Top five returns on your connectivity investment

We live in the age of the constantly connected consumer. If it’s not a smartphone being used to reach the web, it’s a tablet, notebook or even a watch. If it’s none of these, it could be a more conventional computer, or even a television.

We live in the age of the constantly connected consumer. If it’s not a smartphone being used to reach the web, it’s a tablet, notebook or even a watch.

We live in the age of the constantly connected consumer. If it’s not a smartphone being used to reach the web, it’s a tablet, notebook or even a watch.

Simply put, there are countless ways in which I’m able to connect right now, and the device pool is growing with every manufacturer’s latest innovation. The 25 billion connected ‘things’ that Gartner expects to exist by 2020, for instance, doesn’t just include the examples mentioned above – it stretches to kitchen appliances, security systems, vehicles and even pets!

Business and building owners across the UK and indeed the world, are doing what they can to keep pace with this shift towards complete connectivity, to keep consumers happy if nothing else. Doing so requires plenty of work and investment, but I can think of countless ways that the expenditure can be quickly justified. I’ve drawn out the top five returns on your connectivity investment below.

1. Consumer satisfaction

I touched on it already, but keeping customers happy by giving them what they want should be the ultimate goal of any business; fall short here and failure is inevitable. Robust wireless infrastructure is now a crucial part of establishing and maintaining both loyalty and satisfaction. These days, people expect to be able to connect wherever they are and whatever they’re doing – and the fact that WiFi is now so widely available means most are in the position to pick and choose locations until they get what they want.

This means it’s no longer enough to offer basic connectivity, but by investing in more advanced solutions, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors and bring in more custom and investment as a result.

2. Increased productivity

I genuinely struggle to think of a business sector that hasn’t benefited in one way or another from technology. Computing – and more specifically, connectivity – has revolutionised the way we work, and the speed, efficiency with which everyday processes are carried out. Technologies like the Cloud, automation and VoIP allow us to get work done faster and to much higher standards. The result is more time to spend on other critical tasks – or even leisure!

3. Better communication

When I mention ‘connectivity’, chances are you’ll think of one device connecting to another, or a smartphone linking to a router and then to the internet. Look at the bigger picture and you’ll see that it’s as much about people as it is equipment. Just as it has with the business processes mentioned above, the internet has revolutionised communication. According to data from tech research firm The Radicati Group, more than 190 billion emails are sent every day – an average of 27 for every person on the planet. Add to this 2 billion minutes of Skype conversations and 41,000 Facebook posts every second, and it’s easy to see that this is how people prefer to share information these days.

The only way to take advantage of this sharing revolution is to fully embrace seamless communications by investing in connectivity infrastructure.

4. Advertising potential

Where WiFi may once have been used as a luxury to add value to an existing service, now, it’s something that consumers expect and assume they’ll have access to. You might be expected to provide connectivity these days, but that’s not to say you can’t do so on your own terms. When the service you offer is free, you’re in a position to use it to promote your business and communicate with your customers – with relevant offers for example.

Think about the portals people are required to navigate before they can get online, and the number of people that will go through this process in an average day. If your premises have a high footfall, you should be able to monetise the service by selling third-party advertising space. Your other option, of course, is to use the extra attention for your own gain by promoting your products and services.

5. Data-harvesting

You should already be seizing every opportunity to gather information about your target audience. Essentially, the more you know about your customers – both existing and potential – the better you’ll be able to meet their needs. To this end, there are few better ways to collect data than through a WiFi service. Firstly, by providing something of value to the user, you’re more likely to get the information you’re looking for without any hesitation. It’s a completely transparent way to learn more about the people who have an interest in your business.

WiFi can be used to collect more than just names and addresses too – you should also be able to track individuals’ behaviour to a certain extent, making it possible to target advertising more effectively both in real-time and in the future.
With all of the above in mind, it’s pretty clear that WiFi isn’t just beneficial for the people who use it. By investing in robust and reliable connectivity, you’re putting yourself in a much stronger position – one that involves numerous service-improvement opportunities and even new revenue streams.