Small Business Financing: Can Wifi and Other Customer Perks Increase Sales?
In a recent article on Eweek, the concept of providing free Wifi to customers in a small business location was explored, with business owners reporting that the addition of free internet connectivity for their customers created a slew of positive effects, including 65% saying free internet has contributed to repeat business and 55% also stating that their Wifi policy has brought brand new business through the door.
When considering what kind of perks to offer, think about what you can afford in your budget over the possibility of creating more sales. How many sales do you have make to account for the cost of the perks you are offering? Some things, such as new decor or an additional seating area, can be a one time cost, whereas Wifi is a monthly cost. Either way, if your investment is not able to be recouped, it is not gong to be worth the effort to put out there. The cost of Wifi is relatively cheap, however. If you take into account the potential for sales increasing due to the free internet you offer, you may find that the cost can be recouped in a week to as little as a few days.
What are some other perks that you can offer to your customers? Typical draws include providing reading material and comfortable seating if there is a need to wait for whatever product you are offering, as well as television or a computer area. Free items, often with a brand logo or slogan printed on them, are another great draw, and have the added benefit of being seen anywhere they your customers choose to take them when they leave your location. A customer perk can really be anything that you provide in addition to the basic product or service that you provide that the customer perceives as adding value or utility to their experience. Depending on your product, what your customer will find a useful addition will vary. Think logically about the nature of your product and what kind of low cost item might go well with it. For example, if you are a travel agency, then you might consider the addition of a small tube of sun-tan lotion with a branded message as a nice and thoughtful giveaway item.
As always, when in doubt ask the customer. If you don’t think that something obvious like Wifi will be a good draw for your customers, then you can always turn to social media in order to ask them directly. Customers appreciate direct engagement and choice, and having a strong rapport with them thanks to good customer service practices can be helpful to your business for a large number of reasons, including market research.
Photo Credit to pestoverde on Flickr