Is your business thinking about offering free Wi-Fi to your customers (or even to anyone who’s passing by)? It might seem like a thankless and exhausting offering, but the reality is you’ll be getting something out of it. Some people say that anything free isn’t valued, but that isn’t necessarily true. It might be just what your business needs to not just attract more (paying) customers, but also seriously give your reputation a boost.
There are some cities with an abundance of free Wi-Fi on offer, such as Colorado Springs. It might be a tiny reason why Millennials are flocking there. After all, with scores of locations around the city dishing complimentary Wi-Fi up like Halloween candy, that’s hard for the share-based economy to pass up. However, if you’re a business owner sitting on the fence, take a closer look at these potential upsides to free Wi-Fi:
1. More foot traffic
According to a survey from Devicescape, free Wi-Fi leads to more foot traffic and that makes sense. People are going to flock to places where they can rely on good, fast and reliable internet connections. Even though the Wi-Fi may be free, that might feel obligated to make some purchases or even stumble across some impulse buys without any feelings of guilt. Build it (or offer it) and they will come, laptops in tote to take advantage of a living room away from home.
2. More time on premises
In addition to more foot traffic, people also spend more time on the premises whether it’s in a library, a shop or a café. The longer someone is at your business, the more opportunities they have to spend. If you offer free Wi-Fi, offer easy options for Wi-Fi users such as healthy snacks, bottled water and grab and go options that complement your business. What would you want if you were tucked into a chair for a few hours?
3. Higher spending
Contrary to popular belief, the Devicescape survey found that people spend more in a business that offers free Wi-Fi. The reasons behind that are varied, from people simply deciding they need more purchases the longer they’re at a location to a little subconscious guilt for “leeching” off an honest business. That’s not for business owners to feel one way or another about; just enjoy the jump in revenue.
It should be noted that the survey focused mostly on mom and pop type establishments, which are just starting to meet the stride of corporations like Starbucks and McDonald’s known for their free Wi-Fi. As a business owner, you might have to upgrade your Wi-Fi package to accommodate more people using it, but remember that’s a tax deduction, too.