Business insights: bringing the best innovations from other industries to cinema
Cinema often finds itself sitting between both the entertainment and hospitality industries. Does this balance offer it the chance to borrow breakthroughs from these industries?
In part two of our ongoing series, we look at how some cafés and eateries have embraced new technology to overcome some of their biggest challenges.
Wi-Fi in Cafés and Eateries
With the advent of mobile technology customers everywhere have become accustomed to being connected all the time. Over the past few years, more and more businesses have understood that staying competitive means catering to their customers’ need to connect. Some found that offering Wi-Fi as an added service can often be the difference between a customer choosing their establishment or another.
Why do businesses choose to provide free Wi-Fi?
Competing with the comforts of home
Cafés, like cinemas, are fighting the sofa trap. Competitively priced home espresso machines, and the growing array of in-home entertainment means there are more reasons to stay home than ever before. To make a trip to a café worthwhile, cafés are taking everyone’s favourite parts of staying home (like high quality Wi-Fi), and combining them with the atmosphere and quality product that can only be found at a good coffee shop.
And cinemas? The threat from online streaming options means cinemas have to keep differentiating their offering, so audiences don’t let convenience win out against the big screen experience. With modern tools like Cheerfy, cinemas can do more than just provide free Wi-Fi- the integrated CRM allows cinema staff to create a completely personalised experience for every customer who connects, keeping the cinema experience special.
Collecting valuable insights
Exchanging Wi-Fi for a few user details is often seen as a fair trade by customers, and therein lies the potential for huge business benefits. Many Wi-Fi systems offer a simple sign-on through Facebook or Twitter, which allows businesses to collect much more relevant and accurate details than a simple email address. Demographics, birthdays, and gender can all be gathered and used to better target their customer base with the right offers and products.
And cinemas? Better customer understanding means more effective marketing. Cheerfy collects data about every customer that connects to its service- everything from their concessions purchases to their favourite actors to how many cinema trips they have taken. With a database like this, cinemas can send the right promotions to the right people at the right time, and use that profile information in real-time to make every customers’ cinema visit a unique experience .
Increasing social media engagement
The first thing most people will do once they are connected is check their social media feeds- there’s nothing like scrolling through amusing tweets when you are enjoying a nice latte. And cafés actually want customers to bury their heads in their phones- 24% of customers are online sharing what they have bought and where. Anyone tagging a business and sharing photos or good experiences increases engagement with the businesses’ social media, and helps promote the business to a wider online audience. A café can even incentivise visitors to go online and ‘like’ their pages with discount codes.
And cinemas? Over 3.4 billion people are now active on social media – a huge potential audience that exhibitors shouldn’t be ignoring. Encouraging cinema-goers in your lobby to go online and interact with your social media helps your cinema’s marketing reach and audience engagement.
And as we have noted before, engagement = data = more effective campaigns. Showcasing customers’ social media posts in the lobby or on the big screen can also encourage audiences to tag your cinema or share custom hashtags.
Increasing foot traffic
Poviding your customers with free benefits that they really value translates to brand loyalty, so it is unsurprising that 36% of people will visit a food/drink business again if it offers free Wi-Fi. And cafés get an added benefit too; happy, connected customers are primed to leave positive online reviews.
As the traditional working day continues to evolve in many metropolitan areas, cafés are also looking to attract a newer market segment- remote workers. Over 50% of those who work from home regularly spend part of their day using café Wi-Fi to access their business documents and email. Attracting such a significant share of a growing demographic is increasingly important to survival.
And cinemas? Some cinemas have recognised that they have to take advantage of all of their real estate if they want to offer an experience worth leaving home for. This means modernising not only their auditoriums and projectors, but also their lobbies. Some lobbies have become destinations in themselves, complete with restaurants, cafés and bars. Pairing a free Wi-Fi connection with diversified concessions provides audiences with the motivation to visit the cinema lobby without even necessarily going on to watch a movie, and can help cinemas attract new demographics.
Increasing dwell time and purchases
Letting your customers enjoy a few extra minutes browsing the internet gives you extra time to tempt them into another purchase. One survey found that 61% of businesses who rolled out free Wi-Fi saw an increase in the amount of time their customers spent in store, and 50% saw increases in spend per customer.
And cinemas? A significant percentage of a cinema’s revenues come from concessions sales, and there’s huge potential to increase sales through more targeted promotions. As well as increasing the time customers spend in the lobby with free Wi-Fi, Cheerfy allows for hyper personalised offers to be delivered to customers as soon as they reconnect, tempting them into purchases right as they are most likely to be interested.