An image of Audrey Hepburn eating a croissant as she peruses across the Fifth Avenue display cabinets in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is perhaps what flashes in your mind at the mention of Tiffany & Co. However, what you might not remember are the old-fashioned phones that were placed on each display which, much like those days, are now long gone.
Today both employees and consumers have become increasing untethered and deeply attached to the smartphones in their pockets.
Millennials currently account for approximately 27% of the global population and have heavily integrated smartphone technology into their lives. Nearly 90% own or use a smartphone on a day-to-day basis and their buying habits are driven by instant gratification that smartphones, the internet, and other modern conveniences provide.
For retailers like Tiffany & Co., improving cellular coverage is a necessity for enhancing customer experience. The iconic blue-boxed jeweler recently deployed WilsonPro signal boosters in its U.S.-based stores to enhance their customer’s in-store experience.
“Their primary focus was two-fold: creating a better customer experience, making everything as high-end as possible and improving the safety aspect,” said Scott LeFebvre, president of A/COE Communications Corp., who has been the telecommunications infrastructure provider for the iconic jeweler for more than twenty years.
A/COE Communications specializes in the integration of wireless and telecommunications infrastructure in a diverse set of industries ranging from healthcare to retail.
The installation, which was completed in a matter of days at most locations, consisted of a single unit of the WilsonPro 70, which amplifies cellular signals to provide reliable voice and data coverage and three to four dome antennas that ensure reliable and equal cellular coverage throughout all areas inside the stores.
As more retailers look to re-invent the luxury in-store experience, cellular connectivity is a core component for two reasons first it facilitates in-store decision-making and second it offers a more secure platform for payment portals compared with WiFi.
When it comes to luxury jewelry buying consumers often want second opinions from family and friends and access to reliable cellular coverage enables them to reach others in real-time which can have a massive impact on procuring in-store sale, says LeFebvre.
Buildings constructed with materials like low-E glass, rebar and safety meshes create shields that cut off cellular coverage to storeroom floors and back rooms making it difficult for employees and customers to use cell phones.
Signal boosters are a cost-effective solution for solving cellular coverage issues, so much so that international retailers in Mexico and Canada are using cellular connectivity for POS systems said LeFebvre.
“It’s the closest thing to magic. It’s amusing how many users are skeptical and then all of a sudden it works instantly. It’s a great reaction,” said LeFebvre, who added that the lack complaints from customers and employees are the best form of positive feedback.