Retail marketing is a completely different ballgame than it was a decade or even a year ago. Since WiFi was released to the general public in the late 90s, it has revolutionized the way retailers identify, target, and communicate with customers.
As a retailer, you no longer have a vague idea of your customer base, and no longer do you have to invest in advertising initiatives that only might appeal to prospective customers.
WiFi and indoor location marketing technologies have evolved in tandem with smartphones to enable retailers to get to know customers better, deliver tailored marketing campaigns, and provide convenient services.
In this post, we’ll explore some of the ways that WiFi and indoor location marketing are changing the game in retail. Have a look at the points and examples below and see if you can apply them to your strategy.
Rich and reliable customer data
Any data or marketing expert will tell you that first-party data is king. First-party data, which pertains to information that the brand itself has collected, is far more reliable than second- or third-party data because it is information that comes directly from your customers.
First-party data is often acquired by inviting customers to willingly share their information directly with the brand. In other words, you’re not inferring consumer data or purchasing their information from another source. Instead, you’re proactively getting to know your guests by inviting them to share their details.
Here’s the good news: many consumers are happy to do that. Research shows 64% of customers are willing to share personal data for perks such as discounts, or for a more personalized shopping experience.
What does first-party data collection look like in action for retail stores?
The simplest form of collecting first-party data is when retailers offer complimentary WiFi in exchange for the customer’s email address. The Silvia Park Mall in New Zealand, for example, does just that.
Guests who’d like to login to the mall’s WiFi can do so by providing their email address. The user will then receive an email inviting them to verify their details.
In doing so, the mall is able to collect shopper data, which it can then use for future marketing communications.
Consider doing something similar in your location marketing efforts. Leverage technologies to increase your first-party data. Doing so will grow your database and allow you to continuously market to your customers.
You could even take things a step further by inviting customers to share more about themselves. For instance, some retailers are using in-store quizzes that make tailored product recommendations based on the customer’s answer. This offers a two-fold benefit: the retailer can learn more about shoppers through their answers, while customers are able to find the right products based on their needs.
The concept of personalization is nothing new—e-commerce brands have been doing it for years, through tailored recommendations and offers. And thanks to WiFi and location marketing technology, brick and mortar retailers can also implement personalization at scale.
When customers enable cookies as they log into a retailer’s WiFi network, the merchant can transmit and store small bits of customer data such as their click-path, where they go in the store and whether they access coupons.
This, in turn, helps retailers to understand customers better and allows them to send tailored messages based on each user’s past behavior. Let’s say you know that a customer likes a particular brand or is a fan of a specific store; you could store that information in their profile, then send the marketing messages at the right time.
A great example of this technology in action can be seen at the Posnania Shopping Mall in Poznan, Poland. The mall uses Linkyfi, a location marketing solution, to deliver personalized notifications to its customers. For instance, if a shopper walks by their favorite store, the Posnania Shopping Mall can notify them about the store’s current promotions.
These notifications help drive traffic to the shops at the Posnania Shopping Mall, and because the messages are personalized, shoppers feel more valued.
A stronger brand experience
Branding should be the cornerstone of any modern marketing strategy, particularly in today’s hyper-competitive retail landscape. With more and more companies entering the marketplace, and with shoppers’ dwindling attention spans, you need a compelling and consistent brand presence that can cut through the noise.
WiFi and indoor location marketing can help you accomplish that. Modern WiFi solutions enable you to design splash pages and marketing collateral in a way that’s in line with your company’s voice and personality. This creates a more compelling experience at every touchpoint.
WiFi and location marketing can also pave the way for higher customer engagement. With the right assets and calls to action, you can encourage shoppers to learn more about your brand or participate in your programs and initiatives.
Convenient shopping experiences
Location-based navigation tools can help guests find their way through large stores and malls, allowing them to find the exact stores or products they want in less time.
And the applications for location-based WiFi are seemingly endless, especially when it comes to improving the shopping experience for guests.
For instance, the Posnania Shopping Mall’s location services offer indoor mapping and real-time turn-by-turn directions so customers can navigate the location with ease. Whether a guest is looking for the restroom or needs assistance finding their parking space, they can get the info they need simply by logging into the network.
The mall’s technology even helps visitors with accessibility issues to find wheelchair-friendly ramps and elevators.
Strive to follow suit when implementing your own connectivity initiatives. Recognize that while WiFi and location marketing can drive traffic sales, these technologies can—and should—be used to assist guests and ensure that they have a smooth and easy experience at your location.
Better in-store analytics
WiFi and location marketing are giving retailers access to better data and analytics. Thanks to these technologies, retailers can identify ebbs and flows in store traffic patterns by tracking how many customers are in-store at a given time… and how many of those in-store customers wind up making a purchase.
This data can then be used to create in-store events to increase store traffic during times that are historically slower for business. For example, if your store activity slows down during the summer months, you could consider launching special promotions to drive traffic.
You can also use this WiFi and location data to create employee schedules, so you don’t suffer from overstaffing or understaffing and you don’t pay to have more employees on the sales floor than they actually need on any given day.
Some WiFi solutions, such as AVSystems’ Linkyfi Location Engine, can serve up heat maps for a given location, so you can have a more visual look at the most- and least-visited areas of your location. These insights are quite valuable particularly for retail design and merchandising.
How to successfully implement WiFi and location marketing initiatives
We’ve talked about the benefits of WiFi and location marketing, but how exactly do you implement them? The answer largely depends on the technologies that are powering your network.
Consider the case of the Posnania Shopping Mall in Poland. The company is able to implement personalized marketing and convenient services because its WiFi system is robust enough to handle the mall’s size and foot traffic.
The mall has over 330 access points, and this allows the Posnania Shopping Mall to offer Internet access to all of its customers, no matter where they are in the shopping center.
According to Massimo Mazzeo-Ocello, the Director of Systems Engineering EMEA at Ruckus Wireless, Posnania’s WiFi solution, Linkyfi, is capable of handling all the data that goes through its network.
“Posnania is visited by about 30,000 visitors every day and each of these customers is tracked by something between 10 and 20 access points. So you can imagine this is a huge amount of data to analyze. Linkyfi processes this data in real-time providing excellent location-based services,” he says.
“With just the raw data about WiFi signal strength, Linkyfi is capable of finding the location of each customer, for example, to provide direction or to deliver a whole range of new marketing activities.”
Retailers that want to stay competitive should understand that it’s all about the customer. Having the right shopper data and creating strong in-store experiences are critical. Fortunately, recent advances in WiFi and indoor location marketing make it possible for you to get the insight you need to execute a compelling marketing strategy.
To do this, however, you need access to a strong WiFi access management solution, such as Linkyfi. Powered by AVSystem, Linkyfi can integrate with your current app or website to automatically transfer in-store data into a targeted marketing campaign that gets results.
Want to learn more about how retailers like the Posnania Shopping Mall are using WiFi and location marketing tech to their advantage? Get in touch with AVSystem we’d love to speak with you!