EarthLink has really embraced retail. For the last couple of years, they have been putting a package together around MPLS over DSL for PCI Compliance. Now they have added a Managed Wi-Fi service - that they were pimping at the National Retail Federation show (last year). This is one way to tackle a vertical and make a name for yourself (positioning).
""Consumers are already using their mobile devices in-store to enhance their shopping experience. With EarthLink WiFi/WIPS, retailers can roll out corporate applications to connect with those consumers and service them more efficiently, while gathering valuable data for marketing and store operations," said Greg Griffiths, EarthLink Vice President of Retail Solutions."
It's the analytics that make it sing for the retailer. "Presence analytics: Provides visibility into mobile Wi-Fi usage and traffic statistics that retailers can use to analyze shopping behavior." In other words, this lets them know if they are browsing competitors sites for pricing; if they are repeat customers; etc.
"While 57% of shoppers regularly begin the shopping journey online, 92% of transactions today still occur in the store according to Cisco IBSG," according to EarthLink. This will allow retail stores to engage shoppers by offering free wi-fi. Well, free while we track you. The secure WiFi service features a Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS) in partnership with AirTight Networks.
Since mobility and analytics are top trends for 2015 via Gartner, this knocks out 2 of them in one service.
Thanks to Rogers Clawson at GCN for the note about this service.