Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2017

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 103 of 115

THE ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA METALLUM rightly notes Black Sabbath's second album Paranoid as the source of the fertile heavy-metal subgenres of doom and stoner rock. While the band put out any number of successful albums, and spawned offshoots and solo careers, Paranoid stands as a virtual Rosetta Stone of heavy rock to follow. Even doom has its own sub-sub- genres, such as funereal doom and blackened doom. Guest Wi-Fi—publicly available wireless internet service in bars, shops, hotels, and restaurants—has its own subgenres, too. Depending on your customers' needs, and their browsing habits, there are several popular options out there to consider. There is the scrappy, DIY punk rock of "let's just let customers use the same Wi-Fi we use," with little to no concern as to whether cus- tomer traffi c affects point-of-sale bandwidth. There is the proggy, complicated approach of writing the network name on a small chalkboard, and handing out temporary passwords on tiny squares of paper. Even now, dedicated crate-diggers will fi nd the occasion- al WebBeams network that actually asks for payment or a special code to be provided by the barista. The heaviest grooves in guest Wi-Fi, though, come from a few services that leverage similar technologies and produce results that make for a much cleaner production. For the purposes of clarity (and fun), we looked at each one as if it were a popular metal band. ZENREACH Zenreach is the Deafheaven of guest Wi-Fi. Whereas the afore- mentioned Bay Area black-metal-cum-shoegaze phenoms took the music world by storm with their driving ethereal slant on Amer- ican Black Metal with nods to My Bloody Valentine and 4AD bands of yore, Zenreach came to be around 2010, built a following over time as they explored ways to help retail merchants learn about their customers, and then hit the big time with a capital infusion and famed Gawker-killer Peter Thiel on their board of directors. In fact, Zenreach advertises itself as a marketing platform. They have transcended their genre. The Zenreach guest Wi-Fi experience is relatively frictionless. Customers in or near your shop—let's call it Behemoth Coffee— use their mobile device or laptop to browse available wireless networks, and in addition to the obligatory "2Wire 666" or "FBI Surveillance Van," the customer happens upon the wireless net- work ("SSID") "@Behemoth Free Wi-Fi." He or she connects, and is immediately redirected to a browser pop-up window that says something to the effect of "Welcome to Behemoth Coffee! Please enter your email address," after which the customer is allowed to continue on to their original destination. This is all done by confi gurations on the merchant's Cisco Meraki wireless access point, in many cases obviating the need for additional hardware. Once an email address is captured, Zenreach's real magic kicks in. The merchant now has ac- cess to not only email addresses for frequent customers, but also—through Meraki's ability to detect devices and match them to profi les—the merchant now knows the frequency with which customers visit, and has a mechanism through which to email customers who might be owed special attention (due to frequent visits, etc.) or might need to be lured back after an absence of several weeks. If there is anything particularly heavy about Zenreach, it might be the price tag, which is as much as $299 per month, but with discounts for multiple locations. With Zenreach in their "stadium rock" phase, chances are you've al- ready been visited by a sales rep. They seem to be everywhere, like so many summer festivals. WWW.ZENREACH.COM TROGLO Of the three guest Wi-Fi services we considered, Troglo proved to be one of the more malleable and cost-effective, not unlike the band Mastodon, known for power, economy, and a broad range of themes and moods. Troglo's pricing starts as low as $32 per month (with their most feature-rich service priced as high as $132), and they solve the hardware question by providing a free access point that's easy to install. Additionally, Troglo's user portal allows for the merchant to choose the photos that appear on the splash page as well as the landing page. Also, customers needn't enter an email address unless the merchant chooses to solicit it. It's worth noting, too, that unless a business invests in the automation and default settings of an email marketing service (like the one included with Zenreach) there is a chance that the responsibility of drafting and sending those outreach emails will fall by the wayside. With Troglo, though, it's not just about that email collection. By carefully choosing photos for the splash and landing page, Pump Up the Guest Wi-Fi Options By Andy Freivogel P U th G t Wi Fi O ti 104 barista magazine

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