As retailers head to the cloud with more of their applications, many have noticed an increased demand on in-store WiFi. Therefore, it’s no surprise that retailers are focused on upgrading their WiFi over the coming months.
According to an IHL Group study conducted in the spring of 100 retailers, 36% of retailers are planning a major WiFi upgrade in 2015 and 80% of retailers will optimize their WAN bandwidth by 2016. IHL Group found that customer expectations for secure, in-store WiFi will undoubtedly drive architecture improvements.
In-Store WiFi Delivers Results
The report noted “a tremendous need” for store-level communications infrastructure upgrades to make omni-channel strategies a reality and generate a positive customer experience. On the upside, retailers seem ready to commit to innovation with their budgets. As IHL Group noted, historically, retailers designated only 15% to 30% of their budget for innovation but in this study, that number jumped to 40%. IHL Group observed “a specific willingness on the part of retailers to spend more on new systems for their future.
One of the major areas in need of improvement is WiFi at the store level. Only 40% of retailers have WiFi deployed today. Perhaps what will convince retailers to invest more in WiFi is the effect on customer loyalty. Nearly one-third of retailers (28%) claim they have experienced a positive impact on customer loyalty as a result of offering in-store WiFi, and an associated 2.0% increase in sales,” the IHL Group stated.
Employee WiFi also has significant benefit, with 48% of respondents claiming an impact on customer loyalty and a 3.4% increase in sales.
You can read more about the IHL Study, the types of retailers that participated and other findings from the survey by clicking here.
Have you started to invest in WiFi or are considering a move to in store WiFi? What steps have you taken and what has been the return on investment?
In the next blog, we’ll look at the research results for network security and the impact of EMV compliance.