An Edinburgh-based startup, BLACKBX, has launched a ‘WiFi Stories’ feature that will be available for a trial period.
The Instagram-style stories feature is a digital channel through which venue owners can display promotions and deals to customers, including links to encourage TripAdvisor and Google reviews.
Short, five-second video landing pages – which are displayed to returning customers when they access WiFi – could help cut down on time-consuming paper-based promotions for businesses and venues.
BLACKBX provides smart guest WiFi venues ranging from independent coffee shops to global companies with thousands of sites. Since its launch in 2015, the company has grown rapidly and served more than one million users spanning 450 locations across Europe, Asia, South America and the US.
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Venues can also create promotions ‘on the fly’ and can experiment with different displays and styles, as well as track the success of particular campaigns. The Edinburgh-based company believes the new feature could give businesses more value from their WiFi and keep customers informed.
Other core features of Stories allows venues to highlight a new menu launch or upcoming events to get customers in the door.
BLACKBX founder and CEO, Patrick Clover, said: “Like paying for dinner by cheque or smoking at the bar, I think that physical food and drink promos and WiFi passwords scrawled onto blackboards will be alien concepts in the next five years. 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.”
Clover added: “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. We want to empower these venues with the digital tools and customer understanding that have made digital businesses so successful.”