Schuh deploys public Wi-Fi and mobile stock checking in-store

Shoe retailer schuh selects cloud Wi-Fi provider Purple WiFi to offer in-store access for customers and staff

Footwear retailer schuh has deployed a wireless network from cloud Wi-Fi provider Purple WiFi in 100 stores for both customer and staff use.

The chain, which was founded in Scotland in 1981, currently sells around 80 brands, as well as an in-house label. Its online operation, which is 13 years old, has the highest volume of traffic for any UK footwear specialist, claimed schuh.

It picked Purple WiFi, which bills itself as a “social Wi-Fi” company, because it wanted a system that was easy to access through social logins to enable easy connectivity on subsequent visits and a built-in reporting platform.

It also needed to be able to edit login pages and URL redirects, identify devices in different locations and view analytics, gaining customer insight to allow it to follow up and communicate effectively.

Users of the platform will also be able to use tools such as Skype, FaceTime or Instagram to show off their purchases, and to check stock in real time using the Findmysize service.

Purple WiFi works with a number of wireless networking suppliers to offer its fast and secure system to businesses. In schuh’s case, it teamed up with services provider Egton and cloud-controlled Wi-Fi specialist Meraki, which is part of networking juggernaut Cisco.

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It is currently active in 88 countries, with strong growth in hospitality and retail – where footfall tracking is becoming increasingly valuable – and healthcare, as well as the embryonic smart cities movement.

Mobile payments and staff access

Besides the social media-facing aspect, schuh also wanted to use the wireless LAN to deploy a mobile payment service.

This will incorporate a combination of handheld payment devices used by staff, transactional kiosks and e-receipts, which schuh believes will give customers more choice in how they shop.

“The potential insight that the analytics will give us and how it can be used to make visiting our stores more enjoyable is really exciting,” said Chrid Johnston, customer insight manager at schuh.

Purple WiFi CEO Gavin Wheeldon said it was “fantastic” to see a retailer using the “power of Purple” to make a difference to the customer. “Using Purple WiFi has allowed schuh to create efficiencies, encourage brand loyalty and hopefully give the customer a better experience.”

Schuh had previously partnered with The Cloud to deliver free Wi-Fi to customers.

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