In today’s retail environment, retailers are increasingly dependent on digital technology and connectivity to maintain their operations. From point of sale software to customer relationship management (CRM), many daily tools that retailers rely on are cloud-based and require an Internet connection. Business owners that rely on these tools need them to work even in outage situations.
To access these tools and maintain important operations, businesses must have Internet failover services to maintain connectivity. In this post, we’ll discuss the cost of Internet downtime for retailers and tips that can help retailers stay always-on.
What Causes Internet Outages?
There are various different factors that can cause an Internet outage. Unfortunately, many of these are out of a retail business’s control. These can include:
- Natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes
- Hardware issues
- Configuration issues
- Line issues, such as downed wires due to grounds maintenance or weather
- Network congestion on your ISP side
Since many of these can happen unexpectedly and without warning, it’s critical for retail businesses to plan ahead for Internet downtime so they can be ready before it occurs.
The Cost of Internet Downtime for Retailers
Internet downtime has a direct impact on businesses of all sizes. In fact, a recent Forbes article cited that organizations can lose up to $100,000 for every hour of downtime that their business experiences. Even a temporary Internet outage means major disruptions in business processes, productivity, and revenue opportunities. It’s important to be prepared for Internet downtime to ensure that the impact to your business is minimal.
How to Avoid Internet Downtime for Your Retail Business
Retailers can reduce the impact of Internet downtime by using an Internet backup solution. If you experience downtime with your primary Internet service, all data and communications will automatically be rerouted to your Internet backup solution to minimize business disruption.
Having Internet backup can protect your business against failure of internal and customer-facing communication, inability to access important cloud-based data, and ultimately lost revenue.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Internet Backup Solution
There are many types of Internet failover solutions that may be available for your business depending on your location. Some of the more common high-speed Internet options include satellite, cable, fiber, DSL, wireless, and cellular Internet access.
Here are four factors that you should consider when selecting an Internet failover service for your retail business:
It’s important to prioritize diversity when choosing an Internet backup solution. If you have a backup service that is identical to your primary service, it’s likely that they will be exposed to the same risks. If one goes down, another will likely go down as well.
Make sure not to use the same provider for your primary and redundant Internet service provider. That way, you can avoid any potential downtime that may be related to your primary service provider. The same is true with diversifying the type of your Internet failover service from your primary service. For example, if your business uses a terrestrial primary Internet connection, it would make sense to use a Satellite Internet as your backup solution, as these two types of connections are not exposed to many of the same risks.
With network diversity, you can have the highest network availability possible to prevent business disruptions in the case of a primary Internet outage.
Ease of Implementation & Management
It’s important to consider how easy the failover solution is to set up. Make sure the provider offers installation so you can get your failover Internet set up quickly and correctly. You also want to make sure that it is easy to manage.
Choose an option that detects failure – you’ll want to find a provider with automation and speed at which this process takes place ensures that your business stays connected, no matter what goes down. This takes out the need for human intervention, so you can focus on what really matters.
Many services come with a high price tag and depending on the types of connections and service area – the price can be significant. While some Internet providers are more expensive, there are many options that offer more speed and better availability for less cost. Make sure you consider the different options available to ensure you’re getting the best value that meets your business’s bottom line.
When a retailer’s primary Internet connection goes down, their phone/voice service often goes down as well. Consider an Internet backup option that also includes a Voiceover IP solution so you can ensure all your business’s lines of communication stay open when you need it most.
Don't let your business be at risk of Internet downtime. Take action and consider which Internet backup solution will work best with your specific business needs so you can maintain operations if the unexpected occurs.