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What WiFi hotspot growth means for your business

The world is quietly experiencing a “hotspot revolution.” Since 2015, the world’s total count of public WiFi hotspots has grown exponentially. A Cisco research found 64.2 million public hotspots operating at the end of 2015. And this growth is accelerating—by the end of 2022, Cisco projects 432.5 million global public hotspots.

Thanks to near-ubiquitous public WiFi, on-demand connectivity is no longer seen as a convenience or privilege. Just as you’d expect to find running water in every public bathroom you visit, you’re entitled to expect publicly accessible WiFi for your laptop or mobile device.

GM, an American automaker, includes optional WiFi data plans in many new vehicles. Comcast, an American telecom provider, is using its millions of home wireless routers to build a massive WiFi hotspot network accessible to anyone with a Comcast account. Cafes without WiFi are now virtually unheard of. Add to that the fact that potentially signing up to use a hotspot over registering for your own WiFi account in the US might be cheaper, and hotspots might just be the solution to the American internet provider problem.

Simply put, it’s impossible to ignore the incredible rate of WiFi hotspot growth and the public’s dramatically escalating standards for convenient access. Here are four potential takeaways for your business.

 

How WiFi hotspots can benefit your business

WiFi isn’t just for cafes and train stations

There was a time when WiFi was a novelty that could only be found at coffee shops and major public gathering places, such as transit hubs and city parks. But that hasn’t been the case for some time. In the past several years, WiFi has morphed from a value-added customer perk to a must-have feature for virtually any business with any sort of public space component.

Here’s a small sampling of the myriad uses for public WiFi in various economic niches:

  • Retail. In-store WiFi access points provide on-demand access for prospective customers as they browse inventory, allowing for easy price comparisons, photography, and peer consultations. Retailers with mobile pay platforms can capture more revenue with mobile “buy now” buttons that finalize sales before prospects leave the store.
  • Healthcare. Patients and their family members can spend significant amounts of time waiting for appointments and news in public spaces. WiFi in waiting rooms allows these people to stay connected during those long, often tedious periods. Likewise, patients well enough to surf the Internet (and allowed to use computing devices) appreciate on-demand access in hospital rooms and wards.
  • Hospitality. Hotels have turned the corner toward free, on-demand public WiFi in all public spaces, including lobbies, restaurants, lounges, conference areas, gyms, pools, and outdoor gathering places. For many hotels, guests and their associates represent a huge captive audience that may be receptive to branded marketing, such as ads for the hotel bar’s happy hour and room discounts for longer stays.
  • Transportation. Public WiFi is a natural fit in airports, train stations, bus depots, public plazas, and even trains and buses. Many cities have deployed public WiFi networks in underground rapid transit stations, subway cars, and other transit vehicles as well, creating new advertising bandwidth that complements existing billboard and wall ads in these places. And like hotels, airports’ gate areas boast massive captive audiences and dozens—or hundreds—of nearby businesses that could potentially market their services. Plus, airports are big places. To properly accommodate demand, airport restaurants, cafes, and lounges all need their own APs—a major opportunity for enterprising resellers willing to play in the transportation segment.
  • Education. Many university campuses are now fully covered by public WiFi networks, to the point where institutions that have yet to deploy campus-wide WiFi are viewed as laggards. Though data remains limited on this point, it’s conceivable that a lack of public WiFi could affect student enrollment decisions.
  • Sport. From youth facilities to professional arenas, sporting environments offer a rich opportunity for WiFi resellers. Fans snap pictures, share social status updates, and browse for information at incredible rates. What’s more, captive, often festive fans comprise an airport-scale audience that’s receptive to targeted marketing.

This stunning diversity of WiFi use represents a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs who resell WiFi services and maintain APs. As public WiFi migrates from “optional expense” to “overhead cost” on ever more balance sheets in ever more niches, more use cases are sure to emerge. And that promises to make it easier than ever to sell operators on the benefits of onsite hotspots.

 

Social Engagement Is Exploding

According to Hootsuite, in 2018 the 88% of Facebook users accessed the platform via mobile device, and 95% of Facebook visits were made on smartphones and tablets. Only 31.8% of visits were made on desktops or laptops. And Facebook is just one example of the clear-as-day nexus between mobile devices and social media. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and various regional social networks have become mobile forces to be reckoned with.

Much of this exploding social engagement is happening on public WiFi networks, as mobile users visit retailers’ websites, check in at cafes or restaurants, share pictures of merchandise with friends, or simply call out a venue in a social post.

As WiFi hotspot access grows, users will become increasingly accustomed to accessing social media via public WiFi—and thus for late-adopting clients to see the value of offering WiFi access to the general public. Clients can and should provide social login capabilities on their customized splash pages, allowing visitors to log into the network using their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,  or even VKontakte accounts. Every visitor who completes the social login process provides valuable demographic and contact information, opening up onsite and future marketing opportunities.

 

Demand for Premium WiFi Has Never Been Higher

Now that public WiFi is a necessity for businesses and institutions looking to remain competitive, it’s natural to assume that individual users—clients and customers—are no longer willing to pay for it. This is certainly true in fragmented markets, such as food service, where customers can easily leave an outlet that charges for WiFi and walk down the street to a competitor that does not.

But it’s not true everywhere. Captive customers, such as sports fans and air travelers, are still willing to pay for basic WiFi. More importantly, affluent customers and those who aren’t personally footing the bill for their data usage (such as business travellers with expense accounts) are willing to pay for higher tiers of WiFi service, notably in crowded environments with limited bandwidth. Hotels, convention centres, and transport nodes are particularly well-suited for tiered or premium WiFi services, which offer an additional opportunity for clients to monetize their networks and APs.

There may even be opportunity for downmarket clients: According to a Cisco white paper, Canadian coffee-and-donuts chain Tim Hortons provides faster connection speeds, an abbreviated sign-in process, and unlimited data use for customers who provided detailed demographic information at first login.

 

WiFi Roaming Offers New Data Capture Opportunities

The same Cisco white paper outlines an additional opportunity to forge new revenue streams from the ongoing hotspot revolution: WiFi roaming.

Like cellular roaming, WiFi roaming allows mobile users access to public hotspots (or home hotspots with public-facing access, such as the public-private network Comcast is currently planning) under other carriers’ purview. Many carriers now offer roaming arrangements, often on an international scale, for a fixed monthly fee. According to Cisco, “The ultimate goal is to make WiFi roaming as smooth and easy to use as the [cellular] network.”

As WiFi roaming becomes a standard component of mobile service, costs are likely to drop, enticing more mobile users to take advantage of the service and connect to out-of-network WiFi hotspots that they might previously have avoided. Every user who does so creates a new opportunity for WiFi clients to monetize their APs—particularly if they use a customized splash page with social sign-in capabilities to capture valuable data from prospective customers. Captured data from previously unreachable customers is an enticing prospect for advertisers—one that WiFi resellers would be advised to hit hard and often when describing the benefits of public WiFi to prospective clients.

 

Final Thoughts

It’s no longer debatable: The hotspot revolution is irreversible. For businesses with any sort of public space component, the situation demands an urgent, focused response. Lost time could equal lost revenue—and, perhaps, a permanent loss of market share to competitors quicker to embrace the power of public WiFi.

The good news is that the hotspot revolution creates a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs who recognize the potential of cloud-managed WiFi networks. With public WiFi no longer an optional perk for businesses that want to remain competitive, the concept nearly sells itself. All you need to make your cloud-managed WiFi business work is a clear vision and a willingness to put in the necessary work.

If you need a software to easily set up and manage your wireless networks, Tanaza offers the best-in-class cloud-based software for WiFi network and social hotspot management. Its Hotspot System allows WiFi network administrators to set up and configure a captive portal for their public hotspots, which can be easily customized with Tanaza’s splash page editor. Through the captive portal, WiFi users can authenticate using their personal credentials (such as their email or phone number) or their preferred social networking account (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn…). Businesses that provide WiFi to their clients can leverage the captive portal as an advertising tool, by inserting image or video advertisement directly on the splash page, and as a marketing tool by collecting useful WiFi user data and segmenting it for marketing purposes. By integrating Tanaza with third-party applications, businesses can use the data collected to communicate information via targeted email marketing campaigns and to interact with users with engaging content that will be seen by them during the authentication process.

 

Published by Claudia Barbarisi, written by Flynn Robinson.
Flynn is a self-employed writer and programmer, whose days generally involve a coffee shop or two with excellent, free WiFi.

How to use Google Analytics with Tanaza splash page

How to use Google Analytics with Tanaza splash page

Tanaza features a splash page editor that enables WiFi network administrators to configure their captive portal by adding a logo, text, redirection links and authentication methods. Furthermore, the Tanaza hotspot system enables WiFi users’ data collection which can be used for marketing purposes.

Leverage Google analytics using Tanaza

By using Google Analytics together with the Tanaza splash page, WiFi professionals can understand better WiFi users behaviors by tracking:

  • the number of splash page views
  • the bounce rate
  • the average time spent on the splash page.

How to set up Google analytics tracking with Tanaza

First of all, WiFi administrators need to create a tracking code into the splash page configuration.

Once the Google Analytics account is set up, the splash page details will be registered by Google Analytics.

Why are Google Analytics insights important

WiFi administrators can use Google Analytics insights together with the Tanaza Dashboard to understand the capacity of the splash page to retain WiFi users and transmit a message. Indeed, by comparing the number of daily splash page views with the number of daily WiFi users, administrators will be able to understand if their landing page is clear enough. 

A big difference between this data might reflect a problem in the splash page. For example, it could mean that:

The authentication method which is not appropriate

The message on the splash page that is not clear enough for customers, or that the adding-value of a WiFi hotspot is not relevant for customers. We recently published an article about how to build the perfect splash page to retain WiFi users.

The landing page is not effective

Together with the number of splash page views, WiFi administrators should also take into consideration the bounce rate, which is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

If the bounce rate is high, it means that the landing page is not effective and it does not encourage people to log in to the WiFi hotspot. A high bounce rate might be related to a slow loading splash page because of a low level of bandwidth, but the bounce rate also reflects the interest of customers about a WiFi hotspot. In contrast, a low bounce rate means that customers perceived the WiFi as a value and that they are willing to connect to the internet.

How to use Google Analytics with Tanaza splash page

On this screenshot above you can see that there are 94 page views which means that 94 customers visited the splash page of this WiFi hotspot. When comparing this number with the number of WiFi users given by the Tanaza dashboard, you will be able to understand how many users actually connect to the WiFi hotspot. The average time on page is 33 seconds which is good cause it means that the splash page is clear and effective. The bounce rate is low, which reflects the interest of customers for the WiFi hotspot. 

By controlling the average time spent on the splash page, WiFi administrators will understand if the invitation to connect to the WiFi hotspot is clear enough. Indeed, a short time session on the splash page means that the user doesn’t get lost in the process and access the internet without any problems. A long time spent on the splash page would show that the message is not clear enough and that maybe the user doesn’t know where to click to access the WiFi network.

To conclude, using monitoring tools such as Google Analytics together with multi-functional platforms like the Tanaza dashboard helps network administrators maximize their WiFi hotspot by underlying common user trends and helping them discover the best practices to engage their target users.

Tanaza released new templates for the splash page editor

Tanaza features a splash page editor that allows WiFi professionals to configure, edit, and customise their captive portal.

The editor’s drag and drop system enables WiFi network administrators to create in a few clicks their splash page by adding a logo, a text, their preferred authentication methods, and redirection links to external landing pages, to name a few. The landing page can also be configured in multiple languages.

>> Watch our video tutorial!

In the past, many of our customers have asked for our help when building their splash page – mostly for tips and tactics on how best to engage their WiFi users. With this in mind, we recently released new templates on the splash page editor to help get them started and give them some inspiration.

In addition to this, we also recently published an article about the four rules to follow when creating a landing page.

These models show you pre-designed splash pages, mobile friendly, that you can easily modify by substituting the elements with your logo, image, text and so on.

When opening the splash page editor, click on “Create new”, and choose the template you like the most for your WiFi hotspot.
We created different models for  different sectors/markets where public WiFi is often provided, such as healthcare, entertainment venues, public transportation, education, catering trade, commercial venues and hospitality.

 

If you would like to test the Tanaza splash page editor, you can register to our 15 days free trial.

WiFi advertising: how to leverage WiFi networks in public places

WiFi advertising: how to leverage WiFi networks in public places

Public hotspots are now available in many public spaces such as bars, restaurants, malls or hotels, allowing WiFi network administrators to generate leads for their end-user customers.

 

WiFi hotspots have become the preferred medium for owners venue to generate and engage with on-site leads. Indeed, when deploying a public hotspot in a shop, for example, the WiFi network administrator is collecting data directly from customers and can use it for marketing purposes (such as newsletters). But WiFi hotspots can also be turned into an advertising tool enabling venues to promote goods and services and offset costs of WiFi infrastructures. Indeed, Tanaza features an advertising tool for display advertisements such as videos or images. This tool permits to show relevant content to the right audience and so to promote services and goods or offer discounts directly to customers.

While configuring the splash page of the public hotspot, WiFi administrators can decide the type of ads rotation:

  • None: Image or video advertisement will be displayed as is.
  • Random: Image or video advertisements will be displayed at random rotation (no specific order) on the Splash Page.
  • Time-based: The system will switch automatically from one advertisement to the other after a determined period (1 minute, a few hours, etc.)
WiFi network administrators can build new business relationships by showing advertisements for shops or services located in a given area. For example, when offering free WiFi in a coffee shop close to a mall, the WiFi network administrator could promote one shop located in the mall.

Thanks to the data collected and stored on the Tanaza analytics dashboard, WiFi network administrator gets insight about the clientele of one venue and can personalise messages or media on the hotspot splash page. For example, if WiFi users in a coffee are mainly teenagers and young adults, consider showing relevant advertisement like teenager clothing shops and entertainment activities in the same area.  

 Tanaza splash page editor also allows WiFi network administrators to add links on the captive portal so that WiFi users can be redirected to an e-commerce platform or any other websites.

In conclusion, Tanaza advertising tool improves customers retention and engagement, while monetising any public hotspots structure.

Tanaza new feature idea: Leverage custom form fields to obtain more data about WiFi users

SITUATION

WiFi Social login facilitates the customers’ experience when trying to connect to a WiFi network and provides user data to network administrators who wish to promote their product or service based on data-driven decisions.

When deploying a public WiFi network, authentication methods like WiFi social login can help any type of business generate new leads and increase its brand awareness. The social login authentication method gathers important data like user email address, phone number, gender, age, birth date, location, and name, etc.

Thanks to Tanaza’s WiFi Authentication Splash Page, which already includes social login capabilities, network administrators can leverage the personal data shared on social networks to create targeted marketing campaigns based on a user’s profile info. However, as not all users make their information public on their social networks, in some cases it is possible that the user data provided by social networks is not enough to develop a targeted marketing campaign.

 

SOLUTION

With this in mind, Tanaza has plans to develop a new feature that helps network administrators collect custom data in addition to the data already collected once they have already authenticated using popular methods like social login.

The idea behind this feature is to provide a system that allows network administrators to request additional information about their users by inserting a custom form field after social authentication and before optional social actions that users must fill in before connecting to the WiFi. Furthermore, since the data collected is not always 100% reliable, this feature could also function as a form of verification regarding the accuracy of any previous data collected.

 

EXAMPLE

One of the most common use case scenarios where a feature like this could be applied is one where network administrators deploy public hotspots in locations like shopping centers in order to collect relevant data about their visitors.

So, say a user at a mall authenticates through social login, the network administrator could also use custom form fields to request additional info, such as their fidelity card number and their mobile number. The fidelity card number would enable the network administrator to understand who the user is and targeted it more closely with discounts and offers tailored specifically to the user, whereas the mobile number would serve as a verification system in order to identify the number of users (one phone number = one wifi user) or to avoid the creation of fake accounts. A OTP (One Time Password) would be sent to the mobile number, which the user would be asked to copy-paste the code into the splash page in order to complete the login.

This feature could allow network admins to practice data profiling with the data collected using popular login methods like social login or coupons, and at the same time collect custom verified data to support a variety of loyalty marketing campaigns.

The incremental field verification feature could be made available after any kind of login available on the captive portal, including coupons. If you wish to see this feature developed by Tanaza’s R&D team, you can upvote it on our success portal.

How to use WiFi as a marketing tool in a bar

How to use WiFi as a marketing tool in a bar

Tanaza is a software for WiFi management that allows owners or public places to turn their public hotspot into a lead generation and marketing tool. Indeed, Tanaza features a built-in captive portal that enables network managers to personalise the way WiFi users log to the network and so the type of users data collected. Find out in this article how to maximise a WiFi hotspot in a public place like a bar.

 

Choose the right WiFi login mode

Tanaza features many login modes which allow you to gather different types of information about your customers like name, surname, age, gender, location, birthdate, type of device (smartphone, computer, tablet). WiFi network administrators can choose between email authentication, telephone number, button login, social login (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin etc.), custom form.

In a previous article, we explain to you why the Social login is one of the most easiest login modes for public spaces like bars and restaurants. Keep in mind that in public places like bars and restaurants, most WiFi users access the network with their smartphone, so think responsive and set up a mobile-friendly login mode.

 

Generate Leads from WiFi 

Tanaza captive portal collects data about WiFi users in a location, allowing the WiFi administrators to generate leads for their end-user customers. With Tanaza, venues like bars and restaurants gather real and up-to-date insights about their clientele, allowing them to understand their customers better and position their brand and services more effectively. Moreover, lead generation through WiFi is extremely cost-effective as it has only fixed costs, not variable costs based on the number of collected leads.

WiFi network administrators can generate tons of leads by simply enable the Tanaza captive portal, and export all  data collected to a third marketing application like MailChimpThe information and data captured about WiFi users are automatically stored within the Tanaza’s analytics dashboard which is an intuitive web-based tool to access social stats and clients’ contact details. The dashboard helps WiFi network administrators analysing data and discovering how to better engage with customers.

How to use WiFi as a marketing tool in a bar

Engage with your customers thanks to WiFi

Once data is collected and stored on the analytic dashboard, WiFi network administrators can engage with their end-user customers, generating more online and offline conversions.
Customers are engaged while connected to WiFi making them more likely to appreciate discounts/offers, familiarise them with a brand, incentivise to make a purchase and to interact with the brand on social media. For example in a bar, WiFi network administrators can encourage customers to come back to the venue by offering them a discount on the splash page and give them information about upcoming events.
Build a community and promote your venue thanks to your WiFi hotspot.

 

Social WiFi actions

When setting up a WiFi network in public places like bars or restaurants, WiFi network administrators should consider the Facebook Social Login to enhance their visibility on social media. Indeed, Tanaza allows network administrators to ask for likes and check-in to WiFi users.

For example, after clicking on the Facebook social login, the user is asked for the basic permission and to “Like” a specific Fan/Business Page. The check-in action consists of asking WiFi users to geolocate themselves in your location. Social WiFi actions allow WiFi network administrators to increase the visibility of their end-user customers on social media and so to increase the number of returning clients in a location by sharing news, events, special offers etc. directly to the right target.

Learn how to create a splash page for your venue by watching this video: add your logo, brand, background, and text. Create redirection links and choose the right login mode.