Retail’s Digital Roadmap

Published: Jan 12, 2018
Author: Michele Dupré


Digital Convergence Blog Series – Part 5

Creating a fluid and responsive omnichannel experience for customers can be a daunting proposition for any retailer. It involves so much more than matching the right digital tech to the right customer expectations. Navigating the complexity of integration on a foundation of omnichannel connectivity is critical to pulling it all off. Consider the prospect of making it work for a large retailer, where digital innovation doesn’t just need to work in one place but with and across hundreds of other locations.

This was the dilemma popular retailer Target was facing. With more than 1,800 stores, hundreds of thousands of team members, and 100,000 devices to manage, the ability to maintain operational connectivity and deploy digital innovation in store necessitated a look at infrastructure. Target was working with multiple service providers on disparate and dated networks, bandwidth was limiting network speed and team member productivity, and the retailer was challenged by the need to seamlessly integrate digital and store channels.

This is why a digital roadmap is increasingly critical to operational sustainability and enterprise growth. Not only did Target need to address connectivity, as they revamp and open new stores they’re working to deliver more cutting-edge digital capabilities to both shoppers and team members---none of which can be delivered on outdated networks with inconsistent connectivity and speed. A roadmap for digital transformation enables enterprises to shape the right strategy for core-to-edge innovation and to recognize that a likely first stop on that roadmap will be to build a more reliable and agile network.

Verizon was able to support Target toward those goals by addressing challenges at the foundation—rapidly installing new fiber-optic cables to nearly all Target stores with LTE backup within a 14-month period. This gave Target secure, simple and scalable connectivity, and that meant seamlessly connected guests, team members and networks.

This kind of updated infrastructure can help a multi-site retailer:

  • Improve customer check-out speed and reliability.
  • Expand Wi-Fi bandwidth in stores.
  • Provide customers with faster downloads and better response time via guest Wi-Fi.
  • Empower store associates to spend more time with customers by driving improvements to mobile smart device performance.

Knowing the kind of customer experiences you want to deliver in store or the connectivity you want to enable between stores is the first step toward building your transformation roadmap. It’s important to begin with the end in mind, to re-architect your infrastructure with an eye on those outcomes. And those identified outcomes need to have growth and expansion built in so you’re not revisiting the same challenges a year later.

Did you know?
Verizon Enterprise Solutions was named 2017 Supplier of the Year by Target’s technology team.

Michele Dupré is the Group Vice President of Retail, Hospitality & Distribution for Verizon Enterprise Solutions.