“If trees were WiFi hotspots, we’d be planting them everywhere. It’s a shame they only give us Oxygen”.


We’ve become diligently reliant on WiFi in our ever more interconnected world. The gracious dot and two gently curved lines has become a modern symbol of hope. Hope that the coffee shop we’re entering has theirs turned on. Hope that we can really quickly connect to the internet at the local shop to check our bank balance. Hope that you can get some work done in your local without having to use up £30 worth of internet data. Hope that you can access your email with the discount code on it, whilst you’re at the till. Need I go on?

If you’re a small business jostling with whether you should provide WiFi access to your customers; let us make the decision for you. Yes.

Why?…

 

Keep them there longer

“Having WiFi will lead to people sitting in only to use my internet”

No. Forget this mentality.

You wouldn’t make a website timeout after 5 minutes because that’s how long you expect people to take. The same applies here. Keeping visitors and potential customers engaged and happy is priority #1. The aim of every business is different when it comes to their reasonings behind free WiFi offerings – loyalty, walk-ins or increased spend? It doesn’t matter. Offering something customers want is beneficial for your business.

Still not convinced? Statistics to the rescue!

According to a study by Earthlink Holdings Corp, 28% of retailers report increased customer loyalty due to in-store WiFi.

 

Increase walk-ins

What makes someone walk into your store? It’s not just location. Not just price. Availability? Random? Convenience? Features? Well… all of the above. As people walk past your premises, they’re weighing it all up in their head whether you are right for them. It’s a game of highstreet poker, as you lay all your chips out on the sandwich board. Having an extra selling point to show off, in the form of free WiFi, could be deciding factor for a lot of new walk ins.

If anything, not having it will put you behind your competitors. Not somewhere you necessarily want to be.
Wifi-Chalkboard

 

People shop with their Eyes & iPhones

Shopping habits are changing and whether you like it or not, digital is taking over. No, we don’t just mean that everyone is shopping online – digital is invading your stores, coffee shops and highstreet.

What the hell are you talking about? We hear you scream.

The mobile companion. It’s becoming less and less common to rely on just our own brain when we go out shopping. Shopping habits have changed, and the mobile phone companion now plays a huge part in how people physically shop. Price comparisons, location based triggers/adverts, online payments, coupon codes, catalog search. You name it, people use it. WiFi is a great way to allow people to do what they want to, and will, do.

Google explain this better than us. They aptly name them ‘I want to buy’ moments. Descriptive, right?

 

Shop-Phones-Wifi

 

Enhanced Data Collection

Just offering an unlocked and open WiFi connection has the benefit of an easy and open connection for anyone to make use of. On the other hand, implementing a login stage allows you to gather the details of customers using your signal. You can find out where they connected, at what time, and use this to contact them at a later stage.

A good example of a big business using this is Wagamama’s (amongst many others). After using their login-walled WiFi, they contact customers and ask them to fill in a survey about their visit. This adds the benefit of increased engagement and specific customer research.
wagamamam-wi-fi

 

Another tool in the marketing arsenal

An extension of the above point – wifi allows you to put your products, services, website or social channels in front of your customers. Instead of having an open network, you can create a login page. From here, the possibilities for promoting your own brand are endless. Do you want the login page success to redirect to your website? Free, engaged traffic! Do you want customers to be able to sign up to your newsletter as they log in? New, fresh, email subscribers! Want to show them your latest offers or give them a coupon for visiting? More in-store purchases!

 

 

Wi-fi-Coupon-Example

 

 

Having WiFi will allow your customers to stay connected, and you to stay connected to your customers.

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