Purple WiFi review

£18
Price when reviewed

For high-street brand names, it’s worth the expense of providing free Wi-Fi: it’s a great opportunity to gather customer data, and to precisely target advertising and promotions. Purple WiFi provides a low-cost option for smaller shops and businesses, allowing them to provide free, secure Wi-Fi in return for valuable social demographics and usage analytics.

Purple WiFi review: how does it work?

Customers accessing the Purple WiFi router are redirected to a cloud login portal, where they choose the social networking account they want to log in with; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google are all supported. Once users are authenticated with their selected provider, Purple WiFi gathers anonymous details from their accounts such as age and gender.

Purple WiFi

It works with any broadband connection, using the Purple WiFi software installed on a supported router. Check the website to see if your existing router is supported; if not, a Purple WiFi reseller will be able to provide a preconfigured unit (we were supplied with a TP-Link TL-WDR3500).

The software disables the router’s management interface, with all further access via the Purple WiFi cloud portal. The router’s web interface isn’t removed completely, though; Purple WiFi can provide remote access to the router’s configuration pages if it’s required.

Purple WiFi review: setup and personalisation

Your first task is to provide the IDs for your business’ social pages, which determine the login options presented in the user portal. Then, you can customise the splash page presented to the user by cloning a default template and then creating your own version. You can add background images and a company logo with login instructions, and decide which social media icons are available as authentication options.

Purple WiFi

Once online, you can present users with a new page, complete with links to other websites and any other information you wish to provide. The content-management section also allows you to add modules such as Facebook and Twitter feeds, plus direct links to your business’ social sites.

On first contact, users are advised on what account data will be retrieved, and are given the option to decline if they wish. Users without a social presence can use Purple WiFi by filling in a portal login form. You can boost your company’s social presence by asking first-time users logging in via Facebook to “Like” your page, for instance, and then ask them to post a promotional message.

[img id=213334f”]Purple WiFi review[/img]

The real value to small businesses – and one of the reasons it’s worth paying for the Premium version rather than opting for the cut-down free offering – are the marketing tools Purple WiFi offers. A dashboard provides pie charts showing the spread of login methods, plus snapshots of user age ranges, types of browsers and OSes. Click on the Wi-Fi users’ bar charts and it will list all users for that age range, along with their login method and email address. Usefully, the Premium version also adds category-based web filters.

Social reports are currently limited to Facebook; features for Twitter and LinkedIn are promised in the future. You can view Facebook Likes and Unlikes, posts and page impressions. You can check your Facebook inbox from the portal and post scheduled and on-demand status updates to selected social networks.

Purple WiFi

Purple WiFi also offers “e-shots”. This marketing tool lets you send out promotions and offers to selected users or groups and filter by login frequency, age and gender. You can add a personal touch with a special birthday e-shot, and entice users with special deals and offers.

Purple WiFi review: verdict

Apart from the lack of decent documentation, there’s little to fault Purple WiFi for. It’s a great idea that lets small retailers offer free wireless internet services to their customers, in return for valuable marketing information.

Details

Software subcategoryInternet utilities

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