- 01 Aug 2023
Boosting Retail Footfall and Enhancing Shopper Experiences: The Benefits of In-Building Connectivity
Today’s consumers expect great mobile coverage wherever they go – and get frustrated if poor connectivity limits their shopping options or ability to connect and meet up with family and friends.
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Edmund Wilkinson, Head of Sales Development (In-Building) at Cellnex UK, explores how today’s 4G and 5G in-building connectivity solutions are enabling shopping centres to deliver the high performance mobile experience that’s key for boosting consumer footfall and dwell times. The ability to shop, dine, and meet and stay connected to friends with just a few clicks is helping shopping centres retain their status as highly attractive, must-visit destinations.
Why is an In-Building Solution needed in retail?
Great mobile signal is an important factor in determining where consumers go to spend their time and money. Today’s shoppers use their mobiles to take pictures of potential purchases, sharing these with friends and on social media to get ‘in the moment’ reactions. Plus, the convenience of being able to order online and instantly pick up purchases in store all adds up to a fulfilling and frictionless modern shopping experience.
With mobile phones now so integral to buying behaviours, and with customer expectation that mobile service is ubiquitous, suffering from poor signal and slow mobile internet connection speeds can be a major source of frustration. It also impacts the ability of retailers to deliver the seamless options today’s consumers crave.
Create value-added destination experiences
Forward-thinking shopping centre operators are responding to the digital-first expectations of their customers. Using interactive mobile apps, they are making it easier for shoppers to plan their visits and take advantage of smartphone-enabled parking, food ordering and more.
These apps also make it easier for retailers to offer promotions and vouchers, or showcase new products, that will drive footfall to their outlets.
For added convenience, some shopping centre operators are providing new wayfinding services to help shoppers locate retail outlets and food and beverage venues. Some are even using pioneering AI-powered solutions that let shoppers upload photos of fashion items and instantly direct them to stores offering similar clothing products.
The problem is, none of these features matter if poor mobile phone coverage hampers consumers’ ability to connect and take advantage of them.
The retail connectivity challenge
While people typically experience great mobile reception and fast mobile data speeds outdoors, the moment they enter a shopping centre it can be a very different story. Thick walls, steel structures and the use of metallised-glass in building design can reduce the signal strength from mobile network operators or block them completely. Often, the larger the building, the bigger the problem.
With so many shoppers now consuming huge amounts of data from their unlimited mobile plans, and the perceived security issues and mobility challenges around using public WiFi, a mobile cellular solution has to be the preferred option.
Closing the connectivity gap for shoppers with an In-Building Solution
Today’s in-building connectivity solutions are radically enhancing the delivery of mobile coverage. Options like distributed antenna systems (DAS) now make it easy to cost effectively deliver consistent 4G and 5G mobile signals.
These in-building solutions transmit the mobile signal from network operators and distribute them via a network of radio units and small antennas. The result is strong and consistent connectivity throughout, assuring a best-in-class experience for users across all areas.
Cellnex UK In-Building Solutions are designed and built to rigorous industry specifications, with network management and 24×7 monitoring provided as standard. Plus, they are compatible with every mobile network operator – which means no shopper is excluded from enjoying optimised connectivity.
With a proven track record in connecting today’s largest retail organisations and malls, Cellnex UK can help deliver an experience that increases dwell times and encourages shoppers to return time and again.
To find out more, or discuss your specific requirements, get in touch at In-BuildingSolutions@cellnextelecom.co.uk