Hospitality industry ‘should target customers through Wi-Fi’

Companies in the hospitality sector should be targeting their audience through mobile Wi-Fi connections, according to experts. 

IP intelligence and geolocation solution company Digital Element revealed that 94 per cent of people cite Wi-Fi as the most important amenity at a hotel, indicating this is a big way in which such businesses can attract customers. Advertising and retail were the other two industries named that could really benefit through Wi-Fi. 

Rob Friedman, executive vice president at Digital Element, commented: “Because Wi-Fi users represent such a large majority of today’s mobile traffic, companies simply cannot afford to ignore this type of targeting if they want to reach and engage with consumers at a point in time where and when it matters most.

“We’ve found that IP geolocation allows marketers and advertisers to accurately reach this growing population of on-the-go users in an easy, non-invasive, cost-effective manner.”

An infographic released by the company noted that if a Wi-Fi network costs just $25,000 for a high-end hotel, it would recoup these expenses in just three months, with an ROI of 480 per cent. 

It was noted that when a hotel offers Wi-Fi access, it gives it a competitive advantage, increases bookings and helps to keep customers coming back. 

Thirty-eight per cent of hotel customers said they would book elsewhere if no Wi-Fi was available at a hotel.

The infographic also noted that by the end of 2014, around 9.98 billion total Wi-Fi devices has been sold around the world, and around 4.5 billion of these are still in use today. In 2014 alone, more than 2.3 billion WiFi devices were sold, with 64 per cent of this figure being mobile devices, tablets and e-readers. Furthermore, it is thought approximately a half of all networking devices will be mobile by 2015.

Most businesses said they planned to increase Wi-Fi capacity by at least 20 per cent in 2014.