The digital age has created an era where the thought of being anywhere without an internet connection is something that strikes fear into the heart of almost everyone.
Simply take a walk down a local high street and users are often bombarded with a substantial amount of choice.
Whereas once decisions on where to shop where made by criteria such as price or quality, consumers are becoming increasingly demanding in the digital age, particularly when the rise of mobile devices means that constant connectivity has become the norm.
While free Wi-Fi access has never been so widespread, there are still many businesses up and down the UK that are falling behind.
Failing to install a free Wi-Fi connection can cause customers, many of whom are constantly on the look out for best possible service experience, to look elsewhere.
This is a particularly pertinent point for businesses in the hotel and hospitality sector, with a recent survey from hotels.com stating that free Wi-Fi was the most important factor in choosing a hotel for 49 per cent of business travellers and 25 per cent of leisure travellers.
Wi-Fi can therefore be a deal-breaker for many customers.
Attract new customers
Attracting new customers is the bedrock of any successful business and, given the demand for it, Wi-Fi is the perfect tool to use for bringing in more punters.
For instance, in the case of cafes, a recent survey from O2 found that 53 per cent of Brits would be willing to sit in a cafe on their own if there was free access to Wi-Fi.
The ability to connect to friends and family removes the stigma of otherwise sitting alone.
Wi-Fi can therefore expand your customer base in a way that would otherwise not be possible.
Understand your customers
A number of public Wi-Fi networks, including MyPlace Connect, require customers to register by supplying basic details in order to create an account.
Customers supply details including their name, age, gender and email address and also have the choice to opt-in and allow businesses to use their details.
As a result, implementing free Wi-Fi can allow companies to amass various valuable pieces of data that can be used for future marketing campaigns.
Once you understand your customer base, it becomes much easier to tailor products and services to their demands and expectations.
While attracting new customers is a crucial part of any small business, retaining customers is equally as important.
The rise of new digital trends and different outlooks can lead to changes in the requirements and demands of your customers, but collecting relevant data makes it easier to keep control of these shifts. Read more