Mobile device management (MDM) is a combination of policies and processes that help corporations maintain security by monitoring the use of laptops, smartphones and other mobile devices. This is a common practice for most enterprises, but the retail space can also benefit from MDM by improving workflow efficiency.
Here’s what retailers should know about MDM and how it can improve the customer’s experience.
Why Is Mobile Device Management Important for Retailers?
With retailers taking strides to better connect with and service the shoppers who come through their doors, they are using more mobile devices—like smartphones and tablets—to help engage these customers, improve the experience and even facilitate purchases.
Some examples of how retailers are using mobile devices to improve the storefront experience include:
- Self-service kiosks where customers can look up product information, like pricing and availability.
- Mobile Point-of-Sale (POS) devices that allow for a flexible checkout that comes to the customer.
- Staff devices for more efficient workflows, like inventory management and even customer service.
Whether a retailer uses mobile devices for inventory management, customer service or a combination of the above, utilizing an MDM solution will reap key benefits that directly impact the customer experience.
For instance, a mobile POS means staff won’t need to bring a customer to the checkout counter. This allows more staff to assist customers at any given time, eliminates the need to wait in line and can help customers feel like they’re getting quick, personal service.
Of course, none of these benefits can be realized unless a retailer invests in MDM. Without the right strategy in place, these mobile devices will prove to be more of a liability than an asset. Smith Micro took this into account when developing ViewSpot 6 – which is a major upgrade to their existing retail display management platform. This upgrade is an MDM solution that provides wireless carriers and retailers with a way to bring powerful on-screen, interactive content to life in retail stores by using an overhauled UI/UX, integrations into new hardware as well as a refactored code base offering improved speed and resilience.
How Does Mobile Device Management Work in a Retail Setting?
There is no one-size-fits-all template for retailers to deploy an MDM strategy. Each business needs to take the time to construct a policy that is unique to their devices and requirements. With that said, there are some general steps and best practices that retailers need to follow.
- The retailer needs to identify all mobile devices that staff use and ensure that they are configured to meet corporate policies.
- Each device should have a function assigned to it that can be used in a secure way, but without additional apps, access or permissions.
- For easier management, similar devices should be placed into one group so that usage and permissions can be managed more efficiently.
- Location tracking should be enabled for all devices and a geofence should be configured so that alerts are sent if the device leaves the physical boundaries of the store.
- A team should be able to control a device and wipe its data if it is stolen or goes missing. That same team should be able to help with deployment, updates, troubleshooting and security threats remotely.
As you can see, to experience the full benefit of mobile device management, a retailer must invest in the right devices, take the time to lay out the right policies and then put an IT team into action who can execute the plan and make sure they continue to comply with it.
How Does Mobile Device Management Increase Workflow Efficiency?
While an MDM policy requires dedicated resources, it is worth it for its ability to improve workflow efficiency in addition to the customer experience. For instance:
- Staff will always have quick and direct access to the information they need via the assigned device, which means every staff member is empowered to help the customer without asking around.
- By giving all staff easy access to trusted apps and the same data source, they will always have access to consistent data, such as whether a product is in stock, on backorder or when it will be available again.
- All devices can be updated and controlled remotely, which means staff will spend less time going around and ensuring that mPOS and kiosks are functional and secure.
- With the ability to interact with devices remotely, the IT team can seamlessly roll out updates to features and brand messaging, which directly improves the customer experience.
When done right, MDM results in effective utilization of mobile devices, which in turn shapes the customer experience by providing fast, accessible and personalized service whenever possible. As an example, ViewSpot mobile carrier customers now have the ability to streamline device setup and provisioning by leveraging ViewSpot 6’s mobile device management solution for greater back-office control of in-store operations. The result is happier customers and increased brand loyalty, all while removing friction from your team’s everyday workflow.
Learn how you can increase efficiency in your retail store while delighting your customers with a consistent brand experience. Contact us to request a demo.