Four Essential Technologies for Serving Shoppers in Challenging Times

Certified managed network services provider outlines latest tech needs for c-store and fuel retailers.

September 21, 2020

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TULSA, Okla.—This year, convenience retailers have been forced to adapt to many unanticipated changes—from social distancing, out-of-stocks and plexiglass shields to offering shoppers pickup and delivery options. New technologies predicted for the future have rolled out early, and businesses are struggling to adjust to a new paradigm.

“These rapid-fire changes are why multi-unit retailers must partner with a certified managed network services provider who’s in the trenches with them,” said Daryl Woodard, CEO, SageNet, a Tulsa-based managed network services and cybersecurity solutions provider that serves some of the largest c-store and petroleum retailers. “Successful retailing requires a secure, reliable network to handle credit-card transactions, manage inventory, monitor fuel levels and avoid IT maintenance issues. An experienced MNSP can do all that while helping the retailer improve day-to-day operations and increase sales.”

The path to providing customers with quality merchandise and superior service—while earning and retaining their loyalty—has changed. Achieving those business objectives starts with fundamental, proven technologies, all of them within the retailer’s control.

“We’ve identified four tools that are essential across all verticals,” Woodard said. “The first is reliable connectivity, which allows the retailer to almost instantly and securely deploy broadband anywhere.

“The second is strong, secure Wi-Fi throughout the retail environment. Both store guests and staff members expect reliable Wi-Fi connectivity,” he said. “The third is using integrated digital signage, which can be placed outdoors or inside the store. Digital signs provide up-to-the-minute information in an engaging format, and according to Nielsen, can help boost retail sales 33% when compared to static signage.”

The fourth tool is IoT analytics, which help retailers realize value from the huge volumes of data generated by connected Internet of Things devices.

“IoT technologies and analytics transform raw data into actionable intelligence,” he said. “Those insights can be used to develop strategic plans that will help the organization be more profitable.”

All four tools are essential, but to employ them successfully and without disruption, a retailer should partner with a proven MNSP that provides 24/7 redundant network and security operations centers, plus strong field support whenever and wherever it’s needed, he added.

“We’re passionate about creating trusted connections with our customers, our community and our associates, which is especially vital during the pandemic,” Woodard said. “Our goal is to listen to their needs and serve as a valued advisor, helping to guide them through these challenging times.”

Don’t miss NACS Magazine’s Q&A with Daryl Woodard, CEO of SageNet, in “Trusted Connections” in the September issue. To read the digital pdf, click here.

This is the second installment of a two-part series about managed services and the benefits of digital signage. Read more in the September 14 edition of NACS Daily.