From coffee shops and hotels to shopping centres and retail outlets, so many businesses offer free Wi-Fi access nowadays that customers have come to expect it as part of the everyday shopping experience. This isn’t something that should be driven by public demand though – with up to 70% of consumers in-store carrying a Wi-Fi enabled device in their pocket, it’s the capture of your customers data via the network that has huge profit potential.
Offering a secure and reliable Wi-Fi connection is only part of the puzzle. Most retailers and hospitality providers are currently just using free Wi-Fi as a customer lure, when they could be engaging with those users to create new marketing leads and increase sales.
There are many ways in which you can begin a dialogue with customers using Wi-Fi services, such as requiring them to enter basic personal information in order to log on. This allows you to build up a profile of your customer database, allowing you to contact them with targeted special offers to encourage repeat business.
Alternatively, you could ask users to like your Facebook page or mention your location on Twitter in return for Wi-Fi access, which many consumers prefer as it’s less time consuming than filling out details. Once they’ve logged on, directing them to a branded homepage featuring special offers is another powerful way to generate revenue and market your services.
Establishing these communication channels is just the first step; the real value is extracted by developing long-term digital relationships with your customers. This should be done by continuing a dialogue using techniques such as push notifications, exclusive promotions and loyalty discounts.
Most importantly, retailers must strike the right balance of communication when using these services as not to overwhelm the customer. When delivered in a targeted, timely and relevant manner, it will strengthen their attachment to your brand and increase their individual value to your business, promoting loyalty and driving sales.