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Can IT improve retail footfall?

Britain’s retail industry has suffered a dramatic drop in the number of shoppers in the last three months. 

The retail industry has faced huge struggles in the past few years, with 16 stores on UK high streets closing every day for the first half of 2019.

Household names including Karen Millen, Jack Wills, Bathstore, Patisserie Valerie and Debenhams have all entered administration earlier this year.

Footfall figures have declined each year since Springboard began measuring in 2009, with the number of customers in UK stores declining by 3.1% in the past three months.

The data for August shows a 1.9% reduction in footfall compared to the same month last year, with shopping centres experiencing the worst drop with a 2.2% decline. Springboard explain how shopping centres are particularly struggling to get people through the doors, which could be attributed to the rise in online shopping.

Retail parks are the only area in retail that has seen a rise, with an additional 1% of visitors in August. This is suggested to be due to the mixture of facilities available at retail parks.

Introducing new technologies, such as free WiFi, could help the retail industry attract people in to stores. Research shows that by installing a reliable WiFi network in their store, businesses can then begin to introduce new technologies which are important to the customers such as an instore tablet (26%), digital try-on options (17%), visual AI (13%) and augmented reality (7%).

WiFi can also allow retailers to gather footfall and customer data which can help them target their customer base more effectively. Free WiFi can also provide them with a marketing platform to push personalised offers to their customers, increasing the number of those likely to return.

Pinacl has been successfully delivering a wide range of Private and Public Wireless solutions to our clients for over 30 years. Using our industry expertise and product knowledge, we can deploy a WiFi solution that meets your needs and budgets. This approach enables our customers to unlock new possibilities, giving them greater choice and underpinning their success.

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