With mobile devices being more closely aligned with the shopping process than ever before, a reliable digital connection at all times is undeniably an essential on-site amenity. The vast majority of visitors require an internet connection to check prices, redeem discount codes, open loyalty apps, pay for parking, or simply access information – preferably without having to dip into their own personal data. These basic activities are now considered to be habitual elements of the shopping experience, and the inability to carry these activities out can have potentially detrimental impacts on the customer experience, as well as visitor loyalty. Particularly at peak times in the retail calendar – such as Christmas, Valentine’s and the school summer holidays – the inability to perform these simple activities can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction, leading to shorter shopping trips and smaller basket sizes. However, a significant number of shopping centres, retail parks and high streets across the UK are missing out on vital revenue due to their inability to provide customers with an adequate mobile signal, or access to 3, 4 & 5G connectivity while onsite – predominantly in areas such as basement and outdoor carparks and new on-site EV charge points. The frustrations caused to visitors by this lack of connectivity undeniably necessitates the continued investment in free public WiFi networks – not only to enable physical retail locations to fully optimise the customer experience, but also to ensure these environments remain an attractive destination for consumers.
Many of our existing clients provide a free WiFi service throughout their precincts, covering areas of high footfall and long dwell times – with many clients now expanding their network into their on-site carparks to ensure the best possible coverage across their visitor catchment area. We believe this is a hugely important step for ensuring the customer journey is as smooth as possible, but it is also a fantastic opportunity to drive footfall by encouraging visitors to engage with facilities, services and businesses within the vicinity.
Forecourt Trader recently reported that December saw battery and hybrid electric vehicles claimed their largest ever monthly market share – now second only to petrol vehicles. In response to this huge demand, schemes to rapidly roll out EV charge points are currently in full swing – with many shopping centres, retail parks and town centres adopting them as an additional means of generating revenue. With the average dwell time at ultra-fast EV charge points being around 35 minutes, it is imperative that this time is not wasted, and the opportunities presented by additional captive audiences are taken advantage of. For example, a public WiFi service could enable drivers to order food to their vehicle, or an engaging ad served on the connection portal could encourage drivers to leave their car to check out a nearby shop. Personalised incentives – particularly for customers who are already taking part in loyalty programs offered by EV charging apps – will have a fantastic impact on driving footfall for local businesses. With ease of connectivity for mobile payments and app downloads without forcing visitors to use their personal data allowances, providing an extended public WiFi network to your on-site car park is a low cost, quick to install solution for retail environments to scale up their engagement strategy.
For more information on how our cost-effective public WiFi and digital marketing solutions can help retain and drive footfall and customer spend, get in touch with us today!