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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 07, 2013

Wifi access influences where shoppers shop

New research from JiWire reveals that wifi connectivity not only impacts the way that shoppers shop, but also where.

by Helen Leggatt

jiwire-logo.jpgThere are three cafes in the small village near where I live. Usually I pick which one I want to visit by the number of spare seats, or a special offer. Today I picked the one with wifi.

I'm not alone in my preference for frequenting stores where wifi is available. According to JiWire's Mobile Audience Insights Report (Q4 2012), 80% are influenced where to shop by the availability of wifi. Mobile usage on public wifi has increased 53% in the last year.

I wanted wifi today so I could whip out my Nexus 7 and do a bit of news surfing. However, JiWire's research found that most shoppers want wifi so they can check prices, download deals and coupons, or read reviews.

The types of places people most-use their mobile for shopping were found to be:

- Electronics retailers - 44.4%
- Clothing retailers - 21.9%
- Mall - 14.1%
- Big box retailers - 14.1%
- Restaurants - 14.1%

The message to retailers is this. You won't stop showrooming by blocking access to wifi in your store, as some do. Instead, you are discouraging an increasing number of connected consumers from entering your store. While wary of showrooming, retailers must consider the preferences of today's mobile-toting shopper, or café dweller, and their need to stay connected.

Tags: mobile shopping, research, retail trends, showrooming, U.S., wifi access, wifi trends

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