What if you could optimize the performance and security of your WAN, reduce network costs and use the savings to establish an omnichannel presence that grows revenue and market share?
Crazy talk, right? With all the stories of troubled retail outlets1 and restaurants2 closing locations and experiencing flat to negative growth that appear regularly in the news, you could be forgiven for thinking that the sky is falling for brick-and-mortar outlets. However, a recent study released by RIS and IHL at the National Retail Federation show (NRF)3 shows that many retailers are investing 4% to 7% more than they did in 2016 on expansion (adding new stores and remodeling existing stores), and are projecting 4% to 19% more revenue than 2016, depending on their strategies.
What’s driving this growth? Investment in the technology infrastructure that enables an omnichannel presence, or unified commerce. The retailers anticipating the most growth are those investing more than twice as much in technology infrastructure as the average retailers.
The leading revenue multipliers for 2017 are:
- Ubiquitous return options (return purchases from any channel to the store)
- Global inventory visibility (check inventory from any channel or location)
- Ship from store (use item-level RFID to enable faster delivery and lower shipping cost)
- Central order management system (global order tracking and visibility)
- Split-ticket ordering (fulfill a single order from multiple channels)
How can you get in on the growth mindset? The RIS/IHL study also showed that maintenance and upgrades account for up to 80% of IT expenditures, and that using in-house resources for global e-commerce fulfillment is beyond the capacity of many retailers.3
Out of all the things to cut in your IT budget, why pick on the WAN? Because it’s the most expensive part of the network, as a Gartner poll revealed.4
Cloud applications are stretching the WAN beyond its capabilities, compromising security and the user experience in the process.
Managed software-defined WAN, or managed SD-WAN, reduces TCO in terms of capital expense, recurring WAN costs, and human resources. It also optimizes security to ease the burden of PCI compliance, enables a better customer experience by optimizing performance, and allows you to compete in a marketplace where web-scale companies like Amazon, Uber and Google set the bar for personalized customer experience and efficient IT spend. Moreover, SD-WAN is virtualized in nature and thus simply rides on top of your existing network, preserving your existing IT investment. Because SD-WAN is software, it also provides a network bridge to deploying other vital applications, such as mobile payments or future applications, more easily, quickly and inexpensively than hardware-based networking solutions.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Managed SD-WAN reduces TCO, recurring WAN costs, and allows you to compete with web-scale companies.” quote=”Managed SD-WAN reduces TCO, recurring WAN costs, and allows you to compete with web-scale companies.”]
Imagine redirecting a good portion of your IT budget to maximizing your presence, performance and security with these leading omnichannel strategies:
- CRM/loyalty program (strong performers that grow stronger in an omnichannel platform)
- Single transaction engine technology (single source of the truth)
- Mobile POS payment system (now expanding beyond specialty retailers to the larger market)
- Internet of Things support (empowers shoppers to use physical and digital channels simultaneously)
- In-store beacons (enables proximity/location-based, personalized marketing)
For more information on the advantages of managed, secure SD-WAN and tips on selecting the best option download the white paper Enabling the Agile, Omnichannel Store with Cybera Cloud Managed SD-WAN.