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How Malaysian retailers can counter online shopping with analytics: Fortinet

AvantiKumar | April 15, 2016
Major retailers in Malaysia can use their stores' Wi-Fi networks' analytics to enhance consumer intelligence, said Fortinet's Michelle Ong.

Michelle Ong, Country Manager for Malaysia, Fortinet 

Photo - Michelle Ong, Fortinet's Country Manager for Malaysia.


Major retail businesses in Malaysia can counter online shopping behaviour and strengthen customer engagement by using their retail stores' Wi-Fi networks analytics, said network security specialist Fortinet.

"Every smartphone is equipped with ways to connect to Wi-Fi. When your phone is looking for networks to join, it is detectable by local routers. In a retail store, there is often additional equipment that can detect your phone's Wi-Fi capabilities, note your device's unique ID number, and track your device over time as you move through the store," said Michelle Ong, Fortinet's country manager for Malaysia.

"The resulting information can help businesses build detailed profiles of their customers," said Ong. "It is possible for retailers to cross-reference the data that is gathered with other forms of public or commercial information. This information can then be used to plan and reconfigure store layouts and merchandise displays in order to better attract and retain shoppers, thereby boosting sales and customer loyalty."

She said local retail stores can use technology to determine the flow of customer foot traffic, analyse conversion rates, and research dwell times in the stores.

Some solutions work off stores' existing Wi-Fi networks, while others may require their own specific tools such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth controllers to be placed in or near the store.

Ong recommended that businesses to leverage their wireless technology in the following key areas:

1. Use the data to inform In-store advertising efforts.
Wi-Fi technology can be used with several forms of location-based marketing to convince shoppers to spend more time in-store. Big brands and startups businesses have started using location-based marketing as a way of attracting and tailoring to the needs and wants of potential customers.

2. Segment stores into zones for better traffic and dwell time analysis.
Some mobile-enabled foot traffic analytics suites can track the movements of customers down to within a few feet.

3. Identify the causes of best and what-performing stores.
One of the biggest benefits Wi-Fi technology offers is the ability to figure out the root cause behind sales variations across different stores.

4. Build loyalty and influence consumer purchase.
FortiPresence - Fortinet's Wi-Fi presence analytics enables retailers to gather analytics, engage with customers, and drive in-store sales. Technology built into Fortinet hardware makes it possible to detect what a browsing shopper is looking for, and to counteract that price comparison-shopping on the fly.

Ong said by turning the "ubiquity of smartphones into a positive and not a negative, retailers can combat showrooming with marketing strategies that incorporate Wi-Fi and in-store digital advertising, and they can use in-store Wi-Fi to build loyalty and influence consumer purchases in real-time."

5. Gain customers' trust with a safe business security protection.
Internet criminals are using more sophisticated techniques to cracking codes and breaching the security of customer credit and debit cards. Retailers should ensure a safe environment by providing reliable and robust wireless access point security to gain customers' trust.


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