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Maplin goes wireless with in-store Wi-Fi

High-street electronics retailer Maplin has announced a new initiative to get customers in its bricks-and-mortar stores: in-shop Wi-Fi connectivity.

Provided in partnership with The Cloud, Maplin's Wi-Fi offering will allow customers to read product reviews, check in to location-based services like Foursquare and Facebook Places, share information about pricing and availability via social networking services and look up information related to their purchase. Maplin, meanwhile, is able to eavesdrop on customers' browsing habits to gain key insight into the shopping experience, while the branded Wi-Fi landing page will provide cross-selling opportunities.

According to an On Device Research study quoted by Maplin in support of the move, around 60 per cent of shoppers have used mobile internet access while in shops, while 78 per cent would make use of free Wi-Fi if it was available.

"Consumers are becoming incredibly tech savvy as the range of gadgets on the high street expands", claimed Chantelle Roach, Maplin's marketing manager, of the move to introduce in-store Wi-Fi. "Increasing numbers of our customers carry mobile devices, wherever they are. As a result, Wi-Fi in store has become a consumer expectation rather than a luxury. Retailers need to embrace it or risk losing out."

"As tablet and smartphone penetration continues to climb, customers increasingly demand great connectivity wherever they are", agreed Vince Russel, managing director of Wi-Fi hotspot specialist The Cloud. "Our partnership with Maplin indicates how far Wi-Fi has come and the extent that retailers are embracing it. We're excited at the prospect of delivering new and innovative services for them and more importantly their customers."

The in-store Wi-Fi service will be fully installed and operational in all Maplin shops by the end of August, the company has claimed.

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