Competition at the retail and restaurant level has never been fiercer. With the growing number of players on the field and online businesses now also sharing the same space, companies need to not only offer quality wares and decent prices but must also find ways to stand out from the crowd. Brick and mortar businesses need to go one step further than e-retailers to ensure that their customers have the very best experience each and every time they visit. This, of course, entails offering excellent customer service but should also include all of the requisite perks that today’s customers have come to expect – Wi-Fi being at the top of the list.
While by no means a groundbreaking innovation, Wi-Fi is one of those non-negotiable freebies that all retail and restaurant businesses today should be offering. In fact, statistics suggest that by 2022, 90% of all shoppers will have a Wi-Fi-enabled device with them as they shop or dine out. That works out to an incredible number of devices, and tremendous actionable and insightful data to analyze and use for savvy business owners. Guest Wi-Fi can help a business get a leg up on the competition – provided said business knows how to use it to its fullest advantage. Let’s explore a few key points.
Having guest Wi-Fi readily available in your venue means that any customer that logs in – even just once – provides you with a wealth of precious data that can greatly inform your marketing strategy going forward. Customer data defines precisely what your customers’ preferences are, what they like and do not like, and what trends they may take part in. This information allows a business to personalize their approach on a customer by customer basis.
Personalization has become an integral part of the customer journey and is now considered a key driver of brand loyalty – an absolute necessity to ensure a business’s current and future success. It’s a no brainer really; consumers are much more likely to buy from brands – both in-store and online – when they are made to feel special (such as being greeted by name upon your visit), and after receiving personalized offers that are perfectly in line with their tastes and preferences. Personalization also helps improve customer retention by keeping customers happy, which directly boosts the bottom-line because as any business knows, it’s far more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to maintain a current one.
Technology has played a major role in shaping the way customers make purchases and interact with brands. Loyalty programs are an effective tool to build on this, by helping to strengthen a business’s brand loyalty and grow their repeat customer base. In a nutshell, the main objective of a loyalty program is to incentivize customers to return. By integrating a loyalty program directly into the guest Wi-Fi, a business is able to use all of the collected customer insights and data to target and personalize their advertising and offers on a customer by customer basis, which invariably provides more bang for their advertising dollar. Loyalty programs are advantageous for businesses and customers since they help grow sales, as well as keep customers happy and satisfied. A win-win approach from any vantage point.
While virtual reality was once primarily seen as a tool to help advance the field of entertainment, its applications and potential have greatly progressed in recent years to include the retail and restaurant industries. Brands and businesses have embraced virtual reality in record numbers to explore the technology’s possibilities for marketing purposes. Perhaps the most underappreciated aspect of this technology for businesses is its ability to help bolster the overall customer experience. Integrating interactive maps directly on your guest Wi-Fi for instance, helps customers locate your venue, navigate through the store and locate the section or item they are looking for more quickly and seamlessly, which directly correlates with an enhanced customer experience. Virtual reality can also make a customer’s experience with your business more entertaining and engaging, which means they are likely to come back to your venue and to tell others about it.
Although advertising and customer experience may sound mutually exclusive, the reality is that businesses and brands that want to develop a relevant and effective advertising strategy need to prioritize customer experience above all else. When you consider recent statistics - nearly 70% of consumers say they don’t trust advertising, and another 42% say they distrust brands – it becomes apparent that in order to succeed in this day and age, businesses need to target their advertising strategies specifically to their customers’ wants, needs, likes, interests and concerns. Guest Wi-Fi and the data that it collects enables businesses and brands not only to engage with their customer base, but even more importantly to finely tune their marketing efforts to their clients’ specific tastes.
Customers today will simply no longer settle for a bad or even mediocre customer experience, no matter the savings that may be offered. Consumers expect excellence in customer service, personalized offers that deliver on their needs at every stage of their buying journey — and they want all the perks to boot. By leveraging the power of Wi-Fi, a business can use precious customer insights and data to develop targeted marketing strategies, provide unparalleled customer service and grow their bottom line.