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Got Standards?

I have been participating in meetings with the Association of Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) since 2006 when Cisco joined as a member organization.  ARTS, a division of the National Retail Federation, is an international membership organization dedicated to reducing the costs of technology through standards.  Its mission is to develop best practices, technology standards and educational programs through collaboration and partnerships that will enable retailers, their vendors and suppliers to conduct business globally.  ARTS standards, products and programs are dedicated to fostering innovation, improving shopper experience, and increasing retailer efficiency.

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Connected Shoppers: Cisco CTO Bob Friday at NRF

Mobile devices have gone mainstream, and shoppers have become to rely on smart phones for their primary source of information while making a purchase decision. Bob Friday, Cisco CTO in the Wireless Networking Group, presents on connecting shoppers through mobility and shares highlights from his Big Ideas session at the National Retail Conference in January.

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Reflections from the Floor at NRF 2013

panoramaAfter a long day of showing the Cisco BYOD Smart Solution and Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences solutions at the 2013 National Retail Federation (NRF) trade show, I am waiting for a colleague to meet me for a well-deserved dinner. I had many, and yes there were MANY, conversations with Retail IT professionals,  and nearly every conversation I had seemed to revolve around the same two problems:

  1. How do I allow employees and / or customers to access the network when I don’t have dedicated local IT support?
  2. How do I give up the control and make sure my security and compliance requirements are met?

We know almost all organizations are struggling with BYOD, but it’s now clear that the lack of local IT support adds a new dimension to the problem. With the increased adoption of mobility, there’s also the added complexity of security and compliance, and with all the connected consumers walking around, it’s becoming a growing concern in the retail space. Retail organizations want to take advantage of the promise that leveraging Wi-Fi access to engage with employees and customers, but fear the management and security of such services.

Fortunately, Cisco is addressing both these issues with its mobility solutions.

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Retailers Must ‘Catch and Keep’ Today’s Demanding Digital Shoppers

Retailers are entering a new era of consumer shopping behavior fueled by the digital world in which we live. The explosion of digital content has major implications for retailers across all of the channels through which they offer products and services.

In fact, a new study just released by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) reveals that web-based digital content is now the most powerful influence on buying decisions for shoppers across all retail channels. The study surveyed 5,000 shoppers across five countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, and China.

The study’s results highlight the need for retailers to “catch and keep” today’s consumers, who now effortlessly “mash-up” digital and physical shopping. At this week’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Convention & Expo, Cisco will explain how retailers can take advantage of this evolution in consumer shopping behavior.

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New Shopping Experiences during the 2012 Holiday Season

Being a resident of San Francisco, one advantage of is the amount of shopping within walking distance.  This year several retailers timed their store openings and remodel to coincide with the holiday season shopping,  which is expected to grow 4.1 percent over last holiday season, according to National Retail Federation.

These retailers understand they are competing against “showrooming”  with E-commerce only retailers and consumer uncertainties over the economy.  Many have developed unique shopping experiences to attract customers  and here are some that stood out for me this holiday season before I head over to New York for the NRF 2013 Convention in January.

1. Uniqlo San Francisco

Uniqlo is a Japanese based international fashion retailer which opened its San Francisco store this October with great fanfare, including enlisting Japanese YouTube feline star Maru to promote their San Francisco store opening.

Some of the things that stood out for me at the store are:

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