Most large retail stores and shopping centres offer free WiFi to visitors and the benefits can be reaped by businesses of all sizes. Too often, businesses implement free WiFi but miss out on vital analytics, marketing opportunities and advertising avenues because they’re not using it to its full potential.
If you aren’t already offering your customers free commercial WiFi, now is the perfect time to start. Here’s what small business owners should consider for their WiFi.
More Advertising Avenues for Your Business
Some WiFi providers offer full customisation of the WiFi User Experience page which can include a space that can be utilised for advertising. This is the perfect place to increase revenue and engage with customers via targeted marketing. Customers are generally happy to receive targeted marketing if it’s about something they’re interested in and they think it’ll lead to them saving money on something they want.
It’s beneficial for SMEs as you can sell advertising space to vendors or retailers using the User Experience and display online adverts or videos. The more advertising space that’s sold, the more revenue your store can make. As it offers another source of revenue, it also means that the WiFi you’ve installed is paying for itself and more.
For a small business, a branded User Experience can strengthen brand awareness and leave a lasting impression on a customer so you’re at the forefront of their minds. It can link to useful social media accounts or your website which all work towards establishing your brand as being credible and innovative.
Security is Crucial for Guest WiFi
Before deploying WiFi to customers, make sure your preferred WiFi provider can administer a reliable, secure service.
With the potential to have numerous customers of different ages connected at once, there are obvious security concerns that require consideration. It’s best practice to give the general public access to the internet but with filtering and restrictions in place. Failure to filter could allow unwanted access to inappropriate content.
Certain schemes are designed for safe WiFi access, such as the 'Friendly WiFi Scheme.' An excellent WiFi provider will help ensure your connection has this accreditation as well as ISO attributed to their name. This ensures inappropriate content is filtered from your network, so when someone tries to access a website that the filter decides is inappropriate, they’ll be greeted by a block page.
This page lets them know that they can’t access the site and why. Although the primary benefit is to protect your customers from unsafe and illegal activity, the page can be customised to match your company’s branding. So, you can boost your brand awareness at the same time as safeguarding your customers.
Boosting Customer Engagement and Meeting Expectations
For customers, reliable and secure WiFi is no longer a luxury - it’s an expectation. Consumer-facing businesses that aren’t providing free WiFi will soon find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
Think of when you’re shopping online. The personalised service makes for a better, tailored experience. For example, the website remembers previous orders and can suggest similar products that they think shoppers will be interested in. This can also be transferred into SME stores too.
This type of consideration and dedication to improvement can even win you awards. The Falmouth Town team won Partnership of the Year and the UK’s Best Digital High Street with WiFi SPARK for its free WiFi rollout.
An innovative idea was planned to be rolled out in 2018 to bring vibrancy and sustain the town centre. The deployment by WiFi SPARK overcame some significant technical and physical challenges to develop a platform to future proof Falmouth.
Falmouth can now take advantage of opportunities that arise from being identified as a ‘digitally smart’ town. The WiFi has been well received with over 250 daily users, over 90,000 device sessions and 30,000+ sign-ups to the portal since its launch nearly a year ago.
For more information on Falmouth Town and how they enabled small businesses in the area to benefit from the innovative, nationally recognised WiFi solutions, download the case study below.
Analytics Help Improve Marketing and Boosts ROI
Analytics gathered through in-store WiFi can give you invaluable insight into shopper behaviour. This can be anything from the way they move around your store to footfall times.
Knowing information like this can help you to better plan your resources. For example, understanding your instore and outside store footfall can help you increase or reduce staff numbers, based on peak times. This is obviously advantageous for any brick and mortar business. It helps you to plan your workforce more efficiently and boost productivity, as well as ensuring you're investing money into the right places.
When customers log into the WiFi, they give typically give their email addresses in return for access. You can then see their preferences, what integrated loyalty schemes they've signed up to, if they’re a returning visitor and more.
Gaining insight into what sort of customers your business attracts can help you define your target market and personalise offers. SMEs can then shift the focus away from data collection to focus on tailored marketing based on customer profiles they have collated.
By leveraging this data, retailers can strategically design their store layout design and offerings and have swift responses that detail your customer feedback. It also allows you to add them to their mailing list for future marketing opportunities.
Consider the Opportunities for Customer Engagement When Implementing Small Business WiFi
Over 90% of shoppers will have WiFi-enabled devices which they can use while shopping. This shows just how necessary WiFi is for customer engagement. Providing them with a connection allows you to influence the way they shop, increase brand loyalty and personalise their experience.
To explain everything you need to know about bolstering your customer engagement through the means of WiFi, download our Customer Engagement guide. You’ll find information on how to increase repeat business, the tools you need to do this successfully and so much more.
To find out how to start engaging your customers using WiFi, download our free guide today using the link below.