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  • Lisa Henry

Retailers convinced that high-performance Wi-Fi is a key factor in improving the in-store customer e

For 63% of retailers, Wi-Fi has significantly improved their in-store operations and customer experience. According to a report conducted by RSR for Extreme Networks, investment in networks improves shop operations.

Entitled "The World is Connected, The Store Must Be Too", a study carried out by RSR for Extreme Networks reveals that retailers are facing a major challenge: creating innovative in-store consumer experiences. These must take into account and respond to customer expectations, the growing need for network bandwidth and emerging cyber security threats.

While three quarters of retailers said that the demand for network bandwidth was a major concern, the study highlights the fact that the most successful professionals are those who have relied on Wi-Fi solutions to improve both the in-store customer experience and general shop operations.

Indeed, for the majority (92%), it is an integral part of delivering an advanced shopping experience and 54% say it has significantly improved the in-store experience. For 96% of respondents, this technology represents an opportunity. They say Wi-Fi has played a key role in improving their shop operations to automate and streamline key processes such as virtual warehousing, loss prevention, electronic shelf labelling, digital signage, temperature monitoring, stock management and more.

A challenging implementation for retailers

However, adopting the technology can be a challenge, with 94% stating that the bandwidth demand is too great for their limited networks. This is the main challenge for 75% of retailers. While 72% of respondents say they prefer a single network capable of handling all future devices and deployments, only 17% are striving to achieve a consistent technology profile across their shops.

Given these issues, retailers are obliged to prioritise their projects. For them, the most important technologies for improving day-to-day shop operations are :

  • the enterprise wide area network (66%) ;

  • IoT devices connected to the network (65%);

  • stock management tools (62%).

For 'retail champions', defined by annual sales growth above the sector average (i.e. 7%), hostless checkouts (70%) and self-service kiosks (66%) complete the trio of most important technologies behind Wi-Fi.


The survey was conducted by RSR (Retail Systems Research) on behalf of Extreme Networks among 114 international retail operations managers with annual sales between $100 million and more than $5 billion.

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