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Professional Link, Black Friday and the challenges of retail

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Professional Link, Black Friday and the challenges of retail

During the week of Black Friday, 68% of Italians are ready to buy discounted products. But are retail businesses ready to handle the pressure?

According to the most current estimates, in the week of Black Friday 68% of Italians are ready to purchase discounted products (+3% compared to 2022). But are retail businesses ready to handle the pressure?

Telecommunications connections and services are essential to cope with a period in which the sector’s information systems are particularly stressed. How to guarantee the best customer selling experience, online but also in stores and on-the-go; What are the pain points and how to transform them into strengths?

Professional Link, an Italian telecommunications and managed services operator, highlights the 5 main points on which to focus attention:

Connectivity

It is necessary that the stores’ network and digital services are 100% available during daily operations, thanks to highly resilient and fault-responsive connectivity solutions, including through single-network or multi-network SIMs for backup of circuits, with adequate provisioning and management of WAN, which extend the store’s data services to the outside world, connecting it to customer HQ/DCs, the public Internet and cloud service providers even abroad, with bandwidth up to 2.5 Gbps over xDSL, FTTx and fiber dedicated. The configuration, management and monitoring of switches may need to be evaluated LAN and access points Wi-Fi, to ensure the best sales and payment experience.

Transaction security and privacy

The predictions of cybersecurity experts for the Black Friday period are dramatic: There is talk of a possible 400% increase in malicious actions. A flaw in online security could have a serious impact on the reputation of brands, damaging it well beyond the Black Friday period: the possibility of fraud, hacking and theft of personal or financial data can discourage users from making online purchases, or from providing their data for marketing purposes in the point of sale. Companies must invest in Security Management measures, implementing advanced and personalized security services starting from prevention, which must necessarily include a Data Backup, Storage, File storage and Disaster Recovery strategy in the Cloud. It will also be necessary to ensure that customer information is managed in an ethical and transparent manner, respecting privacy regulations and providing clear policies in this regard.

Delivery and logistics, returns and customer service

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Logistics is a critical component of e-commerce. Delayed deliveries, shipping errors and damage to products in transit can negatively impact the customer experience. Retail companies must develop efficient order management systems, being able to count on effective management of LAN/WLAN connections and VoIP services built on a redundant Cloud PBX architecture available at 99.999%, which covers several countries if necessary. Likewise, managing returns and providing efficient customer service are challenges in e-commerce. Consumers are increasingly looking for flexible return policies and quick response times in case of problems or questions.

Competition and market saturation

Increased online competition can make it difficult for new businesses to emerge and for existing ones to maintain market share. Saturation in certain sectors can lead to a price war and at reduced margins for sellers. Additionally, fake reviews, online scams and lack of brand contact can impact consumer confidence in purchasing online. This is why the trust that is generated by correct order management is a critical element in e-commerce.

Assistance always available

A sudden overload of the systems, an impromptu need to strengthen the network, a change in offer in progress: to be ready to interface and interact with your audience in the best possible way, especially in a period of high pressure like that of Black Friday, it is necessary to be able to count on a competent technological partner, capable of listening to needs and flexible in resolving critical issues.

Andrea Ferlin, CEO of Professional Link
The real challenge of e-commerce today is the customer experience, which certainly requires specific marketing skills, but which cannot do without enabling technology that is seamless and imperceptible to customers and operators, who do not have to worry about this aspect but focus on their core business, sales.

Knowing well the challenges of the retail world, Professional Link has designed Shop in A Bag, an ecosystem of sector-specific services that cooperate with each other in a flexible and customizable way to guarantee full operation of online and physical sales points, regardless of their location.

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