Many retail and restaurant marketers are starting to realize that Wi-Fi marketing and analytics are powerful tools to better understand their customer base, boost profits and improve customer loyalty. Yet, not every product is the same. What makes one a better investment than another comes down to the product capabilities, the progressiveness of the company behind the product, and the services the company provides.
Here we will outline a detailed comparison process for how marketers should choose one tool and one company over another.
Get to Know the Features...All of Them
Wi-Fi marketing and analytics software tools vary in the features they will include. Based on the type of business that is using these tools, the features may be especially valuable. Get to know the ins and outs of all of the features the companies provide.
A key feature of a Wi-Fi analytics platform is the ability to generate concrete and relevant visitor data without requiring customers to log-in to the Wi-Fi hotspot. This feature one should expect. However, the best product allows for data collection without guest log-ins and also gives you the option to require customers to supply their email in exchange for use of the free Wi-Fi.
Aside from this key component, what others features should you look for and understand with regard to Wi-Fi analytics and marketing software? We’ve made a list.
A Wi-Fi analytics tool should provide the capabilities to track:
- passers-by versus in-store traffic;
- dwell times of in-store traffic;
- time of day traffic comparisons;
- in-store heat maps (i.e., where exactly are most of your guests spending most of their time);
- multi-store comparative analysis based on various metrics;
- customer loyalty program participation;
- net promoter scores; and
- other key metrics, such as churn rates, first-time customer return rates, and conversion rates.
When it comes to your Wi-Fi marketing software, you want a system that allows you to:
- execute targeted marketing campaigns;
- score your customers;
- set up buying personas;
- track (and improve) your customer loyalty metrics;
- communicate your messaging to your customers through multiple channels;
- customize the look and feel of your Wi-Fi connection landing page;
- push advertisements, discounts, deals, deals, coupons and specials; and
- track the success of your marketing campaigns in real-time.
Your Wi-Fi marketing software should also be a tool to understand respond to customer sentiment. Customer feedback is critical to business success. Low star-ratings will keep customers from walking in the door. Bad reviews can do irreparable harm and are costly to fight. You need a product that can help you manage the “viral power” of online reviews.
Look for a product that helps you send customizable, automatic messaging to your guests, asking them to review your product or their experience. Ideally, the software automates the process of sending the positive feedback to online review services and sends any negative feedback directly to your team to be handled quickly and effectively.
Overall, the data from the Wi-Fi analytics platform should provide you with all or much of what you need for your Wi-Fi marketing platform, and the Wi-Fi marketing data should inform your analytics. Regardless of your industry, having the ability to do things like create customer buying personas and a scoring system are great because in doing so, you can prudently set up your targeted marketing and better understand your customer lifetime value.
As an example, you want your Wi-Fi analytics software to tell you that while it appears Anne is a lost client because she hasn’t returned in 4 months, she is actually a loyal customer, visiting once every 5 months. In fact, you have many Annes. Knowing this, you might give your Annes an “infrequent loyal customer” persona and assign a certain score to these customers based on the scoring rules you’ve developed.
You can then compare Anne with many other guests to understand your overall current customer make-up. What is it today versus what would you like it to be? Based on the personas you have and those you want to encourage, you can use your Wi-Fi marketing software to craft targeted marketing to appeal specifically to Anne versus Brooke (your bi-weekly shopper).
As another example, let’s say you operate grocery stores or “big box” stores. You can use your retail analytics data to assess how many customers spend their time in the produce sections compared to in the dry goods sections. Based on this “heat map”, you might create predictive models for inventory and shopping trends or better inform your store floor redesign. (Getting fancy, aren’t we?)
Just like that, you start to recognize how important--and valuable--certain features of your Wi-Fi analytics & marketing platform can be.
Frictionless Set-Up, Integration and Management
Another key component to finding the proper Wi-Fi analytics software is choosing a company that is concerned with ensuring the entire process is frictionless--for you and for your customers. For example, because you are potentially collecting personal information, the company should be providing PCI-compliant software.
Most likely, you currently offer retail Wi-Fi. You don’t need to change service providers to add Wi-Fi analytics software, but you do need to switch out your router (this is necessary to collect the analytics data). In so doing, you want a company who will perform a professional installation of the new router, set up your SSIDs, and integrate the router with your current systems.
You should also look for a company who provides a robust managed service of the Wi-Fi hotspot, including assistance with any outages, connection issues, etc. While this isn’t rocket science, you don’t want your managers wasting their time managing the Wi-Fi; that simply isn’t good use of your resources. Using one company that offers front-end and back-end support and service will save you money and streamline your operations.
What’s Behind the Curtain
Hopefully, a progressive, innovative and proven (think: well-funded) company. You don’t want to purchase software from a start-up company that only has enough resources to pay a couple of over-worked developers. Look for professional installation and customer service from people who know the product and a company you trust won’t go under after you invest the resources and time to adopt their software.
You also want a company that is progressive with regard to developing new products and services and enhancing its current offering. A solid company is finding new solutions to new problems and thinking ahead to introduce inventive features before everyone else. An innovative team backed with the proper resources gives its clients the best shot of propelling themselves ahead of their competitors.
What you’re really looking for here is the peace of mind that as you grow, the company will grow with you. So, the idea is simply to do your homework. (You’re off to a good start just reading this blog!)
Try It On: One Size Does Not Fit All
Wi-Fi marketing is a hot topic right now, for good reason. Many companies are trying to get into the game, but are failing to provide the product or service they are promising. It’s important to find a reputable company who will give you what you deserve for the money you spend. And, a little hint: it does not have to be expensive.
Adopting new systems and technology isn’t always easy, but it can be if you choose the right company with the right product. If you’re buying a car, you are going to test drive it. Making a decision about which Wi-Fi marketing and analytics platform to use should be no different. Not only should you see the software in action, you should speak to or meet with company representatives to ask any lingering questions you have.
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