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Public Wi-Fi service offered to high street outlets

05 October 2012 - 10:58 by Graham Miller

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The high street is having to adapt to a changing world in which safe shopping online is increasingly dominant, which is why a new scheme set up by Wicoms and Skype would help more bricks and mortar outlets combine these two worlds to their advantage.

These partners are not only going to create a wide network of publically accessible Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK and the ROI, but are also going to make sure that consumers are able to receive a good quality of service when using them.

In a poll, conducted by YouGov, it was discovered that 52 per cent of Brits believe that they get less than decent service when they connect their smartphone, tablet or laptop to a public Wi-Fi hotspot.

This is hardly surprising, given that many of these networks can be overloaded with users and slow to a crawl during peak periods.

However, Wi-Fi access is very important to consumers, because a third of 18 to 24 year old respondents said that they regularly head to sites that offer safe shopping online while they are out and about, to compare the price of the products that they encounter in high street stores.

Younger people are also more open to multichannel approaches to high street shopping and will be more inclined to make an in-store purchase, if they can download a voucher code for that retailer direct to their portable device.

Of course, many stores already have their own Wi-Fi hotspots, but the idea of outsourcing the provision of this service to a dedicated provider, that will be able to handle all of the technical issues and also promise a better quality of connection to customers, might be something that becomes popular amongst UK retailers of all sizes.