The concept of shopping online through your mobile phone has been widely adopted by consumers, but it seems the appetite for mobile engagement in-store is stronger than ever before thanks to the latest developments in smartphone technology.
New research released this month by IMRG showed that 4G is accelerating the use of mobile devices in the physical retail environment; 70% of smartphone users with 4G capabilities, regularly browse retail websites, with 48% of 3G users also using their phone for shopping purposes.
Although some of this activity will involve establishing direct online connections via websites and apps, consumers’ reliance on their mobile phones presents a major opportunity for bricks-and-mortar retailers to engage with them in-store. As mobile networks roll out their 4G coverage across the UK, retailers can use their in-store Wi-Fi facilities to connect with all shoppers using internet-enabled phones in the aisles.
By encouraging visitors to log onto your Wi-Fi, you can capture their details and activities, which enables you to market products and offers to them more effectively – both during their visit and afterwards, through other channels. Recent statistics by Savvy Marketing show 65% of UK consumers are open to receiving targeted offers to their mobile phones.
In addition to encouraging sales, personalised marketing also nurtures long-term customer relationships. This recent blog in Big Hospitality looks at the topic in greater detail.
One of the big plusses of Wi-Fi over mobile-based connections is reliability, as 4G is not available across the whole of the UK at present. However, creating a relationship in which consumers log-in rather than use their mobile’s built-in connectivity, is dependent on the quality of your Wi-Fi service.
A separate, secure network solution for public use is the essential foundation for any retailers hoping to bring digital consumer engagement into the store environment.