Technology has become an ever-present part of our day-to-day lives; as consumers we take it for granted that we live in an increasingly connected world. At the heart of this paradigm shift is wireless data, superseding traditional linear methods of communication.
Our blog and infographic take a look at the major drivers behind this change and the demand for wireless hotspots – a service that is increasingly being accessed by people shopping, eating out and meeting friends for drinks.
Research from BT has shown that 87 per cent of consumers have accessed the Internet while in a restaurant, pub or bar, turning to their smartphones to check social media or read the latest news. Furthermore, restaurants and cafes are seeing a growing number of customers using their venues to enjoy free WiFi while working over a coffee during the day, with a Samsung report revealing that 69 per cent of Brits work remotely from coffee shops at least twice a week.
But customers turn to WiFi in food and drink establishments for more than just checking Facebook or emails – there’re also the photo fanatics who love to post selfies with friends or shots of their food on Instagram, the parents trying to occupy children with online games and the lone diners who turn to their smartphone in lieu of a table companion.
With this in mind, availability of free WiFi now greatly determines consumer choices of venues. According to BT, 61 per cent of people search for WiFi when eating or drinking, with Samsung’s report highlighting that 37 per cent of customers will go so far as to choose a coffee shop based on the availability of WiFi rather than its quality of coffee. In addition, Casio’s ‘Pub of the Future’ report highlighted that 41 per cent of millennials simply wouldn’t go to a pub without WiFi.
In the current competitive environment, responding to consumer demands can be the difference between success and failure. Importantly, providing public WiFi offers gains above and beyond attracting customers.
Benefits to businesses include longer customer stays, higher spends and improved loyalty through more effective marketing campaigns. Questioning 400 small businesses, an iGR report found that over 60 per cent of customers spent more time on premise after they installed WiFi, with 50 per cent spending more money.
This is corroborated by research from the IHL group, which showed an increase in US restaurant sales of 2.7 per cent post WiFi implementation, while Purple customer, The Australian Pub, saw an impressive revenue increase of 11.2 per cent after installing Purple’s WiFi application.
Given the continuing tight margins in the hospitality sector successful businesses need to maximise opportunities in order to meet, and surpass, customer expectations, which in turn can increase profitability. Free WiFi ticks all those boxes.