support is extended to mobile endpoints to keep operations running reliably, optimizing the utility of each device and ensuring that data is kept secure across the network.

Mobility is moving closer to the IT core

Leading retail heroes have unified their technology infrastructure and process across channels because it’s critical to the support of today’s retail customer’s expectations – making them giants amongst other organizations. In the mobile realm, a holistic approach to enterprise mobility management includes the ability to manage and apply policies consistently, regardless of the endpoint in use.  Leading retailers realize that mobility is no longer at the periphery of their operations, but rather, it is a critical business enabler at each point of the product and customer journey.

Want to learn more about building a strong mobile strategy for your own omni-channel success story? Sign up and view our "On-Demand" webinar or download a copy of our "Redefining Mobility Management for Future-Forward Retailers" white paper. 

How is mobility transforming your retail operations? Leave a comment below - we would love to hear from you.