For most of us today, the point at which the physical and digital worlds meet, and merge with evermore complexity, has become our mobile devices.
In the case of modern shoppers, many of whom have grown up with Wi-Fi access available in virtually every public location, quick and easy connectivity is a significant factor in the decisions they make around where to spend their leisure time and money.
Little wonder, then, that mobile devices have changed the way we shop. According to Google’s recent research, nearly 80% of visitors use their smartphones to search for information while in-store, averaging 15 minutes of mobile use during every store visit.
In addition, Millennial shoppers expect to continually share their experience through social media channels wherever they are. This cohort of ‘constantly connected’ customers offer peer-to-peer reviews, with some even taking on the role of unofficial brand advocates.
Influencing digital shoppers in the store
Far from being a distraction for shoppers, the growing role of mobile in the physical space gives retailers a new channel through which to influence potential customers at the shelf edge. In fact, Infosys data shows that more than three quarters of purchasing decisions are made at the point of sale – presenting a significant profit opportunity for retail stores.
Providing consumers with access to free in-store Wi-Fi is the most effective way to cut through their digital conversations, and leverage their connectivity in order to guide the purchasing journey.
For example, retailers can create a branded welcome portal when shoppers log on to the Wi-Fi. This serves as a platform for promoting their latest promotions and marketing campaigns, in-depth product information, interactive store maps and even the option to purchase online should an item be out-of-stock.
Equally, creating an official interface can enable retailers to enter into a ‘value exchange’ with consumers, in which they share personal data in return for better targeted content. More often than not, shoppers are happy to share their email address and social media details – enabling retailers to market to them directly going forward.
Shoppers are also often happy to confirm details such as their gender and age, which can shape the targeting of marketing messages – including those sent direct to their mobile device – to ensure resonance and relevance.
Customising the customer journey
In addition to personalising communications based on information provided by consumers, Wi-Fi analytics unlock a host of data on the customer journey, which can be used to optimise the in-store experience.
Connecting to shoppers’ mobile devices reveals analytics such as visitor frequency, dwell times, hours of peak traffic, and customers’ in-store journeys. This is done without having to actively engage with the consumer – so long as Wi-Fi is enabled on their smartphone.
Empowered by these insights, retailers can identify trends that are impacting customer conversion, and develop strategies for increasing shopper spend. For example, creating tailored messages for returning customers, which are pushed to their mobile device when they enter the store.
Far from regarding these new levels of interaction as intrusive, shoppers are now welcoming tailored marketing as part of the physical store’s new value proposition. 60% of consumers want regular real-time promotions and offers in-store, according to Accenture data, with 78% more likely to return to stores where they receive targeted incentives.
Are you making the most of your customer Wi-Fi?
As the statistics we’ve shared demonstrate, providing free Wi-Fi in stores has moved far beyond being a perk to attract customers.
Not only have many shoppers come to expect it as standard, establishing a mobile connection in the physical space is a valuable tool for retailers. The data generated by Wi-Fi analytics can bring new understanding to the relatively anonymous store environment, while the device itself is a new channel through which to converse with the consumer.
Added together, these benefits can enable retailers to convince, convert and upsell to impulse and indecisive customers at the shelf edge more powerfully than ever before.
Vodat International specialises in secure Wi-Fi solutions for the retail industry. To find out more about how our solutions can transform your customer insight, get in touch.