BigHospitality has been reporting a great deal lately in the trend for customers using social media to interact with hospitality businesses, especially because tourism customers have been reported as the most likely to do so.
To get this support from customers, businesses could help themselves by supplying customers with an adequate WiFi service. The latest report from Arqiva suggests unconnected businesses are losing custom as well as missing out on additional marketing benefits. Arqiva's research shows that hotels are leading the market in offering WiFi to their customers, while other leisure businesses and especially retail sites are lagging behind.
The deal with connecting
The research shows that the number of customers who will use WiFi when it is offered by a business is high. For hotels, 87 per cent of customers have accessed WiFi while staying in a hotel, while 49 per cent said they would do so ‘most or every time’ they stayed. 34 per cent of those surveyed said they use the Internet in hotels more than they did a year ago, and only 5 per cent said they found the connection in hotels poor, showing that hotels are leading the way in the WiFi market.
The number of customers using WiFi in restaurants, bars and cafes is also on the rise, with 35 per cent more customers connecting while out in a restaurant or pub than a year ago, and 31 per cent more in cafes. The research also showed that 34 per cent of customers connect to WiFi ‘most or every time’ they are in a restaurant or pub, and 35 per cent every time they are in a café.
In general, the report found that hotels, restaurants and pubs were seen as giving a good WiFi offering, while retail businesses were falling behind.
Managing director of Telecoms at Arqiva said Nicolas Ott: “These results indicate that many retailers are still lagging behind consumer demand when it comes to connectivity. There is a real sense of frustration from consumers who can’t get online, and this needs to be addressed. Without connectivity, an increasing number will go elsewhere, and may never come back.
“The good news is that offering connectivity pays dividends, bringing real benefits and giving retailers a competitive edge. A connected, ‘Wireless Nation’ will spend more money, keep coming back and recommend your brand to others. It also presents an opportunity to target and engage with your customers in new ways – building stronger relationships and driving brand loyalty.”