The exponential rise of disruptive technology trends has added a new dimension to consumer expectations. Connectivity is now one of the most critical differentiators and businesses have no choice but to provide customers with internet connectivity while they are onsite.
The creation of a fully-integrated omnichannel communication and data-capturing system – a system which allows customers to interact with and form long-lasting relationships with the brand – is the deciding factor for those brands that want to entrench their position in the local mall and keep customers from wandering off to the so-called convenience of smartphone shopping.
Accenture found that 75% of consumers are far more likely to buy from a retailer that remembers their name, recognises their preferences and pays attention to their past history. In effect, the shopping experience has gone full circle, swinging back from the crass commercialisation towards the deft touch of the store owner and personal shopper.
“When a customer can hear, see and interact with the retailer through services tailored to their specific needs, it results in a strong and loyal community,” says Réan van Niekerk, CEO of Metacom.
Connecting with the customer
The concept of connecting with the customer may seem simple, but the reality is that implementing solutions that can engage on any meaningful level with the customer is complex.
“The bricks and mortar store may still hold some of the advantage when it comes to developing personal relationships with customers, but they can only deliver on this with data, analytics and insights that can be costly and time-consuming. The reality is that cultivating the customer and their loyalty is difficult and the retailer needs an edge,” says Van Niekerk.
Managed Wi-Fi solutions to deliver insights
Internet connectivity is fast becoming an expected service offering in South Africa. Customers demand it, and it gives the retailer the ability to create experiences and gain a deeper understanding of the customer’s buying habits and lifestyle preferences.
This, in turn, helps the retailer to proactively influence customers and increase revenue. When demographics, customer behaviour data and data collected at opt-in are combined, retailers are presented with many more marketing opportunities.
The retailer can include a short survey to gain qualitative data on customer insights and expand on their database, they can also use free Wi-Fi with dedicated landing pages to market new products through interactive campaigns. These managed Wi-Fi solutions are seeing rapid adoption as the retail sector recognises their value.
Recognising shopper individuality
“A managed Wi-Fi solution means that once customers opt in, retailers can gather key analytics and knowledge, which they can use to gain a powerful competitive edge,” says Van Niekerk.
“Retailers can use this data to offer customers individually-targeted and personalised promotions and in-store experiences. A customer could be greeted by name and offered a discount on an item that they’re interested in. Staff can also assist customers throughout the store with inquiries, which minimises the amount of time customers spend in queues.”
Alongside the bevy of technologies that open up analytics, data and insights, managed Wi-Fi services are unlocking the doorway to customer loyalty and engagement. By personalising the experiences and recognising shopper individuality, retailers can gain a competitive edge in an increasingly internet-driven world.