Your business provides free Wi-Fi to better serve your customers. But is your Wi-Fi serving you? Many business owners aren’t collecting all the useful data they could be from their free wireless internet.

Whether you own a coffee stop or a clothing boutique, your public network tells a story. Once you start putting your business Wi-Fi to use, you can gather and analyze data to drive up profits. Here are some useful data points that business owners often overlook.

Customer Dwell Time

Data from business Wi-Fi solutions can help you track a customer’s movements when they’re connected to the network. If you own a retail location, you can use this data to analyze a metric called dwell time. That’s the amount of time that a customer remains in one area of the store. This information helps you optimize the layout of your store for sales.

If you own a pet store, for example, your Wi-Fi data might show that customers are spending the least amount of time in the cat toy aisle. To boost sales on cat toys, you might move the toys to an end cap or a highly visible display table. If cat toy sales increase, you can check back on the dwell time metrics to see whether your new display strategy was the cause. Through trial and error, you can fine-tune the flow of your store to encourage customers to buy.

Store Traffic

While network data allows businesses to track dwell time, it can also be helpful to zoom out a bit. In addition to analyzing where in the store customers are lingering, consider tracking how long customers stay in the store overall. Small business intelligence systems like Plume WorkPass can help you determine which times of day yield the most traffic. This information shows you which times and days are busiest in your store, so you can plan accordingly.

You can base your employee scheduling on these averages, ensuring that you’re never short staffed and are always providing attentive service. You might also plan deals on your high-traffic days to get the most out of your promotions. Alternatively, you could run sales on your slow days to pique customer interest.

Demographic Info

Knowing the demographic breakdown of your customers can help you market more effectively. Fortunately, your free Wi-Fi network may hold some key insights. When a customer logs on to your Wi-Fi and accepts the terms, they likely enter their email address and grant access to some social media data.

With this information, you can learn the age, gender, location, and interests of your customers. Tailoring your marketing messages around demographic data will help you reach new customers and better meet the needs of existing ones.

This data also helps business owners better define their target market. Revisit your marketing plan to compare your target consumer to the individuals actually entering your storefront.

Conversion Rates

It’s common for customers to browse your shelves without buying anything. But do you know how many people are actually making purchases? Your Wi-Fi can help you find out. Retailers can analyze point-of-sale information and Wi-Fi data to compare daily sales to store traffic.

With information on conversion rates, business owners can alter in-store marketing tactics to encourage browsers to make more purchases. You might offer coupons to customers who connect to the store’s free Wi-Fi, for instance. Pricing, store layout, and inventory are some other factors to consider when working to boost your store’s conversion rate.

Coupon Redemption

Coupons and promotions are often effective ways to spread the word about your brand and get customers in the door. Your free business Wi-Fi can show you how many customers are redeeming their coupons, which shows you just how effective your promotions are.

When a customer logs on to your network, they likely see a popup or landing page with terms and conditions. This screen likely includes — or it should include — your logo and your social media links as well.

Adding a coupon to this window can encourage customers to make a purchase, while opening the door for some interesting data collection. Business owners can see how many customers are redeeming these coupons, while potentially A/B testing a few different options.

Customer Retention

One of your top goals as a business is to turn one-time customers into regulars. With so many patrons walking through your door, though, it can be tricky to remember faces. Fortunately, data from your internet provider shows how many customers return to your business and connect to the network.

You can also use this data to compare the number of new and returning customers in your location at any given time. This ratio can inform your marketing tactics. For example, a coffee shop with high numbers of new customers might start a loyalty program to encourage return business.

If you notice that most of your business is from return customers, the goal becomes not losing them after the honeymoon phase. Use your Wi-Fi’s data to analyze how many times per week or month your average customer visits your retail location. Then, stay in touch through social media, email lists, and surprise promotions (encouraging signups through your network’s landing page, of course).

Social Clickthrough

Social media is a key tool for promoting sales and attracting new customers. Your business’s free Wi-Fi can help you assess how many existing customers are engaging with your social pages.

When a customer signs on to your network on a laptop or mobile device, your social links should be on the landing page. Use your internet provider’s data to track how many people click through these links and A/B test different approaches to encourage engagement.

Need to boost your clickthrough rate? Consider offering a discount to customers who prove that they’re following one of your social pages. Odds are most people will hit “like” for a free latte.

Most business owners offer free Wi-Fi as a perk for their customers. However, you might be missing out on useful data by stopping there. If your customers connect to the network, you can use the information you glean to better meet customer needs and support your bottom line. And if your network provider doesn’t offer this data? Consider switching.

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