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Is poor mobile signal causing problems for in-store apps?

mobile signal in-store apps

Loyalty apps are proving crucial for driving sales in retail stores – but only in buildings were mobile coverage is up to scratch!

With the roadmap out of Covid laid down before us, making plans is a far less daunting prospect than it was during the depths of the pandemic.
Should the data allow, non-essential shops will reopen on April 12th, which means that a massive wave of activity will hit the UK very soon.
How retailers have been preparing to ride this wave varies massively.
There will be those who’ve concentrated on their online sales to make sure they pull through, without thinking too carefully about their post-pandemic strategy…
Those who’ve used the “downtime” to finally perfect their in-store shopping app to be launched when shoppers return…
And those who’ve already put the infrastructure in place at their units to physically ensure the smoothest of experiences for their customers as they come back.
If you run a retail store and you don’t fall into more than one of those categories, then we’re here to help.

The rise of in-store apps and what this means for your shoppers

More and more retailers are getting smarter and creating loyalty apps that can be used in store, rewarding returning customers with vouchers and discounts that can be applied via the app at the till.
They’re handy for comparing prices, viewing product ratings and reviews and simply finding products while in store too. And providing more personalised engagement with customers in this way is quickly becoming a super effective for driving customer loyalty.
Apps are proving to be a fantastic tool for driving more sales in shops too, with 51% of people who’ve downloaded shopping apps going on to open and use them in stores.
In this way, they give retailers a great opportunity to become an omnichannel brand in a way that’s both impactful and sustainable, and which their customers love.

The problem with apps

So apps are clearly a great thing for retailers to be using in this day and age. But there’s a problem.
A big problem, one that causes many shoppers to get frustrated and which could potentially negate the positive impact of having the app in the first place.
What happens when a customer can’t get onto the app? When poor mobile signal prevents them from accessing their discounts at the till or being able to find out more about the product they were planning to buy?
Many modern shops sit inside huge, metal-framed buildings (think supermarkets, shopping malls, rows of high street shops and retail parks). When they were constructed, builders were concentrating on things like speed, safety and keeping costs low.
They probably weren’t thinking too carefully about mobile signal and Wi-Fi.
But the thing is, many of the materials used to create these whopping buildings, and especially the metal frames themselves, are classic mobile signal blockers.
And they’re the reason why many shoppers can’t be bothered to even try and use apps while in-store too.
The “low-E” coatings on mammoth double-glazed windows might be great for emissions but they’re not so good for signal. In fact, they commonly cause fluctuation as much as -4db from just one window.
Typical metals used to construct these types of buildings cause electromagnetic charges to flow along the outside of the frame, without being able to penetrate and reach the building inside. In other words, they block mobile signal.
Which means your shoppers are likely to struggle to use the apps that were so beautifully thought out and created for them. Pretty frustrating, for you and for them.

Retail staff frustrated by bad mobile signal

It’s not just customers who are irked by poor mobile signal though; staff don’t like it either, not one bit.
With no way to communicate with friends and family during breaks, especially at a time when mobile communication has become more important than ever, returning staff will be much happier with signal available to them.
Already, 26% of UK employees have stated that poor signal at work increases their stress levels, and 69% of 994 employees surveyed by Toluna complained that they either “frequently” or “sometimes” had problems with poor mobile coverage in the workplace.
18% of those people said that the problem negatively impacted their productivity, while 15% said it damaged the company’s reputation (an issue that will only get worse as more people download in-store apps to improve their shopping experience).
Of all those interviewed, employees in the retail sector were the second-most frustrated, only after hospital workers. 76% complained of bad experiences with mobile signal while 30% said the problems were “frequent”.

What’s the solution? A mobile signal booster, of course!

Mobile signal boosters (or “repeaters” as they’re frequently called) are the ideal solution for retail stores where poor mobile signal is getting in the way of the shopping experience.
These devices are designed to improve mobile signal within buildings where coverage is below par (click here to find out exactly how they work).
At Signal Solutions, we exclusively use Nextivity Cel-Fi technology to ensure a perfectly legal and Ofcom-compliant solution to your mobile signal problems. Nextivity currently offers the only options on the UK market that are 100% legal to use and approved by Ofcom.
Our boosters work to enhance signals across your building on all major UK networks by as much as 1,000 times – meaning problems with access to in-store apps become a thing of the past.
Instead, you, your staff and your shoppers enjoy constant, reliable mobile signal in every corner of your shop all day long.
  • They’re 100% legal to use, fully compliant with Ofcom licensing laws
  • They’re unconditionally network safe
  • They’re accepted by UK regulators
  • They provide high quality signal in areas where coverage is poor or non-existent
  • They’re compatible with every mobile network 
If you want to ensure your shop’s signal is super strong and reliable enough to guarantee you reap the benefits of in-store apps, let’s have a conversation.
Drop your details in the form below or give us a call on 020 3823 7365
Picture of Mark Rose
Mark Rose
As co-founder of Signal Solutions, Mark's signal boosting knowledge is second to none. Mark has worked on a large number of signal projects over the years, from straightforward single-booster projects, to large scale installations across multiple buildings.