The term ‘Wi-Fi Analytics’ can be used to refer to two different concepts, one which relates to the technical side of wireless networks and one which refers to the data mining and marketing side. Firstly, the term can be used to refer to software which is used as a diagnostic tool for Wi-Fi networks, analysing traffic, monitoring for issues and generally providing feedback on the health of your network in terms of coverage and signal strength.
In the second instance, ‘Wi-Fi analytics’ is used in reference to software which collects data from customers who are connected to Wi-Fi in a retail store or similar premises. This data is then analysed for the purposes of marketing. In this article we are going to cover both types of Wi-Fi analytics to afford you a thorough understanding of both terms and their implications for the world of wireless Wi-Fi networks for businesses today.
Wi-Fi Analytical Summary
As we’ve briefly touched upon earlier in the article, Wi-Fi analytics can help a retailer’s marketing strategy by providing information on how customers behave inside the store, which can then be fed back into the planning of a retailer’s floor plan. By analysing factors such as footfall and dwell time, businesses have the opportunity to figure out the most heavily trafficked positions in which to place profitable products or services.
Encouraging customers to connect to on-site Wi-Fi opens up a direct channel of communication which can ultimately help you as a business to understand what exactly it is that your customer wants from you. A lot of customer analytics when applied in a retail sense doesn’t differ too much from what marketers have traditionally applied to their retail strategies; it’s simply the case that these strategies can now be vastly enhanced and optimised with Wi-Fi analytics technology.
We are at the cusp of this now so the sooner you as a retailer or service provider adopt Wi-Fi analytic technology and all its inherent benefits for you and your customer, the sooner you will get ahead of or at least stay level with the rest of your competitors.
Broadly speaking, Wi-Fi analytic technology involves the analysis of a Wi-Fi network for the purposes of optimising both speed and network coverage. The extensive spread of Wi-Fi networks has also seen the rise in popularity of Wi-Fi analytic tools which enable network users to monitor their network and diagnose any problems which could be hampering performance or coverage. Nowadays it is possible to download software for your computer or even an app for your handheld device in order for you to carry out analysis of your Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi analytic tools integrate a number of useful features to help you analyse and optimise your Wi-Fi network such as scanners, channel interference, signal graphs, signal meters and more.
The tool will pick up all access points within close proximity and you can then drill into the specifics of your chosen networks, often in a lot of technical detail (depending on the app or software you are utilising). From there you can monitor and analyse any given network’s performance and identify any issues which have hampered speed or performance by using aspects of the software or app such as time graphs. Wi-Fi analytic tools are great if you have a lot of traffic on your network that you would like to keep an eye on. Such tools can also prove invaluable if you are having problems with signal strength or coverage; Wi-Fi analytics can help you get to the root of the issue and improve the health of your network.
Wi-Fi analytic tools can be incredibly useful for both business and residential users alike. If you live in a flat with lots of competing Wi-Fi channels it can be useful to determine which are clear and which are saturated. You can then log into your router and change the channel if you are on a saturated channel – you will find a drastic increase in speed and performance between clear and saturated channels. Remember that factors such as router placement can also play a role in the strength of your Wi-Fi signal for home users.
Not to be confused with the technical aspects of Wi-Fi analytics, Social Wi-Fi and analytics is related to the field of retail Wi-Fi and consists of using location based services as part of an overall marketing strategy. What this means is that free Wi-Fi is offered to customers on-site which can then be used to collate information on your audience to help you better understand how to effectively engage with your customer base.
Advanced data mining techniques can be used to glean all sorts of statistics such as the number of visitors to your retail location, the duration of their visit, and even movement patterns around the store. This can help inform factors ranging from store layout down to nuances such as product positioning on the shelf which in turn can help to drive sales and boost the success of a business.
With Wi-Fi analytics it is also possible to obtain more detailed demographic information regarding your audience including age, gender and location. This kind of detailed data will often prove invaluable when it comes to conducting in-depth market research. Social Wi-Fi also affords businesses the chance to connect with their audience via social media and can give brands a chance to get their audience to opt in for loyalty schemes and similar programs. For people who come into your store merely to browse, there is a greater chance to convert them into customers using retail Wi-Fi analytic tools.
Other benefits include better inventory management and assisted navigation for shoppers, both of which will ultimately lead to an enhanced Customer Relationship Management or CRM. Such a wealth of detailed demographic statistics makes it much easier to dispatch targeted promotions which, in turn, will have a greater success rate when it comes to converting into sales. As such, social and retail Wi-Fi analytics can be said to form part of multi-channel brand experience that many businesses are offering today, both medium and large. If your business does not keep up with this approach you could be in danger of falling behind.
There are various retail Wi-Fi and social Wi-Fi solutions available online so if you are a business owner looking for this service, it makes sense to shop around to learn more about the particular features each company can offer you. You will also want to weigh up the costs against the level of service and depth of information offered to ensure that you are getting good value for money. There are many benefits for businesses looking to generate sales and increase revenue with social or retail Wi-Fi analytics. Guest Wi-Fi portals within your store can be linked in with your brand’s social media channels to optimise visibility of marketing campaigns and promotions.
You can then engage customers with special offers, coupons and suchlike as well as get the opportunity to sign up for a mailing list. Social Wi-Fi can also be utilised within academic institutions to facilitate improved communication between staff and students outside of the classroom environment. This type of technology also has its use for PR and marketing companies organising special events to generate publicity. The organisers of the event can set up social Wi-Fi to get participants to feel more involved in the proceedings whilst keeping everyone updated. Engagement with the audience can continue beyond the event itself and will inevitably lead to conversions or sales leads if it is being used within a commercial environment.
The goal of location based services within the context of Wi-Fi analytics is not only to capture new customers, but also to retain existing customers via the process of enriching the customer experience and delivering more value. Engaging with your customer base using retail Wi-Fi analytics can reduce the expense of acquiring new customers in the long run whilst also helping to maintain relationships with existing customers.
New avenues for point-of-sale opportunities are opened up with Wi-Fi analytics in a marketing context; for example, key information can easily be presented to the customer at critical decision junctures within the purchasing process. Another theory which supports the effectiveness of Wi-Fi analytics for retailers is that overall customer satisfaction will be greatly increased as customers are assisted in making purchasing decisions better aligned with their needs. The greater extent to which you embrace Wi-Fi analytics compared to your competitors means that your customer can really get a personalised experience that they won’t find anywhere else and hence will quickly develop loyalty towards your brand.