Kenyans have enjoyed access to free WiFi in several places since the 2010s and as such have been able to get Internet entertainment and educational materials at no cost – or for a price of a cup of coffee if need be. Content providers such as ShowMax and Viusasa have tried to leverage on the availability of free WiFi, where they encourage their clients to visit free WiFi hot spots to be able to download movies and short films they would love to watch later. Even YouTube has mobile download options, and of late has started recommended to viewers suitable contents they may want to download given video watch history.
But until now the benefits have so much been one sided – on the side of the customer. In as much as the restaurant or mall may consider the free WiFi a typical value add, there is more the restaurant or the mall or the hotel or whatever other institution provides free WiFi to the public, can gain – and this may be as simple as showing the customer on the free WiFi some other products the business is offering, or even pushing third party ads from other vendors at a reasonable ad rate.
What is Vayafi?
Vayafi is an advertisement bundle application meant to provide a landing page and other control modules for both the user and the provider of free WiFi services. This application targets providers of free WiFi in places such as Malls, Restaurants, Hotels, and all manner of institutions that provide free WiFi services. The reasoning is simple, why provide just free WiFi when you can also earn a little return by showing own or third party ads to those using the free WiFi?
Here is how it works –
Upon connecting to WiFi, users will login through a customizable Splash Page. This login page can allow the business providing the free WiFi to show a banner ad
A set of ads is then displayed to the users. Ads may be in form of image and/or video ads. These ads may either be from internal or third-party ads.
Finally, a landing page will be shown to the users based on the URL or any link (e.g. Social Media Pages, website) your client sets. You can also accept sponsorship from interested advertisers to display their site/page to your landing page.
You must have seen similar application when trying to access WiFi in certain hotels, where instead of being connected to the Internet directly after connecting to the hot spot, your phone or laptop is taken to web page from where you enter a username and password. Typically however, these Splash Pages we are used to do not display ads. What Vayafi is offering is an opportunity for the hotel owner not only to provide the customer with free WiFi, but also to show the customer certain information that may improve the customer experience (e.g. telling him/her where the restaurant or bar is located).
Other bundle services that come with Vayafi
On top of showing only the ads that may interest a particular user (you know how), Vayafi also offer other services particularly to the business management that will help them monitor and control the use of the free WiFi, and also optimize customer experience. Some of these services include:
Cloud based portal – Where the venue (e.g. Mall) manager is able to access a cloud portal for viewing real time reports, from anywhere
Maintain customer database – At login, customers can be required to input data such as First Name, Country, Email, Mobile Number etc. Other details like login date and visit logs are automatically captured.
Manage bandwidth – There are those users who may walk into a restaurant and spend the whole day with one cup of coffee. Such users maybe locked out by setting time limits
Get feedback – Customer feedback can be captured through a form that can have either multi-choice boxes, drop-down list, check box, ratings or even a standard text box.
Generate reports – From the cloud based portal, one can generate reports showing number of logins per customer, number of people connected at a given time period, user demographics, ad revenues earned, top locations and visit logs
I guess if I were a business owner providing free WiFi to customers, I guess I would find Vayafi useful