As a retailer, it’s important to stay ahead of the game. Competition from other stores as well as online retailers is fierce. A strong retail brand and great products aren’t enough, you need a little something extra to boost your marketing efforts.
WiFi marketing is the answer, giving your retail business to tools to understand your customers, offer them an engaging real-life experience, and creating genuine loyalty. Ultimately, WiFi marketing has the power to grow your retail business, and we’ll show you how.
What is WiFi Marketing?
WiFi marketing is a marketing strategy to attract customers to the retail store by providing them with wireless internet access and then using it to communicate messages and promotions.
It is usually done by setting up a WiFi hotspot at your retail store. The hotspot gives internet access via a wireless local area network (WLAN) through a router, and it’s this projects a WiFi signal that devices can pick up. This allows anyone with a mobile device (smartphone, laptop, tablet) in that location to connect with the web, services or content you can offer them.
In terms of marketing, WiFi is a complete game-changer. It gives retail stores the ability to communicate with customers and users accessing their free in-store WiFi directly and simply. Once thought of as a nice bonus for stores to offer customers, WiFi marketing is now essential for any retailer wanting to grow. In an ever-connected digital world, customers now want, love and expect free WiFi.
According to Cisco, 96% of customers prefer shopping at stores which provide them with free WiFi. They’re also more likely to repeat purchases from such stores.
The great news is that by giving customers what they want, you’ll be able to use Wifi to encourage them to stay longer and buy more. It’s a win-win.
WiFi Marketing Gives You Accurate, Real-Time Customer Data
Online retailers have it easy when it comes to collecting personal data. From the very first time customers engage with an online store, their progress and journey through to sales completion can be tracked.
But the great news is- WiFi marketing gives this same edge to in-store retailers too.
When customers log-in to your in-store WiFi, they provide quality data to do so, such as age, social demographics and email address. This data alone is valuable, instantly giving you the tools to grow an email list. Even better however is the data collected from when users log-on and use WiFi in your store. This can include using location and beacon technology, so you’ll then be able to track dwell times, hot-spots in your store and send location-specific messages in real-time to customers browsing particular departments or products.
6 Ways WiFi Marketing Can Be Used to Grow a Retail Business
Here are 6 ways you can use WiFi marketing to grow your retail business, from being able to compete with online stores to tracking and understanding your customers in real-time.
Create a retail destination that your customers want to spend time in
From social media to shopping, smartphones are essential to our daily lives, and we need WiFi to make it as easy as possible. As a result, customers are more likely to visit stores and businesses that offer free WiFi. On that basis alone, it’s easy to see why your store needs to offer WiFi to your customers, but there’s another important reason too.
Reliable Wi-Fi sets up your retail store as a destination people want to return to as well, giving your customers added value every single time they visit your store. Even better, providing your customers with WiFi means they’ll check-in and tag your store, sharing your brand across their social networks too.
Use WiFi marketing to compete against online retailers
How many times have you been in a retail store, only to check out a review of a product online and then leave the store and buy it online instead?
The great thing about WiFi marketing is that you can turn this often frustrating pattern into an advantage. Used in combination with beacon technology and location tracking, WiFi marketing is a golden way of closing sales instore.
The key? Sending relevant, real-time offers to customers. Encourage customers to check out online reviews to guide their purchase, but also make it easy for them to make their purchase right there and then with you. WiFi marketing lets you use location tracking to send a real-time offer or an in-store only discount on that very item the customer’s looking up online right there and then, making closing that sale much more likely.
Ask for those important online reviews with WiFi marketing
Every single business knows how important reviews are for encouraging growth in your business. They’re essential for creating brand awareness, encouraging new leads and generating that important social proof that makes customers want to visit you in the first place.
WiFi marketing makes it easy to ask for reviews from customers easy. Customers can be sent instant requests via email or SMS to review their in-store experience either while they’re still in your store or immediately after purchase. It’s easy to automate a follow up too, sending requests for product reviews or asking customers to share their experience on their social media.
Send engaging and personalised marketing messages
No customer wants generic marketing messages. Customers now expect high levels of engagement with brands, so being able to provide a personalised marketing experience to each customer will make your marketing more relevant and more effective.
WiFi marketing makes it easy for you to use (and generate) user data on purchase history, demographic data, customer spend and customer behaviours to send targeted and personalised communications to each and every customer. This means you’ll be able to target customers with tempting upsells, relevant loyalty offers and discounts that they’re genuinely interested in, making them much more effective.
For example, send them a birthday discount or an offer on a perfect product to go with their latest purchase. They’ll love the interaction.
WiFi marketing can direct and push customers through sales funnels
WiFi marketing is a great tool to boost your brand reach. Just as restaurants are growing their venues with online delivery apps, retail stores can also help expand their market share with the combination of real-store and online apps or shopping.
From social media apps to online shopping, WiFi marketing makes it easy to direct customers to these new platforms. You can advertise new apps when a customer logs on, or use email or SMS data to send targeted marketing communications to direct customers to your online site to increase online sales.
Keeping your retail store fresh and competitive online is important, so make sure you carefully consider strategies to expand your market reach.
Track your retail ROI accurately with WiFi marketing
Social media check-ins, WiFi log-ins and location tracking from WiFi all give you reliable ways to accurately track customer traffic in your brick and mortar retail store. This will let you calculate customer acquisition, sales conversion rates and spend per customer much more accurately, generating up-to-date and reliable ROI figures.
As a result, you’ll know exactly what works in your store and what doesn’t, from social media campaigns to shop-window displays. WiFi marketing makes tracking, reporting and implementing much more effective- great news for your marketing budgets.
Essentials of In-Store WiFi Set-Up
Using a quality provider for your in-store WiFi is essential to keep your customer data secure, giving your customers confidence and keeping your network compliant and well-running. Choose a reliable ISP as well as a high-speed plan with high bandwidth- you want customers to have confidence in your WiFi. To keep your business WiFi secure, set up a public wireless network for customers, giving them confidence in offering their personal data to you.
Using a ‘Captive Portal’ system is also recommended. This needs a login from your customer; giving you the opportunity to capture their information while also being able to identify every user on the network.
How to Encourage Customers to Use WiFi
For Wifi marketing to generate growth in your retail business, you need to encourage customers to use it. Investing in a quality provider is important, as this will give your customers confidence in the network, making them more willing to log-on and share their data.
Make sure that you constantly, and consistently advertise your free WiFi throughout your store at key points, for example, at the entrance and at till points. You can also highlight and promote your WiFi access as a huge selling point for your store on social media and in any ads you run. Customers will be looking for it, so make it easy.
You can also run offers where you give every customer logging into your in-store WiFi a 10% discount. It’s important to collect customer data to see growth in your business, so take the time to get those log-ins.
WiFi Marketing Works
It’s that simple. WiFi marketing should be a key growth strategy for every retailer.
Used in combination with great customer data to provide an engaging experience for your customer, WiFi has the power to generate growth and a loyal customer base.
Go On, Tell Us What You Think!
Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on WiFi marketing in the comments section.
Hannah Hambleton is the Content Manager for Beambox.com and writes about marketing and social media trends for small businesses, helping them to create loyal and engaged customers.