WiFi: A Big Business Booster
Foodservice consultancy, Horizons, lists free Wi-Fi as an essential initiative for eating out establishments and it is clear that customers now expect it.
Take Stock looks at how free wi-fi can not only drive sales but can enhance your marketing activity by encouraging customers to engage with your brand and ultimately become your brand advocates.
Forget wi-fi for travelling businessmen, free wi-fi is now expected by all types and ages of customers. McDonalds paved the way back in 2007 by offering free wi-fi in most of its 1,200 restaurants – and their sales increased as a result! Research they conducted showed that 71% of wi-fi users in their outlets spent more as it encouraged them to stay in the restaurant longer. This fact is backed up by Compufix’s statistics which showed pubs gain an average of three customers a day by offering a wi-fi service. As Jacqui Grundy, Punch Tavern’s Operations, Support and Project Manager comments, “soon this will be a ‘must have’ for all pubs. With a 33 per cent increase in footfall attributed to wi-fi it’s clear it can and does make a difference.”
And the advantages of free wi-fi are not just limited to an increase in sales. By directing users through your own site you can not only expose them to your brand but increase your presence on key social media channels. By ‘checking in’ via your premises on facebook or ‘tweeting’ your location on twitter or Foursquare, customers are becoming brand advocates and ‘fanvertising’ your business for you.
Due to legal restraints, a managed Wi-fi system is often the safest option as you can restrict access
to copyright material and sites with sensitive or improper content. A managed system also enables you to log user details and activity in accordance with European Regulations.
A managed service can also help you to advertise your business and events via the front-page log-in
and capture customer details for use in your marketing activity.
Top tips for enhancing your wi-fi offering:
- Ensure you offer appropriate seating areas: mix sofas with desk height tables and check your plug points are located near to tables.
- Make sure your signal is optimised throughout your venue: don’t advertise free wi-fi if some areas of your building have weak spots.
- Look at your drink and snack menus and train staff to approach customers in a non intrusive way at regular intervals.