Purple WiFi lets businesses trade free wireless for valuable customer data

New service offers to help businesses provide free Wi-Fi in exchange for invaluable social marketing.

Thanks to McDonald's and Starbucks, free wireless networking is available every 200 yards or so, at least in metropolitan areas of the United States. Still, many merchants--especially smaller "mom & pop" establishments--don't provide the service. Purple WiFi has a business model that can help these businesses offer free Wi-Fi, and seems like a win-win for both the business and the customers.

Purple Wifi offers software that works with a business' existing broadband connection to provide free Wi-Fi network access for customers. Because users are required to sign-in using a social account, the business gets access to valuable social demographic data, such as the age and gender of customers that use Purple WiFi, when users connect, how long they stay connected, and more.

Purple Wifi also give the business an opportunity to expand their social reach. Upon login, the customer is prompted to "like" the business' Facebook page or follow its Twitter account. According to data shared by Purple WiFi, 87 percent of people make purchasing decisions based on input from friends. They claim that the average Facebook user has 190 friends, and that the monetary value of a single "Like" on Facebook amounts to 85 pounds (about $135 USD).

Purple WiFi offers a few different plans. The base plan is free, but for about $40 per month a business can subscribe to Purple WiFi Premium, which includes custom branding, email and coupon marketing options, content filtering, and deeper demographic information. Remember, though, that the Purple WiFi costs are in addition to whatever you pay for the Internet service itself, and do not include the wireless router hardware.

Currently Purple Wifi works with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but it promises to add Google+, Pinterest, and others in the near future. There is an option for customers who don't have a social network account to fill out a short registration form.

In general, more businesses should provide free Wi-Fi. It's a gesture of good will that creates added value in the eyes of the customer even for people who don't use it. Most businesses already have an Internet connection, and a wireless network even if they only use it for employees and official company business. Why not use a service like Purple WiFi to share the network with customers in exchange for free marketing and invaluable customer demographic data?

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

L'Oreal, always go for best to engage with their customers. Very recently, L'Oreal released it's Augmented Reality Print ad with WOWSOME ...

Siddhu

LÓreal launches virtual cosmetics trial via augmented reality

Read more

Is there a link to the study? The only SCV study published recently from Signal was a US-centric study with 137 respondents (only 4% of t...

Brinks

Report: Only 5% of Aussie marketers have single customer view

Read more

Good points and excellent summary. Omnichannel is difficult to achieve as we've found out in our latest retail paper > http://inst.be/...

BearingPoint Institute

Forrester: How retailers can use digital to improve in-store experience

Read more

Interesting the difference a few years makes, I note wool grower groups are now referring to AWI's marketing campaigns as "an expensive ...

Paul Smith

CMO interview: Marketing the wool off a sheep’s back

Read more

Facebook passes 1.19 billion monthly active users, 874 million mobile users, and 728 million daily users.TWITTER HAS OVER 300 MILLION UNI...

Walter Motley

Social media command centres: Fad or must for brands?

Read more

Sign in