How lack of connectivity can seriously impact retail businesses

We’ve said it many times before but the reliance on technology is greater than ever for businesses across the globe. Technology plays a huge role in all types of business but one sector where technology is particularly important is the retail sector.

Imagine you’re the Manager of a large retail outlet. It’s a typical Saturday (your busiest day of the week) and your fixed-line goes down. What would your day be like with no connectivity? Which areas of your store would be most affected?

Well, if you’re a big high street brand, it’s likely that many parts of your store would be affected. But the biggest area of impact (and probably the most important one!) would be your payment system. With the majority of customers paying with credit and debit cards these days, you simply wouldn’t be able to process any transactions. EPOS systems rely on an internet connection to communicate with credit and debit card payment systems, but without any connectivity, that communication could not happen and you couldn’t take any payments.

Without connectivity, you may still be able to accept cash payments, but this could affect your stock inventory. It’s likely that your cash tills will also link to a central stock system, so by accepting cash payments without being able to scan and check items out properly, your stock levels would become out of sync very quickly which may cause problems with supplies.

A lack of connectivity could also affect other services within your store. Not only would payments and stock management be hindered, but you wouldn’t be able to place any special customer orders. Many retail outlets today offer customers the opportunity to order items that may not be available on the day. But without connectivity, orders couldn’t be placed and customers may choose to go elsewhere instead.

Instore advertising may also be affected by a fault with connectivity. Your store might include features such as tablets or PC terminals that shoppers can use to browse your wider product range. Without connectivity, however, these devices wouldn’t be able to link to your website to showcase items that aren’t available in-store.

Your store may also feature large advertising screens showing adverts, videos or associated television programmes that encourage shoppers to buy. If these screens rely on the internet to access content, a lack of connectivity would also make these unusable for the day.

So it’s clear to see what a huge negative impact a lack of connectivity could have on retailers today. And with the busiest shopping time of the year fast-approaching, a lack of connectivity simply isn’t an option. But how can retailers protect themselves should it happen?

The answer is simple – M2M technology!

Using M2M (machine to machine) technology, a specially configured Enterprise Grade Router offers retailers a robust failover should their fixed-line go down. With the ability to connect to any mobile network, the router remains plugged in at all times and is ready and waiting to take the load should the fixed connectivity fail for any reason. The retailer can operate as normal with no negative impact on the business and customers can shop as normal.

Communications resellers who are interested in providing this solution to retail customers across the UK can do so with support from unified communications experts Zest4. Zest4 offer a wide range of M2M solutions for reseller partners, all backed up by expert M2M knowledge and technical support, training through the Zest4 partner academy, marketing support, optimised tariffs and competitive commercials.

For more information on M2M solutions from Zest4, call 0161 956 3355 or visit