Personlised Retail WiFi

Retailers need to create a multichannel experience that makes it easy for shoppers to access additional product information instore while creating a single view of their interactions across channels.

I believe open, easy-to-use, customer friendly WiFi is a great step on the ladder to making this happen.

Retailers have brilliant online content, however, this is rarely accessible to shoppers or even employees through devices in store. And it’s not rocket science.

For example, the ability for a consumer to scan a barcode and watch a product video on their smartphone, or for an employee to order an out-of-stock product for delivery would fit perfectly with their desired path to purchase and with smart watches about to hit the main stream (yep, i’m an Apple fan) we’re going to be connected more than ever.

One of the enablers of all this technology is WiFi and I came across a pretty innovative solution that would help here.

In 2012 I implemented the WiFi offering from a startup called Nearbuy, recently acquired by Retail Next. With Retail Next we created a simple yet rich user experience which quickly enabled internet access for shoppers.

Shoppers would connect to our branded, open WiFi network (yep, no passwords or lengthly registration), enter their name & email and click connect which in turn opted them into our terms of service. Now shoppers were automatically reconnected any time they entered any of our stores, not just the store they signed up to and without registering or having to login again.

Not only was this super convenient for our shoppers it also allowed the business, if the customer had opted in, to know when and how often they were in store via an integration into our CRM – a much better experience than the “off the shelf” WiFi services which I keep logging into everyday.

Interestingly the top site viewed by consumers was our own website, shoppers were viewing product information, watching videos and reading reviews – in store at the time of purchase instead of heading home and getting distracted.

The technology was incredible and we worked with a young startup in silicon valley to implement the solution here in the UK – without any additional WiFi infrastructure. We’d made a significant investment in our wireless network so not having to duplicate any infrastructure was amazing.

It’s a cliche but the possibilities are endless, you know who the customer is when they walk in store and their previous shopping and browsing behaviour.

Clearly WiFi is only an enabler however I think it’s a pretty easy one to tick of the list.