We take a look at the findings from the Cradlepoint retail study, conducted at this year’s Retail Expo event.
A new study from Cradlepoint, the global leader in cloud-delivered LTE and 5G-ready wireless network edge solutions, reveals the retail industry is still facing challenges with network downtime. Despite struggling to provide reliable network connectivity though, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are considered the priority IT focus over the next five years.
The Cradlepoint retail study surveyed 200 retail professionals and was carried out in May 2019 at RetailEXPO. It found that:
72% of retail professionals believe AI and IoT will be their biggest IT challenge in the next 5 years, yet 75% are still experiencing unplanned network downtime.
Despite 10% of retail professionals facing this challenge regularly, the study found that more than a quarter (26%) do not have a network redundancy plan in place to minimise business disruption when outages and downtime occur.
“For retail organisations, unplanned network outages can impact both revenue and reputation significantly, so it is surprising to see many retail organisations have still not adopted the right technology solutions to mitigate this risk,” said Jason Wells, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Cradlepoint, commenting on the results.
Many retail professionals are looking ahead to AI and IoT, which has the potential to revolutionise the industry, transform the customer experience and drive footfall back into bricks and mortar stores. But for those retailers who have still not implemented reliable connectivity, it will be impossible to take advantage of these emerging technologies set to transform the retail industry in the coming years.
“Fast, reliable network connectivity in the form of wireless Internet is already widely available – both as an emergency failover and as a primary connectivity option. AI and IoT are exciting technologies, but retailers need to prioritise the foundations of these now – and that’s reliable Internet connectivity,” concluded Wells.