Retailers that seek to increase customer engagement must have in-store WiFi at their storefront locations and wherever else their customers may shop. In-store WiFi provides the essential link between a merchant’s online shop and their brick-and-mortar stores, which can no longer be considered totally separate sales channels. The ubiquity of mobile Internet devices, mostly smartphones, gives customers all they need to know right in their pocket or purse.

Customers’ shopping habits

Smartphone-wielding customers can access your company’s online store as well as independent online-only retailers and your competitors’ online stores. Comparison shopping, between different products and different stores, is now possible from anywhere. It is easy for someone to find an item in a storefront and immediately order it from Amazon or another retailer, perhaps using its UPC code to find the product online.

That is why some say that a troubled American big box store has become more of a showroom for online competitors than an actual retailer. People shop at the stores but purchase online for a better price. Maybe not pervasive, but is your store likewise endangered? It is no surprise that customers use their Internet devices while shopping and smart retailers are baking this into their strategy.

Engaging customers at storefronts through in-store WiFi

Some of the giant retailers are raising the standard for in-store and online customer engagement, making shopping an experience that goes wherever the customer roams. That raises the ante for what all retailers must offer if they want to be competitive going forward. Continuous customer engagement, to the extent possible is key to the future of selling, both online and in-person. In-store WiFi is what makes it happen at retail storefronts and other venues. The customer’s carrier-provided data plan often lacks in-store coverage, costs the customer money, and is slower than what WiFi offers.

How Cloud4Wi links the online and in-store experience

The Cloud4Wi platform, which offers free in-store WiFi and many other features is an engagement tool that can also be part of the strategy linking online shopping with the in-store experience. It also works very well by itself for stores that do not have an online presence. Cloud4Wi offers a customizable user interface to bring customers onto the WiFi network as well as to offer coupons, promote special offers, create customer mailing lists, enable sharing to social media and engage customers in other ways.

Cloud4Wi is more than customer engagement platform over WiFi

The Cloud4Wi platform is compatible with existing online retail applications and websites while helping new companies get started linking the online to the in-store customer experience. For businesses with no online presence, Cloud4Wi can provide one. By wrapping in-store WiFi in other services and applications, Cloud4Wi is much more powerful than a WiFi only solution. The platform, besides adding its engagement features, also tracks customers’ presence, creating a log of both overall foot traffic and the behavior of individual customers inside the store.

We firmly believe that if a retailer, restaurant, shopping mall, transportation hub or many other types of venues do not already offer WiFi to their patrons they will eventually lose to those that do.

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