Wi-Fi Monetization or new life of public networks


14 July 2016 | Speaker: Mikhail Novikov


Juniper Research estimates that about 60% of mobile data will be delivered by Wi-Fi in 2019. This fact indicates a growing popularity of public Wi-Fi networks, which makes them a rather attractive and valuable business investment. Organization and maintenance of Wi-Fi networks can be rather costly for its owners, so it is important to find efficient ways to monetize such networks. There are several ways, each involves mobile traffic management.

Wi-Fi can be used to reach potential customers with targeted and relevant ads. A good example is a big shopping mall with movie theaters, food court etc. Its Wi-Fi network is perfect to reach visitors with relevant ads of mall’s stores and services, including location-based ads. When visitors connect to mall’s Wi-Fi network, they can receive a welcome message or be transferred to a landing page, where they can log in to receive some additional bonuses or continue using Wi-Fi free of charge without login. Visitors can then be shown information about different events and sales campaigns at that particular mall, with further details provided during navigation through the mall, including location-based ads.

In addition to mall’s own ads, retail Wi-Fi networks are also great for third party advertising – this refers to ads of products that can be purchased in the shopping mall or anywhere else (e.g. perfume, alcohol etc). This can be further advanced by integration with RTB platforms to display ads directly from these platforms, thereby giving Wi-Fi network additional revenue from impressions and clicks. Visitors can be targeted by many conditions: gadget and OS type, registration data, shopping history, categories of visited sites, browsing history etc. Therefore, potential advertisers get access to very relevant audience, resulting in high CTR and positive responses.

Another example of efficient Wi-Fi use in a shopping mall is prevention of flow of visitors to other shopping malls in the area. For example, a Wi-Fi user is searching online for some specific product and visits the website of another shopping mall where such product is available. To prevent the user from visiting this website and then leaving the shopping mall, online advertisement can be shown on top of this page, thereby diverting attention away from this website to some attractive offer (e.g. discount coupon) that can be redeemed in the mall that the user is now.

Jet toolbar is an innovative communication tool for advanced engagement with users via any type of network, including public Wi-Fi, and additional network monetization. Jet Toolbar is a small yet powerful widget that appears on every web-page visited and displays information and/or tools for multi-way communication between operator/service provider and users for fast delivery of targeted information, such as offers, ads, warnings etc.

Wi-Fi in retail can also be used for communication and to increase customer loyalty. Loyalty is affected not only by Wi-Fi quality and speed but also by the availability of additional services based on Wi-Fi network, including feedback options, problem reporting, advice requests etc.

Here are examples of some scenarios to increase customer loyalty:

  1. Welcome message, containing information about a mall, list of stores and services etc. This can be especially useful new visitors.
  2. Special offer to register a loyalty card.
  3. QoE (Quality of Experience) – survey for loyalty card owners about service quality, online consultation or via information hotline.
  4. Online surveys and statistics collection – different bonuses (e.g. discount coupons) can be used to motivate users to respond to quick online. The obtained data can then be used for more advanced targeting, thereby increasing relevance of ads.
  5. Quick links for one-click access to selected sites and resources (e.g. mall website, personal account, mall map with the current location, list of special offers etc).
  6. Access to information about bonus/loyalty card (bonus points, how to obtain etc);
  7. "Report problem/get help" button.

These are just some examples of Wi-Fi monetization and customer experience scenarios that can be implemented in retail. Considering that every shopping mall/retail outlet is likely to have customized Wi-Fi network, offering different services, special offers and customer-related activities, the scope of possible scenarios will be significantly broader.


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