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Retailers face lost conversion without in-store wifi, study finds

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A third of purchasing decisions take place at the shelf edge while consumers browse and 70% of them wish to access free wifi at this point and during their physical store encounters to support their shopping journey, a study finds.

Offering free wifi in brick-and-mortar stores can boost conversion rates, while failing to deliver a friction-free service could result in disappointed clientele and lost sale opportunities, warns the latest research from Vodat, which surveyed more than a thousand UK shoppers. This ’tech-attachment’ indicates the value costumers place in being able to access the free Internet via their smartphones.

When it comes to in-store connectivity, two-thirds (72%) of UK shoppers report they would more likely convert. One third (35%) of this say they would make a purchase and another (37%) revealing free Wifi would make them buy more in a single shopping trip. Similarly, more than half of shoppers (52%) agreed that wifi at their disposal would make them spend longer at a traditional store.

Even so, the picture is quite different with security-concerned consumers.

Fewer than a half (43%) of UK shoppers report that they don’t use wifi offered by retailers due to security concerns, worrying that the network isn’t safe or their personal data might be compromised. A further 44% of UK clientele avoid using the service as they feel they’re required to give too many personal details-a tricky trade-off for retailers dealing with the new GDPR regulations around double-opt-in and re-consent requirements on customer data, which comes into force this month.

Poor connectivity to store networks also proved to be a conversion-costing bugbear amongst customers.

In fact, over two-thirds (77%) of UK purchasers refuse to use brick-and-mortar store wifi if they feel the sign-up process is too long of complex-demonstrating the rise on-a-go shopper culture, and the need for retailers to refashion their in-store services to deliver fast and convenient use the experience they demand when signing up or logging on to store networks.

“Putting in place the network power and wifi connectivity to reach customers digitally when they’re visiting stores will set up retailers for all the future developments around m-commerce and multichannel marketing, ” comments Paul Leybourne, the head of sales at Vodat International.

Leybourne concludes: “While connected customers can enjoy a more streamlined, engaging purchase journey, the retailer is heading in the right direction towards a conversion too.”

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