With everyone glued to their phones these days, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that digital engagement is now a fundamental part of modern retail success. In fact, a 2015 study found that 90 percent of shoppers use their phones while shopping in stores.
Engaging customers with digital apps is an increasingly common strategy for driving revenue. Exclusive deals delivered to your customers on their phones promotes sales and increases efficiency. For smaller retailers, these apps might be hosted by third-party administrators, while big-box stores like Target and Wal-Mart develop their own.
Target’s Cartwheel and Wal-Mart’s Savings Catcher apps are great examples of customer engagement in the digital retail world. Savings Catcher refunds any difference in price between local competitors’ advertised prices, while Cartwheel offers exclusive discounts to users.
And retail app use is on the rise. According to a 2016 report by Yahoo-backed analytics firm Flurry, lifestyle and shopping app sessions increased by 80 percent in 2015. As a retailer, digital engagement is no longer an option, it’s critical to success.
If you provide Wi-Fi access in-store, you may think you’re set, but you also need a robust cellular and data signal to ensure every shopper can connect. Both cellular data connections and Wi-Fi signals create the in-store connectivity required to access digital apps and coupons. Reliable cellular coverage cuts out the cumbersome steps of a Wi-Fi connection.
While a strong cellular signal is the better option to help boost digital customer engagement, you can encounter plenty of problems if you’re not careful. Heavy use of your in-store cellular network can quickly overload it and conventional building materials like brick, steel and concrete can block otherwise strong cellular signals. However, there are steps you can take to leverage the value of your cellular network and mitigate any potential signal strength problems.
Therefore, you need to take steps to provide consistent and reliable cellular coverage for your customers.
Why Cell Signal Trumps Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi is a useful connectivity solution, but it’s not always the best bet for shoppers. In most cases, shoppers must open the Wi-Fi settings on their phone, log in, and accept the terms and conditions of your service. Many shoppers don’t find the effort worthwhile for a savings of a couple of dollars.
A connection only requires consumers to use their network’s data plan, which provides quick and easy access to apps and digital incentives without the additional steps of Wi-Fi. The easy connection also provides consumers with an opportunity to use their phones to read reviews, check prices and inventory, or call friends for buying advice.
Boost Cell Signal and Sales
Installing a commercial cell phone signal booster or passive distributed antenna system (DAS) in your store can enhance the cellular signal. A robust cellular signal makes for a more rewarding shopping experience and provides easier access to apps and coupons.
Cell phone signal boosters work by capturing the cellular signal from nearby cell towers and routing the signal to a cellular booster. The booster amplifies (or “boosts”) the signal and redistributes it throughout the area using smaller indoor antennas, with signal power increased up to 32 times.
One of the standout attributes of cell signal boosters is that they’re carrier agnostic. Whether your customers use major carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint, or a smaller regional carrier, they get the same amplified signal.
As a retailer, creating a positive shopping experience is a top priority, and modern consumers demand reliable cell and data coverage. Shoppers browsing their phones as they walk through your store is surely a familiar site. Providing a digitally focused shopping experience can lead to free publicity from customers posting on social media from your store.
Enhancing your in-store cellular signal with cell phone signal boosters helps increase customer satisfaction and enhance your brand awareness and engagement.
Todd Fariss is the director of commercial solutions at WilsonPro, a provider of commercial cell phone signal boosters.