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In-store Wi-Fi should avoid one-size-fits-all approach: report


Millennial women are looking for personalized experiences on their smartphones when shopping in retail stores while men crave convenience, according to a new report from Euclid Analytics.

The report, Bringing Digital Engagement In-Store, found there are some differences by age and gender when it comes to engaging with retailers via in-store Wi-Fi on a smartphone. A key takeaway is that retailers need to develop well-rounded in-store mobile strategies.

“In today’s world, Wi-Fi is the infrastructure through which a retailer can be aware – with shopper permission – of who’s in the store in order to create a personalized shopping experience,” said Brent Franson, CEO of Euclid Analytics.

“Most importantly, a ‘logged-in’ experience for an in-store shopper finally offers the retailer a single view of customers across both offline and online,” he said.

The report is based on a survey conducted by Harris Poll in February with 2,115 U.S. adults responding.

Generation gap
While millennials clearly want digital shopping experiences, the findings reveal that Gen Xers are also very interested in in-store Wi-Fi. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, lag behind.

For example, if a store offered guest Wi-Fi for faster checkout via an exclusive VIP line, 67 percent of millennials, 60 percent of Gen Xers and 38 percent of Baby Boomers would be interested.

Millennials and Gen Xers are also more interested in leveraging in-store Wi-Fi for exclusive lines for customer service and in-store pickup, to request the attention of a store associate, instant access to a special offer and to enroll in or access a loyalty program.

When it comes to receiving messages from a store through a mobile device during a visit, 59 percent of people aged 55 and older are interested in this. The most important thing to adults aged 65 and older who would want to receive messages is choosing how and when they receive them, with 74 percent of this age group stating as such.

Mobile millennials
Taking a closer look at millennials, the results suggest that men of this age group are looking for convenience.

Of men aged 16 to 34 who own a smartphone, 68 percent said they would be very or somewhat likely to use guest Wi-Fi for faster checkout via an exclusive VIP line compared with 66 percent of women.

Millennial men are also more likely to use in-store Wi-Fi to get in an exclusive line for in-store services such as technical support.

Additionally, 53 percent of millennial men would use Wi-Fi to request the help of a store associate compared to 42 percent of millennial women.

Millennial women, on the other hand, are more interested in personalized Wi-Fi enabled services. For example, 74 percent would use in-store Wi-Fi to get instant access to an exclusive gift, daily deal or coupon, compared to 71 percent of men.

Millennial women and men are on the same page when it comes to loyalty, with 70 percent of women and 69 percent of men saying they would use in-store Wi-Fi to enroll in or access a loyalty program.

Additionally, 53 percent of women aged 18 to 34 said that if a retailer, restaurant or other brand they have done business with used their personal customer history and data to provide personalized services, they would be more loyal to that brand.

Meta message
Overall, 74 percent of smartphone owners want to receive messages from a store during a visit while communications following a recent visit are welcomed by 81 percent.

Additionally, 77 percent of smartphone owners said that being able to choose how and when they received messages was most important to them.

The most surprising finding came from the baby boomer demographic, which proved to be just as savvy as the millennials,” Mr. Franson said. “Although a large percentage of baby boomers have mobile devices, it’s not a common belief that, as a group, they use their mobile devices in the same way and for the same things as do millennials.

“Contrary to popular thinking, a surprising 59 percent of people aged 55 and older say that they’d want to receive messages from a store through their mobile device during their visit,” he said.