WiFi - A new marketing tool that every retailer needs to use

September 13, 2017


 WiFi Marketing is the new secret sauce in the marketing world, and lucky for you, we have the recipe.

Ingredients for Awesome

Offering WiFi isn’t just a nice thing to do for your customers anymore. For a lot of retail merchants, restaurant owners, and venue managers, it’s the most important marketing tool that they use.

Why? WiFi marketing uses your public WiFi to capture customer contact info, automates email and sms messages to bring customers back more often, and then tracks their visits so you can segment your marketing by their visit and purchasing patterns.

So, how does it happen?

Capturing Contact Info




A typical setup looks like this:

A customer enters your business and connects to your open WiFi network. It’s a nice courtesy that’s found in almost any public location, whether it’s a hotel, airport, coffee shop, mall, and now more commonly, restaurants and retail stores.

When your customer connects, they're met with a splash page that asks for some information to complete the WiFi connection. Usually an email address, phone number, birth date, or social login is requested.

It’s uncomplicated and it’s honest.

Customers know that by providing their information, you’re going to contact them. It’s a basic 1:1 transaction; an email address for free WiFi. And they’re ok with that. In fact, they welcome it. They're in your store already, so you know they're interested, and would naturally want to know more about your products and sales. Plus they can always unsubscribe. 

It’s also a more seamless experience for a customer to provide their information and get something in return, instead of your employess asking them to spell out a long (and sometimes embarrassing) email address at the checkout counter.

Many people find it uncomfortable being asked for their phone number at the checkout. It’s awkward and invasive. But etering it on a screen as a type of login is natural.

Pro Tip: A great way to increase the number of people connecting is to offer incentives such as a coupon. (Ok that was like Pro Tip Level: "Duh". But it needed to be said).

On-Site Engagement




You now have the contact information for your customer, and you can immediately send them a coupon or reward by email or text message. This also helps ensure they are providing a valid email address or phone number.

Some WiFi Marketing systems are lean and the experience ends at the point of sign-on. Some, like Koble, are more engaging.

When the customer connects, they are launched into a captive portal, which is essentially a simplified web browser that’s controlled by the WiFi access point. In this portal you can show relevant content such as current sales or specials, gather feedback with a short survey, reviews or social engagement, or redirect them to any webpage you want.

Visitor Tracking and Data

Seems pretty obvious so far, right? But what you may not know is that the WiFi access point has other capabilities that benefit the merchant.

It can detect each device - smartphone, tablet, computer - that comes into your store, whether they actually connect or not. The dashboard keeps track of important information like how often that phone comes back and how long it stays.

When the customer connects using their email address or phone number to sign on, you are now connecting the data you have about visit times and history with a real person.

This is powerful information.

The savvy marketer will be able to segment their customers into groups and send them specific marketing materials. You might send one email to the customers who visit 3 times a year during big sales like Black Friday, but you’ll send a different email to your more loyal customers who visit multiple times each month.



Automated Marketing Increases Visits

The beauty of all this is that while it’s mostly hands-off, it still increases your sales.

Let’s say you’re using an automated SMS marketing tool built into your WiFi admin platform. You can spend about 10 minutes setting up triggered and scheduled text messages to go out.

Here's an example

You trigger a message to send at the moment your customer connects, which includes a coupon code that can be used immediately, or at a future date, or online.

You set another message to trigger a few minutes after the customer has left your store requesting they leave a review.

Then you setup scheduled messages to go out before major events like a flash sale or Black Friday. SMS is great for these type of events because it’s immediate. 90% of people read a message within 3 seconds of receiving it. Adobe

Pro Tip: Find out how to create a link to leave a google review that’s prefilled with 5 stars. (Pro Tip Level: Ridonculous)

Setting up WiFi marketing really is that simple

Soooooo here's how you get started. 

1. Make sure you have a physical store with an internet connection and a power outlet.

2. Take up this sweet offer for Free Hardware, a super long trial, and a discounted subscription.

3. When your Koble WiFi Hardware Kit arrives in the mail, just plug it in, and let your WiFi do the work.

Now onward! Get out there and create your free Koble account to begin your WiFi marketing adventure.


Check out the video below to take a peek at the Koble admin and how to setup your marketing campaigns once your hardware arrives. 




Topics: eCommerce News

Scott Riddell

Written by Scott Riddell

Scott is a chin-scratching gentleman who has a wealth of eCommerce experience. He works as a product manager at Bold, envisioning and shaping new apps that empower entrepreneurs to sell more.

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