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Purple: Free WiFi in Bars, Restaurants Increases Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

Intelligent spaces company Purple surveyed more than 1,000 people about how they use WiFi in bars and restaurants. The results showed that the provision of free WiFi increases customer satisfaction and repeat custom.
Eight out of 10 people said being able to use WiFi in a bar or restaurant would contribute towards a positive, personalised experience. In the age group 35-44, that figure rose to nine out of 10. In addition, nearly two thirds (60%) said being able to use WiFi when out for a drink or meal would increase their customer loyalty.
Purple’s survey results prove that there is clear demand for WiFi in bars and restaurants. If it’s available, more than half (55%) of survey respondents said they sometimes use it, while 4 out of 10 always log in. Favorite uses for WiFi included browsing the Internet (84% do this while out socialising) and keeping in touch with friends (58% use free WiFi for this).
Drilling down further into the survey results, there was also confirmation that using WiFi combined with analytics and marketing tools could further boost business. By offering free WiFi to guests, accessed by social login, bars and restaurants are able to understand more about their customers, including their gender, age, hometown, interests. They can also track how often they come back. These insights help create more timely, relevant and valuable interactions, which the survey proved to be welcomed by customers.
For instance:
  • More than half (51%) said being rewarded for spending a certain amount, or visiting a number of times, would make them more likely to come back.
  • More than a third (35%) said that being able to access exclusive gifts or offers via WiFi would make them a more devoted customer.
  • Almost half (45%) said being offered money off their bill for paying online, or via an app, would increase their loyalty (this figure rose to 51% of respondents aged 45-54)

Purple’s survey also highlights a need for bars and restaurants to maximise online marketing opportunities and project a positive online image. Three out of 10 respondents said that they use the public WiFi in bars and restaurants to check for promotions on drinks and food, which presents an opportunity for venues to create appealing offers. Just under a quarter of people use it to look for reviews – great news for venues with an impeccable online reputation.
Providing WiFi, and gathering customer data as a result, opens up a means of marketing to people after they leave the venue. But, as Purple’s survey reveals, customers have strong preferences regarding how this should be done. Eight out of 10 people would prefer to receive information and offers by email, while just under a third preferred contact via an app, and a quarter would opt for SMS communications. Only 10% would like to receive snail mail, and only 5% would prefer a phone call.
Venues that misuse the marketing opportunity opened up by WiFi analytics by failing to target communications effectively are likely to alienate customers rather than earn their allegiance. Two thirds of survey respondents (64%) said receiving irrelevant messages from a brand negatively affects their customer loyalty.

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