Back in the autumn of 2011 we installed our WiFi into all 450 Caffè Nero stores. Now, less than six months on from the original installation, we've looked at how the service has fared and it seems the WiFi is giving customers an additional reason to come in store.
The number of sessions (that is, the number of individual times someone has logged on to the network) has increased by 78% from 309,000 in August to 870,000 in December, while the number of separate users grew by 74% in the same amount of time, meaning that far more people are using the network - and they're using it more often too.
We were amazed to see that 70% of the total usage was coming from iPhone owners alone. It seems that the typical accompaniment to a cup of coffee is now more likely to be a mobile phone than the latest paperback!
This is all part of the way coffee shops are changing - they're now also work and entertainment spaces as well as places to relax. Partly this is because the in-store WiFi gives them greater flexibility and makes them useful for a broader range of reasons.
Even as people wait for their coffee you see them checking their smartphones, making the most of any downtime at all. WiFi is key to keeping these customers happy.