As customers flock to stores, ensuring a dependable in-store WiFi experience becomes more critical to retaining customers. IT network managers must now prioritize seamless connectivity for both customers and sales assistants using secure in-store WiFi. An effective in-store wireless network strategy will not only provide all the necessary technology services, but will also enable retailers to deliver innovative shopping experiences that best position their brand with the customers at their stores.

The impact of in-store WiFi

In recent years, in-store WiFi has evolved into an essential feature for retailers, and its significance cannot be overstated. The proliferation of mobile devices and the need for constant connectivity have made WiFi access a crucial element for attracting and retaining foot traffic. According to a survey by Retail Systems Research, an astounding 62% of consumers stated that they are more inclined to spend additional time in a store that offers WiFi. The benefits of providing in-store WiFi extend to both customers and sales assistants, shaping the retail experience in profound ways. For customers, in-store WiFi plays a pivotal role in elevating their overall shopping journey, while for sales assistants, it serves as a valuable tool for enhancing store efficiency.

Benefits for customers

In-store WiFi acts as an undeniable catalyst for enhancing the customer experience, offering retailers a reliable means to deliver seamless location-aware app experiences while also collecting valuable customer data. With in-store WiFi, retailers can provide their customers with smooth in-app services –such as payment features or scan-and-go features– optimizing their shopping journey. Moreover, the provision of in-store WiFi empowers retailers to automatically customize the mobile app services and content based on the store visited by the customer. Finally, empowered with real-time customer behaviors, retailers can send contextual messages –for example, including tailored offers and promotions– when a customer enters or leaves a store, driving digital engagement and increasing basket size.

Benefits for sales assistants

In addition to elevating customer experiences, in-store WiFi drives operational optimization. Equipped with WiFi-enabled devices and robust security measures, sales assistants stay seamlessly connected to the brand’s facilities. They gain real-time access to information, enabling them to provide personalized assistance and foster seamless communication with their colleagues. This enhanced connectivity empowers sales assistants to better serve customers, promptly address their inquiries, and create a more seamless shopping experience overall.

Passpoint: the gold standard for implementing in-store WiFi

The benefits of in-store WiFi are abundant for both customers and sales assistants, but it is crucial for IT network managers to select the right authentication method. Passpoint stands out as the preferred choice for in-store WiFi implementation. Passpoint is a Wi-Fi Alliance certification program that enables devices to authenticate and connect to WiFi networks automatically and securely. Passpoint grants instant, secure WiFi access to devices after once-in-a-lifetime provisioning of the Passpoint profile. Then, the enabled devices automatically connect to the WiFi network whenever they arrive at any location. The Passpoint profile can be provisioned directly through the brand’s mobile apps – for example the loyalty app for customers and the clienteling app for sales assistants. Passpoint also uses a set of standardized protocols and security mechanisms, including EAP TLS and WPA2/WPA3-Enterprise, to provide stronger authentication and encryption.

WiFi security: a cornerstone for success

It is also critical for IT network and security managers to prioritize WiFi security. Retailers handle sensitive customer data, including payment information and personal details, making a robust WiFi security framework an imperative. Implementing strong encryption protocols, network segmentation, and advanced threat detection systems are crucial steps to safeguard customer data and protect the business from cyber threats. IT network and security managers must adopt a proactive approach to network security by regularly updating software, conducting vulnerability assessments, and providing ongoing training to staff to mitigate risks effectively.

Unlocking the full potential of stores

In the pursuit of exceptional customer experiences and operational efficiency, retailers are turning to the game-changing potential of in-store WiFi technology. With its seamless and secure connectivity, Passpoint revolutionizes retail operations. By securely and automatically connecting people, stores, services, and content, it is an indispensable tool for achieving success in the retail industry. The multitude of benefits it offers has led to a surge in retailers adopting Passpoint technology as a vital strategy to transform their business.

Join the growing number of retailers embracing Passpoint with Cloud4Wi and unlock new possibilities for your business. Request a demo now