A recent study found that rather than break or lose their mobile phone, 1-in-3 (34%) U.S. adults would prefer to lose other important items, including their bed, keys and even friends. In fact, 27% of respondents admitted they would cry if they lost their phone.
This level of interest in safeguarding personal mobile devices may help explain why some big retail brands are choosing an “all-in” strategy when it comes to employees bringing their own devices (BYOD) to work.
A few holiday seasons ago, more than half of consumers felt more informed about inventory data accessed via their mobile devices than the information coming from store associates. That was bad news for retail managers trying to influence buying decisions. But it also may have been the wake-up call retailers needed as the industry searches for ways to increase revenues. After all, the number of visits to retail stores has plummeted by 50% since 2010.
BYOD Costs & Productivity Benefits
The cost savings and increased productivity benefits of BYOD in the retail industry and across all business sectors have been widely publicized. Organizations embracing BYOD don’t pay for devices or applications that users already have—or won’t use. Employers also don’t have to carry the extra costs associated with employee voice and data plans. These savings can equate to thousands of dollars per employee per year.
[Related Video: Gap Stores Give Employees Mobile Apps to Drive Sales]
On the productivity side, connected employees can use their personal devices to gain extra minutes to accomplish work tasks the moment they receive them. The Financial Impact of BYOD study found that the average BYOD user saves 37 minutes per week, thanks to using his or her own device. U.S. BYOD users ranked highest on that scale, with an average 81 minutes saved per week.
For retailers with a large numbers of associates, the regained minutes can quickly add up, translating into improved customer service that results in increased sales.
Think You Have Too Many Associates? Think Again
At Retail’s Big Show 2016, hosted annually by the National Retail Association, I spoke with a number of retailers looking to embrace BYOD in the retail industry to reduce operational expenses and increase associate productivity to enhance customer experiences. One in particular struck me, because the retailer was already all in on BYOD.
The big-box retailer supports 80,000 BYOD devices with the VMware Secure Workspace for Retail. The company’s BYOD program helps make personal and work data accessible anytime and anywhere within the store.
The retailer securely pushes internal and public apps to associates’ BYO devices from the secure data center. Employees access internal applications, such as digital look books, scheduling and inventory. At the same time, associates can quickly pull email, collaborate through internal social links and access real-time product and promotional updates when they need them. Identity management and access-policy enforcement capabilities ensure information remains protected.
And what happens if an associate’s device is lost or stolen? IT managers can use the Secure Workspace for Retail enterprise mobility management (EMM) capabilities to wipe corporate data off the device. The employee can also use the self-service portal to wipe the entire device, if they choose. These tactics help ensure sensitive information remains protected.
Nine-of-the-top-10 U.S. retailers use business mobility solutions to gain a competitive advantage. Contact us to learn how your stores and associates can benefit from your organization embracing an all-in, secure BYOD strategy.
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