Retail Services has been in business for over 20 years. During that time the Wicklow-based firm has seen the evolution of the retail sector. Today, connectivity and data are central to retailers who face increasing competition from online shopping. Retail Services has developed solutions that use connectivity and data to offer bricks-and-mortar businesses competitive advantage. “Online stores can tap into a wealth of consumer data. They can analyse the customer journey, what they buy, when they buy. They can use this information to tailor special offers and build brand loyalty,” explains Seamus Sage, Operations Manager at Retail Services. “With our solutions we want to offer that same advantage to physical stores.”
For Retail Services’ digital signage and footfall counter solutions to be effective they require reliable, continuous connectivity. This ensures the successful transfer of data, which is such an important element of the Retail Services solutions. But widespread mobile coverage is not guaranteed, particularly if a retailer is reliant on a single network provider. “We have customers all over Ireland. From the Cliffs of Moher to Donegal and from Cong to Castletownbere. Constant connectivity is vital to our customers who rely on it to transfer data from on-site devices to a centralised platform,” says Seamus.
Thinglabs provides a complete package to Retail Services, including multi-network SIMs, pre-configured 4G/LTE routers and a management dashboard. The multi-network SIMs seamlessly connect to the strongest network at a particular location, and are not locked into any one provider. The SIMs can be monitored and managed online via Thinglabs’ IoT Dash SIM management portal. Thinglabs also pre-configures and tests the routers before shipping, making them straightforward to install. Crucially for Retail Services, Thinglabs wraps its offering with dedicated, expert support.
“The customer service from Thinglabs is second to none. They are readily available and always have an answer for us. That means we can get back to our customers quickly, which in turn means we have happy customers. The support from Thinglabs gives us the confidence to continue to expand our business. Combined with the multi-network SIMs, easy-to-use dashboard and plug-and-play routers, this expert service is invaluable to us.”
Working with Thinglabs, Retail Services has been able to enhance its service offering. The multi-network SIMs mean no interruption of connectivity. This means the customer always has access to real-time information, which proved vital for one of its customers recently. “During lockdown retailers were required to keep track of how many customers were in their store at any given time. One of our customers was asked to provide evidence it was adhering to the rules. With a live count from its footfall counter, accessed via an app on his phone, the manager of this high-profile retailer was able to do just that. In this instance you can see how vital reliable connectivity was,” explains Seamus.
The continuous connectivity is also critical to Retail Services’ digital signage solution. In one large post office, 10×55” digital signs combine to create an impressive video wall. All screens are synchronised to display dynamic visual content. Any lag or drop off in connectivity would render the video wall useless.
Receiving pre-configured routers from Thinglabs has been a game changer for Retail Services. It means Seamus and his team no longer need to spend time configuring routers – the installer just plugs in the router and it’s ready to go. “One of our long-time customers, who is based on the Aran Islands, had a problem with an existing router and it needed to be replaced. Previously, this would have required us to send an engineer to the location, which would have been costly. Instead, we were able to send a pre-configured router directly to the customer who simply had to plug it in. The cost and time saving here were significant,” says Seamus. “During the pandemic, when we were largely working from home, being able to ship ready-to-use routers straight to the customer was incredibly helpful to our business.”