How Wi-Fi is Transforming the Way People Shop

Full length of young men and women holding cellphone

I have had the pleasure of attending Store Conference, held by the Retail Council of Canada over the past couple of years. It has always been one of the best retail shows in terms of content that I have attended.  I remember, in 2010 Kevin Graff from Graff Retail giving a presentation that really made everyone in the room put their business into perspective when it came to social media. At the time, in 2010 social media was still a fairly new concept. A new concept in the sense that even big retailers were struggling with their social media strategy.

During his presentation Graff stated, “If your business does not have presence on social media in 10 years, you will cease to exist”. I am almost certain that every CMO and Marketing Manager left the conference with that quote top in their minds and set up meetings the next day to create a strategy.

Now, only five years later, his statement holds true. We have entire teams dedicated to social media strategy. We respond to customer complaints or praises via Twitter. We upload new product shots on Instagram and Facebook.

So what will the big take away be from Store Conference 2015 be? Looking at the agenda, I am particularly excited because most of the Keynote Speakers are speaking on technology. One presentation that stands out to me is Sukhinder Singh, Founder & CEO of JOYUS who will be speaking on how video will transform the way our customers will shop.

We have already seen the trending “Vloggers” doing product reviews. I personally watch these reviews when looking at purchasing something as simple as: which hosting company to use for my websites, to what car to purchase, to where to vacation. It will be interesting to see what Singh has to offer insight wise. The term “Vlogger” should be a must Title in all corporations. Cisco makes great telepresence gear that most companies already have in place, we need to start utilizing the technology we have, or looking at ways to get us up to speed with the future of business especially if our target market is the Millennial’s.

One thing I don’t see on the agenda is anyone speaking on how utilizing Wi-Fi can help us reach out to existing and new customers that enter our stores. A fairly new company called Turnstyle will be partnering with Eclipse Technology at Store Conference this year.

Turnstyle Solutions is a location-based marketing and analytics platform that utilizes public Wi-Fi to attract, retain and reward customers. Turnstyle enables clients to learn actionable insights about on-premises customer behaviour and send real-time messages to customers’ phones without requiring customers to download a mobile app. Turnstyle helps its clients monetize their Wi-Fi by introducing the same tools to the physical world as retailers have enjoyed online for over a decade.

By using Turnstyles technology, we can obtain the information we want from customers such as names/emails/phone numbers in exchange for letting them take advantage of your stores Wi-Fi. This is how Wi-Fi is changing the future of the shopping experience. We are moving towards making personable recommendations on product promotions without having the customers downloading an app and collecting data from app loyalty rewards

What presentation are you most looking forward to this year’s Store Conference?

– Sarah


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