By Matt McCloskey.
Wi-Fi technology is breaking new ground. No longer a passive service, this is fast-emerging a dynamic, interactive communication and analytics tool. Let me talk you through some thought-provoking examples of how Wi-Fi is creating a competitive advantage for many businesses in today’s knowledge economy.
Wi-Fi is more than mobility and access. It’s about intelligence. Over the last five years we have witnessed a step-change as to how this service is deployed and utilised. It’s time to look at Wi-Fi as a new channel to detect, connect with, engage with and interpret customer behaviour.
Wi-Fi infrastructure can be leveraged to detect customer mobiles as they walk into the premises and businesses can push notifications to the user to promote their services. Using customised portals and social media check-ins, businesses can interact in a more highly personalised, intimate way, reward repeat visits and build brand loyalty. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Bringing Wisdom from the Crowd
With location-based analytics, it is now possible to present real-time product offers, navigation and maps, and recommendations to the visitor based on their behaviour. What’s more, insights generated through Wi-Fi location services can enhance the overall effectiveness of a venue. For example, management can maximise the use of floorspace and make critical decisions about the display of goods by mapping their Wi-Fi traffic.
Intu, one the UK’s biggest retail property groups, boasts over 400 million customer visits and 30 million unique customers to its 20 shopping centres every year. By installing new Wi-Fi access points and location-based analytics, the company grew their customer database to 1 million unique registrations with over 50% opt-in rate for store promotions. The ability to also monitor footfall and measure popularity of locations ensured the facility was more aligned to buyer needs – and this reflected positively in customer satisfaction surveys.
Delivering Benefits Beyond the Retail Sector
The benefits of this approach are not the preserve of retail. For organisations across all sectors – from hospitality and transportation, to healthcare and education – Wi-Fi can deliver better informed business decisions and improve the overall experience for end users.
At the University of New South Wales facilities planners have been using Wi-Fi to map paths that students take across across campus, and where they congregate. Data of this type can inform locations for eateries, classrooms and video surveillance cameras.
Copenhagen Airport has improved efficiency and passenger experience using Wi-Fi. Interior maps and information updates are relayed to passengers, so helping their journey through the airport. Predictive modelling based on Wi-Fi analytics is used to measure the passenger flow and waiting times, allowing the airport to allocate staff and optimise every inch of the terminal.
And in the sports arena, Premier League Club Liverpool deployed Wi-Fi last year with the ultimate aim of providing fans with in-match stats, food and drink offers, access to online retail and in-play betting.
Around the globe, healthcare systems are increasingly under pressure to provide a higher level of patient experience. In the US, institutions use Wi-Fi to capture and analyse visitor movement and patterns. Customised portals presented on the visitor’s device can also highlight maps and possible areas of interest such as cafés, gift shops and ATMs.
Is your Business Ready to Explore?
Wi-Fi access is becoming regarded as an essential utility, in the same way that we view our water and electricity. At eir, we have been delivering enterprise Wi-Fi to local businesses for many years, offering them improved workforce mobility and helping them to generate additional revenue. In this ever-growing knowledge economy, we are ready to work with companies who are prepared to explore the intellectual value that Wi-Fi can deliver and how this can better serve their business goals.
Matt McCloskey is Sales Director with eir business solutions in Northern Ireland. Want to know more about what Wi-Fi can do? Contact Matt on uk.linkedin.com/in/mattmccloskey