BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - March 10, 2011) - In the face of increased reliance on media-rich digital shopping applications, retailers are under pressure to upgrade and enhance their networks. The emergence of digital sales and service tools utilized before, during or after the point-of-service, such as kiosks, mobility, and digital signage, requires a reliable network to deliver relevant, timely, and personalized content to consumers and the employees who interact with them. In response, 56% of retailers are investing in increased bandwidth capacity to support business applications such as CRM, inventory lookup. The top motivator for this increased investment is the rising consumer expectation of a rich, multi-media in-store shopping experience, according to the Aberdeen Group report, Retail Network Optimization: A 21st Century Commerce Enabler. The research from Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS) details the business benefits derived from upgraded network optimization.

According to Aberdeen data, retailers are placing near equal footing on enhancing bandwidth capacity for both consumer-facing and business-facing applications. 56% of retailers are enhancing capacity for business applications, and 41% are increasing capacity for consumer applications. A consumer-focused approach to network optimization allows retailers to provide a more personalized digital retail shopping experience, while an employee-focused strategy allows for increased operational insight.

"In the in-store environment, consumers have a short attention span. By maximizing this window of time with the accessibility of personalized information, retailers can make the consumer shopping experience fast, direct, and highly relevant, increasing loyalty and sales at the same time," commented Greg Belkin, chief author and retail network optimization analyst, Aberdeen. "At the same time, similar to a consumer's need for increased personalized data, retail executives and their employees rely on a streamlined network to support their use of digital media."

To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit:

Visit for additional access to complimentary Retail and Banking Research.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 854-5200, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

(C) 2011 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
451 D Street, Suite 710
Boston, Massachusetts 02210-1928
Telephone: (617) 854-5200
Fax: (617) 723-7897