Why retailers need rugged devices to meet consumers where they are today
Content created in partnership with The Globe and Mail
Over the last 18 months, the pandemic lockdowns have forced retailers to rethink how and where they sell products, whether that’s in-store, curbside pick-up, or direct to a customer’s front door. One of the lasting impacts of the pandemic is the range of options customers have come to know and expect when purchasing goods and services.
The accompanying rise in e-commerce and digital payments has produced a major shift in retail operations, says Paul Edwards, vice-president and general manager of enterprise mobility for Samsung Canada. According to Edwards, technology has played a key role in helping retailers meet customers’ post-pandemic preferences and has helped them handle the digital payments boon.
“Mobile technology has helped streamline backroom inventory and supply management services as well as front-of-store operations,” Mr. Edwards says. “Retail clerks and warehouse workers are relying on smartphones and tablets to keep up with their inventory obligations and to connect with customers more easily,” Mr. Edwards says.
For instance, built-in mobile scanning technology is now indispensable for warehouse workers who pick, pack and ready products for shipment, while many retail clerks are equipped with smartphones and tablets to help them track down items, process sales and respond to customer questions from anywhere on the sales floor or curbside.
More consumers today are also empowered with the latest technologies to search, scan and purchase themselves the products they need and want, right from their smartphones.
“Customer service expectations have increased because of mobile technology at both retail clerks’ and customers’ disposal,” Mr. Edwards says.
Mobile connectivity is critical for companies
More than three-quarters of Canadian retailers say mobile connectivity through devices like smartphones and tablets play an important role in their business success, according to a recent Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) survey.
“Small businesses know that there’s opportunity in leveraging technology, especially in improving their customer experience and in reaching new customers and growing their market,” says Mandy D’Autremont, the CFIB’s senior director of member experience and strategy.
The CFIB survey also says 85 per cent of retailers need mobile data outside their stores.
“It’s important to meet your customers when and where they want to be connected,” Ms. D’Autremont says. “Mobile devices are critical to retailers because they enable the store clerk to be wherever their work is, whether that’s in the storage room managing inventory or helping to make sales with customers one-on-one.”
Technology to withstand retail demands
With e-commerce on the rise, retailers need technology solutions to help them fulfill a growing number of orders and keep track of inventory. While many retail tasks can be automated, moving products will always require people, says Mr. Edwards of Samsung.
It means warehouse workers increasingly need rugged mobile devices that that can help them access the required applications without worrying about their device being damaged in the process. They also need mobile devices that consolidate multiple solutions, including applications to digitize their workflows and special features like built-in scanning to minimize the number of devices they have to carry.
The Samsung Galaxy rugged lineup, which consists of the Galaxy XCover Pro smartphone and Galaxy Tab Active Pro and Galaxy Tab Active3 tablets, come with Knox Capture enterprise-grade barcode scanning technology. With the touch of a programmable button, retail workers have a multi-purpose scanning solution at their fingertips to help them complete fulfillment requests efficiently, with a process as intuitive as snapping a photo.
Mr. Edwards adds that the Knox Capture platform is ideal for companies because it’s easy for IT teams to configure, deploy and manage remotely.
Galaxy rugged devices also include enhanced touch sensitivity features that allow warehouse workers to successfully navigate the device’s interface while wearing gloves. This is especially helpful for those working in storage spaces and warehouses where dust and dirt quickly accumulate.
What’s more, the Galaxy rugged line is IP68-rated, meaning the devices are resistant to dust and water.
Customer-facing retail locations also need rugged mobile devices that support customer service and sales tasks. With some clerks on the floor for lengthy shifts, these devices need to come with long-lasting batteries and shock resistance for inevitable bumps and drops, says Mr. Edwards.
Fortunately, all Galaxy rugged devices come with long-lasting batteries to help power through long shifts, whether retail works are moving product in the storage room or out on the floor tending to customers. They also have replaceable batteries so workers can quickly remove and swap out their battery if the need arises.
Additionally, the Galaxy Tab Active3 can withstand anti-shock drop resistance up to 1.2m device only and up to 1.5m with in-box cover, ideal for workers picking and packing product, or moving around the showroom floor, where the likelihood for drops increases.
“They are well-suited for tough environments,” Edwards says.
With the retail sector continuing to evolve, technology will remain key to helping retailers stay relevant while delivering on shoppers’ expectations.
 Free trials may be available for these services. Please check www.samsung.com/knox. Additional licenses are required for Knox Configure, Knox Mobile Enrollment, Knox Manage, Knox E-FOTA, Knox Platform for Enterprise, and Knox Capture.
 Touch sensitivity may vary depending on glove material.
 IP68 is based on test conditions for submersion in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. Not advised for beach or pool use. Water or dust damage not covered by warranty.
This device passed military specification (MIL-STD-810H – Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests is a United States Military Standard) testing against 23 specific environmental conditions, including transit drop, temperature, dust, shock/vibration, and low pressure/high altitude. Real world usage varies from the specific environmental conditions used in MIL-STD-810H testing. Samsung does not guarantee device performance in all extreme conditions. Please see the inbox Quick Sales Guide.
 Based on average battery life under typical usage conditions. Average expected performance based on typical use. Actual battery life depends on factors such as network, features selected, frequency of calls, and voice,
data, and other application-usage patterns. Results may vary.
 Replaceable batteries sold separately.
 Galaxy Tab Active3 anti-shock drop resistance up to 1.2m device only and up to 1.5m with in-box cover. Drop test results are based on internal Samsung laboratory tests.
All images captured pre-Covid-19. Samsung Canada adheres to all local health guidelines regarding physical distancing and face coverings.
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