Guest Column | June 7, 2016

Retailers' Guide To Understanding Advanced Guest Wi-Fi

By Elena Briola, VP Marketing of Cloud4Wi

The ubiquity of the smartphone, which in the US has more than tripled since 2010, has had an enormous impact on retailers and how they interact with their customers. One of the most significant retail trends created by the mobile era is customer demand for free Wi-Fi. This demand represents an enormous, yet underutilized opportunity for retailers. We’re referring to what’s known as advanced guest Wi-Fi, a burgeoning approach to engaging retail customers that is rapidly on its way to being a strategic competitive weapon for any organization with brick and mortar locations.

Advanced guest Wi-Fi is differentiated from the standard Wi-Fi offered at your local coffee shop by a host of branded features and services, often leveraging location-based technologies, in order to benefit both the retail shopper and the retailer providing the service. Unlike free Wi-Fi offered as a convenience, retailers are actively incentivizing their shoppers to use advanced guest Wi-Fi services. 

Why? Because advanced guest Wi-Fi allows retailers to understand and engage customers in ways never before possible. Advanced guest Wi-Fi provides real-time information about customers who are in stores and gives retailers tools to communicate personalized offers, based on immediate and past shopping histories. It also offers actionable insights that enable retailers to make business decisions that will accelerate growth and drive new revenues, while simultaneously creating stronger bonds between retail customers and their brand.