A recent study of more than 1000 consumers found 70 percent of people want free WiFi during store visits and over a third said this would make them buy more in a single trip. This indicates just how important it is for retail centres to offer fast connectivity. Checking your retail WiFi supplier is still up to date, offering customers the fastest speeds and the retail centre the most insightful data can help with this. Here’s what you need to check.
- Does the Supplier Meet the Shoppers’ Needs?
- Does the Supplier Meet the Retail Centre’s Needs?
- Can the Supplier Support all the Shoppers the Centre Attracts?
- Does the Supplier Offer the Support Required?
Shoppers’ needs should always be considered first. A retail centre’s WiFi solution should engage with shoppers and help improve their overall shopping experience, whether it’s by staying connected with friends and family, conducting product research or looking to see where their favourite shops are.
To do this, you’ll need to consider what the retail centre’s goals are and how the WiFi solution’s features will help fulfil them.
An internet-based engagement platform, unique to the retail centre, can provide shoppers with all of the information they might ever need to know. This can range from store information (such as location and opening hours) to updates about events at the venue and loyalty schemes. All of this information can be easily accessed via that platform - from the shoppers’ mobile devices.
This is advantageous in two main ways: for convenience and boosting engagement.
It’s convenient for both the shoppers and retail centre staff. For shoppers, it means they can make best use of the facilities available to them without needing to queue up at the help desks. They can easily just consult the platforms via their phones. For staff, it means they’re less likely to be disturbed from their daily tasks due to shoppers requiring assistance. This boosts their productivity and improves the shopping environment in the centre for all.
It helps to boost engagement by allowing shoppers to enjoy a fully branded experience as soon as they enter the retail centre. They’ll see the retail centre’s signs outside and inside the space, but a good WiFi supplier will ensure this branding stays at the front of the shopper’s mind. They’ll be provided with relevant, timely messages as they shop and even a “welcome back” message if the WiFi recognises the device, which adds to a more seamless shopping experience.
Another important feature is content filtering. Because retail centres are public spaces where people of all ages can visit, the WiFi should be family-friendly and offer filtering options to prevent access to inappropriate content. This will help to keep visitors safe, especially children.
If a retail centre is to keep delighting its customers and visitors, enticing them to return over and over, they’ll need to know more about them and improve the quality of their services. But people’s whims are constantly changing and it can be hard to keep track. The right WiFi solution will be able to help with this.
The WiFi supplier should be able to provide insightful analytics directly to the retail centre to help them improve the quality of their services. Not all WiFi suppliers collect data like this and allow retail centres to own it, so it’s important you look for one that does - consistently. It can help landlords and property companies boost their return on investment.
For example, anonymous information on shopper behaviours, heat maps of how they move around the centre and the busiest footfall times can help a retail centre tailor their services more closely to their customers’ needs. This increases the likelihood of a happy customer who is more persuaded towards loyalty. And a happy, loyal customer is more likely to spend more in the long-run.
Retail centres should also be able to add and authenticate WiFi users, both new and returning, against their loyalty database. This can help to strengthen their loyalty programmes as it means the retail centre can see when users are new or returning. So, they can begin to display promotional messages and other marketing material to entice shoppers to return and/or spend more.
Understanding purchasing habits can also help a retail centre increase how much their customers spend. For instance, the centre can display banner adverts on their personalised engagement platform which are more likely to interest customers and make them want to spend more. Or, knowing where visitors gather in the retail centre allows shops/the centre to know where to place appropriate adverts, like posters about promotions or sales.
The best WiFi suppliers can provide even more specific data that complies with GDPR, such as seeing how far customers have travelled to visit a retail centre. This data can be automatically sent to the retail centre’s CRM and they can use it to see exactly how far they need to reach with their outdoor and social marketing campaigns. There’s no need to guess.
The chosen WiFi supplier needs to be able to support all of the shoppers the retail centre attracts and more. Just like your WiFi at home, if there are more people using the WiFi than the connection can handle, it can slow down considerably. So, it’s important that the WiFi supplier can grow with the retail centre.
There should be a range of flexible packages to suit a variety of retail centre sizes so you won’t have to keep changing WiFi suppliers every time the retail centre expands in size or popularity.
It’s also helpful if the WiFi supplier can provide insightful data into the retail centre’s visitors. Although it’s anonymous, it’s still possible to generate an idea of how many people visit the centre on a daily, monthly or annual basis, where they congregate and for how long.
Setting up WiFi in a large venue setting, such as a retail space, can be a tricky process - especially if you’re not an expert on what to do. That’s why you need to ensure your chosen WiFi supplier consistently provides sufficient support tools and features. Don’t just look for easy configuration. Make sure they’re able to provide you and the retail centre with simple but thorough guidance throughout the whole process.
In addition, ensure the WiFi supplier is able to provide 24/7 support that lasts for the entirety of the retail centre’s contract with them. This is because a retail centre can experience WiFi issues at any time, from hours after setting it up to years later. Make sure the supplier’s customer service is able to provide advice and full support at any time.
Want to Learn More on What Retail WiFi Can Do?
More and more retail centres are offering WiFi due to customer demand. But shoppers and retail centres need more than just WiFi. Their needs are evolving, with shoppers craving fast, reliable connectivity and retail centres needing a supplier that can provide them with valuable data and support. That’s why if a retail centre is to consistently provide the ultimate shopping experience, the WiFi supplier must still be flexible enough to grow with the evolving needs.
These are just a few of the things you need to know about retail WiFi. Take a look at our Retail Case Study for more information on what connectivity can bring to a retail space.