Empowered by Wi-Fi

Multi-dimensional Wi-Fi solutions have created a new paradigm in comms, according to Gavin Wheeldon, CEO of global Wi-Fi analytics provider Purple WiFi, who offers an insight into the power of smart wireless solutions and what they could mean to you.

Advanced Wi-Fi is moving away from the principle of providing Wi-Fi simply as a utility and a cost to the business, to become an experience enhancing and ultimately revenue generating tool that offers improved, actionable intelligence that is a boon to businesses. Purple's proposition is based on turning a Wi-Fi network into a revenue generation tool through social media integration, intuitive analytics and profile-based remarketing.

"Advanced Wi-Fi provides endless opportunities for businesses to think more broadly about how they can connect and engage with customers," commented Wheeldon. "Through the installation of a visitor-based network, businesses can provide a high-speed and secure wireless connection for guests while also collecting data and demographic insights to help tailor and personalise communications, and therefore ultimately deliver a greatly enhanced customer experience."

Personalising a customer's experience can have a significant impact on retention and revenue. However, efforts to engage with customers and make the most of revenue opportunities fall flat when businesses are unable to identify who is in their venue. "With Wi-Fi analytics, organisations can start collecting customer data such as demographics (name, date of birth, gender and hometown), customer contact information, customer interests (via social media), the frequency of visits, customer movements around venues and dwell times etc," added Wheeldon.

"API access enables organisations to quickly integrate this data with their CRM system, something we see a lot of among our larger clients. Using this data, businesses can send real-time SMS and email campaigns to customers based on previous interactions with their brand, driving engagement and client satisfaction. Customers have come to expect personalised content and improved experiences."

Purple WiFi's integrated marketing tool, called LogicFlow, enables businesses to create and deliver such bespoke marketing campaigns with 'minimal effort', noted Wheeldon, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing initiatives and business operations. Purple WiFi works with channel partners to present such RoI based solutions for deploying new and refreshed legacy infrastructures, often pulling through 20x the Purple license cost in attributed hardware and services contracts for the partner.

According to a recent MarketsandMarkets report, which included input from Purple WiFi, the global managed Wi-Fi solutions market is expected to grow from $3.07 billion in 2017 to a $6.11 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 14.8 per cent during the forecast period. "Figures from our own data correlate with this prediction, with the number of UK venues using a guest Wi-Fi network increasing year-on-year (2016-17) by 36 per cent, while the number of users logging into the Wi-Fi at these venues rose by 57 per cent," said Wheeldon.

Purple WiFi is headquartered in the UK and has international offices in the US, Chile, Spain, Singapore and Australia. Its enterprise solution is live in 24 languages across 160 countries. "We have data on 50 million unique individuals across 300 million visits to 34,000 venues," added Wheeldon. "From this data we have been able to conclude that on average 75 per cent of customers do not return to a venue. We appreciate that this figure will differ across sectors and industries, but customer retention is a huge pain point for many businesses.

"Through the installation of a guest Wi-Fi network alone companies can improve customer retention by seven per cent. And by sending personalised real-time SMS and email marketing campaigns to guests this figure rises to 14 per cent. These increases can have a significant impact on revenue."

The future for Wi-Fi is certainly robust, characterised by strong growth and continued technological innovations. "Advanced Wi-Fi appeals to more than just IT - tripling the addressable market," added Wheeldon. "We do a lot of work with digital marketing, planogramming, customer insight and experience teams."

In working with channel partners Wheeldon has observed two key trends. "Resellers are moving towards a method of leading with RoI, touching customers' pain points and explaining ways they can support and help drive increased retention, which leads to a multi-dimensional Wi-Fi solution," he said. "We are also seeing a definite shift towards a managed service model where resellers can add value on a regular basis and generate recurring revenue. We expect this trend to continue as the demand for connectivity and wireless increases over the coming five years."•

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