EarthLink Holdings Corp, a leading managed network and cloud solutions provider for multi-location businesses including hundreds of national retailers, recently partnered with experts from research consultants IHL Group and cloud-managed WiFi solutions provider AirTight Networks to conduct one of the first-ever studies that provides unique insights into the retail industry's plans for store networking, WiFi, security and engagement.
Preliminary findings include:
82% of large to medium-sized retail participants have already deployed in-store WiFi
57% of enterprise retail participants offer both customer and employee WiFi
27.5% of retailers report that customer loyalty increased due to deploying in-store customer WiFi
70% of retail participants currently outsource their store level WAN to managed service providers
34% of retail participants will update their store level WiFi technologies in 2015
Once analysis of the final study data is complete, IHL, EarthLink and AirTight plan to release a benchmarking tool to enable retailers to see where they stack up, learn best practices, and develop a technology roadmap that differentiates the store experience and supports business growth objectives.
According to IHL Group, nearly 70% of specialty retailers are designing their next Point-of-Sale system based on a central order management system, which will put up to five times more load on the network for core store transactions than most retailers use today.
To accommodate this load, many retailers will require an update of their WAN infrastructure.