In-store shoppers expect top-notch network connectivity

Retailers need to over-deliver when it comes to providing Wi-Fi connectivity in stores.

A majority (62%) of adults said it is important to have a good Wi-Fi connection while shopping in retail stores, according to new data from Ruckus Networks.

Data revealed that nearly half (49%) of adults would have a negative impression of a retailer if free Wi-Fi was advertised at a location, but they were unable to connect or experienced a poor connection. If unable to connect to Wi-Fi while at a retail location, two in five adults (43%) would spend less time there than originally planned.

While shopping in-store, consumers expect to use Wi-Fi networks for an increasing number of services. For example, 82% of U.S. customers find it valuable to complete a purchase without having to wait in line — whether using their own smartphone or making the purchase with an associate who would place the order using a store’s mobile device.

Meanwhile, 79% of adults would be interested in the ability to pay for an in-store purchase using the retailer's mobile app without needing to interact with a sales associate. This number jumps to 87% among younger Gen Zs and Millennial shoppers.

When connected to a retail location’s Wi-Fi network, 42% of adults are looking for deals/coupons, 30% are using the retailer’s app, and 29% are comparison shopping. Additionally, 45% said they are checking email, and 40% are browsing social media.

“Customer engagement and loyalty are prerequisites for retail success,” said Greg Beach, VP of wireless products, Ruckus Networks. “These findings make it clear that uninterrupted, quality Wi-Fi is a must-have in retail environments. A poor Wi-Fi experience will send consumers elsewhere and can even disrupt transactions in progress.”