How Edge-to-Edge technologies are improving the retail experience

Retail companies are creating a personalized experience and improving operations

by AT&T Business Editorial Team

Today’s shoppers often expect personalized experiences. To meet this common demand, retailers are adjusting their strategies to include new technologies and better connect customers with their brands.

High-tech solutions help retailers analyze data each time customers interact with the store. Once data is gathered, it requires quick and accurate analysis to create targeted marketing efforts.

It’s not just a few retailers who are creating data-rich customer profiles. According to a study by Gartner, analytic solutions rank at the top of the major strategies most retailers plan to implement this year.

Processing data in-store

Retailers can personalize the shopping experience by using data to predict what a customer is most likely going to purchase. Data gathering starts with historical data, such as purchase history, products viewed on the website and consumer data.

However, to both collect and analyze data during the shopping trip, stores must have the ability to process data onsite, in near real-time. This means stores should have an Edge-to-Edge approach, with a reliable IT infrastructure capable of processing data at quick speeds. Using the traditional offsite data center design makes it difficult to provide the speed needed to deliver near real-time insights that identify and target shoppers’ needs.

Edge technologies

Retailers are now using edge technologies to process and analyze near-real-time data in store. Edge computing – and the tech ecosystem that optimizes it – places processing and storage capabilities near the perimeter of the network.

The data is closer to the device that is sending and receiving information, which can result in significantly faster processing times and less consumption of across-network bandwidth. It can also help improve reliability, because the infrastructure is not accessing an offsite data center for each transmission.

What it looks like

Edge technologies are helping retail stores elevate the customer experience, and ultimately increase sales. For example, mobile apps can tell retailers who's in the store, and use technology – such as smart beacons – to learn more about shoppers.

If shoppers aren’t in the store yet but are nearby, smart beacons can pair with Bluetooth and alert retailers when customers are in the vicinity. The retailer can then reach the customer by posting a coupon. And of course, smart beacons can also collect valuable data that resonate with specific demographics.

By collecting customer data and analyzing it in near real-time, retailers can transform almost any environment to reach customers – wherever they may be shopping.