VoIP’s role in retail

Reliable Internet telephony is a must during the holiday shopping rush.

As Internet telephony continues to supplant traditional phone services, more and more industries are adopting VoIP systems. Two industry that are only beginning to tap into VoIP's ease of deployment, flexibility and cost efficiency are retail and service. 

The beauty of a unified communications solution such as VoIP is the ability to bring colleagues, business partners and clients together, whether they are communicating from opposite ends of an office or across the far reaches of a nation. Thus, large retailers and restaurant chains – and also small merchants – can benefit from a reliable VoIP solution. Here's how:

Improved internal communication 

Communication within large brick-and-mortar stores can be a challenge without a reliable phone system. Contact among various departments and the stock room, for instance, would require leaving one's post, rather than dialing internally to check on an order, get a price check or see the inventory. This may negatively impact customer perceptions about service and attentiveness, which will ultimately eat into a business' bottom line. 

"If the goal is improved communication, and the venue is retail, VoIP is the solution."

Furthermore, not all customer service interactions with a brick-and-mortar retailer occur in person. Stores receive hundreds of calls everyday regarding hours, order updates, inventory inquiries and more. This requires communication dexterity in the form of multiple lines, which can be easily added or subtracted with Internet telephony.

Sales associates and customer service assistants must regularly handle multiple callers at once. Whoever is manning the phone may be required to transfer calls, make announcements over the intercom, get in touch with other departments, or even direct calls to a different nearby branch. During the holiday rush, they may have to do all of the above in one sitting from a single phone.

VoIP solutions providers can deliver all of these features for retailers with relative ease compared to traditional telephony solutions. Not to mention, wireless IP phones that integrate seamlessly with the VoIP system make it easy for workers to answer phones on the go. If the goal is improved communication, and the venue is retail, VoIP is the solution. 

VoIP can help retail sales associate weather storms of shoppers.VoIP can help retail sales associate weather storms of shoppers.

Better collaboration between branches

Corporate offices must regularly get in touch with store management – especially when it comes to large retail and restaurant chains. VoIP audio conferencing makes it possible for management teams to sit in on important meetings and product updates without having to leave the store or restaurant. Alternatively, as district managers tour the region to assess each location, they can install a mobile VoIP application on their smartphone or tablet so they can have access to their contacts and work voicemails on the go.

Internet telephony and features such as audio conferencing and mobile VoIP have already proven themselves in a variety of industries, and this is part of the reason the VoIP market is expected to see growth through 2020. Another part of the equation is the ever-expanding applications for VoIP solutions, not the least of which are retail and service verticals.