Our CEO, Gavin Wheeldon and I had a busy day out of the office last week filming with Channel 4 News.  Having read about what we do within the retail sector, one of the programme’s journalists wanted to come and see Purple WiFi in action, for himself.   So, we decided to invite them to visit the friendly team at Kingsgate Shopping Centre in Huddersfield to see what all the fuss is about.

The Kingsgate Shopping Centre was our very first shopping centre to take advantage of what Purple WiFi can do for the retail market. Since then we have certainly come a long way, with Purple WiFi now in over 50 countries and 117 signed resellers on our books.

Our friends at Kingsgate report that installing Purple WiFi has transformed the data available to them.   Originally they measured footfall in the traditional way, by infrared beams to track how many people were passing through the entrances.  However the industry recognises, this method has its problems –  lacking accuracy as high volume or uninterrupted traffic can’t be detected, also being unable discern people walking side-by-side.

They have Cisco Meraki kit running in the centre – an enhanced guest WiFi platform which is legally compliant, has content filtering, social login, deep analytics and marketing tools.  The presence analytics they get through the Meraki equipment combined with Purple WiFi means that the shopping centre has data they couldn’t see before.  Presence analytics works by recognising a device’s unique number or ‘MAC address’. This new technology means that Kingsgate can assess how often a device returns and how long each device stays in a location. The reports that can be generated provide invaluable data on footfall, repeat versus new customers, average number and duration of visits.

Purple WiFi are helping Kingsgate develop future marketing engagement strategies using the tools.   On top of this the shopping centre have already reported a 20% increase in Facebook engagement.

For the shoppers, free WiFi is of course a bonus and customers are increasingly expecting free WiFi wherever they go. Also there is the knowledge that there is a trusted WiFi provided who can enable content filtering to allow only appropriate content is accessed.

Kingsgate are the first to admit that they are not using Purple WiFi to it’s full potential for marketing just yet and certainly plan to in the future.  With all the data that they have gathered on the consumers in the shopping centre they plan to  use it to reward customers with coupons and vouchers based on who they are.  These can even be triggered whilst the customer is in the venue.   With the ability to post to social media sites in an instance friends can go down to the shopping centre to get access to the same deals.

The Channel 4 crew were there most of the day and even got up in a cherry picker to get some high shots!   Gavin was interviewed for a long time and in a lot of detail. We wonder which parts will get broadcast? Whatever happens don’t forget to look out for me sipping a cuppa just behind him…