The pandemic has changed the way consumers behave and interact in stores. Due to restricted mobility, the retail industry has been severely affected by government-imposed safety protocols. For almost two years, customers could not flock to brick-and-mortar stores as freely as they used to. Global businesses have begun investing in artificial intelligence and local Edge servers to adapt to the changing retail landscape. Retailers are continuously looking to reinvent the customer in-store experience to increase their resiliency and cement themselves in the industry.
Edge computing is quickly becoming essential for retailers when it comes to accelerating their digital transformation—the benefits of Edge computing have been proven to transform the customer experience. By bringing computing power closer to the data source, there will be minimized latency and reduced risk in operations. With consumer demands constantly changing, a customer-centric approach will be needed to drive personalized interactions across their stores which their customers will not forget.
Schneider Electric foresaw the future of retail, along with the industry trends that supported Edge technologies. The global specialist in energy management and automation developed an Edge solution to enhance the customer experience in brick-and-mortar stores and increase the shopping channels available for their customers. By adopting edge technologies, retailers can expand their customer base with online channels and focus on their customer’s digital experience.
“The retail industry faces complex challenges ahead and our Edge technologies aim to drive operational efficiency by understanding that space is a premium. Spaces need to be designed optimally because it affects the way customers behave in stores along with how they interact with their products,” said Abraham Lim, secure power director at Schneider Electric Philippines.
The EcoStruxure Micro Data Center 6U Wall Mount ensures that large Edge servers and networking equipment are strategically placed in non-IT environments such as retail spaces to support critical business operations. Schneider Electric’s Micro Data Center R-Series also has additional features such as active cooling, enhanced filtration, and security for data centers in harsher environments. There is nothing worse than losing a customer due to network failure in Point-of-Sale systems and this data center ensures that in-store systems are always operational.
Retailers need to constantly innovate and utilize in-store technologies to offer high levels of customer service. AI and machine learning makes it possible to address customer concerns by giving store clerks access to up-to-date data. Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure IT leverages industry benchmarks and analytics to deliver high quality service quickly. A simplified IT infrastructure that aligns with the store’s aesthetic allows retailers to sell an immersive brand experience. They can remotely monitor the edge software while increasing their operational savings since they do not have to acquire maintenance or repair services. This edge computing solution presents several ways technologies can be harnessed to provide tailored recommendations and efficient products that add to the store’s quick response capabilities.
Schneider Electric has also partnered with AVEVA, a global leader in industrial automation software and other leading brands to simplify the deployment of Edge technologies. With their partners’ expertise, Schneider Electric has reduced field engineering and maintenance costs through their preconfigured designs. Moreover, Schneider Electric has also created a Local Edge Configurator to grant system integrators access to tools that provide solutions that have been validated theoretically.
Schneider Electric Exchange provides technology resources through APIs and datasets. Within the platform, users can seek out experts in different fields to solve specific customer problems. This exchange also connects users to the right partners to scale their business through the ask-and-advice forum.
“Organizations can benefit greatly from building a data-driven culture. Schneider Electric has leveraged IT equipment and operational data sourced from our business systems to meet the customer demands in various industries,” said Lim.
Schneider Electric understands the investments and infrastructure development needed to attain a competitive advantage in the retail sector. Achieving operational efficiency requires real-time insights that are derived from AI technologies, algorithms and sensors. With many industries shifting towards Edge computing, Schneider Electric is committed to help spearhead these industries into the future. Through its strategic partnerships, Schneider Electric has developed Edge solutions that will accommodate the specific nature of one’s business, as well as allow businesses to optimize costs and create sustainable infrastructures.
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