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5 ways free customer Wi-Fi can boost your business

Free Internet connection has become a staple requirement to attract and retain customers. But why, and what innovative techniques ensure that provision of a free service will create customer loyalty and attract more business?

Before we examine how free customer Wi-Fi provisioning will help increase business and customer loyalty, it is important to have an overall view of how free Wi-Fi works. Once you understand the process, you can quickly see the weaknesses and evolve your offering to ensure maximum return on outlets supplying a free Wi-Fi service.

The free Wi-Fi offering

Statistics tell us that free Wi-Fi is great for attracting potential customers.

In addition, the December 2012 JiWire Statistics reported that

  • 80 per cent of mobile consumers are influenced by the availability of in-store Wi-Fi.
  • The top four activities shoppers use their mobile devices for while in a store are focused on enhancing their shopping experience.
  • Women are using mobile in stores more than men to find the best deal.

However free customer Wi-Fi is not great when it attracts the more disruptive elements of society. In some cases, free Wi-Fi can also become an unnecessary burden, when for example the Wi-Fi fails and customers overload your staff with questions such as “Why isn’t the Wi-Fi working?”, “When will it be working again?” “How to log on?” and so on – none of which has anything to do with your core business.

The majority of free Wi-Fi, involves the user obtaining a 30 minute Internet connection in exchange for the completion of an online (cloud-based) form. Most users will fill in the form with bogus details in order to prevent their email and phones being inundated with unrequested marketing offers. So the question is how can retail outlets, remain competitive by offering this free service whilst still benefiting their business?

Minimum orders please

Free Wi-Fi has almost become a de facto standard for many retail outlets, so much so that there really is no competitive advantage apart from keeping up with the competition.

To try and distinguish themselves and gain some benefit, many drink and food outlets have gone one step further and provide ‘free’ unlimited Wi-Fi in exchange for a minimum purchase.

Free advertising

The hotel industry capitalises on its free Wi-Fi offer by connecting users to a default home page depicting the hotel and some of the latest offers available.

A few savvy retailers have already implemented their in-store page which displays current offers and promotions on the log-on portal to their Wi-Fi. #SocialWifiEffectiveness

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