Do You Target Laptop Loiterers?

You should. I know, I’m one of them. When I’m about to meet a contact in Manhattan (I live in Brooklyn), I’ll often stop at the local Starbucks before or after to check email and work on articles. Sometimes I’m there for several hours. Oh, and I may even get a coffee (sometimes – don’t tell Howard Schultz!).

You should. I know, I’m one of them. When I’m about to meet a contact in Manhattan (I live in Brooklyn), I’ll often stop at the local Starbucks before or after to check email and work on articles. Sometimes I’m there for several hours. Oh, and I may even get a coffee (sometimes – don’t tell Howard Schultz!).

But apparently some coffee shops, though fortunately not Starbucks, are not too happy with us folks. A recent Wall Street Journal report, for example, discussed how many local coffee shop owners are pulling the plug on laptop users during the recession, as we take up seats and drive away diners. Some even cover their electrical outlets as a cost-cutting measure to save electricity.

For online marketers, however, laptop loiterers may be a new target audience. In fact, according to a mobile insights report from JiWire, a mobile audience media company, 38 percent of people using Wi-Fi at cafés or coffee shops make online purchases during their visits, and 77 percent are in the market to make major purchases in the next 12 months. Purchasing plans include the following:

  • 48 percent intend to buy new smartphones;
  • 54 percent plan to travel more than once on at least week-long vacations;
  • 28 percent plan to buy new laptops; and
  • 24 percent plan to buy cars.

Additionally, the report found online audiences in cafés and coffee shops use these venues as their extended home offices or college libraries, with 83 percent connecting locally in their own neighborhoods. What’s more, most are affluent males between the ages of 25 and 49, and 40 percent are business decision makers with management titles. Twenty-three percent have C-level or VP titles, while 44 percent are in small- to medium-sized businesses.

The report is based on data from 275,000 public Wi-Fi hot spots, as well as a survey of 2,057 customers randomly selected in more than 6,500 U.S. café locations that used JiWire’s Wi-Fi Media Channel between April and June.

So, how would you target these users? One idea may be to offer a special coupon — perhaps through Twitter — just for folks working in cafés or coffee shops. Any other ideas? Let us know by posting a comment here.