How to Achieve a 90% WiFi Connection Rate at Your Business

- 5th Dec 2017

There’s a wealth of valuable consumer information readily available for businesses that use WiFi as an analytics platform. Using this platform intelligently helps companies understand their customers’ behavior and preferences, as well as enable personalized, real-time communication.


However, what’s important to note, is that even though guest WiFi has become an integral component of a company’s customer acquisition strategy, the level of success achieved differs from brand to brand. What we’ve learned through surveys and client interactions is that WiFi adoption rates among guests differ across industries and brands, with industries such as hospitality and travel recording significantly higher adoption rates compared to retail stores, shopping centers and sports venues, since time spent is naturally longer.

One factor that infrastructure and operations managers can control, however, is how the onboarding process looks and feels from the customer’s perspective.

Maximizing Customer Acquisition, Engagement and Experience

Our research shows that multi-step onboarding processes suffer from a 51% drop-off rate, compared to only 11% for single-click designs. The key to successfully acquiring customers through WiFi is simply to make it as easy and fast as possible for them to get to Google . In our experience, the concept of ‘progressive onboarding’ shows the most consistent success.

  • A Straightforward Onboarding Process

At least during a customer’s first attempt to connect, keep it streamlined and keep it simple. Remember that they will want to browse the internet at that point in time, not fill out surveys or donate to charity. Nor will they want to provide too many personal details, which can easily seem threatening.

Establishing the habit of using your network in them is the first objective. Progressive onboarding relies on collecting data gradually, instead of making users wonder if free WiFi is really worth the amount of time spent getting it.

  • Continuous Benefit to the Customer

Whether it’s formally defined as such or not, every branding interaction represents a building block in the relationship between seller and customer. When users provide you with their data, a give-and-take process is occurring and they will expect something in return, even if this is intangible. Customer engagement can be improved through creating a sense of belonging and exclusivity, communication that’s interesting and appropriate to them, rewards in the form of discounts and so forth.

Incentives to connect to your network can take a variety of specific forms, but the following phrases illustrate the basic idea:

  • Enter our monthly draw just by walking into the store!
  • Loyalty points for every minute you spend shopping.
  • In order to receive advance notice of special offers, please let us know your email address.
  • Did you know? Our frequent shoppers are automatically entered into our Gold loyalty program.

The range of ways to encourage customers to use on-site WiFi is endless. One of our clients, a major sports stadium, incentivized fans to connect to their WiFi by offering free hot chocolate in winter.

An Example of How Progressive Onboarding Is Implemented

On their first visit, the captive portal displays an attractive splash screen containing little more than a generic welcome message and a “click here” button to access the internet. No personal data is gathered at this point, although the mobile device’s ID is recorded.

When they return a second time, the captive portal recognizes the device and gives the option of providing a phone number in return for in-store offers. These can, for instance, take the form of personalized coupons sent only to customers with a demonstrated interest in some class of product, only while they’re physically in the store and which expire at the moment they leave.

As the customer continues to frequent the location, a more and more complete picture emerges of their habits, spending power, likes and dislikes. As time goes by, they may be asked to provide further personal information, participate in loyalty programs, or give feedback. At each stage, the association between customer and company deepens and brand loyalty is strengthened.

WiFi As Part of Brand Identity and Customer Experience

Although some restaurants and shopping malls still display “Free WiFi!” signs, the reality is that most visitors today take this as a given. If adoption rates are important to you, what’s needed is creative ways of demonstrating how it can benefit customers in ways that will delight them.

As analytics and the personalized advertising it supports has a force multiplier effect, promoting in-store WiFi use should receive priority when it comes to signage and POS advertising. One of our clients had great success simply by hanging a few banners and signs promoting their loyalty program, which dispensed points in return for using their WiFi. Across the board, clients who adopted digital signage boosted adoption rates by a further 5%. Success often depends on converting non-users through traditional in-store marketing: at the entrance, among the aisles and even at the exit.

Our SaaS tool, Proximity MX digitizes physical spaces and allows you to leverage real-time at location customer data to make better business decisions. If you want to achieve a 90% connection rate, click the below button to learn how and get a free demo: