A recent article by Yahoo! Finance has us fired up! There are some seriously cool new benefits to shopping center WiFi that we just have to share.
Before we begin, providing complimentary WiFi at your center used to be a courtesy, but now it’s expected. Your shoppers are online even when they’re in-store. So if you already have WiFi set up at your center, let’s move on. If not, find a preferred wireless router supplier and get connected.
(Bonus points if your supplier can sync with Facebook WiFi prompting users to “Like” your center’s Facebook page before logging on!)
Today shopping center WiFi has far greater benefits than just a new “Facebook like” in two major areas:
- Mobile Advertising
- Shopper Data Collection
This is two fold. Certain technologies are available to allow you to send push notifications, text alerts or serve ads to shoppers while onsite. All shoppers have to do is connect to WiFi and you can start sending them messages directly to their phone or in various mobile apps. What better way to draw shoppers into one of your stores or encourage them to visit a sale than hitting them in the palm of their hand while on they’re already onsite?!
Now, let’s take this one step further. As a shopping center, this has potential to be a revenue generator. You can sell these notifications as an advertising opportunity to your tenants or local organizations. If White House | Black Market is having a 20% OFF sale, let WHBM purchase a notification from you to send to tenants shopping onsite. Develop the right pricing model and you may be able to offset the entire investment and have positive cash flow. Now that’s what we call strategic marketing solutions. #mindblown
Shopper Data Collection
Similar technologies are now able to use shopping center WiFi as a means for data collection by providing a heat map of shopper behavior. From the time a shopper connects and disconnects to WiFi, you’ll be able to track their every move including: Number of stores they visited, Time spent in stores, Which stores they visited, How many times they visit per month and more. Think about the $$$ this could save in market research or shopper intercept studies, and the accuracy! (Not to mention the volume of data…)
To think that all of this data could be readily available just ignites our insights more than ever. The catch 22, of course, is mining the big data. As Ivan Frank, Vice President of Marketing for Taubman Centers Inc. said on the subject:
You can find an oil well, but you still have to refine the oil before it is usable.
And that’s exactly where a good marketing partner comes into play.
So how’s it all possible? One resource to do this is StepsAway, a cloud-based platform that delivers store discounts and promotions to smartphones that sync with each mall’s Wi-Fi network. Shoppers aren’t required to download an app and are able to view offers by store or category, such as women, men, children or shoes.
Well, what are you waiting for? Contact our CEO, Jocelyn Smith, to start the conversation about new technologies for your shopping center today.