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IHL study links in-store WiFi to increased customer loyalty, sales


Atlanta -- Deployment of in-store Wi-Fi had the most significant positive impact on retail sales and loyalty of any technology initiative, according to a survey by IHL Group. Almost half of the participating retailers claimed increased customer loyalty due to deploying in-store employee Wi-Fi, with an associated 3.4% increase in sales. One-third of retailers (28%) reported increased customer loyalty due to deploying in-store customer Wi-Fi, with an associated 2% increase in sales. And 21% of retailers reported an increase in customer dwell time in their stores due to deployment of in-store Wi-Fi.

One of the key findings that emerged from the study data, noted IHL’s Greg Buzek, is that the “greatest bang for the buck for increased loyalty and sales is the deployment of Wi-Fi to store associates for use with mobile devices.”

“This allows them (the employees) to get more item information and save sales otherwise lost as well as replicate the experience of their best salespeople across the chain,” he explained.

The results highlight the importance of a creating a connected, flexible workforce untethered to point-of-sale stations, according to IHL.

Additional key findings of the study, Impact of Store Networks and Wi-Fi on the Customer Experience, include:

• 40% of IT budgets are now allocated to deploying new and innovative systems, compared to historic measures of 15%-30% of budget.

• Nearly 70% of specialty retailers are designing their next point-of-sale system based on a central order management system, which will put up to five-times more load on the network and will require a WAN infrastructure refresh.

• Per the increased push towards WAN, 34% of participants plan to update their WAN network security within 12 months, and 34% also plan to update their WAN bandwidth optimization to take advantage of changed software architecture and enhanced customer experience options.

The IHL study was done in partnership with experts from cloud-managed Wi-Fi solutions provider AirTight Networks. Click here to download the complete report.

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