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How retailers use free Wi-Fi to glean valuable analytics

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In business, you never want to start work on a major project without first considering your bottom line. What sort of return on investment will it yield? Workplace modernization is no exception to this. If you’re going to all the trouble to outfit your facilities with new technology, you first have to ask yourself why. What tangible benefit does it offer?

Luckily, the benefit is fairly easy to measure in retail, where a true global transformation should lead directly to increased sales.

Consider the move to offer free Wi-Fi, for example. It might seem like a fairly simple tweak, on the surface – you’re just giving customers better internet access, which should add convenience and generally make people happier. But in reality, it’s much deeper than that! What’s really happening is that increased Wi-Fi access enables retailers to glean valuable analytics – which is in turn adding significantly to their sales results, both short-term and farther down the road.

Let’s look at two main ways that’s happening.

Driving sales with instant data: The most straightforward way retailers can benefit from in-store Wi-Fi is by tapping into instant analytics and driving increased sales right now. Think about it: If all your customers are connected, you can track their every step, enabling you to use location analytics and create heat maps that show where people go and when. This can help you optimize every business decision, from how you allocate inventory to where you hire additional staff.

And that’s just in the brick-and-mortar world. You can also gain visibility into where people spend their time online. What websites do they frequent? What apps are they downloading? This information will also help drive better decisions as you manage your sales operation.

Building loyalty for the future: It would be a mistake to look at analytics-driven sales as a benefit merely in the short term. The long-term benefits can be significant! Using data gleaned from customer Wi-Fi use, your business can build a true omni-channel experience that will cater to people’s needs everywhere they shop, whether they’re in your store or using an e-commerce site or app. People will no doubt notice this effort, and it’s likely to foster greater customer loyalty.

The more information you have, the better you can fine-tune the shopping experience. This means potentially, you can deliver hyper-relevant deals to each individual consumer you interact with – and if people are always connected, they’ll always have access to those details. The impact will continue to snowball.

To begin unlocking all of these benefits, one great first step is to adopt Cisco’s Wi-Fi networking technologies. With Cisco, you’ll have a corporate network that offers improved wireless performance across the board, both for your customers and for your employees behind the scenes. This should translate to stronger engagement for everyone.

Cisco’s networking solutions work perfectly hand in hand with Apple. You’re bound to have a number of people in your store locations using iOS devices, and Cisco’s wireless technology is designed to work seamlessly with those devices, connecting quickly and maintaining high performance for the long haul. With all the iOS users in your stores having a reliable connection, it becomes far easier to achieve the levels of collaboration that will yield real results.

You’ve got the right business partner to help you deploy all of the above technology, and that’s Zones. At Zones, we have a comprehensive approach to Store & Branch Modernization, and we’ve implemented it with all sorts of clients, ranging from mom-and-pop shops to Fortune 500 retail enterprises. We’re dedicated to helping retailers deploy new solutions wherever they’re necessary, and we’ve got the expertise to do it right.

If you want more information, all you’ve got to do is check out the Cisco resources available on our website. Happy surfing!

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