Embracing the cloud

With wifi technology spreading across the UK quicker than a summer rainstorm, local retailers are beginning to offer free services, and with Scotmid teaming up with provider The Cloud, we examine what this means to rival retailers.

It’s fair to say that the new media boom has been kept at arm’s length by Scotland’s local retailing community, however this year we’re seeing more positive moves to embrace the era of smartphones and ‘always on’ internet access. The latest of these is the not insignificant move of Scotmid to team up with WiFi provider The Cloud to install high-speed public WiFi in a number of stores across Scotland.

Now, while customers are inside a Scotmid store that will be able to use the free wifi service to access the internet – which will enable them to view recipes, access discounts on products, and keep up with the latest gossip on Facebook and Twitter while they shop.

According to Scotmid he roll-out, which begins in over 50 stores and will extend across more stores later in the year, is part of a wider effort by Scotmid to modernise its brand and branch into new fields. The service, says the retailer, will allow Scotmid to provide an enhanced experience to its customers by offering discounts and offers based on consumer preferences.

Kimberley Guthrie, Marketing Director at Scotmid, said: “Our values of trust and reliability mean we have a unique status as a hub for the communities we serve, so we are very keen to have a WiFi service that our customers, whatever their age or background, can rely on. Increasing numbers of our customers have smartphones with them wherever they are, and as a result, consumer expectations for internet connectivity on the high street are sky-rocketing. We wanted to be at the forefront of that WiFi revolution on the high street.”

The Cloud is a wifi service owned by broadcaster BSkyB. Vince Russell, Managing Director of The Cloud, said: “Here at The Cloud we believe that fast, reliable internet access should be available throughout the whole of the UK so we are delighted to be partnering with the award winning team at Scotmid to deliver our service to their customers across Scotland. Being part of a group which employs over a quarter of its staff in Scotland, we understand the need for wider availability of such services. Traditionally businesspeople were seen as the primary users of WiFi, but as smartphone adoption has increased to over 50% of all British adults it’s become increasingly important for people’s everyday use.”

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