There’s no doubt that the various periods of lockdown and requirements around social distancing has had an impact on the retail industry. And yet there have been opportunities as well. Australians have been travelling less and many are home-bound, therefore have had to adjust their spending and lifestyle habits. Thankfully, some sectors of the retail industry have benefitted from this shift significantly.
Retailers have also had to adjust their business activities to cater to the current environment, and this has been an opportunity for many retailers to take a new strategic look at their business. For example, there is the opportunity to increase engagement with customers online and refresh those online shopping services. The challenge is, then, making sure that the home office has the right nbn™ connection to drive the online engagement.
Understand what kind of nbn™ plan you need
Retailers are likely doing a combination of activities online related to their business, including:
- Promoting the business over social media and other marketing outlets (eDM’s, web advertising, etc)
- Engaging with customers via help desks, telephony and possibly video conferencing
- Maintaining a stock quantities and a web store sales platform.
These can all be managed when working from home, however, it’s important that you consider switching your home internet service, to a business-grade nbn™ service, to have all the right features to support these activities.
Importance of a static IP
One of the key features you’re going to need to work from home is a ‘static IP’. Included within most business-grade services, a static IP, will allow you to have access to your business network (including email servers), communicate over VoIP and video conferencing, and use VPN technology for security purposes.
Upload speeds are key
Secondly, business-grade services tend to have higher upload speed, which is extremely important when working from home. For residential Internet uses, download speeds are the priority, because residential Internet users are consumers; whether it’s video streaming, gaming, music, or social media, the typical residential user consumes rather than provides content.
Businesses on the other hand tend to be much more balanced, in that they’re not only consumers, but also constantly uploading and sharing rich media (including video content) to social media, providing services online, sending large files via email, managing customers and using the cloud and video conferencing to collaborate within the organisation. For this reason, you will need to consider upgrading to a business nbn™ plan with a higher upload speed to support all your online activities whilst working from home.
Service level agreements
Perhaps most importantly of all when working from home is having support when you need it, as well as high assurance levels to ensure your business is always online and operational. Unlike residential plans, business-level nbn™ services are generally accompanied by a Service Level Agreement (SLA), meaning you are guaranteed a higher level of support, and faster rectification on faults within a specified timeframe.
As disruptive as the COVID-19 pandemic has been to retailers across Australia, it has also been an opportunity to modernise the business so that, as recovery starts, retailers can also reach their customers in a more dynamic, innovative way. The predictions are that working from home will become a permanent thing for many Australians, and there’s a good opportunity there for retailers to adjust their businesses for this “new normal.”
For more information on the type of business nbn™ plan you will need to work from home and to learn more on what Aussie Broadband is doing to support Australian retail businesses, please click here.