In today’s retail environment, customers can choose from countless brick-and-mortar and e-commerce options. Compared to the friction-free, tailored experience many retail websites offer, shopping in a physical store can frustrate customers. Enter the high-performance Intel® Smart Edge commercial software platform that supports new technologies that deliver a data-driven experience to in-store shoppers.
What Is Intel Smart Edge?
Intel Smart Edge commercial software brings speed, intelligence, and flexibility to the edge. This turnkey commercial offering delivers a software-defined platform that puts data to work in large deployments with responsive local compute and storage on the sales floor. With Intel Smart Edge commercial software, businesses can shift their applications from the data center to multiple locations across their own private network. This decentralized approach reduces latency and accelerates analytics, letting your customer- and employee-facing applications communicate with the greatest possible speed. See a platform overview and more information in Documentation.
Benefits of Intel Smart Edge Commercial Software Solutions
While companies in almost every sector are embracing cloud computing, many retailers continue to run certain key edge applications within their enterprise networks. Intel Smart Edge commercial software speeds up round-trip application and data exchange to provide your shoppers, sales force, and analytics teams instantaneous access to business-critical applications and data. By using Intel Smart Edge commercial software to bring the application to the action, retail stores can improve the customer and employee experiences and gain critical intelligence faster.
Intel Smart Edge commercial software uses network assets to provide low-latency enterprise cloud services to edge devices. The single-box solution offers simplified application deployment and enables IT teams to manage data flow between displays and applications, improve application responsiveness, and analyze high-value data from multiple sources in real time. The turnkey software also supports both wired and wireless interfaces.
Personalize and Secure the Shopping Experience
A mall customer often enters a store only to leave after a minute or two if nothing catches their eye. If they do find an item to purchase, the loyalty programs upon which many retailers rely can increase checkout time. Intel Smart Edge software can enable innovative programs that recognize a customer as they enter the store, match them to a profile, and customize offers for them on the spot.
Intel Smart Edge commercial software also performs compute-intensive video analytics that help keep your customers safe, quickly delivering insights to security applications in real time. Securing your information is also crucial. With the Intel Smart Edge platform’s zero-trust security paradigm, only devices identified by an IT-defined policy can access the network. Implementing Intel Smart Edge commercial software on Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor-based servers further protects you, and Intel® Software Guard Extensions create secure enclaves that help secure application code and data against disclosure or modification. This portfolio of Intel offerings enables retail organizations to implement a more secure, high-performance edge compute framework.
Grab the Customer’s Attention with Unique In-Store Features
Whether they’re displaying wait queues or customized offers, responsive digital displays can add personalization and enable your customers to make decisions in “right time.” Building on video analytics and loyalty-program capabilities, retailers can customize in-store display advertising for specific shoppers or product lines based on who is in the store at any given time. These advertisements improve the customer experience and help to sell additional product.
Stores can also use customer kiosks to bring interactive interfaces to their physical spaces and target shoppers who prefer to engage electronically. Using the information from facial recognition and loyalty applications, these electronic kiosks can deliver items of interest or special offers to the customer. They can enjoy a smooth, tailored shopping experience with reduced wait times and browse while employees prepare their order and deliver it to a pickup station.
In retail sales environments, speed is of the essence, making ultrafast networking vital. Standard wireless networks and traditional carrier services that use a structured networking approach can introduce unacceptable levels of latency. This can cause customers to go to the retailer next door. Intel Smart Edge offerings, in contrast, take advantage of latency-reducing, carrier-class wireless technologies such as Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and 5G. With a private, high-speed network, Intel Smart Edge software brings compute closer to customers and sales associates.
Keep Businesses Running Smoothly
One of the most important applications in any retail branch is the point-of-sale (POS) application. To keep business operating at pace, these self-contained systems must operate independently and reliably, even as they interact with other systems, such as online credit verification or centralized sales ledgers. By combining the latest virtualization techniques with more powerful computing hardware, POS systems can reliably operate on new architectures, letting retailers contain costs associated with stand-alone implementations. Instead of maintaining a complex architecture with countless moving parts, IT staff can use newer architectures, powered by Intel Smart Edge commercial software, to collapse technologies onto fewer platforms, easing operational burdens and reducing costs.
Retailers are constantly introducing new products and promotions. The average retail salesperson spends nearly 10 percent of their time training on new offers and in-store initiatives. Preparing, directing, and deploying training and fresh courseware content locally helps ensure access to these critical learning programs. The Intel Smart Edge platform’s local compute and storage capabilities keep this information quickly and easily accessible for all personnel.
How Intel Smart Edge Software Functions at the Retail Edge
Intel Smart Edge software connects devices and applications to local compute and storage resources over a private wireless network. If an infrastructure requires cloud resources or public carrier services, the Intel Smart Edge node enables and governs access to those services. The following figure shows a sample deployment for a retail organization.
Sample Intel Smart Edge retail deployment
Accelerate Business and Better Meet Customer Needs
Introducing new edge technologies to your stores can deliver a personalized, frictionless customer experience that competes with the online experience, driving customer loyalty and revenue. You need a powerful edge platform to do that. Intel Smart Edge brings speed, intelligence, and flexibility to the retail edge to accelerate business and better predict your customers' needs. IT and security teams can also use Intel Smart Edge commercial software to easily and more securely onboard and manage applications and network functions with cloud-like agility across any type of network. These advances could also help you collapse your many technologies onto fewer platforms and reduce your operational costs.