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Study Shows In-Store Wi-Fi Improves Customer Loyalty

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Tuesday, February 17th, 2015


A lot of shopping malls and restaurants offer a free Wi-Fi service to their customers these days but are there any tangible benefits of providing the service? Can the retail stores experience better customer loyalty or increase in footfalls just by providing a free wireless service to their customers? If the results of a new survey are to be believed, the answer to the above questions is a resounding “Yes”.

The survey was conducted by EarthLink which is Atlanta based communication, networking and IT service provider. The company serves more than 1 million American citizens as well as over 150,000 business establishments. EarthLink partnered with AirTight Networks, provider of Wi-Fi and WLAN services and solutions, as well as global research and advisory firm, IHL group, to discover the true impact of providing in-store Wi-Fi facilities to consumers.

According to the results published by EarthLink and its partners, retailers can earn and improve customer loyalty simply by providing a free in-store Wi-Fi service to their customers. As per the survey, stores offering free Wi-Fi facilities to customers experienced a 28 percent improvement in customer loyalty. The survey team also discovered that while 82 percent of medium to large sized stores had deployed wireless facilities within their premises, only 57 percent offered the service to both their employees as well as customers.

Retailers offering free Wi-Fi hotspots to customers enjoyed a high approval rating and were much more likely to be frequented by the regular customers. Similarly, stores providing wireless facilities to employees earned a better employee loyalty than the establishments that did not provide this facility to their workforce. So, it can be definitely be said that stores offering free Wi-Fi to their customers as well as employees topped the popularity charts and were able to extract maximum loyalty from their customers and workforce.

The survey also reveals that a lot of retailers are planning to upgrade their Wi-Fi infrastructure in the year 2015. Out of the business establishments that already offered free Wi-Fi access to their customers, 34% said that they were planning to update the technology framework to provide a better experience to their customers. It goes without saying that once the stores improved their networks and started to offer better connections and speeds to their customers, they would definitely experience a surge in customer loyalty.

Ever since business establishments started offering free Wi-Fi access to customers, experts have been debating about the tangible benefits of providing such a service. However, the survey data published by EarthLink should put all such doubts to rest and prove once and for all that providing a free Wi-Fi facility inside stores does improve customer loyalty. Since a majority of adults own Smartphones these days, they are more likely to visit stores and restaurants that provide free wireless facilities in order to save money on their mobile data plans. Retailers also stand to benefit by providing free wireless access to their customers and experience better customer loyalty from their regular customers. So, if you are a retailer or a store owner who wishes to see a dramatic increase in the footfalls, try offering a free Wi-Fi service to your customers.


February 17, 2015
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