EE Aids Retailers With Digital Connectivity

When most marketers and brands talk about harnessing the power of the Internet in-store, you’re often likely to hear plans to target consumers, or to remake the shopping experience for the average person. EE, a UK mobile operator, is turning this notion on its head with its service called Connected Retail. Offered to shops in the UK, the program aims to help brick and mortar establishments compete with online shopping by, in part, cutting down on long lines in-store. According to the company’s data, retailers lose millions in revenue each year to long lines and impatient customers who would rather shop online – 73% of customers said they would abandon their purchases if they had to wait for more than 5 minutes in line. To help, EE offers retailers a combination of heat-mapping technology so that stores can anticipate and react to lines before they form, in-store Wifi to connect staff and customers, and send customers personalized offers and promotions via their smartphones. Such a full-service model could become common if successful, and points to a potentially fruitful way forward for technology in aiding the shopping experience