Wednesday, 21 January 2015 18:25

Aerohive taps Passbook for retail engagement

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Aerohive Networks has announced its "Personalised Engagement ecosystem" aimed at helping retailers get more out of the Wi-Fi connectivity they provide to customers.

While free Wi-Fi access was once largely confined to cafes and other parts of the hospitality industry, it is becoming more common in stores. Retailers providing this service include Target and David Jones.

It's not just about attracting foot traffic - such systems can give retailers useful insight into how often you visit (or even merely pass the store), how much time people spend in-store, and to some extent how they behave.

And if you have noticed the sign at Target entrances warning of Wi-Fi surveillance, have you wondered what it means?

But retailers are also interested in customer acquisition, engagement and loyalty.

So Aerohive and its partners in the Personalised Engagement ecosystem provide a range of tools to help with those issues.

HivePass installs a personalised pass - such as a coupon or loyalty card - in iOS's Passbook or equivalent Android apps such as PassWallet, as part of the Wi-Fi connection process, or via a QR code or web link.

This provides a channel for retailers to alert customers to special deals, to provide bonus loyalty points, and to recognise repeat shoppers. HivePass integrates with iBeacons as well as AeroHive's Wi-Fi systems.

Endless Aisle also takes advantage of iBeacons and Wi-Fi to provide customers with information about products that aren't in store. For example, if a customer was standing next to a display of towels, Endless Aisle might mention that a particular range was available in additional colours at the larger store in the next suburb or online.

And even though retailers might be prepared to provide internet connectivity at no charge to customers, there may be room to offer a 'pay to play' premium service with higher bandwidth, or to deliver third-party advertising and coupons for a fee. Those capabilities are enabled by Aerohive's partnership with Cloud4Wi.

Other Aerohive Personalised Engagement partners include Airwatch, Euclid Analytics, Lightspeed, Magnet, OpenDNS, Passforce, Radius Networks, and Verizon.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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