Free In-Store Wi-Fi New Strategy for Brand Interaction, Tesco and BT Lead the Way

Free In-Store Wi-Fi New Strategy for Brand Interaction, Tesco and BT Lead the Way Image Credit: Tesco

Tesco, the popular grocer and merchandise retailer with stores all over the world, is partnering BT to offer free Wi-Fi in its Tesco Extra and Superstores across the UK and Ireland. According to BT, the free service is already available in 806 Tesco Extra and Superstores in the UK and 113 stores in Ireland. The partnership with BT enables the retail giant to leverage BT's superfast Wi-Fi service to boost stores' bandwidth up to 76Mb.

BT said that this partnership extends its existing relationship with Tesco which is currently using its BT Cloud Contact to provide its UK customers a flexible and responsive Customer Service Centre, handling 90 million minutes of calls each year. The cloud contact services also cover calls relating to Clubcard, Tesco's merchant card and online shopping enquiries.

In-store free Wi-Fi service, apart from enabling shoppers to access mobile data while shopping, is expected to greatly increase brand engagement and interaction while providing contextual marketing and upsell opportunities for retailers. According to BT, a joint research between the service provider and ICM showed that 44% of people use Wi-Fi while shopping to check out and compare prices while 34% use Wi-Fi to download discounts or vouchers to use for their purchases. In-store free Wi-Fi service is expected to become a common feature in grocery outlets and hypermarkets where customers spend at least an hour a week and where regular customers are consistenly engaged via various programs including weekly and daily offers, reward and bonus programs, vouchers, in-store events, competitions etc - and the main means by which they partake in all these activities is via the stores' online sites and also their social media channels. Free data simply encourages more shoppers to visit these online channels and not hesistate in viewing or downloading a wide range of content including rich content such as video advertisements and games which in turn increases engagement and spurs sales.  

Tomas Kadlec, Group Technology Director, Tesco
Customers now want the same kind of experience in-store as they enjoy online, with fast and convenient access to product information, pricing and offers at the touch of their fingertips. We were the first supermarket in the UK to offer free wi-fi and the first to launch online shopping. We’re now bringing these innovations together to put our customers in control with better service and value than ever before.

Luis Alvarez, CEO, BT Global Services
Connectivity is becoming an important part of the customer experience. From retailing to banking, customers expect the same connectivity in high-street stores, cafes and bank branches as they get in their homes or workplaces. The BT Wi-fi partnership with Tesco gives customers the connectivity they expect. It also creates a platform for Tesco to further bring the in-store and online shopping experience closer together for the benefit of its customers. 

Executive Editor of The Fast Mode | 5G | IoT/M2M | Telecom Strategy | Mobile Data Innovations 

Tara Neal covers stories on strategies and initiatives in the Digital Telco space, and anchors the 5G and IoT/M2M verticals on the publication. Tara holds a First Class Honours in BSc Accounting and Finance from The London School of Economics, UK and is a CFA charterholder from the CFA Institute, United States. Tara has over 20 years experience in technology and business strategy.

Follow her on Twitter @taraneal11, LinkedIn @taraneal11, Facebook or email her at tara.neal@thefastmode.com.

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