SD-WAN, Other Network Points Make Better Customer Service

March 08, 2017

By Steve Anderson - Contributing Writer

These days, retailers all over are looking for better ways to compete, especially with the growing notions of online and mobile shopping that are pulling business out from under brick-and-mortar operations at dizzying rates. However, some businesses have discovered that sometimes it's best to co-opt that which cannot be readily beaten, and are improving wide-area networking (WAN) access, among other points, to keep up.

The notion that an improved WAN could be a key to better customer experience may seem outlandish until it's fully considered. Customers are increasingly known for using mobile devices while shopping in brick-and-mortar outlets, whether for gathering information about a product, checking to see if better prices can be had elsewhere, so on and so forth. Savvy retailers, therefore, are augmenting their WAN capabilities to make sure these customers have a smooth and unimpeded path to get that information.

Of course, it's not just as easy as throwing open the floodgates, buying the best WAN around and eating the cost; businesses have to balance the costs of such systems against the return generated therein. This is why businesses have to make sure the applications involved are also up to par; the best WAN around can only cover for a lousy user interface so far.

InfoVista's senior director of worldwide enterprise product marketing Ricardo Belmar (News - Alert) commented “In the end, it comes down to how your applications perform across that store network whether they are customer facing or associate facing.” To underscore this point, Belmar will be offering a free webinar, sponsored by Frontier Communications, on Thursday, March 16. Users need only sign up for it at this link, and will get access to important tips about how to make the WAN every bit of what it needs to be to help keep customers from jumping ship.

The good news for brick-and-mortar retailers is that they have one crucial advantage most online shops will never have, at least until the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gets out of the way of airborne delivery drones. That advantage is immediacy; no matter what you buy online, there's always a wait while the item in question is shipped to your door.  That wait isn't found in brick-and-mortar shops. So if businesses can further take on some of the advantages of online shopping, like wider inventory selection and better prices,  that should mean better results for those businesses.

The more that brick-and-mortar retailers can do to offer a better customer experience, the better the chance that retailer won't close from lack of shoppers. A better WAN can be a great step, but it's not one to take in isolation; it must be part of a wider program to truly succeed.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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