Retailers, It pays to provide free Wi-Fi!

- 13th Dec 2016


Wi-Fi analytics is impacting retail analytics in a big way. The tech spending in the Retail sector is already on the upswing. According to a report by Gartner, 60% of the retailers have increased their tech spending and have opened their exchequer to embrace new technologies. In fact, 30% of retailers indicated increases of more than 5% in their IT budgets. The investigation into the Spending Priorities was a big revelation too! It is found that most of these technologies were customer centric with emphasis on enhancing customer interaction, understanding their needs, personalization strategies, customer promotion, and promotional campaign.

Let’s take a deep insight into why a robust Wi-Fi infrastructure is all set to become the game changer in the times to come for the retail outlets. Technology is embraced by retailers to improve its operational efficiency and to keep up with the changing customer behavior.

So far the retail outlets were physical stores, mostly concentrating on the performance of the stores only. This too was done using the age old operation oriented metrics such as footfall counters at doors and transactional data from the point-of-sale systems.  The customer behavior exhibited on the floor was not of much consequence to the owner of the outlets. Not that there were a lot of scopes and ways to do that either!

But with mobile devices, making inroads into our lives and much more into the hands and pockets of the customer, the equation has changed inadvertently.  As a retailer, you have all the reasons and technology to tune in your free Wi-Fi to your customer’s mobile devices and leverage the behavior analytics to deliver and delight your customers, the way they want.

So here’s how your robust Wi-Fi analytics can add that sheen to your retail analytics.

Keeping Customers Happy

Companies want to provide a rich and consistent brand experience for their customers across all of their digital touchpoints. There are more chances that the customers will stay back longer and shop. It is also an excellent opportunity to turn window shoppers into buyers.

Acquire customers

Wi-Fi can provide companies a unique opportunity to acquire high-value customers and build up their loyalty database. New technologies allow companies to recognize customers via Wi-Fi as they enter locations and re-engage with them when they return with insights on that customer’s behaviors and the ability to deliver a personalized experience.

Engage customers with better customer experience

Unlike acquisition, customer engagement is the capacity to deliver a brand experience on-demand based on rules and triggers while at a location. The typical use case is via a BLE beacon, which prompts the brand’s app to display a promotion, highlight something in the vicinity, or encourage the customer to pay with their mobile device at checkout.  Wi-Fi infrastructure can be used to accomplish this objective as well. It should work both with the brand’s existing app as well as with any smartphone discovered on the wireless network, without the need for beacons. This approach is particularly useful for venues, retailers, museums, parks and high-footprint locations where services can vary across zones (such as a food court at the mall.)

Enhance your social clout

If your brand encourages social conversations or sharing, Wi-Fi can be critical tool to on-board customers via their social IDs.

To maximize the effectiveness of any of the approaches, it’s critical to minimize the friction in the onboarding process. Reducing the data required to opt-in reduces the resistance from customers who don’t necessarily want to provide detailed information for a quick 5-minute usage of your service. This addresses more users and offers the ability to learn about the customer over time instead of all at once. It’s also crucial to ensure that the onboarding process, landing page and content discovered is intuitive and beneficial. It’s a value-exchange, after all.

And of course, a holistic, inclusive approach works best — one that isn’t limited to your Wi-Fi opportunities, but that also factors in the existing ways you’re already working hard to reach your customers. Proximity MX by July Systems takes an all-of-the-above approach –it works whether via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or mobile geo-fence, and whether or not customers have downloaded your app or are just enjoying your free Wi-Fi. It helps you maximize the return on your existing Wi-Fi investment and gain the strategic advantages Wi-Fi can offer– in measurable, business-oriented numbers.