BT Wi-fi keeps Sovereign’s shoppers smiling

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.

Sovereign’s needs

  • Offer wi-fi throughout the space
  • Interruption-free installation
  • Trusted, recognisable brand

BT Wi-fi’s solution

  • Ensure the installation is trouble-free with out-of-hours fitting
  • Provide a fast, reliable network across the mall
  • Stand as a known network provider

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.

‘‘Increasingly, customers expect to have access to the internet, and we wanted to provide it for them.’’ Nick Cooke, Centre Manager

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.

‘‘Management wanted a big, recognised brand that people would feel secure with; something that would stand out among the smaller shop-specific networks.’’ Tony Mills, BT Wi-fi Project Manager

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.

‘‘The installation was very straightforward. The process and deployment meant was just as I have come to expect from BT: thorough and professional.’’ Nick Cooke

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.

‘‘Now shoppers can share their experiences with friends and family without needing to even leave Sovereign.’’ Nick Cooke

*YouGov, Innovations in Retailing 2015

** British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) The Role of Social Media in Shopping Centres.