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Buy buy to digital retail infrastructure woes

How Huawei’s integrated system can revolutionize the shopping experience

From physical stores to e-commerce, home delivery to kerbside pickup, and mobile app to smart vending machines, the retail sector is at the beating heart of the digital revolution. The global pandemic of 2020 forced retailers to adapt and evolve faster than they could ever have expected. In the new omnichannel world, Huawei is introducing its Smart Retail solutions to improve operational efficiency, reduce management costs, and improve the experience for consumers.

In its debut at MWC Barcelona 2024, Huawei demonstrated how its combination of SD-WAN and Wi-Fi 6/7 can be deployed to provide electronic price tagging and integrated deployment solutions. Huawei’s Louie Liu gives us some insight into the system.

Smart warehousing offers IoT and AGV-powered solutions, with an RFID cargo inventory system to reduce stock checking and sorting time. Always-on digital scanners streamline the stock control process, while automated guided vehicles (AGV) can increase safety and efficiency in a busy warehouse. Liu tells us:

“The smart warehousing solution uses a highly reliable Wi-Fi network to support AGV-assisted automatic sorting and visualized cargo management. This allows for accurate inventory management during the process of receiving, put-away, and shipping. The cargo inventory can be tracked in real-time, with lower labor costs and improved efficiency. The system also manages RFID device access and automatically collects data from these devices. Batched automatic identification has replaced manual code scanning, and high-precision automatic goods positioning has replaced manual searching.”

Meanwhile, at front-of-house, IoT sensors can adjust the temperature and lighting to optimize the shopping experience, while simultaneously reducing power consumption for a greener retail environment. Liu explains:

“Smart warehousing with visualized cargo management enables the fast picking and placement of goods, significantly reducing the time it takes for customers to get what they purchase. They no longer need to wait for manual operations, and as human error has been removed from the picture, they can enjoy more reliable services. In addition, the solution allows retailers to serve customers through multiple channels, including physical stores and online shopping platforms. This elevates the shopping experience as a whole.”

Huawei’s retail solution can also deliver wireless connectivity at blazing fast Wi-Fi 6/7 to customers in a secure sandbox environment which ensures there is no access to critical systems such as cash registers that can also take advantage of wireless connectivity.

Want to change a price? Thanks to compatibility with electronic shelf-edge ticketing, now you can update prices in real-time, even across multiple outlets.

But, as Liu warns, the retail sector is vulnerable to a wide range of cyber threats. Fortunately, Huawei has you covered here, too:

“Malicious software attacks can lead to website crashes, POS system unavailability, and inventory management disorder, which severely affects the business operations of retail companies. These attacks also put customer data in jeopardy. Any leaks or exposures of customer data will cause tremendous losses.”

With ransomware an increasing threat to retailers, and the chances of a victim of ransomware being retargeted greatly increased, Huawei’s MRP is an important weapon in the battle for constant uptime in the retail environment.

This is all backed by Huawei’s Multilayer Ransomware Protection, (MRP) an on-premise security guard for your systems, to ensure that your customers, in-store or online, can always rely on you being there for them. Capable of detecting all of the 537 strains of ransomware currently in circulation, MRP is regularly updated to ensure you are constantly protected from bad actors.

Altogether, six functions to optimize and enhance the retail experience are controlled by a single gateway, further reducing energy consumption. Multi-outlet retailers can manage functions for all their locations using the Huawei CloudCampus cloud management system. Liu tells us a little bit about it:

“Huawei's CloudCampus cloud management system migrates on-premise network management to the cloud for the automated and centralized management of multiple branches. It also enables networks to support cloud features such as multi-tenancy, ultra large scale, and elastic scalability, and to provide data collection and analysis that cannot be provided by conventional networks.”

The system has already been successfully rolled out in large retailers across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific and represents the latest step in Huawei’s commitment to innovation in the fast-evolving retail sector.


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