Access to public Wi-Fi is a very touchy subject for many businesses. To offer, or not to offer, that is the question. Surprisingly enough, in this day and age, you can still find restaurants or cafes that don’t offer free hotspots, offering various explanations – anything from expenses to doing it on purpose. Funny enough, this differs even depending on the city or country. Sure, having an open hotspot could have some drawbacks if you don’t manage it properly, but if it’s taken care of properly, you might be very surprised of what it can offer. Here’s a list of 5 reasons why having a guest Wi-Fi hotspot is a complete must.
Wi-Fi Attracts Customers
However depressing this might sound to some establishments, people don’t turn up to your doorstep just for the coffee and cake. While it might be fresh, tasty and locally made, there’s nothing like munching on food and browsing some cat photos online or even getting some work done. This can’t be done without Wi-Fi, our highly desired digital oxygen, so it’s important to provide a fast, reliable and safe hotspot. The world is crawling with hungry digital nomads that need food, drinks, and connectivity to carry out their work. They probably can do without eating and drinking, but no guest Wi-Fi is an immediate turn-off.
An Increase in Profit
Some businesses hate the idea of people buying a small coffee and spending hours sucking up the Wi-Fi. It’s true that some people do take advantage of such establishments, but in reality, it’s actually quite the opposite. People do spend more money in places with Wi-Fi because they just stay longer and get thirsty or hungry. There was even study that asked 400 small US businesses if having an open hotspot had any effect on sales. A whopping 62% stressed that more people started hanging around the store once Wi-Fi was introduced. Half of the participants also agreed that they started making more money. So don’t get angry at a person spending long hours in front of the laptop because these people are one of the best spenders out there.
Branding & Marketing
Guest Wi-Fi is also a very powerful marketing tool that lets you collect customer data, which is an invaluable resource for carrying out targeted marketing campaigns. Nowadays it’s all about individual needs, and an open Wi-Fi hotspot will provide insight beyond your expectations – every time a customer goes online, you can learn something new, such as gender, age, hobbies, opinions, social media activity, and many more details. Once that is done and properly analyzed, you can start offering special offers, gift vouchers, send reminders and newsletters – targeted marketing will help you build a bond based on trust and integrity. There probably never was a cheaper and more accessible way to know your customers. Don’t miss out.
Online security is a big deal nowadays, and introducing guest Wi-Fi is the next step to making your online premises safer. With guest Wi-Fi, you create multi-tier login which allows you to separate internal and guest traffic lanes and assign different permissions to different users and devices. Basically, when a customer attempts to connect to your network, they are prompted to enter a username and password, and this blocks devices from gaining access without the proper authentication credentials. This is crucial since hackers can use customer devices as a launch pad to spread viruses and malware into your network. A guest Wi-Fi also lets you oversee how different users and devices utilize your network, so guests can scroll through social media but not access anything private.
Wi-fi Is Everywhere
Imagine coming to a restaurant and being told that they are out of napkins, or a bar that doesn’t have any ice for your drinks. Would seem kind of weird to say the least, even quirky, however, for many customers, this will be a sign to avoid these establishments like wildfire. We’re not saying it’s exactly on the same level with coffee shops offering free W-Fi connection, but you have to admit – having no internet in such places is very peculiar since it already has become a signature feat of any public place. There are certain cafes that ban Wi-Fi, laptops and even ask to pay up for electricity, in most cases to encourage real-life conversations, which is nice and some of these businesses do well. They get away with because it’s a niche cafe style and some people do enjoy it. But that’s more of an exception than a rule, so while you could try to be extravagant and quirky about digitally detoxifying your customers, in most cases it likely won’t work, and your potential customers will just go for Starbucks.