Few industries have gone through as much change as retailing. Every retailer in business today is dynamic. That’s the only way to survive – especially because the space continues to change rapidly with innovations such as multi-channel retailing, leaner and more responsive inventory management, and the new click-and-collect phenomena.
Click and collect is sometimes called “click and mortar” because a customer shops and buys online, but opts to collect the order in-store. It beats waiting (and paying) for the postman, it saves browsing time in the store, and shoppers can quickly research products and reviews.
Click and collect is scaling rapidly, but in order to offer the service, both the retailer and the customer must be able to access real-time stock and delivery schedules. Then, the item must be reserved for the customer at the instant of purchase.
…MQ Advanced is a mobile enabler, because of its quality-of-service message delivery, as well as the baked-in, lightweight MQTT protocol to support always-on push notifications that don’t hog battery or data.
That’s where IBM MQ for click and collect comes in, because MQ Advanced supports more reliable asynchronous queries to stock and information at all stores in the network. Thus stock is updated accurately and reliably in real-time via transaction coordination. And remember that many customers will be accessing the storefront via mobile, which creates its own set of problems. But MQ Advanced is a mobile enabler, because of its quality-of-service message delivery, as well as the baked-in, lightweight MQTT protocol to support always-on push notifications that don’t hog battery or data. (MQTT was originally designed for small, unreliable sensors for things like oil pipelines and machinery. It was adopted as the open Internet of Things standard and also powers Facebook Messenger.)
I should also point out the fact that retail is a great example of an industry sector that needs bulletproof, foolproof IT spread across geography. The same system must run in every store, it must run well, and it must be accessible by folks who aren’t always tech savvy. This has generally led to file-based solutions for retail IT, and the resultant need to batch process. But today’s systems, as noted above, must trickle-update based on real-time transactional data. That means stores must process data more quickly and move the data into the enterprise much more rapidly, and central system must update in real-time. The answer, again, is already within MQ Advanced.
Managed File Transfer is native inside MQ advanced, which means the point-of-sale files can move into the enterprise over an IBM MQ network with secure, reliable, traceable, guaranteed delivery.
According to IBM, a large US grocery retailer batch processed its data, which created a delayed analysis and made it difficult to detect theft. Using IBM MQ, IBM MQ Managed File Transfer and MQTT, and the company’s data warehouse now receives near-real-time transaction data from 2,400 different stores.
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(Image from DaveBleasdale)
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