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Maintain business continuity during the holidays and every day

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The pace of retail is accelerating. The holiday season starts sooner, customers want you to be available to them at times and locations convenient to them and you need to continue to be profitable while facing a tough economy and even tougher competition.

No business wants to lose customers or revenue due to a power outage or technology glitch, and employees standing idly by while payment-processing systems are down can drain your bottom line. Business continuity may not be sexy, but it’s absolutely necessary to help keep your retail business going.

But business continuity is more than just back-up; it can also represent freedom and flexibility for your retail business. The same technology that enables business continuity can also be used to create temporary or mobile points of sale to generate new revenue streams and reach more customers.

Wireless back-up solutions
Your wired connections help you do business, but they’re not always as reliable as you need them to be, which can prove costly. Whether you use DSL or T1-wired connections, you rely on them to provide in-store support for credit-card processing, inventory orders and sales reporting. If your wired connection is down — even for a moment — your customers can’t reach you, you can’t process sales transactions and you’re paying employees for wasted time, all of which impacts your bottom line.

Wireless routers and mobile broadband service from Verizon Wireless give your retail business a reliable failover connection option for your stores’ wired connection. Even if you experience an outage, you can keep your stores up and running, your customers can still make purchases and your employees stay busy and productive. Plus, you can reduce incidents of credit card fraud, since you can verify card information while customers are still standing in line.

Wireless connectivity solutions can also benefit your bottom line in other ways. For example, a dedicated T1 connection to each of your stores may cost hundreds of dollars each month for service, not to mention the installation costs you’ll incur to physically connect each location.
If you deploy a wireless connectivity solution, your service may cost considerably less, and because the infrastructure already exists you can bring new locations online quickly and easily.

Create new revenue streams
Retailers are constantly searching for new ways to interact with existing and potential customers. One avenue to explore is to set up mobile POS terminals and interactive kiosks in popular, high-traffic areas. It’s a friendly way to do business, helps customers more easily find your goods and services and can generate new business opportunities and create new potential revenue streams.

Using broadband terminals and WWAN routers, you can deploy retail POS terminals when needed, allowing you to conduct retail transactions remotely. These POS terminals let you scale your retail operations to meet customer demand during the busy holiday season. In addition, they provide more options for customers to pay for their purchases without incurring the expense of deploying additional wired connections or registers.

Retailers can also use mobile POS terminals and interactive kiosks to train employees, grant Internet/intranet access to remote/temporary locations, track and manage inventory and process multiple forms of sales transactions — all through a secure, wireless connection. This technology allows you to augment your existing network to add multiple wireless networks within individual retail locations. Now you can build “stores within a store” using kiosks and digital signage to support your own or third-party sales promotions and specials as needed.

Business continuity and mobile POS solutions provide the flexibility you need to meet the oncoming holiday shopping rush. Now you can connect — and stay connected — throughout your business to keep current customers and find new ones, all with an eye toward improving your bottom line.