Enhance Retail Experiences and Operations with F5 and Azure

Tim Dorscht Miniatur
Tim Dorscht
Published June 12, 2023

As retail experiences continue to evolve, retailers look to modernize their systems and processes to meet changing customer expectations. Innovative retail companies are turning to the scale of the cloud to optimize end-to-end operations from procurement to sale. Cloud applications and services enable retailers to efficiently and securely perform core functionalities that keep products on the shelves, sales moving, and customers satisfied.

Employee Empowerment

While large crowds certainly attract interest, grossly inefficient purchasing processes can dissuade potential buyers. A recent consumer survey found that 75% of people will abandon a physical line before it’s their turn.1 To hopefully prevent those possible sales from walking out the door, many retailers rely on modern applications and services, such as mobile point-of-sale systems and up-to-date stockroom inventory calculations, to empower employees to provide efficient and accurate customer service.

Retailers can use Azure Stack to build, deploy, and run applications consistently across their entire IT ecosystems from location to location, ensuring employees have access to accurate data and the tools necessary to make better decisions for efficient service. With F5 BIG-IP, employees can deliver exceptional customer service with high-performance applications across on-premises, cloud, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments.

Supply Chain Agility

The elaborate and interconnected systems, machinery, people, and processes required to transport goods from producers to stores can be fraught with points of failure. Factor in the precision-timing that’s foundational to just-in-time inventory, and it’s no surprise that many retailers suffer supply chain issues. In 2022, 45% of surveyed U.S. grocery shoppers said they are concerned about out-of-stock items, as many of their favorite products are often unavailable.2

Retailers can integrate Azure solutions into their supply chain operations to increase agility and gain visibility for precision inventory management. For instance, retailers can use Azure IoT to connect disparate data sources that are crucial to supply chain success to the cloud and use Azure AI to simulate scenarios and generate prescriptive recommendations to enhance the reliability of just-in-time deliveries. Retailers can seamlessly lift and shift supply chain applications to Azure with F5 NGINX. By migrating to Azure and operating hybrid cloud environments, F5 enables retailers to meet elastic consumer demand by improving supply chain fulfillment, sourcing, and logistics.

Safely Conduct Campaigns

The popularity of online shopping is exploding, with over 268 million digital buyers in the U.S. in 2022.3 Consumers sharing their personal identifiable information (PII) and financial data online with retailers inevitably attracts the nefarious attention of malicious actors. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that ransomware attacks on retailers are on the rise, with a 67% year-over-year increase in 2022 compared to 2021.4

With this wealth of data, retailers can use Azure AI and machine learning capabilities to gain a better understanding of customer trends and patterns and design marketing campaigns and experiences that provide optimal return on investment. F5 Distributed Cloud Bot Defense ensures that valuable data is kept pristine by preventing credential stuffing bots from diluting the data and that customers have a secure shopping experience regardless of how they digitally interact with the retailer.

Optimize and Secure Azure Performance with F5 Solutions

F5 provides retailers with industry-leading security and performance solutions for all the mission-critical Azure applications and services they use throughout their business operations. F5 enables retailers to realize tremendous value from their Azure investments, empowering employees to enhance customer satisfaction, optimize supply chain agility, and run secure marketing campaigns that drive revenue growth.

Available in the Azure Marketplace, F5 solutions are simple for retailers to procure, install, and operate within their existing technology stacks. F5 delivers faster time to value with flexible consumption models so retailers can continue to provide customers with exceptional experiences.

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1 Waitwhile, The State of Waiting in Line, June 2022

2 Food Industry Association, U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends Report, 2023

3 Statista, Number of digital buyers in the United States from 2017 to 2028, November 2022

4 Blackfog, Retail Sector Ransomware Attacks Grow in 2022, February 2023