Pets at Home upgrades network to support in-store iPads

Pets at Home has upgraded its in-store connectivity to improve iPad performance.

Partnering with Claranet, the retailer rolled out a new wide area network (WAN) to over 400 retail stores and 340 vet surgeries across the country.

The retailer first noticed problems with its network when it introduced in-store iPads – or Pet Pads – which are used to improve customer experience when looking for advice or adopting pets.

But due to the wide roll out of the iPad devices the original network struggled to cope with the additional strain.

"We wanted to completely transform the customer experience, doing away with cumbersome processes and pen and paper forms. However, we immediately faced a number of obstacles with network and Wi-Fi coverage issues causing regular dropouts, adversely affecting the iPads’ ability to process transactions," explained Suzie Williams, business systems director at Pets at Home.

She described how the bad connectivity frustrated customers who found themselves filling in their details on the iPad only to have to complete paper forms when the device failed.

"The seamless shopping experience that we had envisioned was being undermined by our connectivity issues, and we needed focused and dedicated support to provide the infrastructure necessary to make Pet Pads work."

She added: “The issue was compounded by the fact that our network requirements were split between two separate providers. This meant working with different service levels and leaving notable gaps in our provision, so we decided to move everything to one provider to make management smoother. The question was, which one?”

Since working with Claranet to upgrade and consolidate the network, the retailer's Pet Pad system no longer struggles to connect to the network and Pets at Home have even developed more apps for the iPad, such as its VIP (Very Important Pet) loyalty sign up scheme.