BLACKBX launches “Wi-Fi Stories” to revamp outdated guest Wi-Fi and eliminates paper
BLACKBX, the smart Wi-Fi and marketing analytics start-up, today announced the launch of its brand new “Wi-Fi Stories” feature – initially available on a free trial period. The Instagram-style stories feature is a unique digital channel for venue owners to display promotions, deals and events to customers, including links to encourage TripAdvisor and Google reviews. These short five second videos and landing pages, which are immediately displayed to returning customers when they go online, eliminate the need for wasteful and time-consuming paper promotions. This allows venues to create new promotions on the fly and, since detailed conversion analytics are available for all promoted Stories, lets venues experiment with different displays and track their success. Stories gives venue owners more value from their Wi-Fi, which has historically been given away for free, while also keeping customers up-to-date on relevant deals in real-time such as Happy Hour promotions, today’s specials and upcoming live music.
Stories is now available on BLACKBX’s Wi-Fi and data analytics platform, which is an alternative log in option for secure guest Wi-Fi that doesn’t require a password. The launch also follows BLACKBX market research in May 2019 revealing that the majority of British food and drink venues put little or no effort promoting new deals or attracting new customers, and that only 38% of people have left an online review for their favourite restaurant – see more in notes for editors.
“Like paying for dinner by cheque or smoking at the bar, I think that physical food & drink promos and Wi-Fi passwords scrawled on blackboards will be alien concepts in the next five years,” said BLACKBX founder and CEO, Patrick Clover. “We’re on a mission to make Wi-Fi better for everyone and give physical venues the digital tools they need to reach their customers. Physical promotions are easily ignored, they take time to design, must be re-printed for every change and, let’s face it, paper is a poor environmental choice. For businesses that want more value from Wi-Fi or don’t know how to get started with digital marketing, our Stories feature is the ultimate in-venue promotional tool and the perfect replacement for boring paper promotions.”
Core features of Stories include:
- Stories can promote anything chosen by the venue eg. a new menu, an upcoming event, a TripAdvisor review page, or a daily promotion to help increase transactions (eg. buy-one-get-one-free cocktails, happy hour events, the weekly pub quiz)
- Venues see detailed conversion analytics for all their Stories (eg. how many customers left a review, how many saw their latest cocktail promotion), letting them experiment with different promotions and track their success
- No other guest Wi-Fi / captive portal provider has a solution of this kind
“High street shops and the hospitality sector at large is struggling, it can’t compete with the likes of Amazon, Airbnb and JustEat, and things are getting worse not better,” continued Clover. “We want to empower these venues with the digital tools and customer understanding that have made digital businesses so successful – helping them know their customers better, showcase everything they have to offer and be a bit more agile when it comes to communicating with customers.”
Notes for editors
In May 2019, BLACKBX released market research on the struggles facing the hospitality sector and the significance of guest Wi-Fi. Key results from 2,000 UK respondents include:
- British people only try new food and drink venues 1-2 times per year
- 78% of respondents said that their favourite food and drink venue puts little or no effort into marketing new events/promotions or attracting new customers
- Only 36% of people have left an online review for their favourite restaurant
- 62% of respondents agreed with the statement “I feel better when connected to Wi-Fi, even if I have data remaining” This number rises to 88% for 25-34yr olds
- 53% had experienced guest Wi-Fi connectivity problems. The most common complaints were passwords not working (25%), not being able to find the password (23%) and registration processes taking too long (15%)
- Roughly three in ten people said that they could go longer without sex or alcohol (28% and 34%) than data
BLACKBX is smart guest WiFi for any venue – from the independent coffee shop to global brands with thousands of sites – providing a level of customer insight previously only available to large corporations. BLACKBX avoids the need for password and network logins for users while providing business owners with better information on their customers through improved engagement and insights into consumer habits.
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