Why Wi-Fi? In-store customer engagement
By Alison Paul
Today’s economic environment has many consumers altering their buying behaviors and being more selective about their purchase decisions. With food and fuel costs absorbing a larger portion of their wallets, seventy-four percent of Americans polled by Deloitte believe higher prices could slow their spending in the months ahead.
This presents a growing challenge for retailers. To remain competitive, many are seeking new ways to provide value and meet the needs and wants of today’s selective consumer. And for some, the answer may be right inside their doors.
While many retailers have spent the last decade making sure their online shopping experience measures up, some have neglected the storefront as an interactive touch point. A growing percentage of consumers who are visiting brick-and-mortar stores are now coming armed with smartphones or other mobile devices. A recent Deloitte survey found that seventy-five percent of respondents said they search online for product, price, or store information before or while shopping in the store. Yet, not all retailers offer free Wi-Fi access, and thirty-seven percent reported problems accessing the Internet while in the store. That means retailers could be missing a valuable opportunity to interact with shoppers who are literally right under their noses.
Connectivity not only gives consumers more control of their shopping experience, but it can also keep them in the store longer. Emails, social networking pages, location-based marketing, and in-store Wi-Fi are just a few of the ways that retailers are now connecting with consumers, sharing information with them, and facilitating the purchase decision. In the age of online research and social media-influenced buying, customers expect complete and immediate access to product information and price comparisons. Offering in-store Wi-Fi allows consumers a richer mobile experience and can help them to make more informed, immediate purchase decisions. They can also take advantage of loyalty discounts and coupons, access registries, or buy items offered that are not necessarily on the shelf.
Retailers bag big benefits too. Because customers can be identified through integration with mobile network operators, retailers can track purchase histories and shopping locations. This allows retailers to provide personalized, in-store promotions to shoppers. Not only are shoppers likely to use discounts offered to mobile device users, but 65 percent of survey respondents said they would sign up for club cards, free memberships, and coupons while in-store if presented with the offers and invitations to their mobile device. Even knowing how long they are shopping in particular store departments and what discounts they’re using can help retailers connect consumers with products that are appealing and relevant.
A Response from an Industry Leader
Principal at Deloitte,
Why Wi-Fi? Are your stores as savvy as your shoppers?
Wi-Fi can enable the in-store shopper through its commerce capabilities. Increasingly, the case is being made that the mobile Internet can convert shoppers into buyers. Thus, in-store conversion, as it relates to a well-implemented, reliable Wi-Fi experience – with no dead zones – becomes an even more important metric for retailers. A richer mobile experience can lead consumers to make more informed, immediate purchase decisions. It also can offer a personalized shopping experience to consumers through immediate interaction with the retailer.
As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.