How to capture customer data

The fact that online businesses capture customer data isn’t a secret. We’ve all been onto an ecommerce site and had a pop-up flash before our eyes, urging us to sign-up to a newsletter to receive all the latest news, deals and discounts. We’ve also filled up our shopping carts, clicked proceed, only to be taken to an account registration form that needs to be completed before our order can be processed.

How to capture customer data

After all, ecommerce platforms are data driven. It’s why we receive that perfectly timed email about something we’ve had our eyes on for a while but hadn’t told anyone.

Spooky coincidence, or an exceptional user experience?

For the purposes of this article, and because it happened to me with a Christmas jumper earlier today, we’ll go with exceptional user experience.

How to capture customer data

Analytics tools such as Google Analytics give us bags of information about our online customers, like average dwell times on-site, total website traffic, bounce rates, and goal completions when another lead or successful order goes through.

But what about your physical spaces?

Brick and mortar, or offline retail stores are not going anywhere. According to eMarketer’s worldwide retail and ecommerce sales report, 90% of worldwide retail sales are still completed in-store.

So, how are you collecting data about dwell times, foot traffic, bounce rates, frequency of visits, and the social media channels customers in your stores are interested in?

How do you collect offline data?

Collecting customer data from brick and mortar spaces can be difficult. Apart from POS, what else is there? And it’s not like you can shove an iPad in front of someone and make them enter their name, email address, favourite music, last time they visited your store, and ask them to leave a review – that would ruin the customer experience.

What you need is a seamless way of capturing customer data that adds to the in-store experience, while in the background, helps you enrich customer profiles…

One of the easiest ways is through the value exchange of offering free guest WiFi.

Using a captive portal to collect customer data

Using a captive login portal, you are able to give your guests access to a free guest WiFi in exchange for demographic information, contact details, interests and more; information that will help you improve their overall experience with your business.

Login can either be through a short form or social media.

Social media login provides the quickest and easiest way for the customer, whilst unlocking the highest levels of insight. For example, if a customer opts to login through Facebook, you could collect the following types of data:

  • Date of birth
  • Hometown
  • Favorite music
  • Charities they’re passionate about
  • Even their favorite film genres

Combining this with your online data provides you with a wholistic view of your customers, enabling you to really personalize and tailor your marketing communications.

But who logs into WiFi?

Okay, that is a fair question to ask, but the answer might surprise you.

Our data shows that on average, 13% of people authenticate onto guest WiFi when available. Which I know doesn’t sound like a huge number, but let’s break this down using a real Purple customer as an example.

Over the course of 9 months, Customer A, had an average of 49,792 people per day visit one of their 84 restaurants.

13% of these visitors authenticated onto the WiFi.

That’s 6,473 people logging onto the WiFi per day – doesn’t sound so small now does it?

If you multiply this by 350, give or take a few public holidays, Customer A were able to acquire 2,265,550 new CRM records.

If you were to place a monetary value on each CRM record of say $5, that’s $11,327,750 of potential revenue.

Let’s wrap this up

  • Collecting customer data is nothing new – but it typically occurs online
  • Physical venues are still very much relevant
  • If you do not capture customer data in the offline space, you are potentially missing out on tons of data
  • Offering guest WiFi with a captive login portal is a great way to capture customer data that also enhances the in-store customer experience
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