Incisiv conducted a Verizon-sponsored study, finding that retailers and their customers are not particularly satisfied with their current prevailing set of connectivity features.
Congested networks by owners and customers
Retailers are increasingly complaining about congestion on their own networks in their stores. The reasons for this are manifold. For one, they can be found in the increased demands among business owners themselves. In an effort to stand out from growing competition in a more competitive environment, they are increasingly using IoT technology. For example, to streamline work routines and staffing levels, handle inventory more effectively, or offer more service to their visitors.
On the other hand, this description of the state is also fed by the increase in mobile devices used by customers when shopping. They increasingly expect to have anywhere, anytime access to the network services they use every day and now automatically assume they can expect constant connectivity.
Half of retailers dissatisfied
According to the 2022 Connected Retail Experience Study, only about 22 percent of grocery and department store retailers are fully satisfied with their current connectivity. For specialty stores and department stores, that number rose as high as 55 percent. But nearly 50 percent of the stores surveyed reported recurring connectivity availability and reliability issues.
Situation expected to worsen
Analysts expect circumstances to worsen over the next year or two. This is because many companies are already noticing initial declines in their business due to unreliable network connections. Dramatic prospects in view of an acceleration of these developments in the future that is already becoming apparent. Respondents in the study said they expect the use of mobile services in their businesses to increase by 93 percent by 2025. Eighty-three percent of them said they plan to use more IoT even in their own stores.
5G as a solution to the problems?
The makers of the survey believe that this mix of factors will help 5G achieve a stronger breakthrough. Both parties – demand from retailers and customers on the one hand, and the supply side on the other – appear to be driving each other forward.
Visitors to stores who are willing to make purchases bring their user habits with them from the rest of their daily lives, and vendors are also supporting these developments by expanding IoT to optimize the management of their employees. According to the researchers, this interplay of forces even has the potential to significantly outstrip the current forecasts regarding the expected need for connectivity.