Today, mobile devices outnumber the total population of planet Earth and by 2017 there will be over 10 billion mobile devices in use around the globe*. Not only are the number of devices increasing every year, mobile applications are growing at an even more astounding rate and are incorporating sophisticated functionality such as social networking and video streaming.
For brick and mortar retailers, these trends offer an opportunity to personalize engagement by understanding customer behavior in the store. Knowing how many customers enter the store, how often they visit, and what type of goods and services they are interested in are all metrics that can be measured through the use of advanced wireless and analytics features available on best-in-breed enterprise network systems. Further, retailers can take advantage of social networking behavior to increase patronage, expand brand exposure, and understand customer demographics and preferences in a more comprehensive and personal way.
Providing network access is one way of improving the shopper experience, and is swiftly becoming a competitive necessity as more retailers start to offer free Wi-Fi in their stores. Savvy shoppers will look up product reviews, price shop and search for store coupons and incentives. However, offering free WiFi alone does not in itself drive opportunities for increased shopper engagement or provide retailers with the insights that would allow them to tailor services for that specific demographic.