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Harnessing WiFi analytics to maximise your customer’s experience

By Ashton Young, Wed 25 May 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Your customers research products and services on the internet before making a purchasing decision. And even if they are not actively looking, what they read on-line influences future purchases. Today’s consumers check product reviews, monitor social media forums, find discount coupons, locate attractions, read email sales notices and more. A person’s ‘digital trail’ contains a goldmine of information that can be harnessed to give them a richer and more rewarding experience as they shop for goods and services.

Data analysis: Get the message right

Technology enables businesses to track online consumer behaviour. ‘Savvy companies can tell when a customer has explored an item or service online,” says Gary Gardiner, ANZ Director of Engineering & Services at Fortinet, a global leader in the provision of cyber-security solutions, “but not made a final purchase. Online tracking and analysis allows a business to follow-up an incomplete sale with targeted online messaging sent directly to consumers. However, it is essential to deliver the right message to the right consumer. You can do that by a thorough analysis of behaviour patterns based on available data. It’s about creating intimacy with consumers.”

WiFi for data capture

If a potential customer is in your facility – be it a shop, venue, showroom, event or anywhere else where they might spend money – it makes sense to interact with them to help them make the most informed purchasing decision.

“You don’t want to wait until customers leave before you engage with them,” says Gardiner. “You want to encourage them to make the right choice right now. The beauty about smart WiFi is that, if you have the appropriate suite of tools, you can capture a consumer’s WiFi traffic when they are onsite, mine that data to identify potential purchasers and then engage them with customised messages to encourage them to act.”

“You can better understand your customer’s needs through advanced analytics,” says Gardiner. “When a consumer visits your facility, you can access, analyse and employ WiFi data to, for instance, personalise receipts with promotions for upselling and cross-selling. And you can continue the relationship by informing that consumer in the future about other appropriate promotions because you have an accurate profile. It gives you an opportunity to build loyalty and garner additional sales.”

Social media the key

The use of social media messaging and targeted advertising influences customer behaviour. Top-of-the-mind awareness creates a mental image for the consumer as they make buying choices. Analysis of consumer behaviour is valuable to a business when deciding what, when and where to place their messages and goes a long way in determining where to spend advertising dollars.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all influencers for today’s consumers. And they’ll be checking them out in your facility on their smartphones. If you can target these users as they shop you’ll be giving yourself a powerful medium for influencing their decisions. WiFi-enabled Presence Analytics is the solution and provides the means to know what consumers are thinking.

Complimentary WiFi fosters enhanced understanding

Customers don’t make immediate buying decisions for big ticket items. They compare and shop before completing a transaction. It is a process that can take a few hours or a few weeks as they narrow options and make the final buying decision. If they do this on your WiFi network at your facility, you can add value to the process with targeted messages. If you provide free WiFi, they’ll be more apt to take advantage.

Providing complimentary Wifi for consumers builds foot traffic – indeed, with the right tools you can capture the number of people with WiFi devices walking through your door even if they don’t take advantage of your WiFi offerings - and encourages people to spend more time at your facility. And when complemented with a Presence Analytics solution, your WiFi network gives you a realtime window into their decision-making process.

“Fortinet’s secure, self-contained, cloud-managed access points make it easy to install WiFi at your facility,” concludes Gardiner. “In addition, Fortinet has a wide range of controller-based access points for wider coverage and multiple sites. Setting up a Presence Analytics programme is a bit more involved. But once you have made the investment, you will be able to better understand your consumer’s needs and behaviour and use that knowledge to help them make better decisions. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you start the process.”

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