If you thought your favorite retailer or coffee shop was already on every corner, think again. According to About Money, in 2014, retailers continued their massive expansion with plans for more than 10,000 new store openings in the United States and in geographies including Japan, Europe, the Middle East, China and other major regions. Leading the charge is 7-11, Starbucks, Subway, Tim Hortons, General Dollar, H&M and Nordstrom among many others planning openings across geographies. While some retailers shuttered stores in the face of ecommerce, the outlook is positive for several retailers to continue major expansion in 2015.
What does this expansion mean to retailers? One of the challenges is that with the continued growth is the need to improve the efficiency and expediency of sharing store data in order to provide excellent, innovative customer experiences and to manage the business effectively. Whether it is providing inventory visibility and availability, customer analytics, point of sale data and speedy customer service; consumer data that their stores collect are at the center of success for today’s retailer.
For most retailers, data must be collected and uploaded (in real-time or in batch) to regional, and ultimately corporate servers so the retailer can track sales, inventory, and everything else related to their business. Unfortunately, many outlets are located in areas with bandwidth-constrained networks and have to settle for less than real-time replication and movement of store data.
In a demanding, omnichannel retail environment, where the consumer shops online, from a desktop, mobile device or brick and mortar store, it is incumbent upon retailers to provide a real-time experience where data is at the center of compelling consumer experiences. Even in locations where bandwidth is abundant, the difference in the ability to provide inventory or other buyer information performance improvements measured by milliseconds can make or break a sale and impact brand loyalty.
Most retailers work in a hub and spoke model for their customer database. Data from store point of sale and other systems are replicated to regional or headquarter servers for pricing, inventory or sales information. Increasingly, retailers do not have the luxury of batch processing at night. When businesses go global and traverse time zones and commerce is conducted 24×7, there is no concept of “night” when the business is closed.
Some retailers have looked to appliance solutions to speed data movement and replication but there are issues with data delivery guarantees and increased security risks (more for our next post). Retailers are discovering that NitroAccelerator, a compression solution that guarantees data delivery, increases performance by up to 10X without having to increase bandwidth. Find out what role NitroAccelerator can play to improve your business performance around the globe by taking a free 30 day trial.