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WiFi Archives | Skyfii | Data integration, visitor analytics and marketing tools

With WiFi Marketing, Shopping Center Visitors Are No Longer Strangers

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In an age when shopping centers are trying to transform their properties into experience destinations, it’s more important than ever to understand who your shoppers are and have meaningful, personalized conversations with them.

But unfortunately, many shopping centers continue to find this difficult.

This difficulty isn’t just an inconvenience. It may represent a real barrier towards building the type of experiences that keep your customers coming back in the years to come.

For example, let’s say you’re considering turning a former department store into a fitness center, a hotel, or an apartment complex. Before you make that decision, you’ll want as much information about your shoppers as you can get. And whatever you decide, you’ll want to share this new development with your shoppers as effectively as possible.

Fortunately, there is more technology available than ever before to help your shopping center understand and communicate with your shoppers.

In this article, I’ll discuss why traditional approaches to communicating with shoppers – like broadcast media and manual data collection – are no longer sufficient. We’ll then take a look at how you can use a technology called “WiFi marketing” to solve these challenges.

Broadcast Media Is No Longer Sufficient

Broadcast media, such as television spots, radio ads, billboards, in-store signage, and even some forms of digital advertising all have their place – and they aren’t going away anytime soon. But these methods for reaching shoppers have some serious drawbacks.

You May Not Be Reaching People Frequently Enough

Conventional marketing wisdom says that it takes at least seven impressions for a message to register. That means if you’re relying solely on broadcast media to entice people to your shopping center, it may take a long time (or a big budget) to deliver that many impressions.

Generic Messages Aren’t As Effective

With broadcast media, you typically have to send a few select messages to a very broad audience. But that can lead to wasting much of your advertising budget on reaching the wrong people with the wrong message. After all, who wants to hear about a new store opening or a special event that isn’t relevant to them?

WiFi marketing can deliver more tailored messages than in-store signage

In-store signage can be a great way to deliver impressions, but it doesn’t allow for tailored messaging to different shopper segments. Credit: Digital Display Systems

Broadcast Media Can Be Expensive

Because you have to cast such a wide net, you end up paying to reach a lot of the wrong people. Take billboards, for example – having a single one might cost less, but you’ll need much more coverage for your message to really stick.

Your Customers Expect Personalization

Finally, shoppers increasingly expect brands to understand them better. “Consumers know that brands have all this data on them, and so they expect that companies will use it to build and deepen relationships,” according to Jamie Gutfreund, global CMO at Wunderman. But unless your shopping center serves a very narrow demographic, personalization is nearly impossible without a more sophisticated approach.

No Insights

As if all of these challenges weren’t enough, broadcast advertising suffers from an even greater shortcoming – it’s strictly a one-way communication channel.

However, if you’re not spending equal effort on listening to your shoppers, it will be very difficult to get the data you need in order to personalize your communication and properly inform your decision making.

To solve this issue, some shopping centers have collected customer feedback through manual, hands-on tactics, like paper surveys and paper-and-pencil newsletter signup sheets. But as we’ll see in a moment, these approaches have major drawbacks as well.

Manually Collecting Data Isn’t Without Drawbacks

Trying to connect with shoppers in person isn’t a bad thing to do. Face-to-face conversations are an important part of understanding your customers. The problem, though, is that hands-on data collection doesn’t give you the quantity or quality of data you really need. Here’s why.

Reaching Enough People Can Require A Big Investment

This shouldn’t be a surprise. If you’re relying on your staff (or a consulting group) to track down shoppers, you’ll only talk to a small percentage of visitors. Reaching a sample size that’s large enough to give you meaningful insights requires high effort over a long period of time.

You’re Busy

You and your staff have plenty to do already. Every minute you spend taking surveys on the shopping center floor is another minute you lose from another pressing project.

The Data May Not Fully Represent Your Shoppers

In order to get a truly representative sample, you’d have to collect data throughout each day. But manual data collection is usually only practical on an intermittent basis. Similarly, this practice often takes place only at points of traffic convergence – typically the entrance or exit. Both of these factors mean that despite your best efforts, manual data collection may not provide a complete picture of your visitors.

WiFi marketing can help connect with all types of shoppers

Manually collecting survey data may not capture feedback from your busiest shoppers, like young families. Credit: Alex Bocharov.

Self Selection May Lead to Bias

Finally, manually collected data has a fundamental flaw – it usually only comes from shoppers who have extra time to share feedback. While certain visitors will participate, they are less likely to represent the range of visitors to your shopping center.

Guest WiFi Offers A New Approach

If you’ve used any of these tactics at your own shopping center, these difficulties probably familiar.

Fortunately, despite all the challenges of broadcast media and manual data collection, there is another approach that can help offset these drawbacks: using your existing guest WiFi network to connect with shoppers. Depending on whom you ask, marketers using guest WiFi to connect with shoppers may call the practice different things. Terms like “WiFi marketing”, “WiFi analytics”, or even “social WiFi” usually come up. But for this article, we’ll use “WiFi marketing”.

WiFi marketing works by asking your shoppers to provide specific information in order to join your guest WiFi network. Usually, visitors will provide basic information, like email or phone number – at least to start. But over time, you can build on that data. If your WiFi marketing software is capable of “progressive profiling”, you can ask for new information on subsequent visits. Age, gender, purpose of visit, and other survey questions are all popular choices.

Guest WiFi Provides New Communication Channels

Not only does WiFi marketing help you collect shopper data, it also provides a new marketing channel. It’s simple. After shoppers login to WiFi, you can present them with another message (called a landing page) before they access the Internet itself.

This landing page gives shopping centers an opportunity to present a more personalized message that’s relevant to who the shopper is and what’s happening at the shopping center that day. Of course, collecting phone number and email also allows you to reach more shoppers on those channels as well.

Solving The Shortcomings Of Traditional Tactics

WiFi marketing captive portal

Most WiFi marketing software allows you to capture shopper information through the WiFi captive portal.

WiFi marketing doesn’t just help you create richer profiles of shoppers. It solves some of the fundamental challenges posed by broadcast media and manual data collection.

First, WiFI marketing lets shopping centers connect with far more shoppers than manual surveying allows (at least with a comparable budget). In fact, over time, shopping centers can see 30%+ of shoppers provide contact and demographic information through WiFi marketing.

Secondly, the data you collect will be much more representative of your shoppers as a whole. Remember, with WiFi marketing, you can collect data from a wide spectrum of visitors – not just those who have a few minutes to spare on their way out. WiFi marketing collects data 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That means your responses won’t overly reflect the type of shopper who comes through at a certain time of day.

Third,  WiFi marketing lets you build increasingly accurate profiles of your shoppers over time. This allows you to build distinct shopper segments in your CRM. Now you can quit sending the same message to everyone and instead, tailor your message to each segment. The result: better responses to your marketing campaigns.

Finally, WiFi marketing can cost considerably less than broadcast media or manual survey collection. In other words, you’ll reach far more people than you would with the same budget used on traditional tactics.

Supercharging WiFi Marketing With Location Analytics

Imagine if you could send messages to your shoppers based on where they’re standing. By pairing a technology called “location analytics” with WiFi marketing, some (though certainly not all) WiFi marketing software allows shopping centers to do exactly that.

While a deep dive into the benefits of using location analytics is outside the scope of this article, just know that if your shopping center wants to send highly tailored messages to shoppers based on where they are at that very moment, that’s certainly possible. All you need is the right WiFi marketing software and a properly configured network of WiFi access points.

In fact, some of the more capable WiFi marketing platforms allow you to send real-time messages over WiFi, email, SMS, in-app notification, and Facebook Messenger.

There’s An Easier Way

Creating stronger connections with your shoppers is absolutely crucial in today’s changing commercial real estate environment. And building those relationships can be daunting – especially if you’re relying on broadcast media and manual data collection.

If this is what you’re doing today, you’re on the right track. Just know that now, that’s an easier way.

Tools like WiFi marketing are easier (and more affordable) to use than ever before. And it can add value to your entire team – from the marketing coordinator to the CMO, from the general manager to the leasing agent.

The best part? If your shopping center already has a WiFi network, the right partner can make it easy to use WiFi marketing.

Want to learn more about how WiFi marketing can help your shopping center? Skyfii has already helped hundreds of properties improve the visitor experience through WiFi marketing, location analytics, and other technologies and services. Head here to find contact information for each of our global offices.

 

Skyfii_ICSC_ReCon_2018

Skyfii to Sponsor ICSC Recon 2018

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Skyfii_ICSC_ReCon_2018
Will you be at ICSC Recon this year?

If so, come say hello, as we’ll be exhibiting at the International Shopping Center Council’s (ICSC) ReCon event in Las Vegas from May 21-23.

Shopping centers have been a core part of Skyfii’s business for over five years. Globally, we’ve built longstanding relationships with industry leaders such as GPT, Westfield, Mirvac, JLL, Blackstone Properties, and more recently, Versace, Precision Group, and Lewis Land Group.

Since we’re using 2018 to focus on building our presence in North America, we’re excited to participate in ICSC ReCon and further our relationships with industry leaders in the U.S.

Not only will we be presenting demos of our IO shopper analytics and engagement software platform, but we will also be sharing more details about two recently launched service offerings: data consultancy services and marketing services.

We’ll have more details available at the show, but in essence, these new service offerings allow us to deliver a complete software and service solution that helps retailers and shopping centers better understand and engage with their customers.

You can find us in the North Hall, Marketplace Mall, Booth N1562.

Skyfii at Atmosphere 2018

Skyfii to Sponsor Aruba Atmosphere 2018 in Las Vegas

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Skyfii at Atmosphere 2018
Skyfii is about to sponsor yet another Aruba Atmosphere event – this time it’s the March 2018 gathering at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
Not only are we sponsoring the show, but a number of people from our recently expanded North American team will be present at our exhibitor booth as well.
One of our key objectives for 2018 is to strengthen relationships with our partners in the U.S., and our participation at Atmosphere is a key part of that effort. If you’re an Aruba employee, partner, or reseller, we would love to hear your thoughts on how we can support you this year.
Skyfii and Aruba have been working together for over five years, and we’re proud to take part in the event. Skyfii’s customers have some of the largest Aruba deployments in the world, and our IO software platform is fully integrated across the Aruba product line.
Stop by to say hello and to see a live demo where we analyze attendee behavior at Atmosphere itself.
You can find us there from Monday, March 26 through Wednesday, March 28 at Booth 17.

Markets and Markets Recognise Skyfii as Top WiFi Analytics Provider

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“Skyfii, with a significant presence in the Wi-Fi analytics market, is aspiring to become one of the top providers of Wi-Fi analytics solutions. In October 2017, Skyfii signed a contractual agreement with Aventus Property Group for a period of 3 years for the deployment of Skyfii’s IO Platforms (IO Connect and IO Insight) across 4 of Aventus Property Group’s managed retail centers. In June 2016, Skyfii opened an office in the US to help brick-and-mortar stores better engage with commercial tenants and visitors. In June 2016, Skyfii, opened an office in the United Kingdom (UK) to meet the strong market demand for data-driven analytics.” MarketsandMarkets

MarketsandMarkets have published a research report on the WiFi analytics market, assessing a number of vendor and hardware providers.

MarketsandMarkets’ is a flagship competitive intelligence and market research company. Connecting over 200,000 markets and entire value chains for deeper understanding of the unmet insights along with market sizing and forecasts of niche markets.

The main objective of the report is to define, describe, and forecast the WiFi analytics market by component, application, location type, deployment type, vertical, and region. The report provides detailed information regarding the major factors influencing the growth of the market (drivers, restraints, opportunities, and industry-specific challenges). Additionally, the report profiles the key players and comprehensively analyses their core competencies. Tracking and analysing the competitive developments, such as mergers and acquisitions, new product developments, and Research and Development (R&D) activities, in the Wi-Fi analytics market.

Following the publication of the report MarketsandMarkets announced Skyfii as the ‘Top Player’ in WiFi Analytics alongside Zebra technologies. 

Cultural Centre Solution Guide

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Connect with your Visitors, Improve the Experience

It used to be difficult to know how visitors move in around cultural centres. Now with Skyfii you can use WiFi to collect and analyse data around people’s movements. You can also use it to communicate with visitors using content that’s relevant to where they are, and what they’re doing.

See how long your visitors spend in your cultural centre, where they dwell, and how effective way-finding signage is. Track time spent within a particular zone to understand most popular attractions. Quickly spot busy areas and dead zones.

Skyfii’s solutions will provide the data you need to better plan for new centres, and better manage facilities. It will also give you the insights you need to inform design and development decisions.

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QSR Solution Guide

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Connect with your Customers, Grow Sales

It used to be difficult to know exactly who your customers are, how long they wait to be served and how they respond to your marketing efforts. Not anymore. With Skyfii you can use guest WiFi to collect and analyse data about people’s movements in and round your store and match it up to what they’re doing online.

This means you can use make informed decisions about how to improve the customer experience, increase store visits and dwell time, sharpen your marketing and drive revenue. You can also use it to build brand loyalty with your customers using content that is relevant to where they are, what they like and what they’re doing.

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Airport Solution Guide

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Use Smart Data to Improve the Passenger Experience
Image of Skyfii's airport solution guide

It used to be difficult to know how passengers move in and about airports. Not anymore. With Skyfii you can use WiFi to collect and analyse data about people’s movements. You can also use it to communicate with passengers with content that’s relevant to where they’re, and what they’re doing. This will both improve their experience and help drive revenue.

See passengers’ travel time between zones where they dwell, and how effective way-finding and advertising signage is. Track wait times at customs and immigration and at baggage claim. You can also quickly spot bottle necks and dead zones. Skyfii’s solution will give the data you need to better plan for new stores, allocate resources and better manage terminal facilities. It will also give you the insights you need to inform design and development decisions.

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Cities & Municipalities Solution Guide

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Connected Cities, Smarter Growth

Making decisions about how you manage, design and develop public facilities is difficult when you’re just guessing how people use them. With the Skyfii solution you can get the facts you need through analysing and collecting data from WiFi. It will show you who’s coming in and out of our public spaces and amenities, and whether they are residents or visitors. You’ll also see how they move around, and find out how things like weather, events and traffic congestion affect usage of spaces.

You can also use it to engage people with content that’s relevant to where they are, and what they’re doing.

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Retail Solution Guide

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Connect with your Customers, Grow Sales

In retail it’s difficult to know exactly who your customers are, how often they visit and how they respond to your marketing efforts. Not anymore. With Skyfii you can use guest WiFi to collect and analyse data about people’s movements in and around your stores and match it up to what they’re doing online.

This means you can make informed decision about how to improve your product and pricing mix, your displays, your marketing and your bottom line. You can also use it to engage with customers and deliver content that is relevant to where they are, what they like and what they’re doing.

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Education Solution Guide

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Connected Campus, Better Management

It’s hard for educational facilities to make design and development decisions based on guesses or unreliable data. Now with Skyfii you can collect and analyse data about people’s movements and then make more informed decisions.

Through our smart WiFi solutions, see how many people use and move around your campus. See which facilities are most used – right down to individual class rooms, lecture theatres and cafes. Use additional data sets and see the effect of weather, holidays and events, so you can better allocate resources and timetables. Better yet, use this information to delivery content relevant to where they are or what they’re doing.

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