If you build it, they will come — well, if you have an Internet connection.
As retailers strive to engage wireless consumers, stores need to make sure that their customers can connect too. In a recent survey conducted by Deloitte, 50 percent of smartphone owners use their phone as a mobile assistant, such as using a retailer’s mobile app to check inventory or display product reviews while shopping inside the store. The use of smartphones while shopping is up from 43 percent since 2011.
But in the same survey cited in a BusinessInsider.com article, 37 percent of shoppers said they couldn’t use their smartphone in the store due to lack of Internet connectivity or slow connection. That percentage of people who wanted to use their smartphone — but couldn’t — was the same as a year ago.
This is a perfect example of how some retailers’ infrastructure isn’t working. They have to be thinking about how to support shoppers’ behaviors.
If you’re going to say you offer Wi-Fi, you better make sure it works. If it doesn’t, you’ve disappointed and possibly alienated your customers. It may even be an easy fix. Retailers may just need to add routers and increase their bandwidth.
The bottom line is that everyone has a smartphone now and they expect to be able to use it everywhere. If you can’t satisfy that customer demand, you’re going to lose them.
Source: Business Insider, April 2012