Cisco has tied up with retail firm Shoppers Stop to equip their physical stores with WiFi hotspots and its Connect Mobile Experience (CMX) product—an analytics platform which collects user behaviour patterns within stores to push personalized ads. This will allow Shoppers Stop to push personalized ads to users. The WiFi usage is being provided free of charge, and the user will not be billed at any point of time, a spokesperson from Shopper’s Stop told MediaNama.

Cisco will deploy WiFi at all of its 80 stores across the country. It will also provide a centralized dashboard with details of the number of customers connected, insights into customer behaviour analytics, traffic flow, location data and other behavioural data. Users who are not inside the shop can also connect to a Shopper’s Stop WiFi hotspot.

Using these customer details, Shoppers Stop will push targeted ads and promotions to connected users. For e.g. as users browse the Internet and go through different sections in the store, Shoppers Stop can track location of these users within the store. This can help them identify the kind of products or apparels its customers were most interested in a particular day, month, etc. A connected user walking outside or nearby the store will receive browser ads displaying live promotions and other product ads from Shoppers Stop. More on this here.

Note that Cisco is only installing networking hardware and its Connected Movie Experience platform at Shopper’s Stop outlets. Shopper’s Stop will still have to pay for Internet bandwidth.

WiFi space picking up pace in India

In India, WiFi is being looked upon as a cheaper and alternative way for providing affordable Internet access. India’s telecom regulator TRAI had earlier proposed a model wherein small shop owners and café owners can resell bandwidth bought from telcos and ISPs at cheaper rates. One startup from Bangalore has already executed this by setting up WiFi hotspots at bakeries/small shops and providing data as low as Rs 20 for 1 GB. Apart from this several state governments have been installing WiFi across cities, while government-owned BSNL also has its own WiFi project. Apart from this, private companies like Airtel, Facebook, and Google also have their WiFi projects running live in India.