Posts Tagged ‘cafes’
We are almost in the year 2010. The Digital Age. Perhaps my title should be changed to Who doesn’t use Wi-Fi?
Well, excluding an older generation, I am pretty sure the majority of today’s population does, has or will use Wi-Fi frequently in their life span. From 2004 to mid-2009, Wi-Fi Hotspots increased by 400% .
Canada is not in the top three of Wi-Fi accessible countries, but we are surely getting there. The top 3 Wi-Fi using countries are:
USA with 67,420 Hotspots.
China with 28,678 Hotspots.
UK with 27,459 Hotspots.
What are the most popular places to use Wi-Fi Hotspots? Hotels and resorts rank in at 53 %, Airports come in at 27 %, Coffee Shops come in at 10% and about 8% are misc. places eg. car repair shops, truck stops, cruises, public transport etc. People that go to these places often use Internet enabled devices, not just laptops. 80% of Wi-Fi users are within their local neighbourhood. The most popular devices at the moment are the iPhone and the iPod Touch. So popular that 97.8% of Wi-Fi users are using these hand held devices! (Please take note – these would make great Christmas gifts!)
Since 2004 hotels have actively been trying to perfect Wi-Fi in their hotels, especially mid-range hotels, as that is where most business clients stay. Before the Wi-Fi Age, users could not move around. They would have to plug laptops into a cable and sit at an uncomfortable chair for hours while working. Now, with wireless access, they can move around anywhere in their room, go down to the lobby for a change of scenery and still be connected. More often than not meeting rooms are also wireless so several users can connect simultaneously.
Coffee Shops / Cafe’s
Coffee Shops attract different crowds. Business people looking for a quick business meeting, Girlfriends getting together for a chat, University/College students that are looking for place to study (AKA home away from home or library extension). Often people that work from home will go to a local cafe for lunch just for a change.
- 81% of coffee shop Hotspots are paid spots, only 19% are free Hotspots. This is rapidly changing as most coffee shops are realizing it is becoming a value added service.
- 68% of users stay for at least 1 hour.
- 93% of people make a purchase at the cafe and 40% of users make an online purchase while surfing the web.
When signing on to a Hotspot, quick surveys are becoming popular. This gives market researchers a chance to find out consumers likes and dislikes, what kind of purchases they are anticipating in the next 3-6 months, what devices they use, music they like… the options are endless.
Bookstores are a lot like cafes and libraries for students. Research shows that when a bookstore is close to a university/ college or hospital it is able to lure people in by offering free Wi-Fi. Bookstores are also becoming a popular meeting spot for business meetings when there is free Wi-Fi. Many people also use their iPhones to look up book reviews before choosing a novel. Now that most bookstores also have coffee shops inside, Wi-Fi is more than likely to help customers buy a coffee and a treat while they are looking at books or hanging out.
As Wi-Fi becomes more popular, more people are using it. As more people use it, store owners see the benefits of providing it to their clients for free. It’s a win – win situation for both parties.
Next time you are out and about, remember to enjoy a coffee and check your email too!
Get Connected and Stay Connected!
Before I begin, the term Wi-Fi means Wireless Internet and is also known as Hot Spot.
Even though most business people look for Wi-Fi when choosing where to hold a business meeting, have lunch or grab a quick coffee, many restaurateurs often ask us, “Is Wi-Fi really important?”
A recent survey of 1,000 business people found a quarter of them now take advantage of Wi-Fi hot spots to work remotely from a coffee shop at least one day per week.
Many moons ago, back to the days, when indoor plumbing was a new phenomenon (this was before my time, in case anyone is wondering!) you had to pay to use toilets. How often are those kind of washrooms seen now? The same is happening with Wi-Fi. Some places do charge for Internet Access; why? Probably because someone may come in for hours and only buy a coffee. From our own clients, we can say that, this is not the case for most people. Usually if they are in a coffee shop and there for that long, they will get water or a snack and more often than not, lunch. This is not to say that everyone does this… BUT, those who will come in and use the cafe’s Internet for hours will also come in with their their own Internet sticks and do the same thing. Again, this is not a common practice. Also with the amount of patrons that come in with laptops and take up space is only a fraction of the people that use Wi-Fi these days… there are blackberry users, iPhone users, PDA’s, hand held devices are becoming more and more popular… Patrons usually look for Wi-Fi as a value added service… and really that is what it is. Another reason for cafes charging for Wi-Fi is because their usage goes over their allocated bandwidth – which simply means that it is being used so much that they have to pay for overages. Just like free washrooms and AC are a necessity, Wi-Fi is quickly following suit.
Most busy neighbourhoods will have 2-5 coffee shops within a 3 kilometer radius. In my own neighbourhood, there are two Tim Hortons, a Coffee Culture, A Williams, Second Cup and a Starbucks, the only one missing is Timothy’s:( All of these but Tim Hortons and Starbucks offer free Wi-Fi. Until about 6 months ago, only Williams was offering it, then Second Cup followed and when Coffee Culture opened up, they were sure to have it. Starbucks is the only to charge for their Wi-Fi and Tim Hortons, is the only one that does not provide Wi-Fi… yet! If it is only a matter of 3 kilometers or 5 or 7 for that matter, why would a patron chose the Starbucks for a meeting over one of the others that provides free Wi-Fi. I can certainly tell you the Williams and Coffee Culture are far busier than the Stabucks is.
Business Owners also often ask me why they have to pay so much to offer Wi-Fi. When you think about how much you are paying versus regular business Internet for yourself to use at work, it is really not that much. Instead of quoting competitors prices, I will give your our prices. PurePages can provide Business DSL for $49.95/month. A Wi-Fi account is only $79.95 / month. Why do you pay $30.00 extra? There are several reasons for this.
1) We believe, that you should do your job, as a restaurant owner, you have a business to run – we manage a full service Wi-Fi product. We will run our business so that you can run yours! If you ever have a problem with it, we provide same day response time. Even though we know all our clients personally, we have had clients for 2 years that we have not heard back from since install in regards to their Wi-Fi – this is a good thing as it means the system works!
2) We offer a splash page. On your splash page you can advertise whatever you would like, daily specials, upcoming events, congratulatory messages. You can even change this daily!
3) PurePages Internet unlike all other ISP’s provide filtered Internet. This means that all adult content is blocked. Again, you do not have to manage this or have filteration software on your systems… it is already part of the Internet that we provide. Some think that this is not an important feature. We were recently at one of the above mentioned cafes, and we (because it is our business) checked to see if you can surf porn… well, they did not have PurePages managed Wi-Fi services, and yes you could… full blown explicit porn… what about if kids are there or other people passing by… If someone is viewing it on the ever so popular 21 inch screen, you can see it even walking by… Situations like these are happening every day and are in local and national papers regularly now. Also, what if a regular customer of yours, was using your venue as a place to frequent child pornography… who is responsible then? The user or the cafe? Guess what? It is the cafe – because they are enabling that person by providing the Internet… This is why Filtered Internet is so important.
4) With PurePages you receive unlimited bandwith… you can not go over, and be charged more money. $79.95/m that’s all no extra costs.
HT Magazine conducted a survey that was recently sent to roughly 1,000 consumers, of which 257 people responded. The results showed that:
1) WiFi access has become an important amenity in restaurants and cafes
2) tech-savvy customers prefer restaurants or cafes with WiFi access
3) customers prefer the free-of-charge Wi-Fi model over the paid models in restaurants and
4) following predictors of the likelihood of a customer’s return to a restaurant are: Wi-Fi service availability, Wi-Fi service quality, the price of Wi-Fi service, the perceived risk of using Wi-Fi service, and the perceived value of Wi-Fi.
Given these trends, it is likely that the demand for Wi-Fi access in public places such as restaurants will only increase.
So to answer the question, Is Wi-Fi really Important? Yes, it’s not only important to have – it is also very important to provide it for free to all of your clients!