The practice of shoppers visiting a store to run the rule over a particular product, only to return to their computer and buy it online has become so commonplace it has earned its own name - showrooming.
Indeed, when the camera chain Jessops entered administration in 2013, disgruntled staff in one particular shop erected a sign reading: "The staff at Jessops would like to thank you for shopping at Amazon."
Such anecdotes leave some retailers arguing access to Wi-Fi in-store leads to price comparisons, or product ratings, that can result in lost sales. There are even examples of shoppers being charged to browse items in-store, in a futile attempt to prevent showrooming!
However, Wi-Fi can improve visitor experience, with Kew Gardens really benefiting. So, how can retail profit from wi-fi?
With an ever narrowing divide between the online and in-store bricks and mortar shopping experiences, innovative retailers are leveraging their customers' online world within a shop's four walls.
Here's how retail can profit from Wi-Fi in a few key areas:-
A Personalised Experience
Leveraging in-store Wi-Fi can deliver location specific content to a customer including welcoming them to the shop, notifications of special discounts and even applying loyalty card points. Some shops even facilitate impulse buys by sending a quick 'sale' offer to a shopper's smartphone while they are in the shop.
Instead of providing a common password for customers to connect to the Wi-Fi, retailers can utilise hotspots that require user identification in order to capture valuable customer insight. In many cases, shoppers can login using a social media account, which not only makes it very easy to access the Wi-Fi, but also allows reports to be generated detailing customer demographics and other market insight.
Shopper Behaviour Analysis
It is now possible to accurately, and anonymously, measure in-store shopping behaviour and trends by detecting the presence of Wi-Fi. Being able to track a shopper's location within a shop, the amount of time spent in particular areas, can lead to retailers offering personalised promotions.
Improve Customer Service
Wi-Fi can get sales people on the shop floor rather than stuck behind a till. Long till queues and till abandonment can be eliminated as a sale can be completed anywhere in the shop. Staff can also become instant experts with access to thousands of product images, descriptions, and stock level visibility.
Connection to an Endless Aisle
We've all been in a shop and asked for a product in a different size or colour, only to discover it is out of stock. In store Wi-Fi can prevent the loss of this sale by allowing sales staff to order the item for the shopper from another location, and have it delivered to their home.
If you'd like to read about how profit can be found from in-store wifi, then download our free whitepaper by clicking below: