Retail analytics is how brands satisfy customers, retain customers, and personalize customer marketing. Gathering the necessary data, however, is sometimes an enormous challenge, especially for brick-and-mortar retailers who may lack even basic information about their customers.

Most retailers are familiar with in-store WiFi and may already offer free Internet access to their customers. However, they might not usually be aware of valuable opportunities provided through in-store WiFi. In-store WiFi is also capable of gathering previously unavailable customer data to drive the retail analytics process.

In-store WiFi, together with Volare from Cloud4Wi, knows when customers shop, where they shop, how long they stay and even what store departments they visit. The platform also gathers opt-in email and SMS addresses when shoppers register to use the service.

Presence and Location are top benefits

Two technologies, Presence Analytics and Location Analytics are part of the Volare cloud platform and drive the retail analytics process. Related but different, Presence Analytics is useful in all brand locations, while the broader Location Analytics is only suited to the largest stores, shopping malls, and major venues, such as railway stations.

Volare Presence Analytics uses information about individual customer shopping habits and foot traffic to analyze how locations draw in customers, weather they provide captivating engagements for shoppers while on-site and how they track returning customers. What’s more, knowing the most and least popular times and days can help businesses strategize and enhance operations.

The installation of small WiFi sensors, such as Cloud4Wi’s FogSense, allows brands to “instrument” displays, departments, and other areas of the store, allowing the shopper presence data to be increased and refined. Brands thus know where customers spend their time within a store, making targeted promotions much more specific to customer interests.

Using shoppers’ locations to better serve and sell

Volare Location Analytics showcases where customers gather and how they spend most of their time within a large store or mall. It uses WiFi data to triangulate the shopper’s location while in store. Its accuracy is not similar to a GPS pinpoint, but it is close enough for many applications. Besides, GPS signals may not be available inside buildings, where WiFi signals are strong.

The shopper’s location can be leveraged in many ways. It can, for example, be displayed in a map of a shopping mall to help shoppers find particular stores and attractions. Location history provides insights into multi-store shopping experiences, again helping to personalize the customer experience.

Location Analytics works on a much larger scale, allowing businesses to visualize on a floor plan which areas and displays attract the most attention, so they can strategize merchandise placements for optimal reach. Points of friction can also be spotted, and businesses can work to reduce friction by allocating extra support and security.

Platform choice is critical to success

Not all WiFi platforms provide this information, and there are significant differences among those that say they do. Both IT and marketing management need to be involved in purchase decisions for these cloud platforms.

Beyond core features, in-store WiFi must meet all the other demands of an enterprise platform. These include reliability, scalability to support all brand locations, global security and compliance, extensibility using the Dev Suite, and the ability to work with big data and marketing tools the brand already employs.

In-store WiFi is a powerful tool that drives customer satisfaction, retention, purchases, and profits. It also promises answers to some of management’s most perplexing questions. But the decision to choose a platform is as critical as any other enterprise application choice and requires input from all the brand’s affected stakeholders.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about how your business can benefit from our WiFi platform contact us now!