Imagine if a store at the mall could offer customers the ease and personalization of a website. One New Zealand shopping mall is taking steps to do just that, using Wi-Fi with retail analytics.
NorthWest Shopping Center in Auckland, New Zealand, which is owned and managed by Stride Property, is using Wi-Fi with retail analytics by Aerohive Technologies to bridge the online and physical shopping experience for customers.
Since many people use their smartphones while shopping, Wi-Fi is a being increasingly seen as an essential feature of any modern shopping mall. But according to Paul Hennin, senior director for International Marketing at Aerohive, NorthWest Shopping Center is going beyond the basics — using Wi-Fi to enhance a shopper’s experience.
“Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly important,” Hennin said. “The way people are shopping is changing, and the way retailers are looking to engage with their customers is changing. One of the ways that both the shopping experience can be enhanced and the retailer can engage more appropriately with their shopper can be done through applications that are ultimately powered and driven over Wi-Fi.”
With Aerohive’s Personalized Engagement Platform, retailers can look at data as it relates to location, monitoring of behavior or identity. This data can power applications that can help a retailer engage with their customers. For example, the solution can notify a retailer that a shopper is spending more time in a certain section of the store and may need assistance finding a product. Store employees can use the technology to search for items in stock, either on location, at another location or online. This leads to better outcomes for the customer and the retailer.
“So you are engaging with the customer at the point that individual is interested, you’re showing content that the individual is interested in, and you’re enhancing that shopper’s experience,” Hennin said. “You’re also hopefully closing out a sale, which is good for the retailer.”
By using retail analytics to gain insight into how shoppers behave, retailers can build customer loyalty and increase sales. Hennin pointed out that people have become accustomed to retailers saving their information and preferences when they shop online.
“Whenever you go back to your favorite online retailer, you expect to have your previous purchases remembered,” he said. “All of those things are becoming an expected retail experience for an individual because of online shopping. Traditional retailers have to look at other types of technology to try and match what has become an expected retail experience.”
For merchants, retail analytics can give insights into what is working and what isn’t. The solution can show retailers how many people are walking into their shops and how many walk past their doors, in addition to other information that can help drive business decisions.
“Through data analytics, we were able to capture data on how shoppers spend their time and where they visit,” said Linh Luong, senior marketing manager for Stride Property. “We learned from the reports that 52 percent of our shoppers are visiting us for the first time, which reveals we still have room for marketing growth.”
Luong said Wi-Fi with retail analytics gives NorthWest Shopping Center a competitive edge.
“We were looking to provide point of differentiation by deploying state-of-the-art technology to deliver unrivalled facilities to retailers and an enhanced shopping experience for customers in-store,” Loung said.