StepsAway, a mobile marketing platform, builds mobile shopping portals for malls on top of guest WiFi access.  Not only do they currently offer these services, the company is now offering an in-store WiFi-based solution for individual retailers that can tap into CRM databases.  This will deliver a more personalized promotion to in-store shoppers.

The flagship of the company requires the shopper to get on WiFi (the user’s email isn’t required).  Once the user accesses the WiFi, a shopping portal (website) appears, allowing them to browse or search by category, product or score in that location.  Currently, StepsAway deployed in 150 malls in the US.

This new product operates at a store level, and even utilizes more data, including retailer databases, and requires an email address for back-end matching purposes:

Once authenticated on the [store WiFi] network, shoppers are redirected to a web app. They will then receive tailored offers in real time based on their purchase and engagement history contained in the retailer’s CRM database, and the retailer will be able to leverage Wi-Fi streaming data such as previous customer store visits, device type, and country of origin, as well as measure marketing campaign effectiveness. As an example, if a shopper has already registered on the retailer’s website and abandoned a pair of shoes in an online shopping cart, they may automatically receive an offer for 20% off shoes via SAKairos when they visit the brand’s physical store.

“It allows [the] store to leverage guest WiFi for personalized content and collect data inside the store,” explained Allan Haims, CEO of StepsAway. He says that it can also be used as an analytics tool regardless of whether consumers sign in to guest WiFi. “We can tell if an email sent people into store, as well as frequency and dwell time.”

According to Haims, past consumer behavior (both online and in-store) will dictate the sorts of promotions and offers shoppes see when they sign in inside stores.  In-store behavior can even inform later email promotions, or ads that shoppers will see when they are browsing online.  He said that retailers are going to need to decide ow personalized they want to get.  The technology can do things such as showing in-store offers tied to online shopping cart abandonment

StepsAway is even planning to include third-party data, which is meant to help profile shoppers.

There are quite a few compelling features here, and they seem to overcome beacon-related obstacles that stopped beacons from reaching their full potential as an in-store marketing tool.  But with every good thing, there are issues too.  There are hurdles that exist as well.

There is a substantial number that do not offer guest WiFi.  According to Haims, there’s only a modest cost involved in turning on public access if WiFi is already deployed.  Requiring email to be entered when trying to connect to WiFi is a potential cause for many shoppers to abandon.  Haims says that this amount is roughly around 50 percent.

According to the data, shoppers will share personal information for access to discounts and better experiences.  Retailers have to use technology as a tool to improve, reward and personalize the in-store experience.  This is especially important with mobile technology.

Source –