EE deploys Wi-Fi, heat maps to track Asda customers

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UK supermarket chain Asda is using Wi-Fi and heat-mapping technology provided by EE to track customer behaviour and send them offers.

The UK operator has installed Wi-Fi networks in Asda's 575 stores, allowing the supermarket to track customer activity such as how long they spend in store and their route around a branch.

The customer automatically connects to the network when they arrive and Asda can send customers personalised offers and promotions to their smartphone while they are shopping.

The supermarket said it was cross-referencing Wi-Fi information with a customer's use of its shopping app to greater understand consumer behaviour.

It is also using heat-mapping technology provided by EE, coupled by time-based communications with consumers, to track and analyse customer traffic through a store and anticipate heavy queues at the checkouts.

EE said 100,000 people signed up to its Asda Wi-Fi network and it now has more than 800,000 subscribers.

The operator is also providing Asda staff with tablets to help them to complete admin tasks from the shop floor.

The Asda deal is part of EE's wider Connected Retail strategy, which targets retailers with mobile technology for them to help understand how their customers shop.

Max Taylor, Director of Corporate Business at EE, said: "By combining technology with wireless connectivity specifically for use in a retail environment, Connected Retail opens up new possibilities, such as offering spontaneous promotions based on a customer’s location within the store and known buying preferences, or even to set up an instant digital marketplace to provide customers with a choice of competing offers."

EE offers Connected Retail as part of its new Total Enterprise Mobility service, which also offers remote working and machine to machine connectivity.

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