Everywhere you go Free Wi-Fi is available, retailers and business owners provide this service as a way to entice customers into their premises, but not many actually know why they are doing it apart from keeping up with the competition.

In a survey customers were asked “would the availability of In-Store Wi-Fi influence where you shop?”

At least 44% of respondents across all age ranges answered as a resounding YES, with a 48.1% average.  That means that nearly half of all customers expect Free Wi-Fi, and these figures are set to increase year on year with mobile devices and the need for constant internet access becoming more and more popular. Coffee shops and restaurants were the most used with approximately 3 out of 4 people choosing tat category.  Now this isn’t surprising as these are two of the most popular businesses where people can remain for a period of time, and as such the need for internet whilst drinking your coffee needs to be satisfied. Not surprisingly 64% of respondents make a restaurant choice based on the availability of Wi-Fi services.wifi-infographic Over half of the respondents used Hotel Wi-Fi services, this in part will be due to minimizing roaming costs, or cutting down on your data plan.  After all when you are in your hotel room, there often isn’t much to do other than go on the internet and connect with friends, and family, or catch up on your work emails. 79.5% of mobile consumers are influenced by the availability of in-store Wi-Fi when deciding where to shop.  This is evidence clearly that if you don’t offer Free Wi-Fi then you are missing a very large potential audience.

So how are consumers connecting to the internet?

Smartphone and tablet usage of public Wi-Fi increased to 60% of all public Wi-Fi connections, whilst mobile devices grew from 45% to 60% of Wi-Fi connections year on year, a 33% lift. 60% of all public Wi-Fi usage was represented by mobile devices,with smartphones at 38% and tablets at 22%.  Laptop usage decreased to 40% of usage, a relative decrease of 27% year over year. So from the opinions of the respondents, what are the biggest advantages to using Public Wi-Fi? 55% stated a faster connection to the internet than using their mobile provider, whilst 37% use Wi-Fi to avoid data charges.  17% use public Wi-Fi for streaming content, yet only 3% prefer to use a broadband card / dongle.

So what are customers willing to do for free Wi-Fi?

A staggering 84% would be happy with free, ad-supported Wi-Fi, whilst 8.4% prefer paid Wi-Fi and only 7.4% are willing to pay for a higher speed. We also asked what sort of sponsor engagement would customers be willing to do for free Wi-Fi? 64.8% of respondents would be willing to share on social media, while only 14.8% would be willing to download an app. There is a clear need for offering free Wi-Fi to your customers, but what can you do to utilise this medium and make it work for your business?  Also how do you ensure that you are meeting your customers need for online access, without missing any of your potential audience?

From this survey the following results are clear.

  • Wi-Fi is wanted and needed by all age ranges.
  • Wi-Fi influences whether customers go into your store or not.
  • Smartphone and Tablet are the most popular methods of getting online, but laptop is still used.
  • Higher speeds than mobile providers need to be offered.
  • Customers are willing to view advertisements to gain access to Free Wi-Fi.
  • Customers are willing to share on Social Media to gin access to Free Wi-Fi.

So as a business you need to offer Free Wi-Fi, but also make it work for you.  So businesses need-

  • Advertisement supporting Wi-Fi
  • Smartphone, Tablet and Laptop compliant Wi-Fi
  • Social Sharing Wi-Fi

Fortunately there is an answer, at Social Media Wifi, we offer all of the above and more. Our Wi-Fi optimises the advertisements and Login screens so that they are displayed in the best way dependent on the device being used, so you can rest assured that your users gain the maximum customer satisfaction. Our Social Wifi hotspot system is designed to encourage Social Logins and Social Sharing so as to maximise exposure for your business and to encourage customer engagement. But how do you know who your customers are, and how they are connecting to your Wi-Fi, after all you can’t keep waiting and relying on these infographics and reports to come out to give you an idea of your potential customer base.  Well we have that covered too,we offer detailed data analytics which as a business owner allows you to view in real time your customer demographics, so you are able to react accordingly to maximise the potential in your business. To find out more, either contact us, or feel free to have a look at our additional information regarding the Social Media Wifi Hotspot.