The number of people who use smartphones and other mobile devices has vastly increased over the past several years, and this change has affected the way consumers communicate with retailers and make decisions about their purchases. In addition, the use of mobile devices in stores’ day to day operations has increased. In order meet the needs of their customers and make sure that mobile opportunities are being taken advantage of, retailers need to have a plan in place to make the best use of these technologies.
The Goals of Mobile Deployment
As companies prepare to deploy mobile technology to their stores, they need to ask themselves the following questions:
- What are we really doing/trying to do with these devices?
- Are we maximizing the use of the devices we’re currently deploying? If not, what functionalities can we add to increase efficiency?
- How do we need to use the devices to justify the capital expenditure?
- How do we become more profitable in our mobile operation rather than just doing it because our competitor is?
According to the 2014 Retail TouchPoints (RTP) Survey Report Keeping Up With The Next Generation Of Store Operations, the top five functions that store associates perform using mobile technology are:
- Finding Product Information – 60%
- Accessing Inventory/Availability – 50%
- Online Ordering of Out-Of-Stock Items – 43%
- Clienteling/Assisted Selling – 43%
- Mobile Payment – 38%
By answering the questions above and making sure your mobile deployment matches up with the needs of your employees and customers, you can make sure that you are utilizing mobile technology in the way that provides the best results to you.
Steps to Mobile Deployment
When planning a mobile deployment, you will need to take the following items into account:
1.Mobile Device Management (MDM)
Utilizing a MDM application such as AirWatch can ensure that you have visibility and control over all mobile devices being utilized in your enterprise environment, and it can also be used to manage employee-owned devices that are utilized in a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) capacity. However, it is important to have a full lifecycle plan in place for your chosen MDM solution, covering the preparation, implementation, configuration, pilot, production, vendor support, and administration of your mobile deployment. Using this plan will greatly reduce risk and uncover any outstanding issues that will need to be resolved in order to ensure the success of your mobile deployment.
Ensuring that you have a support plan in place for your mobile deployment can mean the difference between success and failure. Your support plan needs to include coverage for deployment, post-deployment break/fix or warranty management, operational issues, BYOD, and MDM. Having this plan in place will help you reduce the burden on your internal IT support team and allow you to adopt new technologies more quickly.
Since mobile devices will need to utilize a wireless data connection, it is essential to ensure that wireless coverage exists throughout your store. Testing this data connection in all parts of the store will ensure that there are no areas in which mobile devices will not function. It is also important to ensure that the network is secure and has the capacity to handle the operation of multiple devices, including employee-owned and customer-owned devices.
Enterprise Mobile Deployment and Management Assessment
Thee challenges of a mobile deployment are many, whether your company is just getting started or has already completed some of the process. If you need help determining your next steps, our Deployment and Management Assessment can help you answer any questions and provide you with recommendations on how to move forward. If you have any questions or want to know more about our mobile deployment services, which include support and mobile device management, please contact us.