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In an increasingly competitive retail market place where online sales now account for almost 10% of total retail sales in the UK, according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), traditional retailers are utilising Wi-Fi to entice shoppers back into their stores.
Offering free Wi-Fi has proved a success at one of the largest shopping centres in the UK. At Midsummer Place and thecentre:mk shopping centres in Milton Keynes top retailers have seen the value of making high speed internet access available to all shoppers within the shopping centre.
The benefit of free online connection within the centre that is faster than that available from shopper’s existing 3G phone network has proved a lure in itself.
The added bonus is that the high performance broadband service Britezone, provided by wireless communications specialist Briteyellow has allowed shoppers in Milton Keynes shopping centres to opt-in to receive the latest offers from any retailer for free to their Wi-Fi enabled phone, PDA, or laptop.
“Retailers now can benefit from a cost effective communication medium allowing them to engage with their potential customers, who by the physical proximity to the shopping centre are active in the buying cycle,” comments Fredi Nonyelu, Briteyellow founder and Chief Executive.
Under the Britezone system any user can ‘opt-in’ to receive free information from local stores online while surfing or via SMS text alerts. Customers can also use the system to find out about special offers, availability of goods, event or appointment reminders, or make free or cheap phone calls using the latest Wi-Fi or dual-mode phones that also support traditional cellular services.
Martin Hindson, Midsummer Place Centre Manager said “We achieved excellent results using the Britezone system to promote in-store offers from tenants such as Sports Direct, and to promote our Fashion Week events during the run up to Christmas. It proved to be cost effective way of communicating with visitors and attracting them to visit our stores by providing them with valuable information about what we have on offer”.
Other top retailers have also been quick to embrace the opportunities. Deborah Strazza, Managing Director at John Lewis High Wycombe said “The Britezone system was a good opportunity to provide high speed internet inside our Milton Keynes store. It also connects the wider community to the store and provides an efficient way to communicate information with customers and staff.”
Following the successful rollout across Milton Keynes’ shopping centres, Briteyellow is exploring opportunities to expand it’s Britezone services to other shopping centres in towns and cities across the UK.
Fredi Nonyelu continues “Briteyellow has been pioneering a scalable service in Central Milton Keynes that enables retailers to communicate in a targeted and intelligent way with shoppers and staff. Using a variety of channels from SMS, email and push-web our Britezone service works for any retail application and enables operators to interact with shoppers or retailers efficiently.”
Briteyellow is a specialist broadband wireless telecoms operator offering a portfolio of services from community broadband, managed services and consulting. A leader in high performance Next-Generation Access broadband wireless networks the company provides architecture expertise, systems integration, service management, and support for large scale public/private wireless deployments.