Monitoring connectivity quality is an obvious critical task metric for any operator or digital native company, but it is becoming increasingly important for facilities’ owners as well, whether for their employees or customers. Added to digital maintenance, work related apps or payment processes, connectivity makes an important part of the customers’ purchase act, whether it is to check products’ characteristics, claim sales, payments etc. Providing the best connectivity experience possible is turning into an increasing challenge for retailers: this postulate is at the core of Carrefour partnership with MOZARK to reach a global understanding of the state of connectivity in their stores.
Monitoring, quantifying and analyzing connectivity inside every Carrefour French stores
Carrefour operates more than 12,000 stores and e-commerce sites in more than 30 countries. As a multi-local, multi-format, and omni-channel retail Group, employing 360 000 people worldwide, the company’s facilities welcome around 13 million customers throughout the world every day.
As previously enounced, digital transformation and connectivity have a direct impact inside (apps for day-to-day operation, maintenance, stocking…) and outside the company’s facilities (payments, products info, customer-centric apps). Lack of coverage is costly, both from a customer and an employee’s experience perspective.
Therefore, Carrefour needed an independent 360° view of connectivity, both cellular and Wi-Fi inside all its stores nationwide. This view had to be based on not just coverage but usage as well. Through its French franchise QoSi, specialized in field measurements, data analysis and a longtime partner of the French regulator ARCEP, MOZARK provided an end-to-end customized system with an agnostic approach, measuring the quality of all four operators (Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free) accounted for and focused on the Quality of Experience.
Challenge: independent 360° view of connectivity, both cellular and Wi-Fi inside all its stores nationwide
Field measurements, data visualization and quality of experience analysis
Teams adopted a two-step approach: field and front-end. The field part consisted in driving to every of the 3000 stores (Carrefour, BP and 8à8) and measuring the quality of digital experience in specific places decided by Carrefour such as cashiers, management offices, etc. Considering the number of stores to be covered, Carrefour employees were put to work and measuring was rendered possible through 75 customized walk-test kits and autonomous system in carry-on cases that were easy-to-use for them. Each kit contained 5 phones with a SIM card from every operator plus one for Wi-Fi; they were equipped with a white label version of 5GMARK, our connectivity levels measurement app. Employees’ comprehension of the project and their motivation in participating was easy to get and fundamental to the whole approach: their dedication to correctly using the kits was key to this partnership success.
- End-to-end customized system: automatic upload, aggregation and visualization of data on central and preconfigured portal, fully customized test scenarios
- Agnostic approach with all 4 operators accounted for
- Easy to deploy and cost-effective solutions
The front-end part centered around a dedicated pre-configured portal with maps and dashboards, automatic upload, aggregation of QoE data, and fully customized test scenarios defined with Carrefour.
Therefore, in six months, Carrefour had a complete view of coverage for all its shopping facilities in France. This provided the company with the basis for actional results like focusing on stores lacking proper coverage, engaging with operators on maintenance and upgrade, setting marketing campaigns about the quality of in-store digital experience, and identifying the best stores for organizing real time digital proof of concepts – all of this while reducing cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity auditing time across by an average of 33%, for a cost of 90% less than traditional methods.
- Actionable results on stores lacking proper coverage
- Leverage for engaging with operators on maintenance and upgrades
- Ground laid for marketing campaigns (“#1 connected stores”)
Taking the project further: the path to deep indoor analysis and app testing?
Considering this project’s prime successes, here are some steps that could be taken on in a continuous improvement logic:
- Extension to pick-and-collect facilities: earlier this month, Carrefour and MOZARK started a measurement campaign on this aspect
- So far, tests have been conducted in entire areas but differences in connectivity can be experienced even inside these pre-determined zones: the next big thing would therefore be to install fixed probes for continuous and automated monitoring of connectivity. Remote-controlled standalone probes would allow permanent indoor testing to be conducted without human intervention on the site, and test scenarios would be customizable to fit a vendor agnostic approach
- Direct app quality testing inside facilities should be considered to complete the connectivity test
- New test scenarios for 5G
By aggregating, visualizing and analyzing its digital quality of experience, Carrefour is on the path to ensure a standardized connected experience in all its stores and increase its customers and employees’ confidence in the brand’s digital capabilities. It aligns with the company’s “long-term transformation vision,” in which Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) measurements are essential requirements.
“QoSi by MOZARK’s expertise in QoE assessment, coupled with their custom software development capabilities, allowed for the fast implementation of an innovative approach, in line with Carrefour’s expectations. Thanks to the support provided throughout the project, we were able to achieve our goals within the allocated timeframe, and we now have a reliable reference view of mobile & Wi-Fi coverage across our stores in France,”
Francois Convent, Head of the IS operations Division for the Carrefour Hypermarket Organization Division.