The holiday season is an extremely busy time of year for everyone in the retail industry. Businesses need to have the technology to support all the additional traffic and uptick in activity.
Customers purchase products in several ways. Some do so in person, while many choose to buy online. Company websites need to be optimized for all devices from computers to hand-held tablets and smartphones. While the physical location needs to be armed with reliable phone systems, fast internet, and cybersecurity solutions to keep your customer information secure.
Making a wide range of options available will help differentiate your retail business from the rest and give you a competitive edge. The right retail IT solutions will bring more traffic to your retail locations and website, which will help to increase sales. Here are some things to consider as you prepare for the upcoming holiday season.
Ensure Phone Lines Are Available
The holidays mean an increase in call volume from customers, suppliers, and other business contacts. Make sure you have a unified communications solution that gives your business flexibility during this holiday season. When you have a cloud-based phone system, it makes it easier to manage and connect multiple retail locations with flexible dialing options, free calls between sites and more.
Your phone system should be able to support this increase in volume during the holidays, but it’s important to test your phone system ahead of time to ensure all features work properly.
Check Your Internet Connections
You will need a fast internet connection so you can perform online tasks in very little time. With a store full of customers, it’s important that you can look up inventory in other retail locations and check our customers quickly.
A slow connection will hinder your progress and can result in a loss in sales. Make speed a priority for your retail business. You can check your internet speed now with TPx’s Bandwidth Speed Test.
Secure All Devices
The holiday season is a chaotic time. The last thing you need is a data breach or loss of data. Not only could it derail your holiday sales, but it could also have a lasting effect on your business. Keeping all of your devices secure and information backed up will ensure you and your customer data is safe.
Customers will feel better knowing their payment information and other personal details are protected. Enabling endpoint security for all your endpoint devices such as computers, laptops, and mobile devices is a good place to start when it comes to securing your retail IT location.
Improve Online Pickup Experience
If you don’t offer an online pickup experience today, you may want to consider implementing it. Customers are expecting an easier shopping experience. In fact, nearly 67% of shoppers in the US have used online pick up and this number is anticipated to continue to increase.
For retail businesses already offering a buy online and pick up instore experience, you want to make sure you have the necessary communications in place. Offering a great buying experience will help increase repeat sales and good communications with your customers is an important aspect of that experience.
Human error is the leading cause of cyberattacks. Retail businesses typically hire more people during the holidays. It’s important that they are properly trained so they don’t inadvertently fall victim to a cyberattack. Businesses need to train all employees not only on how to use the systems but also on how to be cyber safe.
Security Awareness Training helps keep all aspects of your business secure. It’s been proven effective against cyber threats and gives your employees and customers peace of mind.
Stay Up To Date
Make sure your systems are running the latest antivirus software and patches have been properly applied. Keeping your systems up to date this holiday season can better safeguard your retail IT environment. With new cyber threats emerging every minute, making sure your systems are updated to address these threats is critical.
It’s time to evaluate your IT and make sure it can support through the increased demand over the next month. Learn more about how to keep your retail IT environment operating smoothly this holiday season.