The benefits of offering free wifi to customers
Attract new customers
Offering free WiFi can attract solo dinners by removing the discomfort some people feel when they eat alone. myplaceconnect.com reports on a survey that found 53% of customers would be happy to sit by themselves in a restaurant or cafe if there was free WiFi. The survey also highlighted that tourists were another customer segment attracted to a hospitality venue offering free WiFi.
Attract more customers
cio.com reports on a study that found offering free WiFi would attract more customers at times when hospitality business have fewer customers. Busting the myth that offering free WiFi would lead to customers hogging tables during busy breakfast or lunch periods, the study found that hospitality venues experienced a spike in free internet usage during the afternoon when they were least busy.
Increase average customer spend
smallbiztrends.com reports that over half of those hospitality businesses that installed free WiFi experience an increase in the average amount spent per patron, only a very small amount said customers spent less.
Helps differentiate your business
Offering free WiFi can be a point of difference if your competitors aren't offering the same service.
Meet customers expectations
With the availability of free WiFi rapidly increasing, customers are starting to expect it as the norm. myplaceconnect.com reports that one in every ten patrons left a venue because it didn't offer free WiFi.
Tips on offering free wifi to customers cost effective
Offer a free service and a premium service
You could offer customers a free service that is capped at a certain length of time and speed and then offer a premium service for those willing to pay for faster speeds and bigger downloads.
Tie WiFi access to purchases
The system could work along these lines: offer free WiFi capped at fifteen minutes. You could then offer thirty minutes for those who bought a coffee and an hour for those who bought a meal.
Use free WiFi as a marketing tool
We came across an example of a dutch cafe that offered free WiFi but regularly changed their network password to things like:
Another option is to ties access to your WiFi to social media. Make a "like," "share," or "follow" a condition of accessing your network. This ensures you can remain connected to the customer after they have left and encourage them to return through your social media profiles.
One of the best ways to get value out of offering free WiFi is to collect customer demographic data when they access your network and then use this to send targeted marketing communication messages via email.