High street stores could soon be sending electronic discount vouchers straight to your phone while you browse in store, following new technology launched today.
Wi-Fi supplier Wicoms and Skype have joined forces to launch of a new WiFi network initiative called Free Skype WiFi, designed to help high street shops and businesses to deliver simple, trustworthy and free public internet access.
In a recent YouGov survey conducted by Wicoms, more than 50% of 18-34 year olds would be more likely to buy something from a store there and then, if the store was able to send a discount or voucher to their phone when they entered, but 52% who had used public Wi-Fi hotspots while out shopping said that the experience is "generally poor".
The YouGov survey also found 33% of 18-34 year olds are already browsing Amazon, eBay or Google on their mobile phones to compare prices and products while out shopping.
Owen Geddes, managing director at Wicoms said by boosting stores' internet access, it hoped to help bricks and mortar retailers compete effectively with online retailers.
"By working with a globally-trusted partner like Skype to provide Free Skype WiFi on-premise, business owners and high street retailers can open a dialogue with potential customers and encourage sales conversion with the power of the mobile phone," Geddes added.
And for the month of October 2012, Wicoms is offering businesses use of the hardware and the ability to deliver the WiFi service, free of charge for the whole month.
At the end of October, Wicoms will contact every business which has accepted this offer to see if it wants to continue providing the WiFi service, and if it doesn’t, it can still keep the router free of charge.
The network will be offered to businesses through a number of different price points starting from £9.99 (plus VAT) a month, plus a router costing £49 +VAT.
Once connected, customers can use the Wi-Fi to browse the web, engage with social media, access and send emails, shop, compare prices and even download special deals from participating high street retailers.