Using Wi-Fi to Your Advantage: 5 Tips to Get Mobile-Savvy Shoppers to the Checkout Line
By Sreekanth Kannan, Senior Marketing Manager, Aerohive Networks
As more and more consumers prefer to shop from the comfort of their homes or even on-the-go with their mobile devices, brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling to lure shoppers into their stores and to get them to purchase. Technological advances have triggered this sea change in the retail industry and physical retailers have come to see e-tailers as an undeniable threat, fearing that shoppers comparing products online will walk out empty-handed. But instead of resisting the tide of change, traditional retailers must realize that only by embracing and integrating Wi-Fi technology in their stores will they be able to stay ahead of the curve.
Let’s take a look at the top five ways stores can leverage Wi-Fi technology to turn the mobile trend into one that gets shoppers to the checkout line:
Today, the mobile trend has reached a tipping point. Depending on the store and customer demographics, typically 40 to 70% of all store visitors at any time are carrying a phone with Wi-Fi that can be measured.
Offering free guest Wi-Fi provides shoppers an incentive to stay longer in stores by enabling more informed shopping. But more importantly, with analytics software, retailers can transform in-store Wi-Fi into a consumer analytics tool for optimizing retail operations and maximizing per-store revenue. Actionable shopper insights can be gleaned via in-store analytics and shoppers’ mobile phones, just like the online analytics e-tailers have long leveraged to optimize the customer experience and better target shoppers.
Leveraging wireless networks and analytics software together, retailers can tap into Wi-Fi signals to help stores better understand shopper engagement and in turn make better business decisions. These analytics can help retailers:
- Gain an accurate understanding of total foot traffic inside and around the store.
- Understand how well their window displays are capturing potential shoppers and pulling them in store.
- Identify shopping applications that customers use and collect numbers of walk-by customers, visits, and percentages of people that come inside the store.
- Track visits’ durations and identify shoppers staying longer than 30 minutes to evaluate engagements. This data can in turn be used to tailor the sales process, improve in-store operations and lengthen shoppers’ visits.
- Monitor line lengths, sales associate availability, and wait times to improve service levels.
By leveraging this location-aware technology in tandem with tailored mobile apps, retailers can better target shoppers with on-the-spot information and special promotions specific to their locations. This has the advantage of encouraging more impulse buys with special offers down to a shopper’s aisle location. Geofencing can empower retailers to:
- Improve engagement with customers: Analytics data lets you track traffic patterns, assess promotional effectiveness, personalize in-store coupon and “specials” when customer is in the store, and capture data for maximizing social media effectiveness
- Enhance customer loyalty: Track visit and walk-by frequency, repeat visits, and recent visits to identify premier customers and develop programs for increasing loyalty.
With Wi-Fi-enabled tablets integrated with PCI-complaint point-of-sale billing applications, retailers are eliminating the traditional checkout lanes in favor of store employees completing the purchase when the customers are amidst the store aisles, enhancing shopper satisfaction and employee efficiency.
Real-Time Product Location
Retailers can allow shoppers to track down products in-store via mobile apps, enabling them to better self-serve and seek out what they need easily and efficiently, while also freeing up employees. By providing Wi-Fi guest access and mobile apps designed to enhance the in-store experience, retailers can empower customers to easily self-serve with product location, aisle navigation, product code scan and product availability.
Though physical retailers have come to despise the practice of showrooming, by offering to match prices, traditional retailers can convert shoppers into buyers.
Many customers like to compare prices on their phones while shopping, but as customers walk towards the middle of any store, data signal on smartphones degrades rapidly. Yet, fearful of losing sales by encouraging product and price comparison, stores have been reluctant to provide guest Wi-Fi.
However, today’s mobile-savvy shoppers want to make informed decisions and are more likely to make immediate purchase decisions in store with more information at hand. By enabling easy price comparison via guest Wi-Fi and subsequent price matching, stores can ensure shoppers purchase.
Under Armour brand launches first retail theater specialty store in Shanghai
Under Armour has opened its first retail theater specialty store at the Jing An Kerry Centre in Shanghai, China. The store features a multi-dimensional short film that depicts athletes who use the brand.
Founder and CEO Kevin Plank and Under Armour athlete Michael Phelps were on hand to host the grand opening event.
"Wherever we go around the globe, we will lead first with our Story and bring the people into the best Under Armour experience possible before we ask them to try our performance apparel and footwear," said Plank. "We believe in the power of storytelling and our ability to tell provocative and relevant stories will serve as a catalyst for our international growth. For many athletes in China this will be their introduction to our brand. By offering this exclusive experience and bringing to life what it means to be an athlete, this is our way to give back to athletes in China and build meaningful relationships that will last for years to come."
Shot with 360-degree camera technology and displayed on a 270-degree screen, the short film combines the high energy and bold composition of the brand’s advertising with its commitment to tell authentic athlete stories. The film, hosted by Phelps, uses a series of vignettes to depict different moments that define the will of an athlete including a training session with NBA star Brandon Jennings, rooftop yoga in Shanghai and the exhilaration of running out onto the pitch before a match at White Hart Lane, home of Tottenham Hotspur.
"It’s exciting to be part of this experience designed to empower Chinese athletes," said Phelps. "The passion and energy of Under Armour comes to life through this short film and the message will motivate Chinese athletes to find their will."
After the short film ends, performance trainers guide guests to a separate section of the store featuring a limited selection of the brand’s footwear and apparel including the new UA Speedform RC running shoe.
Under Armour a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The brand continues to increase its global presence through strategic expansion in key international markets, including Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The brand has opened six Under Armour specialty stores on Mainland China in the past two years and one in Taiwan. Additionally, the brand launched in Hong Kong this past July through a partnership with leading retail chain GigaSports.
Kraft Foods expands footprint in Champaign, Ill.
Kraft Foods Group has selected Becknell Industrial to develop and build a new warehouse to support its existing facility in Champaign, Ill. The 730,000-sq.-ft. warehouse will be located on a 35-acre parcel adjacent to its manufacturing site, which is Kraft’s largest production facility in North America.
"Becknell Industrial has been providing Kraft with one-stop design and build services for many years," said John Dattilo, Kraft Corporate Real Estate. "They’ve proven their ability to understand our business and real estate needs. We’re confident Becknell will provide the excellent service and deliver the first-rate project we expect."
Becknell has had a long-standing relationship with Kraft Foods. Through the years, the company has developed more than 30 projects for Kraft. Many of these properties continue to be owned and leased by Becknell.
"Becknell has been providing real estate solutions for Kraft across the United States for many years. Kraft remains one of our largest and most loyal clients. We are honored that Kraft has chosen Becknell to build this new facility — especially in Champaign, where we began our business," said Dan Harrington, chairman and CEO.