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The Advantages of Providing Free WiFi to Customers

From By Chris Joseph, eHow Contributor

As more people come to depend on their computers to make a living, the need for wireless Internet access has prompted some businesses to offer free Wi-Fi as a way to attract customers and to provide an edge over the competition. Free Wi-Fi can help build customer loyalty and keep customers in the establishment longer. An increase in business can help offset the cost of Wi-Fi installation.

Attracting Customers

Offering Wi-Fi to customers can be viewed as an additional amenity and gives them one more reason to come to your establishment. The fact that your Wi-Fi service is free means customers can come without feeling pressured or obligated to make a purchase. However, if you offer appealing products or services, customers may be more inclined to make a purchase during their visit.

Keeping Customers There

Free Wi-Fi can keep customers in your establishment for a longer period of time. According to, a website geared toward company chief information officers, the more time customers spend in your store, the more money they are likely to spend. The same concept is used by bookstores that allow customers to spend as much time as they like reading books and magazines in the store with hope that they will make purchases before leaving.

Meeting Place

Free Wi-Fi can build your establishment's reputation as a meeting place. For example, if your business is a cafe, business people can use it as a place for a breakfast or lunch meeting. If you own a coffee shop, salespeople can meet clients over a cup of coffee to make a laptop presentation. Business partners can meet to discuss a project in a relaxed atmosphere.

Customer Loyalty

Free Wi-Fi can result in increased customer loyalty. According to, a survey of more than 1,000 European Wi-Fi users indicated that 96 percent would return to an establishment that offered free Wi-Fi service. About half of the users come to the location in the first place because it offers free Wi-Fi.

Return on Investment, a twice-weekly publication in Bellevue, Washington, indicates that it costs a business about $500 to install Wi-Fi and an additional $100 per month fee. However, the expense can be offset by an increase in traffic, and could even make a profit for the business. Businesses typically need to have a broadband Internet connection and a wireless router.