In a resource guide called “The Mobile Playbook” from Google, quite a few revealing statistics come through: Mobile search has increased 5X times in the past two years alone. Over 20% of all telecom searches, 30% of all restaurant searches, and more than 25% of all movie searches are done through a mobile device.
What’s the size of the mobile audience, you ask? Smartphone penetration is about 51% in the UK; 44% in the U.S; 38% in France, and over 29% in Germany. In another interesting statistic, a whopping 570 years worth of Angry Birds and more than 600 million videos are accessed on mobile. The Apple App Store registered more than 500,000 million applications.
For business owners, all these numbers equate to new ways of accessing information, using tools, and unleashing the value of utility is underway for customers.
WiFi plays a vital role in making Internet accessible to your customers while at your business location. Customers might want to log into Foursquare and look for recommendations of products or “check In” to your location on Facebook; all of which is extra exposure for your small business. Yet, most businesses don’t give WiFi connectivity a second thought. So, given consumers’ need for information access, lack of WiFi or weak cell phone signals can be annoying for customers and prohibit them from doing free marketing for your business.
Here are some tools that can help you increase your cell phone signal and/or WiFi access for customers:
ZBoost: Recent tests by Wi-Ex, as reported on Business Wire reveal that using a cellphone signal booster such as zBoost helped increase data speeds to a whopping 180%. That’s a blessing for millions of tablet and phone users. zBoost allows you to connect with your smartphones, tablets, cell phones, etc., by boosting the signal outside and then bringing it in.
Get your hands dirty: Of course, you don’t have to depend on solutions and software for everything. A few tweaks and you’d still be able to boost cell phone receptivity and WiFi signals within your business premises. Switch channels (Use a software such as InSSIDer, if you’d like, which is a free WiFI Network Scanning tool), invest in a hardware upgrade such as routers and high-gain antenna, update firmware for your hardware and call in new drivers. If your hardware is older and outdated, perhaps it’s time to bring in the new, more up-to-date hardware.
Bear Extender PC: It’s simple, affordable, and easy to set up. While it does require a connection to the wireless client using a USB cable, it’s an affordable solution to help you boost up your WiFi network and allow your patrons/customers to access the web while they wait in the lounge. BearExtender PC works with Windows and it solves the one problem that most WiFi networks suffer from: weak or dropped signals. It does have its limitations like the fact that it operates only at 2.4 GHz and it cannot extend beyond 100 feet approximately.
While you, as a business, may look at offering WiFi and stronger cell phone signal as more of a convenience to your customers than a necessity for your business, just remember that offering your customers this convenience may certainly lead to free marketing and exposure for your business…which makes it well worth it!