Dr Who Experience Offers Free Wi-fi for Smartphone Browsers

BBC Worldwide is creating a free wi-fi hotspot for smartphone users within the store at the Doctor Who Experience, which runs from 20 February at London’s Olympia. The hotspot will enable smartphone users to download coupons for use in the shop, and also to browse and download branded content, without incurring data charges. It is the first time an event at Olympia has used wi-fi to enable mobile content to be distributed in this way.

The hotspot is security-encrypted and features an easy login interface, and one-click access to content. From a special offers area, users can download promotional barcodes which are swiped at the checkout for price reductions. Much of the material available for download is exclusive to the Doctor Who Experience.
The shop will retail over 400 Doctor Who SKUs (stock-keeping units) at any one time, with many items exclusive to Olympia – a showcase of licensed product larger than anything available on the high street in one place. The 133 sq.m. store has a circular layout, with the tills and checkout area at the centre mimicking the central console of the TARDIS.

“After the exhilaration of the Doctor Who Experience the area of the shop and café provide an opportunity for fans to catch their breath. Inspired by what they’ll have seen and experienced, our retail offer makes it both easy and pleasurable to turn their excitement into tangible rewards,” says Alex Johns, MD at brand experience and retail specialist Brandnew Corporation, which has designed and will operate the store. “The wi-fi platform will considerably enhance the immersive experience for all Doctor Who lovers.” 


David Murphy writes:
The revolution has begun. Over the past 12 months, there has been a growing realisation in the retail community that they need to get their heads round mobile. It started when they saw the percentage of traffic hitting their main website from mobile devices. People accessing the site in this way were not getting a great user experience, so the retailers – some of them at least – started building mobile-optimised websites. Others went down the app route, creating apps that enable you to browse the product range, reserve goods, and in some instances, buy them, all through the app.

What BBC Worldwide are doing with The Doctor Who Experience is a little bit different. This is a retailer saying to itself: “A lot of the people coming in my store are going to have a smartphone; what can I do for them?” And the answer it came up with was that it could provide a free wi-fi hotspot for those smartphone users to use to access branded content and download discount coupons to their phones.

I believe it’s only a matter of time, and probably not much time, before this becomes commonplace in retail outlets. As you walk into the store, touch your NFC phone on the reader by the door and see what offers the store has for you today. After all, we’ve all become offer-obsessed over the past couple of years, and retailers who see their customers swiping barcodes in store to compare prices with  other stores know they need to do something to keep them happy and loyal. Fair play to the Doctor for seeing the future.