SD-WAN is one of the fastest-growing solutions in the technology sector. The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that the SD-WAN market will be worth around $5.25 billion by 2023 and Global Market Insights, Inc. expects the SD-WAN market to grow at a 58% CAGR from 2019 to 2025, demonstrating the SD-WAN trend is more than just market hype.
But how will SD-WAN impact the retail landscape in 2020 and help brands power their digital transformation? Here are five retail trends that are gaining momentum and how each of them are best when powered by SD-WAN
Trend #1: The Push for Digital Transformation Will Continue
As competition in the retail industry grows fiercer by the day, modern consumers will continue to expect flawless digital experiences. Brands who fail to provide accordingly will lose market share to their competitors.
Digital experiences today involve all touchpoints a customer has with your brands, including your website, mobile application, in-store experience, customer service, and more.
To facilitate smooth digital transformations, retailers are recognizing that SD-WAN provides simpler store networks with agility to deliver on their increasingly complex requirements:
● Secure digital payment with zero lost transactions on link failover
● Unbreakable cloud connectivity for corporate and store management apps
● Synchronizing inventory data between multiple storefronts, warehouses and more
● Plenty of bandwidth for guest wifi and innovative customer experiences
● Deploying new store locations more efficiently than ever
SD-WAN is accelerating retail digital transformations by providing fast and secure store connectivity with greater visibility, but with much less cost and complexity.
Trend #2: The Rise of 5G and SD-WAN
2020 will be a big year for 5G wireless technology with service providers rolling out 5G infrastructure in major cities. 5G has game-changing potential for retailers because it gives the average consumer the throughput of a fiber optic connection in their pocket, which greatly expands the potential for consumers to leverage their mobile phone as part of an omni-channel shopping experience.
5G also provides the lowest latencies ever seen for wireless connectivity, making it well suited for store network connectivity. Retailers understand that connectivity is essential for point-of-sale payment processing and other mission critical applications, and 5G offers an ideal solution for link redundancy. SD-WAN solutions can blend wired connectivity with 5G to create a virtually unbreakable store connection. Expect more retailers to deploy 5G as part of their SD-WAN store network deployments in 2020 and beyond.
Trend #3: Retail Self-Service Innovation Accelerates
Over the past few years, self-service retail technology has been on the rise. One of the most visible initiatives is happening at McDonalds, which has deployed about 1,000 self-serve kiosks per quarter and is on pace to have them in most US restaurants by 2020. Customers generally appreciate the empowerment of self-service retail technology, especially when it leads to faster checkouts.
In 2019, technology refinements have led to reduced errors and improved customer experiences. New use cases also emerged that leverage mobile phone apps to enable the same type of self-service ordering and checkout functionality without requiring investment in new infrastructure. Based on continued innovation, greater consumer acceptance and rising labor costs, we expect the trend for retail self-serve technology will accelerate in 2020.
Whether it’s delivered through ordering kiosks, self-checkout systems or mobile phone apps, all retail self-service solutions are delivered through a connected devices. SD-WAN provides flawless and secure connectivity to ensure customers can always access the self-service retail experience.
Trend #4: Mobile Wallet Solutions Go Mainstream
The rise of convenient payment apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal's Venmo seem virtually unstoppable and we expect this trend will continue revolutionizing the store checkout experience in 2020.
Savvy retail brands are taking notice because mobile payment apps are especially popular with millennials. Consider that total Venmo payment volumes tripled from Q1 2017 to Q1 2019, and a majority of North American retailers report they either accept mobile POS payments already or plan to within the next two years.
As with any form of digital POS technology, mobile wallet apps require "always-on" connectivity. SD-WAN failover provides secure, unbreakable store connectivity that ensure retailers can tap digital customer wallets without worrying about the internet downtime risk.
Trend #5: Omnichannel Innovation Continues
Consumers are becoming increasingly mobile and demand to engage with brands through multiple channels. To deliver an omni-channel retail experience, retailers are turning to cloud applications that improve the logistics across every aspect of their operations. Cloud applications can help streamline a retail brand’s networking capabilities, allowing it to:
● Achieve better accuracy when tracking stock levels across all sites
● Synchronize marketing promotions displayed publicly in-store and online
● Use predictive analytics to personalize service based on past behaviors
● Integrate ordering, delivery and returns across the stores and the website
In 2020, we expect more retailers will find innovative ways to seamlessly merge their online brand with their in-store shopping as a seamless omni-channel customer experience. SD-WAN technology helps power next-gen omnichannel retail brands by providing secure and reliable cloud connectivity across all stores, warehouses and corporate offices.
The Future Is Bright for SD-WAN
We live in an increasingly connected world. Retailers need to keep up with the competition by adopting SD-WAN to optimize the security, visibility and performance of their store networks.
SD-WAN provides enhanced functionality that traditional networking solutions can’t match. Many retailers have limited IT budgets are choosing a professionally managed SD-WAN solution to minimize their risks and eliminate hidden costs.
Are you a retailer looking to take advantage of what everything SD-WAN has to offer?
Contact the Adaptiv Networks team today to find out how you can integrate this cutting-edge networking technology into your business operations.