In 2012 the retail and hospitality industries were hit hard by the revolution of offering Wi-Fi to customers in store. Nowadays, it is a given, yet some are still incredibly sceptical of why they should offer Wi-Fi to customers.
What are the benefits to me? How can I make money from it? Why would my customers want Wi-Fi?
Often offering Wi-Fi to customers has been seen as a good will gesture towards customers. However there are great benefits that many potential users are currently not aware of and utilising that will enable an increase in customer spending and loyalty. Some of the analytic’s and insight gained from providing Wi-Fi include:
- Tracking footfall through your store
- Tracking popular areas / products
- Engagement and loyalty metrics
- Historical data across stores
- Real-time engagement with customers
From the above information, the whole organisation will find value that can influence change resulting in a strengthened sales strategies. For example, Marketing Departments are finding value from the information that helps plan, modify and implement high quality campaigns that results in higher consumer spending.
Founder and president of IHL Group, a global research firm, Greg Buzek says that a recent study taken place to analysis the advantages and disadvantages of Wi-Fi in the retail and hospitality industry shows in-store Wi-Fi gives retailers the largest return on investment in increased loyalty and sales. Other studies also show that over 50% of customers are using their mobile phones in store to read reviews and compare prices – giving retailers another opportunity to increase sales.
From the customer’s perspective, why do they need/want Wi-Fi whilst out shopping? Customers have become accustom to being provided with Wi-Fi and with a national increase of Data usage, consumers look for all opportunities to safe data. It also allows customers to research whilst in store which would traditionally be something they would do at home after seeing the product in store – Now purchases are being converted on the first visit.
The revolution of the internet has offered many benefits and limitations for retailers, however the benefits are currently outweighing the limitations. Retailers are now able to offer a relatively inexpensive add on to the customers shopping experience, whilst also gather vast information about the individual resulting in increased customer spend and loyalty. Research has shown this trend and has also provided methods for how to better use these analytic’s to strengthen sales strategies. Overall, offering Wi-Fi in store shows only positive results for both provider and user.
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