The implementation of a reliable WiFi solution is attractive for various economic development reasons. With many already revitalising their high street and reaping the benefits of increased dwell times and repeat custom, how can your town, city or district invite the same success?
From the benefits to special considerations, here’s what a Business Improvement District (BID) needs to communicate when writing a proposal for implementing WiFi in their town centre.
- Listed Buildings Require Special Consideration
- Mediocre WiFi Coverage Isn’t Sufficient
- Increased Awareness for Local Businesses
- Access to Powerful Customer Analytics
- Attract and Retain Customers
1. Listed Buildings Require Special Consideration
UK towns are quickly realising they have to take serious action to revitalise their areas. When the COVID-19 situation subsides, there needs to be more than just physical upgrades - there needs to be digital too.
The towns and cities that often require innovation have a strong history that needs to be protected and celebrated. With all that history, however, comes the challenge of listed buildings.
It’s a genuine concern for residents and business owners alike and will need to be addressed in your project plan. Both tourists and locals want to shop but you’ll need to account for this without sacrificing the historical significance of the high street.
However, with access points often mounted high up and out of sight, the most difficult part isn’t the deployment. The real challenge lies within getting permission. The right WiFi solutions provider will have experience and knowledge to efficiently tackle these obstacles, such as colour-matching access points to buildings.
They will ensure the project is undertaken with care and respect for the location, all while keeping the history of the town alive.
2. Mediocre WiFi Coverage Isn’t Sufficient
Slow WiFi is even more infuriating than having no WiFi at all. A poorly scoped network that has capacity or connectivity issues will provoke complaints from anyone trying to use it. When creating the project plan, you’ll need to communicate that you’ve explored options and found a solution that provides guaranteed, reliable coverage.
Reducing costs by decreasing the number of access points isn’t an option if you want to ensure the important areas have the best coverage. The right provider will show you results from their on-site surveys and will recommend the equipment you need for the best possible service.
It’s essential that once you’ve decided to install WiFi, you choose a robust network that can take possible bandwidth issues in its stride.
3. Increased Awareness for Local Businesses
While some retailers might be apprehensive to adopt WiFi solutions, the benefits to the local economy can’t be understated.
Branded adverts on a WiFi platform allow you to raise awareness of local businesses and once someone has connected, they can receive featured promotions and discounts, or be redirected to a designated URL. If they’re spending a lot of time near a particular souvenir shop, then they might get a message for a discount to entice them over the threshold.
Communicating these benefits is the key to gaining buy-in from each business that forms the BID.
4. Access to Powerful Customer Analytics
With a network in place, local communities can collect valuable data that can be used to inform the decisions they make. With collated visitor data, you can determine what is and isn’t working on your high street.
A network that features intelligent analytics tools will provide insight into visitor habits. This gives you a better understanding of your demographic and you can leverage that information to shape future marketing campaigns and infrastructure improvements - ensuring your town centre is a popular destination for shoppers.
Gathering customer analytics is just one step that retailers can take to improve customer engagement and thrive. The high street is a difficult place for any business, but a dedicated group of loyal shoppers will certainly help and analytics will identify this.
While many businesses on the high street are often strapped for money when it comes to marketing, access to these valuable insights will certainly be a selling point for many who will contribute to the BID.
5. Attract and Retain Customers
Connectivity has become essential for many anytime and anywhere, often influencing where people and families choose to spend their time. Fail to provide a network and visitors are less likely to stay for long or engage with local businesses.
Give them the option of a public WiFi network and you’ll find this increases the time they spend with retailers and the chance of them spending more money. If you want to increase footfall traffic, WiFi is the perfect solution.
Areas that have established themselves as ‘digital towns’ have seen significant improvements in visitor figures and a boost to the local economy. It’s a great selling point for a town and it can be the difference between shoppers staying local or heading to the nearest shopping centre.
Public WiFi is an opportunity for you to connect with visitors and raise awareness for the local businesses and town. There are a lot of components to consider when writing a WiFi implementation project plan. Between listed buildings and guaranteeing adequate coverage, it can be quite a challenge on your own.
Partnering with an experienced WiFi solutions provider can give you external expertise and make sure your town stays on budget.
It’s important to work with a provider that can manage the full WiFi project from design and planning through to implementation and monitoring, with 24/7 support. The more work that’s done before implementation, the easier the process will be. Post-launch monitoring can then ensure that any teething problems are sorted and capacity figures are checked so all users receive the best possible connection.
WiFi SPARK has extensive experience in designing, delivering and supporting large scale public access WiFi and engagement services throughout the UK and Ireland. A proposal from WiFi SPARK can offer a high-quality, reliable solution that’s scalable for future expansion if required. Are you ready to reinvent the high street?
Rejuvenate Your High Street With a Successful WiFi Implementation Project Plan
Many high streets in the UK have already successfully implemented a reliable WiFi solution through a triumphant BID proposal. Using innovative technology to increase insights and custom, they’ve established themselves as innovators in retail.
That’s why we’ve created our ‘Transform Your Town’ guide which details how businesses and shoppers have all benefited from a reliable and intelligent WiFi network. From towns that are already taking advantage to how to secure your place on the high street after the COVID-19 dust settles, get access by downloading the guide below.