For today’s consumers, it’s no longer a luxury to provide online access - but a necessity. Your customers, patients, guests, visitors and passengers want a free WiFi service that keeps them in touch with the rest of the world, no matter where they are.
If you’re unaware of the growing demand and how important it is for your organisation to offer WiFi, here are 11 impressive statistics about wireless connectivity:
How Have the Public's Expectations for WiFi Changed?
- There will be 3.8bn smartphone users by 2021.
- 45% of under 35s actively look for free WiFi when in public.
- 57% of customers are happy to input their personal data to receive tailored promotions.
- WiFi is actively used on over 13 billion devices worldwide and over 80% of activities that are completed on an average smartphone use the WiFi.
- A study found that almost 62% of businesses reported that customers spend more time with them after providing WiFi, with 50% claiming customers also spent more money with the business.
- A YouGov Poll (2017) suggests that around 51% of people would prefer to connect to their mobile network provider rather than a public WiFi network because it’s unfamiliar and they don’t trust it. However, that’s quickly changing.
As these statistics suggest, businesses of all sizes and sectors are missing out on valuable analytics and opportunities to profit if they don’t implement a successful WiFi solution.
The amount of smartphone users grows daily. In the last year alone, the amount of internet users has risen by 367 million. This means a substantial amount of people actively look for free WiFi which shows the demand is there.
If you’re not leveraging these important insights, the chance to improve customer engagement will ultimately be in the hands of your competitors and not yours.
When offering WiFi, the branded User Experience not only strengthens your brand awareness but it can leave a lasting impression and build credibility for your business. It’s a space to advertise your business further and customers are happy enough to put their data in to receive promotions if they’ll benefit.
You can engage with customers with targeted marketing, influencing them and guiding them towards products and promotions they might be interested in. For any business, a branded User Experience can increase brand awareness and leave a positive impression on a customer, even after leaving the store.
But it's not just about offering free WiFi.
It's also about providing reliable WiFi. You can’t ignore the staggering amount of people that prefer to shop where there’s free WiFi but when it comes to concerns about access, we know it can sometimes deter users.
However, there are certain schemes that are designed to protect users from inappropriate content, such as the 'Friendly WiFi Scheme'. By offering filters such as these, you can boost loyalty and trust from the public, encouraging them to return to your business.
The Future of Wireless Connectivity
7. The biggest opportunity that free WiFI holds is the actionable data these networks can collect.
8. As WiFi networks potentially use AI technology and machine learning, we can start to expect a higher standard of personalisation from our networks.
9. Cities across the world are struggling to come up with a solution to providing reliable public Wi-Fi to meet these new consumer demands.
10. Globally, total public Wi-Fi hotspots will grow from 64.2 million in 2015 to 432.5 million by 2020.
11. Cities have a responsibility to ensure that connectivity is accessible to all.
The term ‘smart city’ is being increasingly used to refer to modern IT solutions that improve public infrastructure and services. People expect more from public services than they used to. WiFi is the quickest and least expensive way of providing universal internet access.
Smart cities are also looking into improving facial recognition software and wireless-enabled body-mounted cameras for police officers to make their jobs easier. The idea is that these features act as a deterrent and make the city safer for everyone.
All businesses benefit when they offer free WiFi - regardless of which industry they’re in, whether it be WiFi for retail, transport, or otherwise. The analytics you can harvest can give you better insight into customer behaviours and preferences. Your business will be able to see where people tend to gather in your space or venue, popular entrances and exits, peak times and so on.
All this data can be used to increase your overall offering and further boost customer satisfaction.
However, one major concern is whether cities can provide WiFi that's reliable enough to satisfy the public's demands. As the number of people using WiFi-enabled smartphones increases, can public WiFi networks cope?
This is where AI can step in.
Not so far in the future, AI will seamlessly empower IT administrators and enforce rules related to failed connection attempts, roaming, capacity and access point uptime issues - regardless of the size or complexity of their network.
That doesn't mean these machines will replace humans. In fact, while AI is taking care of the menial, repetitive tasks, human staff can focus on other vital, more strategic projects. It's about teamwork.
While AI-enabled machine learning will create a new approach to network design, the human element will still be pivotal. AI and machine learning will work alongside to assist in smoother deployment and quicker performance issue resolving.
Discover More Eye-Opening Benefits From Wireless Connectivity That Could Benefit Your Company
Wireless connectivity isn’t just an added bonus, it’s an expectation for all sectors. Not only is it advantageous for your customers, visitors, patients and passengers - but it’s also beneficial for your business.
That’s why we’ve created a guide full of information about integrating a WiFi platform that could help you to better engage with your customers.
Download your copy of the guide to discover the full range of benefits available.