News • 02.03.2022

93% of retailers expect increased use of customers’ mobile devices in stores

Store-based technology capabilities that impact digital customer experiences

A woman in a fashion store scans a clothing tag with a smartphone; copyright:...
Source: PantherMedia/gpointstudio

As the role of the store has gone through a massive evolution in the last 24 months, retailers across segments are accelerating technology deployment plans to enhance the customer experience and drive operational efficiencies. According to new insights from the 2022 Connected Retail Experience Study by Incisiv, sponsored by Verizon, there are stark differences between planned technology rollouts in the Grocery/General Merchandise and Specialty/Department Store segments.

“As more mobile and IoT technology is deployed in stores, it will drive the need for more robust network connectivity,” said Jerri Traflet, Managing Partner, Global Solutions at Verizon. “It is not surprising that the greatest expected increase in in-store technology – consumer devices – is the number one driver for retailers to consider adopting 5G deployments.”

The study highlights the pressure that store networks will be under as respondents have indicated that customer mobile device usage, the number of technology applications, and percentage of technology that will be deployed in the cloud will all increase significantly in the next 12-24 months. This, combined with the fact that less than one-third of retailers are currently satisfied with their application response time and their ability to manage network traffic, shows a clear disconnect when it comes to in-store technologies.

Key findings of the study include:

  • Only 22% of Grocery/General Merchandise retailers are satisfied with their digital store experience vs. 55% of Specialty/Department store retailers
  • 93% of retailers expect an increase in the use of consumer mobile devices in stores by 2025 and 83% of retailers anticipate an increased amount of technology deployed in stores
  • The percentage of associate tasks that are automated is expected to triple by 2025 (19% to 62%) for Grocery/General Merchandise retailers, a far higher percentage increase than for Specialty/Department store retailers, which is expected to double (37% to 72%)
  • Only 20% of Grocery/General Merchandise retailers are satisfied with their ability to manage peak network traffic vs. 32% for Specialty/Department store retailers
  • The number one driver of planned 5G adoption in stores is the increase of customer mobile devices in stores, followed by the increase in associate mobile devices
  • Associate effectiveness capabilities such as real-time inventory tracking and associate Wi-Fi ranked as the highest priority deployments in the next two years

“While it is great to see retailers truly looking at how technology can help them improve customer experiences, operational efficiency, and associate effectiveness, they aren’t as clear on the network requirements to implement these technologies,” said Gaurav Pant, Chief Insights Officer, Incisiv. “We found that priorities are different for Grocery/General Merchandise retailers vs. Specialty/Department Store retailers, but the need for a robust network won’t change.”


Incisiv conducted quantitative and qualitative research with over 100 respondents, 42% of which represent companies with over $1 Billion in revenue. 81% of the respondents were director level or above and 48% were VP level or above.

Source: Incisiv

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