Monday, 4 August 2014

WiFi: Why Giving it Away is Good for Your Bottom Line

77% of the 400 US businesses surveyed said
customer-facing WiFi is important to
their business
Did you know that offering free WiFi to your customers is a way to improve key metrics for your business?

You probably suspected that as being the case, but a survey recently conducted on behalf of Devicescape shows just how much of a difference customer-facing WiFi can make.

Increased foot traffic, longer stays and more customer spend
Market strategy consultant iGR surveyed 400 businesses across the USA to get their opinions about WiFi as an amenity and their results are staggering. By giving away free WiFi to their customers, businesses found an increase in foot traffic and longer stays. In addition, a whopping 96% said that customer spend either increased - or stayed the same, with only 0.1% of respondents not knowing if it made any difference since WiFi had been installed.

96% of the businesses surveyed said their
customers either spend the same amount
of money or more since customer-facing
WiFi was installed.
More than three-quarters - 77% of the businesses surveyed - which included salons, clothing boutiques, coffee shops, bars and restaurants - said that customer-facing WiFi was either "important" or "very important" to their business.

Sixty-one percent said that by offering complimentary WiFi, they found their customers are spending more time at their place of business.

Although 96% say their customers spend the same amount of money or more, 50.1% say their customers spend more money because of the free WiFi.

The businesses were asked to rate the
success of their Wi-Fi strategy.
Various deployment strategies but each with high success ratings

The businesses, who had differing reasons as to why they had deployed a customer-facing WiFi network in the first place, overwhelmingly felt that their deployment reasons have been successful. Of the businesses who said they'd set up a WiFi network as an additional service for their customers, 79% rated it a success; those who'd set it up to improve sales gave it a 72% success rating; and those who wanted to increase foot traffic gave it a 69% success rating.

Complimentary, yes, but speed matters too

Something else the survey paid attention to was how customers are rating the WiFi service they are given. The survey found that consumers are becoming more and more aware of both the quality of the WiFi as well as the speed.

In a press release, Dave Fraser, Devicescape's CEO, said the survey has confirmed intelligence his company has already gleaned.  "This study shows what we've known for a long time—amenity Wi-Fi is becoming the norm for small businesses and the service provided is typically fast and high-quality. It is a powerful platform for mobile connectivity and offers up tremendous benefit for both enterprises and consumers."

WiFi, Electricity and Running Water
Iain Gillott, founder and president of iGR, in commenting about just how important Wi-Fi has become, said, "In the near future, small businesses will consider Wi-Fi as fundamental to their success as electricity or running water."

Devicescape operates the world's largest Wi-Fi service platform delivering access, engagement, and insight services for telecom operators.