Weston-super-Mare’s Sovereign Shopping Centre is one of North Somerset’s most loved shopping destinations. With over 35 stores under one roof, hundreds of visitors walk through its doors daily, and almost all of them want wi-fi — in fact, 35% of people believe free wi-fi should be standard in-store*.
With customer experience as a number one priority — even their multi-storey car park is award-winning — installing great wi-fi across the site was a natural move. And now, customers can surf and shop ‘til they drop.
With food outlets alongside high-street shops, a few hours of shopping can easily turn into a whole day out. And research reveals that wi-fi plays a key role in which stores customers visit: 30% of people would actually choose a retailer that offers free wi-fi over one that doesn’t*. This shows just how vital wi-fi is becoming in creating an engaging shopping experience.
As Sovereign’s single supplier, we created a simple setup for customers to get online: via the BT Wi-fi login page. This not only makes it easy for people to connect, but because customers recognise our brand they naturally trust the network and are happier to use it.
We understood Sovereign’s need for a fast, trouble-free installation, and set up a network with six access points out of hours to avoid any interruption. All in all, the installation of a strong, consistent connection took just one week.
With the network in full use, the physical and digital are working together more and more, changing the shopping experience at Sovereign. Social media is making a big difference to the way people shop; nowadays people upload photos as they shop, with 24% discussing potential purchases and 32% sharing their experience**. This is a great situation for Sovereign; not only are customers happier, the shopping centre is promoted straight from the source.
*YouGov, Innovations in Retailing 2015
** British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) The Role of Social Media in Shopping Centres. http://aspectmr.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/3005-Social-media-bro.pdf