Free public Wi-Fi was once a rarity, where customers would seek out those stores that offered this golden surfing opportunity. Now, in an age where consumers expect free Wi-Fi as given, any retailer who doesn’t offer it, could be missing a trick.
Reaping the Benefits
Research has shown that offering free Wi-Fi to the public brings about many benefits. According to Business Insider, 62% of businesses claim that customers spend more time in their facility when free Wi-Fi is available. Crucially, customers usually spend more money, too.
Boosting Engagement and Loyalty
For businesses looking to connect with their customers and get them hooked on their brand, offering free Wi-Fi in-store can help them to achieve this. Free Wi-Fi opens up a world of opportunities for interacting with consumers, such as offering personalised shopping experiences, tailored discounts or product information. By blurring the boundaries between online shopping and in-store purchasing, free Wi-Fi enhances the consumer shopping experience like never before.
The Age of Digitisation
Free public Wi-Fi is part and parcel of our increasing lean towards digitisation of the shopping experience, where inventory tracking and mobile payments are becoming second nature in savvy-minded stores. Additionally, beacons are becoming more common as a way to increase footfall, by providing targeted push notifications.
Digital signage is also taking centre stage as a strategy to engage with customers. Expert digital signage solutions enables retailers to provide current price details or offer discounts or advertising information in real-time.
Staff can provide a better and more personal service, and the use of digital solutions enables them to track traffic statistics, including when customers visit and what they purchase. This information can be used to provide tailored services or even create VIP customer lists.
Many staff already use tablets enabled with Wi-Fi to offer customers in-store information, make searches or provide recommendations about products. This opens up a dialogue between staff and customers, helping to encourage purchases and boosting brand loyalty.
Internet That is up to Speed
In order to drive customer engagement by offering free public Wi-Fi, businesses must, however, ensure that their internet network is optimised for quick and reliable communication that can withstand peak usage at busy times. Slow speeds or erratic connections could undermine the goal of establishing engagement and loyalty, and may even have the opposite effect in driving customers away.