Connectivity

BT: Connecting your retail estate and ecosystem

It’s never been more important for retail businesses and consumers to stay connected using any device, anywhere in the world.

BT: Connecting your retail estate and ecosystem

It’s never been more important for retail businesses and consumers to stay connected using any device, anywhere in the world.

Connectivity

The retail industry is undergoing significant transformation, accelerated by changes in consumer behaviour, technology and the ongoing cost -of -living crisis.

There’s been a marked shift in the consumer shopping experience. The pandemic accelerated online activity, with more and more consumers connecting to, and engaging with, retail customer services and purchasing items through multiple devices. 

 

Consumers’ demands are increasing, seeking secure data, and fast, frictionless personalised shopping experiences across multiple channels. Connectivity speed, reliability and capacity within Wi-Fi, public and private 5G networks or the cloud, are all key issues for businesses and consumers. 

Retailers are under pressure to embark on digital transformations to stay ahead of the technological curve, while needing to safeguard personal and business data, with limited budgets and staff shortages.

It’s imperative that retailers meet these challenges head on and implement flexible, agile and secure network and connectivity solutions to help them gain a competitive advantage as consumer needs evolve. 

How BT can help

We can add real value to an organisation’s real estate and ecosystem. We launched the UK’s first 5G network back in 2019. Since then, RootMetrics® has rated EE’s (subsidiary of BT Group) 5G network as the UK’s Number 1 every year. Its extensive network coverage also means it can help retailers operate at scale, which is hugely beneficial for businesses looking to expand their number of retail outlets.

As one of the UK’s leading telecoms companies, we’re highly regarded as a safe pair of hands. We have a vast network infrastructure and a wealth of experience providing connectivity services and integrated digital solutions to businesses of all sizes, which is why we have been the trusted partner for nine out of 10 of the UK's top retailers.

Our recently published 'Future of Retail' whitepaper explores how smart technology choices can transform operations, customer experiences and sustainability, and help retailers better connect their retail estate and wider ecosystem.

We’re at the forefront of empowering retailers with cutting-edge solutions, offering a comprehensive suite of digital services, including our managed SD-WAN and dashboard solutions, real-time surveillance, and fast, reliable Wi-Fi, all delivered with ongoing customer support at affordable rates.

SD-WAN/Dashboard

SD-WAN (or software-defined wide-area networks) is a virtual WAN architecture that lets retailers securely connect users to their applications using any combination of connectivity services, including MPLS (multiprotocol label switching), broadband internet and 4G/5G.

We provide reliable and secure SD-WAN, that use intelligent technology and are fully managed by us, allowing retailers to focus on employee and customer experience within their estate and wider ecosystem. 

Additionally, all our SD-WAN come with dashboards. We manage SD-WAN control and configuration through these dashboards, giving retailers’ security teams full visibility over their networks. They also enable retailers to see which stores have the most customers connecting, making them less reliant on often limited in-house skills.

Benefits of SD-WAN/Dashboard

  • Traffic prioritisation
    Our managed SD-WAN solutions give retailers greater control over network traffic and improve visibility of applications. They prioritise traffic going through an organisation, perfect for big data operations that require additional bandwidth and can't afford network downtime.

    We’ve partnered with industry leaders such as Cisco, VMware and Nokia, ensuring access to the best of their expertise and our global infrastructure.

  • Smart technology
    We’ve invested in smart technology that automates network activity and is optimisable and energy efficient. It allows retailers to gain a clear understanding of the applications being used, and by whom, enabling them to react faster and make smarter decisions to help their business grow.

    Our easy-to-use platform also provides real-time data analytics and customer insights. 

  • Easy implementation
    Our fully managed service includes a dedicated management team focused on getting retailers operational in no time.

  • Secure networks
    We offer cutting-edge security with an encrypted network that helps improve retailers’ network security. It’s delivered without organisations having to spend any time or effort, due to our automatic security updates across their retail estate, devices and platforms.

    Our SD-WAN solution is scalable and flexible, so retailers can customise to meet their business needs.

SD-WAN/Dashboard case study

One such business to tap into our high-performing and scalable network is a well-known, high street UK fashion retailer. The ability of branch stores to connect and communicate seamlessly and securely was of paramount importance; we’re currently rolling out connectivity to around 400 of its outlets. 

We’re upgrading the company’s connectivity capabilities, from basic to superfast broadband, giving them more capacity within their network.

We’re also providing support for Wi-Fi in stores, which will encourage customers to connect and download the retailer’s app. This will help the firm gain insight into customer behaviour and formulate useful data, such as number of repeat visits and the items they are interested in.

Security surveillance

Retailers are facing a myriad of in-store security challenges as the cost-of-living crisis accelerates.

Recent data shows shoplifting offences have returned to pre-pandemic levels. In March 2023, police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland recorded around 33,000 incidents of shoplifting - a significant 30.9% rise compared with March 2022. 

Physical assaults on shop workers have increased year-on-year by nearly a third, with incidents of antisocial behaviour and verbal abuse increasing by a fifth. This means investment in the right surveillance technology has become even more crucial.

We’ve been delivering real-time surveillance and CCTV solutions for almost 30 years to make retailers and their customers safer. Our innovative technology covers more than 44,000 CCTV channels, transferring over half a million images a second. 

With our large-scale digital infrastructure and innovative surveillance solutions, we’re a trusted partner to future-proof retail businesses, large or small.

Benefits of security surveillance

  •  
  • A comprehensive surveillance network with CCTV solutions can improve visibility and drive outcomes. 

  • Allows retailers to make fast, intelligent, well-informed decisions - based on real-time data and insights. Proactivity is the key to a safe, efficient and harmonious retail ecosystem.

  • Surveillance is about more than just customer and employee safety, it’s about improving quality of life. Small incremental improvements, helped by a constant stream of valuable data, can save businesses time and money.

Surveillance solutions

We can help transform retail services with a choice of surveillance solutions, including:

  • Cameras, gateways, access points and sensors.

  • Video, data and smart management/analytics.

  • Hybrid networks (fibre, wireless and 4G/5G).

  • Control room fit out, IT and LAN (Local Area Network).

Quality Wi-Fi

Retailers can enrich customers’ shopping experiences through engagement to influence their spending behaviour. Research shows that 82% of consumers will consult their mobile devices while out shopping. Businesses need to capitalise on this by offering quality Wi-Fi that helps them learn about customer behaviour.

Many retailers are battling to combat the shift to online shopping, accelerated by the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. However, if retailers can offer customers access to the same amount of data for their physical stores as their online channels, and thereby creating a truly omnichannel experience, there is huge potential for growth.

We’ve provided fast, reliable Wi-Fi to some of the UK’s largest retailers. Our integrated solutions are delivered by a team of experienced, technology specialists, who ensure the installation is trouble-free. We also offer out-of-hours fitting as part of our service.

Benefits of quality Wi-Fi

  • Boost shopper satisfaction with an enhanced Wi-Fi experience
    Customers want to get online when they’re out shopping so they can compare prices, check reviews and engage with social media. We make it fast and easy to do just that, keeping customers happy and shopping for longer.

  • Gain insights into customers’ interaction with a retail business
    Using our historical and real-time reporting tools to monitor the frequency of customer visits, enables retailers to gain a better understanding of customer behaviour, and identify cross-estate visits.

  • Increase dwell time and drive higher spend
    Using our real-time customer engagement tools enables retailers to push customer offers while they’re in stores. 

  • Create an omnichannel experience for customers
    There’s real value in linking customers’ online and offline behaviour. Have they browsed a product on a retailer’s website and now come in-store? Understanding customers’ in-store behaviour can inform retailers’ engagement strategies and develop a deeper, more profitable relationship with them.

Why choose BT?

We offer the support retailers need, from dedicated project management to operations centres proactively monitoring their network.

We can guide retailers through their digital transformation journey by connecting their retail estate and ecosystem, and in doing so, future-proof their businesses and empower their customers to shop across multiple channels, including in-store.

Building an agile, high-performance, cloud-centric network infrastructure is essential to adopting any advanced new digital innovations. And as the third largest investor in research and development over the past 10 years, with a portfolio of over 4,700 patents, our commitment to innovation is so long-standing it’s become embedded in our DNA.

As the UK’s leader in delivering seamless, secure and sustainable digital infrastructure, we offer a complete solution for businesses looking to stay ahead of the competition.

Retail solutions

Digital transformation in retail

Harness the power of digital and open up a whole new world of possibilities for your retail business - both in-store and online.

Digital transformation in retail

Harness the power of digital and open up a whole new world of possibilities for your retail business - both in-store and online.

Retail solutions

Digital transformation in retail

Harness the power of digital and open up a whole new world of possibilities for your retail business - both in-store and online.

Retail solutions

Digital transformation in retail

Harness the power of digital and open up a whole new world of possibilities for your retail business - both in-store and online.

Retail solutions

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