Quick-Start Guide to Guest Wi-Fi Analytics

With so many benefits to be gained from guest Wi-Fi, this has become a great revenue generator and add-on service for MSPs looking to better serve their customers.

In competitive industries, keeping customers happy is critical to earning repeat visits and increased sales. Offering guest Wi-Fi is one way organizations can keep customers happy. After all, as consumers — regardless of whether we’re shopping, eating lunch, or waiting for our oil to be changed — it’s become common to expect free Wi-Fi.

While many of your customers are probably very happy to install guest Wi-Fi just to improve the customer experience, there’s recurring revenue to be made by you 1) maintaining and managing the hardware, rules, and security of the hardware, and 2) providing advanced analytics that give your customers valuable insights into their customers. Here are just a few ways guest Wi-Fi analytics can be used.

Traffic, Behavior, and More.

Within retail and using proper sensors and tools, it’s possible to track connected customers as they walk throughout the store. With this data, you can generate diagrams that detail traffic patterns, including dwell time in specific areas of the store. Is an end cap promotion getting extra attention? Analytics can provide the data to tell you definitively. Historical foot traffic patterns can also help organizations understand the best location for displays and sales.

Using historical connection information, organizations can also determine how many customers are new versus returning.

Browsing Behaviors

Being on guest Wi-Fi means your customers will have access to a history of searches and pages being browsed. While this can cross over into a creepy area, it’s possible to simply look at anonymous data to learn what, generally speaking, customers care about. A doctor’s office might learn that waiting patients are doing a lot of searches about specific symptoms or ailments. This data could be useful in crafting an email newsletter or marketing effort to all patients. Retailers can understand what their customers are looking for and make inventory adjustments. There’s really no end to what lessons can be learned from this data.

Customer Information for Marketing

Many consumers are willing to share a bit of their personal information to gain access to free Wi-Fi. Rather than simply giving Wi-Fi to anonymous strangers, organizations can require a name, email address, preferences, and maybe even an answered survey question or two. Organizations can sweeten the offer by including a coupon. The result is valuable data that can then be used for follow-up personalized marketing and increased sales.

Also, if registration requirements include things like age, gender and economic status, an organization can gain a better understanding of their customer base and what services/goods might be appealing.

How Much Data to Expect

According to research from guest Wi-Fi vendor Purple, 20% of will customers (varies across industry) connect to WiFi. Purple points out that a large restaurant chain can see an average of 1,000 visits per day, per restaurant. Ten restaurants equals 10,000 customers. Assuming 20% of those 10,000 customers connect to WiFi, the chain can collect 2,000 new customer records in a single day, along with all the other data we’ve outlined above.

Don’t Forget Privacy

While many consumers seem to disregard privacy when it comes to their social media footprint, they do so of their own volition and are often unhappy when companies take unauthorized actions using their personal data. Therefore, it’s important that any guest Wi-Fi service you provide your customers includes very clear terms of use and privacy policies in accordance with various laws in effect (e.g., GDPR, California Consumer Privacy Act). Luckily, all the reputable vendors in this space include such functionality and boilerplate text as part of their offerings.

With so many benefits to be gained from guest Wi-Fi, this has become a great revenue generator and add-on service for MSPs looking to better serve their customers. Lead with analytics and you’ll find the sales conversation goes quite well. 


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The former owner of a software development company and having more than a decade of experience writing for B2B IT solution providers, Mike is co-founder of XaaS Journal and DevPro Journal.