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Why you Need Wi-Fi in Your Store


One of the challenges facing retailers is attracting customers. Often, shoppers are accompanied by friends or partners who have little or no interest in your brand. Having access to Wi-Fi means these folks are likely to linger longer in your store while their friends shop. This means that shoppers are more likely to stay in your store for extended periods of time, increasing the chances that they’ll buy something.

A recent study by IHL Group indicates how much customers appreciate free Wi-Fi—28% of retailers who added in-store Wi-Fi said they got a boost in customer loyalty.

Retail Touch Points reported in November 2013 that “typically 40% to 70% of all visitors are carrying a phone with Wi-Fi that can be measured.” Wire research added that 94% of smartphone users consult their mobile devices while in the store.

Additional research by JWire showed that almost 50% of respondents felt that having free Wi-Fi in the store would influence where they shop.

A Wi-Fi Alliance poll recently showed that 28% of shoppers would stay in a store longer if it had Wi-Fi access. Not only are shoppers more likely to visit a Wi-Fi-accessible store, they’re more likely to leave empty-handed if there Is no Wi-Fi.

Many customers will use internet access to check product reviews before making the decision to buy. Doing so will often make them feel much more comfortable buying a product from you if they can verify its quality.

Having Wi-Fi can help increase brand awareness. Not only can you actively promote your store once a customer logs in, but by enabling customers to access to their smart phones, they’re also more likely to promote your business. Checking in to locations is becoming more and more popular with savvy social media users. By allowing customers to have internet access, you’ll be giving them a great opportunity and providing them with a good reason to tell their friends and family exactly where they are. This can have the effect of greatly increasing your brand’s recognition among a larger range of people, broadening your appeal to those who are already familiar with you and introducing your store to those who don’t.

Offering free Wi-Fi is a value-added service for your customers, who especially appreciate not incurring extra roaming charges. Since only about 30% of retail outlets have Wi-Fi, being Wi-Fi-enabled shows you’re ahead of the curve. You’re also getting your customers acclimated to “signing in,” which encourages more robust marketing actions in the future.

The Wi-Fi Alliance study also showed that:

* 40% use their mobile device to look up product coupons.

* Another 40% look up similar products to do price comparisons.

* 40% snap photos of products they’re interested in.

* 36% text, call or video someone to get their opinion on the product.

* 35% look up product reviews.

* 16% access the store’s customer service website.

By placing the right focus on Wi-Fi access, you can also allow customers to find far more data about your company and your products, guiding browsers intuitively to find detailed information about what is on offer and improving the customer experience in the process. Such tools could also make it far easier for you to capture customer information and to target individuals with very specific offers and info.

In-store Wi-Fi is a very effective way to capture the attention and loyalty of shoppers, drive referrals and integrate brick-and-mortar and online sales with ease. It provides valuable customer insights that are normally reserved just for online operations. And when combined with the power of social media, it can amplify the reach of your brand, attracting even more shoppers.

TAGS: retail, retail trends, retailers, omni-channel,
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