It is no secret that brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling, generally because of competition from online stores. Sometimes their own online and physical stores are actually competing with one another for shoppers’ attention. Retailers would like to turn this competition into a unified collaboration, where customers can easily shop on the e-commerce website or in-person as they choose. Online and physical stores should work together to overcome retail’s digital divide.

In-store WiFi is a key enabling technology for this digital transformation. Unlike the dizzying array of “next big thing” retail tech, in-store WiFi has proven itself for retail brands around the world and provides a range of benefits at low additional cost, enhancing the existing WiFi installation.

While most retailers – more than 60 percent – now offer WiFi to their customers, few use the technology to its best advantage. According to a survey of 100 retail execs by RetailTouchPoints while most retailers manage their branded WiFi welcome portal across all stores, only a mere 5 percent use that portal to grow their email distribution lists. Even fewer use WiFi to promote a loyalty program or deliver in-store loyalty rewards.

RetailTouchPoints described the findings as “definitely an achievement gap that must be overcome.” Its report, supported by Cloud4Wi, says improving in-store WiFi would give retailers the tools necessary to boost business in four important ways:

  1. Improve customer engagement through mobile interactions: For opt-in shoppers, customer engagement using in-store WiFi can trigger real-time promotional offers and loyalty rewards.
  2. Achieve better personalization with more informed sales associates: A data-rich guest WiFi approach enables sales associates to identify a loyal customer and deliver a unique, special experience.
  3. Track shoppers’ online-to-offline behavior: With the help of data-rich in-store WiFi, retailers can deliver offers so shoppers wherever their journey begins and ends. An in-store journey can extend to the customer’s laptop at home or the online store visit can be carried through to an in-store visit.
  4. Improve store operations using WiFi analytics: Used effectively, WiFi analytics can help to optimize merchandise allocation and placement as well as staffing by identifying the areas in a store with the highest foot traffic and dwell time.

The nine-page report, available free from Cloud4Wi, describes how to address ROI concerns for WiFi installations and use in-store WiFi to create a true consistent shopping experience that overcomes the divide between online and in-person shopping. The white paper also includes a quiz that allows retailers to compare their use of in-store WiFi with what others are doing.

Download the white paper and learn how to maximize the benefits of in-store WiFi for your brand. The white paper is available here.