Close-up of several men's suits hanging on brown coat hangers

Digital stores: success strategies in retail

In order to compete against e-commerce in the digital age, retailers must digitalize their stores

Smart retail: stores as a digital experience and world of shopping

To address the growing demands of consumers and counter the strong competitive pressure of online shops, retailers must equip their stores with digital solutions. Stores then offer the best of both worlds: tangible products and high-quality advice in addition to a digital world of experience. Networked technologies are the basis of smart retail.

Network stores through strong highways

Rear view of a robot in a supermarket with direction indicator

Providing customers with information and communicating with them in the best possible way is the task of retail staff. Electronic equipment such as computers, telephones, cash desks, advertising displays, and electronic price tags provide support for this. If stores are equipped accordingly, they will benefit immensely from networking. Whether via Local Area Networks (LAN) or Wi-Fi – those who network their technology centrally enjoy completely new opportunities for control.

Scalable managed LAN services outsource planning, provision, and management of the networks to suppliers like T-Systems. Wholesalers and retailers receive a future-proof, local communication network with an all-round carefree guarantee. Regardless of how many stores, regardless of how many connected devices – T-Systems takes on planning, provision, and management of the network as system integrator. The infrastructure can be adapted to suit the needs of the user at any time, and they need not expend any time or expertise for setup and operation. The result: smart retailers are equipped for growth and free to focus on their core business.

Wi-Fi goes a step further: the network is all over in the store. This enables better communication, connection to new store services, and more efficient goods logistics. Customer interest increases with the cost-free surfing experience, which, in addition to interaction with the customers, is made possible by registering with the network. As such, networking becomes the backbone of digitalization in brick and mortar business.

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International Branch Connect

International Branch Connect provides high-performance, redundant and secure access to your (international) offices. All of this is managed by T-Systems in a flawless and very efficient manner, saving you time and money, while improving the end-user experience.

Sensors help to minimize time and effort

Full reverse vending machines, defrosted frozen products, long queues at the checkout, overflowing recycling boxes, and much more are a source of annoyance for customers and stress for store employees. Networked stores provide a remedy to these problems using sensors on devices which report critical conditions: capacity, temperature, functionality, and digital access. On IoT platforms, all information can be managed and the threshold values defined; likewise evaluations and alarms. This way, critical situations can be identified and prevented long before they have an impact on store business and customer satisfaction.

Retail 4.0: success with the digital supermarket

In an interview, CEO Jänecke explains what he expects of digitalization as a retailer.

The order is what matters

How the company Globus Baumarkt is working on the hardware store of the future.

Internet of Things at the touch of a button

Person standing in the supermarket serving a tablet in his hand

"An employee to checkout number 3 please, one employee please!" In stores and warehouses there are numerous situations in which someone must be called to help. Filling up a product display, for example, emptying a trash container, or unloading and allocating incoming goods. Thanks to the large variety of products, customers are frequently stood in front of shelves with a look of confusion. The IoT Service Button is an intelligent retrofit solution for businesses of all sectors – one which helps to simplify and optimize processes in the shortest possible time, in the simplest possible way. For example, the Service Button can be used to order products at the touch of a button, allows full containers to be collected, or calls upon service personnel. The display provides direct feedback regarding successfully delivered orders or the delivery date, for example. The IoT Service Button sends a notification to T-Systems' secure IoT platform. The platform then automatically notifies the designated addressee via email or SMS and dispatches a response to the IoT Service Button, e.g. "Coming now." In the portal, the use of the button can be evaluated and with that processes can be further optimized. In this way, a little button brings a lot of efficiency.

To the product

One app for total access: digital access to doors, gates, and vehicles

Person stands in front of smart lock with smartphone in hand

Doors, roller doors, and delivery vehicles in the retail business all have one thing in common: they are all accessed using a physical key. If employees and service providers want to enter certain spaces, they need the corresponding key. If suppliers are to push goods through roller doors, personnel are needed on site. This also comes with key handovers, paths, risks of loss, or "just" time constraints. The greater the number of access points and users, the more complicated key management becomes. And if a key goes missing, high costs are incurred. T-Systems offers a simple solution for this: Mobile Identity & Access (MIA) from the Internet of Things (IoT). The solution combines identification processes and access functions in one app. Instead of key safes, the customer uses a highly secure key cloud, with which they can gain access or be authenticated remotely. Access can be granted for a fixed period and withdrawn in real time. Designated vehicles can also be located and temporarily unlocked. This way, they can be reached throughout the entire storage facility. Here, the smartphone becomes a universal key and facilitates new processes. With MIA, all processes concerning access points are optimized.

To the product

Digital price tags: smart labels on clothing and shelves

Woman checks the price tag of a garment with her smartphone

The neon yellow women's coat in XS is available at a bargain price, today only. There are only two pairs left of the men's winter boots in size 44. Size 46 is sold out but can be ordered online from in store: an electronic price tag instantly shows customers all the relevant information they need – without any action needed by the employees in the store. Thanks to digital price tags, whether these are attached to the shelves (smart tags) or directly to the product (fashion tags), retailers can change prices for entire groups of goods in real time, while also being able to change the price of individual items on a promotional basis. From numbers of units in stock, product variants, and product details through to product recommendations, all information is displayed centrally. Using the QR code, the customer can order a product which is out of stock in store directly to their house or for collection in store. Offline and online presence come together almost seamlessly. Whether dynamic pricing, customer interaction in connection to the in-house retailer app, or payment via smartphone – T-Systems advises on digital price tags and the numerous other wider-reaching opportunities.

Smarter data analysis thanks to Motionlogic

Bird's-eye view of a crowd of people in public square

Which locations have the highest volume of potential customers? Where can you find your target group? How many people of certain age groups come to your store at which time? Use Motionlogic to measure the efficiency of your external ad placement and adjust opening times with pinpoint accuracy in accordance with influxes of visitors. Plan the best location for your new store with Motionlogic. 

Motionlogic analyzes movement patterns and influxes of visitors on the basis of anonymized signaling data on the Deutsche Telekom mobile network with particular consideration of data protection laws. As a result, in-depth analysis is available to retailers for the first time.

To the product

Branch Connect Cloud

Networked stores undoubtedly bring many advantages. At the same time, it must be ensured that the networking process is stable. After all: the greater the number of cloud computing and IoT devices that are used, the greater the volume of data for processing. These data move quickly, but nevertheless encrypted, across huge store structures. Branch Connect or International Branch Connect – depending on the scope of your network – offers many advantages here. 

  • High-performance, redundant, and secure connection to your subsidiaries and points of sale, and plannable in advance for popup stores 
  • VPNs at the touch of a button thanks to the software-defined network (SDN)
  • Quick adjustment and handling of firewall management, Wi-Fi, or voice 
  • Flexibility and automation

Brick and mortar business - successful thanks to our holistic approach

Compete with e-commerce with the help of networking: we will equip your stores with state-of-the-art networks for the digital future. Aside from this digital price tags bring the on- and offline presence of retailers seamlessly together. Cash register systems combine with a cloud platform and enable real-time access to shopping information. And instead of key safes, there is a highly secure key cloud for your employees. Read more about our strategic approach. 

To our strategy

Customer magazine

How do companies master digitization? What do experts say about current IT and telecommunications topics? Our customer magazine BEST PRACTICE reports on success stories, innovations and developments in all industries.