In today’s day and age, it has become commonplace to see a majority of businesses and restaurants offering free WiFi to its customers. It comes down to the fact that offering free WiFi is a fantastic way to attract possible consumers to your establishment; in fact, it has become a powerful advantage for businesses alike. These can range from bookstores, to coffee shops, to fancy eateries. Combining free WiFi with an active social media presence can be the ingredients to a successful marketing tool.
The Internet has become the thing that shapes modern life. People expect it to be at their fingertips for easy access at any point throughout the day. This holds true not only amongst business professionals, but anyone who is in need of social media usage, entertainment, or surfing the web. Many businesses have taken notice to the extreme dependency on Internet access, and have used information, communication, and entertainment as new, valuable commodities to make more sales by offering free WiFi to customers.
Albeit, access to free WiFi in an intangible service as opposed to a any manufactured product, however we are starting to take notice that offering this free WiFi does indeed increase overall sales. However, there are still business owners out there who have not fully bought in to the free WiFi concept. They question whether it is indeed a profitable decision or just another pointless expense that doesn’t provide much in return. Obviously the biggest objection to providing free WiFi is the concern that patrons may buy one cup of coffee and use it as their ticket to set up their personal office and take advantage of the WiFi for the next three hours. It is not uncommon to see restaurants complain that seats are getting filled and their income is stagnant due to these “free-loaders” posting up at a table all day. The concern is understandable; these places sell coffee, not WiFi. WiFi is a luxury and intended as an extra perk for customers.
As previously stated, free WiFi is a luxury; however, it is a luxury that many customers today have come to expect. A café could offer the best morning drinks around, with delicious pastries to boot, but if free WiFi is not something that the customers can enjoy there, it should not surprise anyone when potential consumers simply take their business elsewhere. In the end, it comes down to the fact that access to free WiFi has become a staple in restaurants, so much so that if you don’t have it, you can kiss a good chunk of business goodbye.
On another note, this could be potentially a great opportunity for store owners and managers to establish an online presence and keep engaged with customers through social media interaction. This could be a powerful tool to advertise promotions as well as spark customer interactions and conversations with one another.