Live. Work. Sleep. Eat. Play. Shop. Mixed use developments are everywhere and can apply to urban planning or property development. The benefits of a mixed-use development are many and include creating multiple sources of revenue to offset development costs and being able to attract different types of investors.

For retail or hospitality businesses, a mixed-use property has the benefit of providing a ‘branded experience’ to customers. Branded experiences have become an important marketing channel that allow brands to create memorable, immersive experiences for customers rather than existing for the sole purpose of transacting. Food, short term accommodation and residential accommodation crossovers are some of the most common types. The development happening between Nobu Hospitality and Madison Group to create Nobu Residences, Nobu Hotel and Nobu Restaurant in Toronto is one recent example.

These types of precincts require a more comprehensive view of the customer experience. What are the customer expectations when moving between a site’s dining area, to its hotel floors and elsewhere? Without doubt, flexibility and ease of movement need to be part of the plan, particularly when it comes to connectivity. Poorly performing networks upset the customers’ experience as well as operations teams' ability to function.

Addressing the challenges of mixed use spaces

To assess the wireless network needs of a space, you need to have clear floor plans, an understanding of how each space is used and the number of people who might dwell in different areas at different times, such as during high-occupancy periods (see our case study on connecting the Sydney Opera House). You also need to assess the devices and types of applications used by various people such as networking platforms, proprietary apps, or communication apps.

When the different spaces within a property (such as a restaurant or retail store) use multiple internet providers this can create an inconsistent experience for the user. Whether you’re designing for a multi-use venue or even for groups that own multiple properties, you should be striving for visibility and control over all networks.

Where an improved network connection can pay off

Marketing: By improving connectivity in mixed use venues and streamlining the Wi-Fi login process, businesses benefit by increasing internet login rates – resulting in more visibility for advertising and higher acquisition of customer records. 

Customer experience: From retail, to stadiums, to entertainment, to hospitality – a solid Wi-Fi connection is one of the most desired services by customers. When businesses offer reliable, free customer Wi-Fi, businesses benefit through improved customer satisfaction while also providing an opportunity to check in with guests about how their experience is going before they leave.

Operations/Service teams: With a strong network and integrated systems, businesses can make more services available to customers using their mobile device - such as ticket purchasing, check-in/out, service requests, stock/supply checking, baggage pickup, etc. They can also increase their own efficiency and bring down service recovery costs.

See how Local Measure and Cisco Solutions come together to provide Wi-Fi and location analytics at a customer and venue level so that businesses can create world class customer experiences.