Because It’s the Future Today
They Get It!
When Starbucks announced that they were going to provide free WIFI at all company owned locations they raised the bar for their competition. Not only did they provide it for free, but they made it simple and easy to access with just one click; no registration, no passwords, no humbug, just click and get on line; anyone - anytime. SMART MOVE.
I don’t like Starbucks coffee as much as I do some other brands, but must admit that it is now my preference when in a mall or somewhere in Waikiki and I want to check my e-mail or do some work on the go. They have never said anything the few times that I have stood outside and worked on my iPhone or sat down for a brief e-mail check on my laptop without ordering any coffee, but those times are rare. I am much more likely to order coffee and more when using the “free” WIFI. Sure, some people take advantage of this generosity, but Starbucks chooses to see the big picture and are winning the coffee game as a result.
City Wide is Next
It’s just a matter of time before cities across the country will be offering free city wide WIFI as Miami and some other places already do. I would never move somewhere because of it, but I would travel a few extra miles to shop at one that does, and I’m certain that I wouldn’t be alone.
Blue Hawaii Lifestyle
Many much smaller, but very smart local businesses have begun offering free WIFI as well. Blue Hawaii Lifestyle at Ala Moana doesn’t even require a “click” to get on line, just open up your computer or smart phone and there it is. I am certain that’s one of the reasons they are enjoying the great success they are.
I saw a big banner out in front of McCully Shopping Center last week advertising free WIFI anywhere on the property, and I was just told today that Ward Warehouse has WIFI as well. A friend discovered it accidentally. I think it’s something to be advertised. Most businesses already have an Internet connection, all they need beyond that is an inexpensive router and they can offer WIFI to their customers. I suggest that we give our business to those that offer this value added service to encourage others to do the same.
This comment was sent from Michael Zhang, owner of Blue Hawaii Lifestyle:
“We started our free-WIFI when we opened the store almost 3 years ago, we are the only store doing that in Ala Moana center, we do see some customers just sitting outside our store using free WIFI without buying anything, but I feel that is great customer service for them, if they don’t buy today or tomorrow, one day they will.
I am glad that Starbucks finally followed us, we feel whatever helps customers, will also help grow our business.”
Mahalo Michael; I agree with you completely. - Ron