Asda Storefront

Connected Retail boosts data insights from store Wi-Fi

Mobile network operator EE has launched a new service that enables retailers to use in-store Wi-Fi to track who is coming into stores and even follow their shopping journey.

Connected Retail is able to gather data generated by customers using instore Wi-Fi. Once a customer has logged on once, EE can track them when they come back in-store and therefore determine how often they shop and how long they spend shopping. It is even able to follow a shopper’s journey around the store if the signal is strong enough.

EE said the information could be used by retailers to give shoppers personalised promotions and help them predict when there were likely to be surges at the checkout.

The network provider is also able to share more detailed data with retailers about shoppers who are also EE customers. Rather than sharing personal information, it can provide aggregated data that lets retailers know when shoppers of different demographics visit their stores and tracks differences in how they shop.

“Retailers know what customers are doing on the web and on mobile, but don’t really know what they are doing in-store,” said EE director of Wi-Fi Graham Cove. “This helps them better understand shopper behaviour in store.”

EE is already working with Asda to supply its in-store Wi-Fi, which it said had so far been used by 800,000 customers.

EE said Asda was able to cross-reference the Wi-Fi data with data on customers’ use of online apps to get a more rounded view of customer shopping habits.

Asda has also handed out tablets to store managers, which EE said had allowed them to spend seven more hours a week on the shop floor. “The store runs more efficiently if the manager is out there rather than in the office,” Cove said.