In today’s world, technology is everywhere. Few people venture far from their homes without their smartphones, and tablets and laptops are often kept close at hand. That makes WiFi a valuable resource and presents the owners of laundromats with a choice: If you’re offering laundromat WiFi to your customers, should you charge for it or provide it for free?
Laundromat WiFi: To Charge or Not to Charge
Internet use is pervasive. It’s used for everything from completing work tasks and catching up on the latest news to chatting with friends and enjoying videos and movies. WiFi makes it easier for your customers to get the most from their assortment of mobile devices, but when it comes to charging for WiFi, there are pros and cons. Weighing the matter carefully can help you decide which option is best for your operation.
Charging for WiFi Provides a Direct Income
Charging for a service generates income, and that can certainly benefit your laundromat’s bottom line. It can also help offset the costs of providing the service. As Cox Business points out, customers may be more frustrated by a slow, spotty internet connection than they would be by no connection at all. Therefore, if you are going to offer WiFi in your laundromat, it needs to be secure, reliable, and reasonably speedy. However, an internet connection is almost essential for doing business these days, and extending your WiFi network to your customers doesn’t add substantially to the cost of maintaining WiFi for your own professional needs.
Charging for WiFi Discourages Squatters
Welcoming customers to a laundromat or other small business can be a bit of a balancing act. You want customers to come through your door and feel comfortable as they use your services, but you don’t want them to be so comfy that they linger unnecessarily. After all, space is limited, and you want to make room for the next wave of paying customers. Free WiFi is something that many people look for nowadays, and there’s a concern that some people will hang around even if they are not doing laundry to capitalize on it. Charging for laundromat WiFi access can be a way to discourage squatters.
Free Laundromat WiFi Offers a Competitive Advantage
When searching for a business to patronize, customers weigh factors like price, quality, and comfort, and the availability of free WiFi is an element that many people now consider when deciding which businesses to give their business to. It’s only natural. Many people appreciate the ability to work, study, or entertain themselves via the internet while waiting for their laundry to cycle through the washers and dryers. Frankly, free WiFi is an expectation in many markets. If you don’t offer it, you may be sending customers to your competitors. What about locales where complimentary WiFi isn’t as common? Offering this perk can help set your business apart and lure in new customers.
Free WiFi Encourages Spending
Research indicates that free WiFi delivers measurable benefits for small businesses. When a survey commissioned by Devicescape asked about the impact of free WiFi on customer habits, 50 percent of the businesses that participated reported that their customers spent more after they installed free WiFi. That bump probably helps to at least partially explain why at least 75 percent of those businesses said that complimentary WiFi is either important or very important to them.
Free WiFi Is a Marketing Opportunity
Forging and maintaining connections with your customers is vital for any business, and free WiFi can help you accomplish this. After all, setting up a network offers multiple opportunities for enhanced marketing. For starters, you can brand your WiFi connection with a custom name. Alternately, you can set your laundromat’s website as the homepage or create a splash page to promote specials or prompt customers to write reviews on popular review sites. Would you like to increase your social media presence and get your name in front of the eyes of new customers? Using a splash page to encourage your customers to check in on social media can expand your reach to their followers with minimal effort.
Free WiFi Can Deliver an SEO Boost
Search engine optimization is the key to getting your website found. There are several strategies that can help improve your search engine rankings and increase your website’s traffic, but offering free WiFi might just be one of the easiest methods. As Small Business Trends reports, Google indexes searches made via the internet and through certain popular mobile apps. Making it easier for customers using mobile devices to peruse your website has the potential to raise your rankings and your online profile.
Should you charge for access or treat your customers to free laundromat WiFi? This is a decision that calls for careful consideration.
For more help with your laundry business, contact Laundry Solutions Company, formerly known as KeeWes Equipment. We’ve been around since 1976, and we are now the Midwest’s premier full-service provider of premium vended, on-premises, and multi-housing commercial laundry equipment. With four offices across Missouri and Oklahoma, Laundry Solutions Company is able to provide exceptional pre- and post-sales support, laundry design services, equipment leasing options, and commercial laundry equipment and all ancillary items for both vended and on-premises laundries. Contact Laundry Solutions Company today to learn how we can provide your laundry business with the most advanced technology and energy-efficient equipment available.