Marston’s PLC, one of the UK’s leading brewers and pub operators, and the world’s largest brewer of cask ale, has selected Ruckus Wireless to supply its Smart Wi-Fi equipment for use within Marston’s pubs and restaurants nationwide.
Pubs, restaurants and retail outlets of all kinds are looking for new ways to attract customers, keep customers more engaged and leverage Wi-Fi analytics that could provide insight into innovative new services.
Customer use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets in UK retail environments continues to increase rapidly.
In a recent survey by eConsultancy, 43% of respondents in the UK said they had used their mobile devices to compare prices and look at product reviews while out shopping, up from 19% in 2011. And according to an OnDevice Research survey, 74% of respondents in the UK would be happy for a retailer to send a text or email with promotions while they’re using in-store Wi-Fi.
“Marston’s had installed Wi-Fi over three years ago and has always taken a very active and early adopter role in the use of technology in our operations,” said Rob Derbyshire, operations manager for Marston’s Telecom.
“But since that time–with the rise of Wi-Fi-enabled devices of all shapes and sizes– the world had changed–making Wi-Fi no longer simply nice to have but rather a strategic necessity.”
These Smart Wi-Fi products support line of business applications such as in-store electronic point-of-sale (EPOS) systems that staff access using tablet devices to provide a more flexible way to take orders, settle bills and provide a greater level of service.
“Ultimately we are a business that must turn a profit,” remarked Derbyshire. “That said, we understand how our customers work, live and play as well as the role that wireless technology has in their lives. As a result, we have found that providing fast and reliable Wi-Fi has both a direct and indirect impact in increasing revenue.”
Previously Marston’s had installed in its pubs a single Wi-Fi access point based on conventional Wi-Fi technology. But recently, the demand for Wi-Fi access has increased as more users armed with more devices try to simultaneously access the network. This raised concerns over capacity, coverage and performance.
“Interference was becoming an issue. Coverage was becoming an issue. Reliability was becoming an issue,” explained Derbyshire. “We needed a Wi-Fi system that could handle a large number of concurrent user connections, extend signal range, maintain stable connections and deliver higher aggregate throughput,” explained Derbyshire. “Yet when it came to each vendor’s offerings, these requirements seemed to compete against each other.”
Looking forward, Marston’s see endless possibilities to leverage its new Smart Wi-Fi networks.
“With carrier-class technology now in place, we view the network as a utility that we can use for almost any application we can think of such as multimedia delivery, location-based applications, push-to-talk voice for our staff – the list becomes endless,” concluded Derbyshire.