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Impact of Bringing Your Own Devices for Work and the Network

Recently Jon Stine with Cisco IBSG wrote in the Cisco Retail blog an article titled “In Between the Numbers: Bring Your Own Device Do we know what that means?” where he talked about the changes that the BYOD concept brings to the change in the culture of employees leveraging technology to get their job done, and how it not just impacts the end point technology but all the network and information technology infrastructure.

I recently went to New York  for the National Retail Federation Conference and I took a picture of all the devices (excluding my laptop) that I carried with me for use at the hotel, in the booth, and while I was at 30,000 ft.

Cius, iPad, iPhone

As I think back about working with multiple devices (both issued to me and owned by me) during the week, here are some areas that impacted IT.

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Retail’s BIG Show Indeed!

The National Retail Federation’s BIG show had another record-breaking year receiving over 25,500 attendees from 78 countries. With over 100 educational sessions and a jam-packed EXPO floor, energy was high.

The innovative demos in the Cisco booth attracted a great deal of traffic offering retailers new ways to generate revenue, create a consistent user experience across all channels, and maximize operational efficiency.

Cisco Interactive Services was very popular. This demo, developed by Cisco and partner Array Interactive, delivered interactive applications allowing attendees to build a wardrobe of outfits, receive fashion advice, and through video collaboration capabilities, connect with a live fashion expert on-demand.

The StyleMe virtual fashion mirror also received great interest as retailers “tried-on” their outfits of choice using gesture-based navigation to make their selection from the inventory of clothing. Attendees could even capture images of themselves in their new outfits to share over social media and email.  Read More »

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Omni Channel Retailing—Connecting Anytime, Anywhere, Even at 30,000 Feet

At the National Retail Federation conference and expo this past week in New York, Cisco released its latest study on how consumers are hopping across multiple channels and how retailers can catch ‘Em and keep ‘Em. On my way from San Francisco to New York this week, I was shopping at the airport and did an e-book purchase and downloaded it to my tablet using the onboard wireless Internet service at 30,000 feet.

Think about the impact of this new consumer reality to retailers such as Sport Chalet, who needs to build a strong foundation to support customers anytime anywhere.

Sport Chalet CEO, Craig Levra, and CIO, Ted Jackson, discuss how they are satisfying shoppers and improving operations with Cisco technology.

Some of the capabilities that retailers need to provide going forward in the omnichannel world include:

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Catching channel hoppers to boost sales

 Using stores as showrooms for online purchases is the “new normal” for today’s tech- and Internet-savvy shoppers. So how do retailers “catch” these channel-hopping customers and “keep” them buying within their own brand?

The Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) believes retailers can increase sales both in stores and online by creating “mashops” that combine immersive online content with engaging in-store experiences. This idea is backed up by Cisco IBSG’s latest research, which revealed that digital content has reached a new level of influence.

Surprisingly, shoppers now prefer online sources to people when making buying decisions. Read More »

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Cisco StyleMe: Virtual Fashion Mirror Inspires Sales Across All Age Groups

One of the key questions I get from retailers is “How can I use technology to create experiences that inspire my customers to buy more, both in the store and online?” In the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group’s (IBSG) work with leading worldwide retailers, we uncovered what we believe is the answer—the “inspire” trigger. Specifically, inspire triggers are emotionally charged shopping experiences that make customers exclaim, “I never thought of that, let’s buy it,” or, “Wow, I want to by that now.”

From this work, Cisco IBSG developed Cisco StyleMeTM—a virtual fashion mirror that combines augmented reality with the latest mobile and networking technologies to create a fun, new, interactive way to try on clothing and accessories virtually. Cisco StyleMe lets customers visually browse a wide range of products; build outfits; receive expert recommendations; capture images of what they look like to share with friends and family; create a digital wardrobe of items in which they’re interested; and buy their selections in the store or online.

Customer testing shows that Cisco StyleMe is a hit with all types of consumers, but especially with a group that surprised us—shoppers over 50 years of age. The older generation clearly sees the benefits of easily trying on new outfits and getting expert advice, which far outweighs any apprehensions they might have about using the technology.

For retailers, Cisco StyleMe has the potential to 1) grow cross-channel sales by giving customers access to an extended range of inventory and enabling them to buy in-store and online; 2) strengthen customer loyalty by creating differentiated in-store experiences and enabling follow-up with customers after their store visit; and (3) increase conversion rates by allowing customers to receive relevant recommendations and interact with friends and family who influence their buying decisions.

Given the success of Cisco StyleMe, we believe creating rich, digital, cross-channel experiences in the store represents a powerful new way to inspire customers to buy. To get started, ensure your technology infrastructure is up to the task of supporting interactive rich-media experiences. By starting now to ensure your technology infrastructure is up to date, you’ll be in a strong position to capture more sales from customers both online and in your stores.

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