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The Customer is Always Connected: WLAN and the Future of Retail

Retailers can use WLAN to enable employee mobility, offer better customer service, and provide critical decision-makers real-time insight into product “life-cycles.


Wireless Retail Applications


Some of the major ICT applications that a WLAN can enable include:

  • Point of Sale (POS) - Deployment of wireless cash registers and bar code client devices gives customer-facing staff access to inventory and pricing information.
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) - WLAN combined with RFID tags can track products from arrival at distribution centers to final sale and provide real-time inventory information.
  • Customer Assistance – WLANs support a wide variety of customer assistance technologies including customer self-help kiosks, consumer mobile devices, and personal shopper devices.
  • Voice over Wireless (VoWLAN) – VoWLAN has the potential to significantly increase retail productivity by cutting customer response times and maximizing employee access to managers.

Unique Challenges of Retail


  • RF Interference - The floor of a large store can contain many sources of RF interference, to which the WLAN must be immune, in order to guarantee service to all users, everywhere on premises.
  • High Communication Speeds - A customer who has to wait while a salesperson tries to look up inventory on a slow connection is often an unhappy customer, so the WLAN solution must ensure consistently high communication speeds.
  • Easily Scalable with Low Operational Costs - Given retailing’s perennial profit pressures, the wireless system must scale easily and carry the lowest possible operating cost burden.

CORE REQUIREMENTS


Reliable, Comprehensive Communications:

WLAN must be highly reliable. Otherwise, connectivity outages will directly impact employee productivity and enterprise profitability.

Support Highly Mobile Workforce:

Solution must meet performance needs of continually mobile employees without roaming and re-authentication issues.

Wire-Like VoWLAN:

VoWLAN is an increasingly critical tool, and must operate flawlessly, with toll-quality audio.

Ease of Use:

Stores change their physical layouts almost as often as they change their product lines, so quick installation to meet changing space needs, and the ability to handle a dynamic RF environment are critical.

User Security:

Maintaining the security of customer information is of paramount importance.
 
 

THE EXTRICOM EXPERIENCE


Guaranteed Service:

Extricom’s Channel Blanket technology  delivers a guaranteed and consistent data rate throughout the coverage area, and leads the WLAN industry in noise-immunity.

Multi-Layer Channel Blanket:

Unique infrastructure provides maximum bandwidth, mobility, and coverage to each individual employee.

Zero-Latency, Seamless Mobility:

Extricom WLAN is purpose-built for the industry's best voice over Wi-Fi communication.

The Lowest Cost of Ownership:

Extricom's solution eliminates the cost of RF cell planning, and is deployed and maintained with plug-and-play simplicity, resulting in 50% lower TCO than competing solutions

Secure and Convenient:

Extricom embeds the strongest security available, without sacrificing mobility or performance.