Rees FlynnRees FlynnMarch 6, 2019


Spring has certainly sprung in the UK and many high street retailers will be looking ahead to how they might refresh and renew their offering to entice customers.

The pressure remains high for bricks-and-mortar retailers as well as online brands following a challenging previous year of sales and increased competition. Over the festive period high street brands overall saw store sales drop by 1.9 percent in December for the sixth year running and there was a surprise profit warning from ecommerce leader Asos.

With consumer confidence at its lowest in five yearsnothing is certain for retailers in 2019.

The high street is at a turning point and stores must adapt to reflect shoppers’ changing tastes and habits in the digital age. Offline and online shopping have their unique challenges, yet incorporating cutting-edge WiFi connectivity and analytics in-store is a simple, powerful, and cost-effective way for retailers to maximise the benefits of both channels.

WiFi connectivity enables retailers to revitalise their store by taking it online and delivering the ultimate best-of-both shopping experience which adds personalised value for today’s consumers.

A straightforward shopping experience

It is time to spring clean the in-store experience for customers who prefer simplicity and effortlessness over busy department stores. With no time to waste, busy shoppers will appreciate in-store WiFi to quickly browse the retailer’s online site for more product information or perhaps order a product which is out of stock in-store.

Connectivity is also important for customers to access order details if they have chosen a click-and-collect service, whilst WiFi supported messaging services allow shoppers to quickly communicate and get opinions from friends and family. Spring means new product launches and promotions and it can be a challenge for retailers to drive sales. Therefore, to attract modern time-pressed customers, the physical shopping experience has to be quick and effective.

Seventy-one percent of shoppers say they use mobile in-store, with 83 percent in the 18-44 age bracket, confirming that mobile is a key platform for engagement between retailers and customers and providing a robust connection will help drive customers into your shop. WiFi makes it easier for shoppers to log into mobile apps and consult the latest offers or perhaps the Wishlist they made at home.

Retailers should not forget that their ecommerce site works in tandem with their store and this is never more important given the current cross-channel competition. Maximising your WiFi means increased sales volume across digital and physical channels and increased customer engagement.

Shoppers increasingly prefer a self-service approach in retail and WiFi connectivity provides the ease and flexibility to browse from their smartphone. Simple digital tools such as in-store WiFi enabled tablets for self-service help customers to access whatever they might need whilst shopping and saves them time.

New consumer tastes deliver deals and discounts

Consumer confidence is struggling amidst economic uncertainty and retailers need to energise their services with something customers can trust, which is where providing value for money becomes critical.

We are a nation of increasingly savvy shoppers, scouting the best discount codes and promotions to lower the costs. For instance, while Barclaycard saw a 20 percent increase in the number of transactions over Black Friday from 2017, the amount spent dropped by 12 percent. Retailers can deliver competitive prices, which is especially important for today’s customers, and make promotions as accessible as possible by promoting their discounts as soon as customers walk in store via their WiFi’s fully-branded User Experience.

Greeting the user with the latest news and promotions once they log into the WiFi User Experience will increase the likelihood of sales and impulse buys, whilst also creating a more personalised experience. As one of the key consumer trends, personalisation helps to strengthen the brand-customer connection and drive customer loyalty.

Although retailers are struggling, the high streets are still crowded with options for shoppers, twice as many as need be according to one report, and retailers will want to ensure customers choose their store above others. Maintaining loyalty is critical for high customer retention and stores might consider loyalty programmes and incentives integrated directly via the WiFi or available on apps which can be accessed via in-store connectivity. The best loyalty programmes will use multiple methods to encourage users to shop with your brand again and again.

Get to know your customers in 2019

Seamless WiFi connectivity is a great incentive for customers, but it can also enhance your understanding of what customers want thanks to advanced WiFi analytics. The identity of the modern shopper is changing. Today’s consumers are heavily influenced by brand experience and stores which offer memorable experiences, whilst less disposable income means customers want well-priced, quality products. Any insights on how customers engage with your store will help brands to meet expectations.

WiFi analytics reveals data such as how many people enter your store, their average dwell time, which department sees highest footfall and the most popular marketing subscriptions, insights which can influence store layout and targeted promotions to better serve the customer. Data analysis can make a great difference for retailers and enable them to provide a more competitive service.

The way shoppers browse and spend is always changing according to the time of the year and continually analysing insights on how customers interact in-store will help retailers to improve the Customer Experience and how they relate to their customers straight away.

Shoppers’ brand expectations are increasing at a rapid pace, with cutting-edge WiFi high-street stores can not only deliver the mobile connectivity which customers demand but also have a detailed view as to what customers will want next and why.

In the current dog-eat-dog climate of the high street, where competition for increased footfall is rife, ignoring the potential benefits of digital connectivity could sound the death knell for many businesses commercially speaking which is why they need to act now to avoid being a casualty.

Rees FlynnRees FlynnJune 21, 2018


With an increasingly oversaturated coffee shop market in the UK (22,000 shops at the end of 2016),  how can digital connectivity help retailers to stand out from the competition in order to attract millennials, their key revenue base, who are buying more coffee in-store than any other consumer group?

Building a keen understanding of the millennial consumer profile is essential for attracting business and retaining customers. For a continuously connected, social media savvy generation, the ultimate coffee shops are those which provide a caffeine experience that is digital as well as drinkable.

A Samsung survey of workers who use coffee shops found that 60 percent cited wifi as the most important factor influencing their cafe choice. With more students and mobile workers using coffee shops to work in, wifi connectivity has become standard for many cafes.

Indeed, a recent report by Vodat International on hospitality found that 52 percent of consumers would be more likely to return to an establishment which offered free wifi. A further 60 percent of cafe consumers would like staff to use mobile devices for easy ordering.

On the other hand, 41 percent of consumers said that an overcomplicated login would deter them from using the venue’s wifi. Consumers now expect more from their digital connectivity and the goal for retailers is to bring the ‘bricks and mortar’ coffee shop experience online.

Considering the way millennials shop is vital for today’s coffee shops. The report states that more than any other generation, 16 – 34-year olds are comfortable navigating various platforms to make purchases, such as using mobile devices at the till points. Being able to connect with and communicate with brands is essential for this age group, and as a result, coffee shop retailers now have apps which allow users to pre-order drinks, pay via their app at the till and build up loyalty points.

Apps enable coffee shop retailers to deliver a faster, more personalised experience which appeals to younger customers and increases their in-store engagement. Seamless wifi connectivity is, therefore, a must-have for coffee shops to ensure there are no obstacles for customers accessing apps in-store.

Locations analytics is also vital for coffee shop retailers. Knowing what time customers come in, how often they come in, how long they spend in the store, what they buy, and how much they spend, can allow retailers to offer targeted marketing through the use of fully branded wifi portal logins, offering rewards, competitions, news and offers for their digitally-minded customers.

Superior wifi is crucial for the different modes of brand engagement available to coffee shops. In general, younger consumers want a cafe experience they can document too. A google search for ‘Instagrammable coffee shops London’ generates 85,000 results with numerous articles reviewing the most aesthetically pleasing and photo-worthy coffee cafes.

Popular cafes actively encourage visitors to share photos of their products and use hashtags which promote the brand. A free and robust wifi service transforms the physical cafe experience into a digital one, allowing customers to share their activity online and draw in new customers.

Providing digital engagement alongside the drinks is ultimately key for coffee shops attracting the millennial market and driving loyalty. A standard wifi connection is no longer enough; the overall experience must be frictionless, accessible, and support different channels such as apps or social media sites to enhance the customer’s cafe engagement.

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