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More UK retailers offering free Wi-Fi

25 October 2011 - 09:05 by Graham Miller

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John Lewis has become the latest UK retailer to offer free Wi-Fi internet access to those visiting its department stores.

Fast food restaurant chain McDonalds and supermarket giant Tesco, have also integrated Wi-Fi networking in recent years, in order to encourage people with laptops, smartphones and tablets to get on the internet while in their outlets.

The reason behind John Lewis joining the crowd is that statistics gathered by a survey it commissioned show that 60 per cent of customers check prices and product details via safe shopping online before they buy any item.

By making Wi-Fi available, it will be easy for smartphone and tablet owners to head out to the high street, search for the product they want, without eating into their data allowance and then buy it in the shop itself.

Of course sites that offer online shopping also come with added extras like customer reviews and advice, which cannot be readily found in-store, so John Lewis will be reaping the benefits of offering a broader service, just by adding Wi-Fi to its major locations.

John Lewis is going to be using BT Openzone in order to give its customers Wi-Fi access and all you will need to do to participate is to register for the service using your email address.

People who have used the John Lewis website before will benefit from being able to view their accounts and synchronise their wish lists directly on their mobiles and John Lewis said that the Wi-Fi connectivity will make this process considerably smoother than if you are simply using 3G.

Spokesperson, Paul Coby, said that John Lewis was seeing e-commerce sales growing by 30 per cent in 2011 and he explained that this trend was set to continue if the multichannel approach which leverages m-commerce services becomes popular.