Tech-savvy retailers are among the quickest organisations to spot the new opportunities that arise from emerging technology. Aside from the typical business developments like BYOD and mobile work practices, retailers are at the forefront of the new era of customer interactions.

That means quickly capitalising on the Internet of things (IoT), enhanced customer understanding through use of analytics, and seamlessly integrated social media applications. In-store connectivity is another trend that engages customers while presenting a new challenge to technologists.

While this era of market disruption and changing technology represents a tremendous chance to leap ahead of the competition, retailers face some unique security challenges. How do you welcome customers, and support staff on their own devices, without letting in less desirable visitors?

Welcoming customers is, of course, a big deal. Competition is astonishingly fierce, and when customers can easily order the same products online faster than they’re prepared to wait in line, you need point-of-sale (POS) equipment to be spot-on.

As traditional shopkeepers have always known, retail is about detail. Customers want their needs to be met – and those needs are not merely functional. The less tangible feelings are key, and the best retailers understand customer emotions better than any psychologist.

We’ve been impressed with the way our partners at Toshiba have paid attention to POS detail. They’ve made it a quest to go beyond functional transactions, and weave some clever customer connection opportunities into their designs. A lot of that is to do with looking at products from a customer perspective, something we whole-heartedly endorse. This brings about features like wider screens, so the customer and retail assistant can see information easily. Such thoughtful detail brings the customer into the retailer’s world, and generates deeper trust.

That trust, of course, has to be protected. All the POS magic in the world will mean little unless customer’s data is safe. Along with our partners at Fortinet, we work with leading retailers to create open-yet-secure IT environments.

The exciting thing about Fortinet’s technology is that it segregates devices and access layers across wired and wireless networks. Everyone gets the access you want to grant them, so customers can enjoy wireless, while staff can securely work on corporate systems. Advanced threats are detected automatically, before they develop into crises.

Realistically, this level of automation and protection is vital in so complex an environment; trying to secure the multitude of devices and touchpoints is now near-impossible if it involves much manual intervention. The new threats just emerge too rapidly, and technologists are too busy. Paying a sufficiently qualified expert to spend their days performing endless updates would be costly. And let’s face it, that isn’t best use of their skills.

Whether you’re working across multiple sites, or just one, Computer Merchants are the experts in secure, meaningful retail IT. Need to know more? Contact our team of retail IT experts.


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