Shoppers' internet and social media use and shopping habits are being monitored by a retail technology company that offers free Wi-Fi in dozens of big malls.
Data services company Skyfii has secured long-term contracts to supply and manage guest Wi-Fi in more than 20 Westfield shopping centres, as well as the the up-market MLC Centre in Sydney. It had previously inked deals with other big Sydney malls including the Queen Victoria Building and the Strand Arcade, Galeries Victoria, Chifley Plaza, World Square, Market City and the Rouse Hill Town Centre in Sydney.
The service is also offered at Victorian Westfield centres including Southland and Geelong, with Fountain Gate expected to be connected this year.
The company listed on the ASX in November.
When consumers register for and access Skyfii's free Wi-Fi service, the company tracks their shopping behaviour, internet and social media use in real time, including the time they spend in stores and the websites they browse while shopping.
It uses this data to send marketing messages and direct email offers on behalf of stores, and provides feedback to shopping centres and retailers on ways to attract and retain these customers and encourage them to spend more.
For example, when a customer shopping for suits in a department store googles a rival e-commerce site, Skyfii sends a report to the retailer's marketing team, which may choose to respond by sending the customer an email offering a discount.
Skyfii chief executive Wayne Arthur, a former advertising executive with EYE Corp and Titan Media Group, says revenue from data analysis and consulting services to big retailers and shopping centres will soon exceed the revenue the company gets from supplying Wi-Fi services.