The UK Retail industry has its unique set of challenges. Some of the most pressing include rising costs, fierce competition, complex supply chains and a squeeze on consumer spend. To address these, retailers need to find innovative ways of reducing expenditure and improving operational efficiency. Two core strategies they are adopting to achieve these goals is by enhancing their online presence and making sure their technology systems are updated and appropriate for their business.
Effective telecommunications technology is key to the industry. Businesses need to be in continuous contact with their suppliers, be able to fulfill orders and maintain a high level of engagement with their customers to ensure satisfaction and, ultimately, loyalty.
For many retailers, their existing technology may be outdated, expensive to maintain and no longer able to cope with the demands of a growing business. Upgrading to Hosted Voice — otherwise known as Cloud PBX — could offer tangible benefits and start offering businesses cost savings from day one.Cost Savings and Flexibility
A Cloud PBX phone system requires little or no installation cost and, as the underlying infrastructure is located in the Cloud rather than on-site, maintenance costs are low. Individual businesses have a tight budget and need to keep their operating costs to a minimum, so a Cloud-based solution could provide the best alternative to their existing telephone system.
If a retailer has more than one store, Cloud-based telephony also has the advantage of providing free calls between sites. Cloud PBX is a flexible and scalable system, so if a business wants to launch new stores, the system can be upscaled quickly and easily. The same applies if they need to close or relocate a site — a Cloud-based system will migrate with them quickly and easily.
Chess’ customers in the Retail sector save tens of thousands of pounds by discarding legacy PBX hardware, maintenance and ISDN circuits. Within two years, they usually recoup 100% of their expenditure by investing in a Cloud-based system. In the unlucky event a fault or failure in systems, Hosted Voice provides a single point of support. It offers the ability to better cope with contingencies and weather extremes by routing calls to staff at home or on mobiles.
In the Retail industry, the customer always comes first. Improving customer experience is core to maintaining relationships and retaining business. Whether it’s a coffee shop, a hotel or a pub, customers today expect to be able to connect to Wi-Fi. We understand retail customers’ needs and can adapt to their individual circumstances — whether that’s a fast broadband connection for their customers or the ability for customers to reach them at any time.Attention to Customers is Key
An intelligent call routing system will help retailers divert call traffic to the stores that can handle the volume. If a store is busy and no member of staff is available to answer, it will recognise this and the call will be diverted to another store. This means that in-store staff can spend time with customers, rather than being on the phone. Customers don’t want to feel ignored, or they will leave the store.
Retailers need to be connected with their customers at all times. If a customer calls in with a query or a concern, they need a rapid response. Frustration can arise when a customer is kept on hold. Technology solutions can provide retailers with information on queues and call waiting times to help monitor and manage waiting times, which ultimately helps improve the customer experience. Furthermore, Hosted Voice offers call recording, which helps when managing customer complaints and assists in dispute resolution.
Cloud PBX Phone System
A Cloud PBX phone system requires little or no installation costs and, as the underlying infrastructure is located in the Cloud rather than on-site, maintenance costs are low. Individual businesses have a tight budget and need to keep their operating costs to a minimum, so a Cloud-based solution could provide the best alternative to their existing telephone system.
Download our Buyer's Guide to get a step-by-step checklist for buying a hosted voice solution.
Retail industry needs to have immediate online access to information, such as call stats, billing data and other key management information, in order to keep a close eye on costs, reduce non-essential traffic and provide a seamless customer experience. Digital services provide clarity on all aspects of a retail business’s operations.
Download our connectivity Datasheet to find a secure and reliable internet connection for your business.
Cyber Awareness Training
Cyber security is a big concern for retail businesses. According to the 2018 Trustwave global security report, the retail sector was the top target for cyber attacks in 2017, with 16.7% of all cyber crime aimed at retailers. Retailers need to implement, manage and maintain a comprehensive cyber security policy and train their people in how to identify and reduce the risk of a cyber attack.
Download our Toolkit to get the knowledge and assets to launch a cyber awareness training program today.
When it comes to supply chain and stock management, Hosted Voice can be a fast and flexible method of communication. Whether it’s audio or video conferencing, this technology can ensure store managers regularly communicate updates on stock levels, sales figures, stock recalls and promotions. Retail outlets need to have the stock in store that they advertise on their website.
Aligned with this, businesses in the Retail industry need to have immediate online access to information, such as call stats, billing data and other key management information, in order to keep a close eye on costs, reduce non-essential traffic and provide a seamless customer experience. Digital services provide clarity on all aspects of a retail business’s operations.
New methods of communication such as SMS, webchat and social media are changing the face of the Retail market. Customers expect to be able to shop anytime, anywhere and the service needs to be functional, seamless and personal. Retailers need to adapt to the demand for mobile apps and online services.
Protect Your Business
Use our free end-user Cyber Security Awareness Training Toolkit. It gives you the knowledge and assets to launch a training program today.
Online retailers such as Ebay and Amazon are changing the shopping landscape and bricks and mortar stores need to be able to compete. They need to employ mobility technologies to deliver the convenience and personal interaction to the shop floor that is offered by the online experience.
Every retailer needs to conform with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This maintains and promotes industry standards for the safety of cardholder data worldwide. Hosted Voice is PCI compliant and allows for card payments over the phone.Cyber Security
Cyber security is a big concern for all business owners and IT professionals, with several high-profile malware attacks have hit the headlines in recent years. Cybersecurity Ventures, the world’s leading researcher of the global cyber economy, believes cyber crime will cost global businesses $6 trillion annually by 2021.
It's also a concern for the Retail industry. According to the 2018 Trustwave global security report, the retail sector was the top target for cyber attacks in 2017, with 16.7% of all cyber crime aimed at retailers.
Retailers will need to invest heavily on their security systems. Global business investment on cybersecurity solutions will grow by 33% over the next four years, reaching $134bn annually by 2022, according to the latest worldwide study by Juniper Research.
Given the growing sophistication of cyber criminals, retailers need to implement, manage and maintain a comprehensive cyber security policy and train their people in how to identify and reduce the risk of a cyber attack.
Businesses in the Retail industry face many challenges, which modern technology can address.
What We Can Offer
Chess provides affordable technology systems for businesses across the Retail industry. Whether they need just a single line, fast broadband, or require a Cloud-based phone system, they require a first-class customer experience.
Technology solutions not only keep businesses connected with their customers but also help streamline their supply chains, making their business more effective and efficient. They work seamlessly and are simple to use. They enable our customers to focus on what they do best - running and growing their business.
Each year when you prepare your budget submission, incorporating short term operational requirements alongside longer term strategic requirements for new investment, it’s a painful process.
Most business leaders would admit that if there’s anything that keeps them awake at night it’s the possibility of their organisation hitting the headlines due to a data breach.
As an MD or CEO, you’ll know about the importance of good communications. High quality communications around the business, as well as with suppliers and customers, forms part of the bedrock of excellent customer service.