Supporting the bandwidth of the future and remaining relevant in a sea of competition can be overwhelming. Wireless retailers must prepare for the supercharging of the Internet of Things (IoT), the coming of 5G, and keeping up with customer’s increasing demands by continuously evolving their technologies.
However, upgrading from legacy platforms and incorporating new and modern technologies is no easy feat. Wireless retailers and carriers must weigh the options of either updating their current system with innovative technology or implementing a brand-new system altogether. While new technology can help increase productivity, efficiency, and performance, if not launched properly, businesses risk losing data, reducing functionality, and creating poor user experiences. Shifting from one architectural design to another is also demanding and provokes other issues to further evaluate, which can be time-consuming and ineffective.
While replatforming can be an investment in time and money, with careful preparation and the right solution, strategic implementation of new technology can be seamless and painlessly adopted.
Before developing the best course of action, wireless retailers and carriers must consider the numerous factors impacting the telecom market landscape.
Unifying the Customer Experience Is Impossible with Legacy Software
Businesses must understand that customers expect their desired products to be available through their preferred touchpoint, in addition to a seamless customer experience online and in-store. To ensure that they are meeting their customers’ expectations, businesses need centralized customer data to create a unified customer experience and strategy. Knowledgeable shoppers will consider each experience they had with a brand and their service before making a final decision, meaning that wireless retailers should ensure that their customer channels do not compete against each other and that all customer interactions are recorded and centralized. Customers find it frustrating if they research a product and see that it’s available in a nearby physical store, only to find that the product is unavailable upon arrival. Unified commerce continuously updates product databases, allowing merchants to minimize customer pain points.
Difficulty with Utilizing Data Reporting Tools
Creating centralized customer data means breaking down siloes, but wireless retailers must have the proper infrastructure to support modern marketing and sales. Data from various customer touchpoints including social media, SMS, and email should enable wireless retailers to build a seamless customer experience as well as drive revenue goals. A robust technology platform is necessary to confirm that multiple channels are working together and not against each other.
Privacy and Security Issues
Ensuring customer safety and security entails interconnected technology systems as well as updated policies and operational measures. The IoT and the advancement of new technologies have made customers’ personal information easier to access. Challenges wireless retailers face regarding privacy and security include system disruptions, data breaches, and data loss, just to name a few. These issues are common with legacy software platforms and can be extremely costly to an organization. With upgraded technology options, wireless retailers can better protect customers to keep personal data confidential and have more control over their personal information.
Inability to Prepare for 5G Migration
The fifth-generation networks (5G) will soon be approaching the market in 2020 and pledge to be significantly faster and more efficient than previous generations. While this connection is still in the early development stages, carriers, as well as software and hardware suppliers alike, are examining practical techniques to achieve success with the migration from 4G to 5G networks. With 5G network speed, IoT devices will connect instantaneously, allowing for more linked devices at a rapid pace. Fifth-generation networks can download large content files in seconds, compared to minutes with the current 4G networks.
While 5G networks offer increased opportunities and enhanced speed, their primary design poses major dilemmas for wireless retailers when it comes to implementation. Fourth-generation networks benefit from low-frequency waves, enabling them to quickly span long distances. 4G networks can, therefore, be connected without the use of numerous antennas. Conversely, 5G networks currently require millimeter waves to transfer information, which does not navigate as remotely as the current 4G networks’ structures. This means that more antennas are needed for the 5G network migration, which is particularly challenging for the telecom industry.