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The allure of WiFi to consumers

Edmund Chua, Analytics Specialist, Logicalis Asia | Sept. 14, 2015
WiFi's ubiquity is providing marketers another avenue to expose their brands to consumers, while enabling convenient connectivity everywhere.

At the same time, increasing use of mobile devices and Internet Of Things (IoT) will also spur the use of WiFi. Research analysts Gartner forecasts that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use globally this year and grow five-fold to 25 billion by 2020.

Retailers and businesses in Singapore can capitalise on this demand for public WiFi to provide personalised promotions and information. Many retailers who have implemented WiFi in their stores find they have a number of new tactics to engage with customers from product promotions, customer loyalty programs to targeted ad campaigns and offers.

F&B chain Subway, for example, started initiatives to use WiFi to offer promotions such as free beverages and sandwiches for guests connecting to its WiFi network. While the program aims to increase customer frequency, Subway has gained valuable information about their customers, such as how long customers stay in stores, walk-by conversation rates and demographic information. These information were then used to for further target marketing.

Tech companies Google and E-Bay offered free WiFi on Virgin and Delta flights, while Microsoft has offered WiFi in premium hotspots in hotels and airports in the US as long as users use Bing for search via their connection.

WiFi can be a mine of information and enable marketers to enhance their location-based offerings, improve inventory management and improve their relationship with customers. In Singapore, the push by IDA for more connectivity, growing cellular network and presence of WiFi hotspots have paved the way for service providers to roll out location-based and context-driven services to consumers and businesses.

As consumers here become more Internet and mobile savvy, there is tremendous potential for marketers and retailers to capitalise on the mobile platform and innovate in areas such as 3D in-location navigation, product and service offerings access, product promotions and omni-channel ordering to their customers.

With more and more people using mobile technology every day, and consumers looking to engage with their preferred brands online, WiFi is a powerful marketing tool that enables companies to understand the user environment, identify customers and interact with them in useful and meaningful ways.


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