Offering wireless broadband services can help businesses draw customers through their doors, according to one service provider.
Plusnet Business reports that up to half of UK consumers are more likely to choose hospitality providers which offer free Wi-Fi services.
The broadband provider said that 24 per cent of consumers always select a coffee shop which offers access to the internet.
Even more people look for Wi-Fi availability when booking a hotel room – 39 per cent.
The study also indicated that wireless broadband can impact on consumers' choices of restaurants (17 per cent), bars (17 per cent) and shopping centres (18 per cent).
And eight per cent said they chose to use a particular doctor's surgery because it offers a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Some 29 per cent of those surveyed admitted they felt the need to be connected to the internet at all times.
Among Londoners, 46 per cent admit that they need to be constantly connected to the web in order to stop the boredom of having to queue.
As such, businesses may wish to consider creating their own wireless broadband hotspots, allowing customers to access the internet via their laptops and tablets.
Nick Silverwood, Head of Business at Plusnet, said: "Installing something as simple as free Wi-Fi for customers can help generate repeat custom and definition within a market.
"With increased competition in the hospitality and retail markets, it’s important for small businesses to understand how investing in customer broadband has the potential to really boost sales."
A complementary wireless broadband router is included with each of Plusnet's business broadband packages,
Prices start from £10 per month for Option One, which includes a 10GB usage allowance and up to 20Mb download speeds.
Option 2, which offers 50GB usage, and Option 3, which enables unlimited usage, are priced at £15 per month and £25 per month respectively.
If the findings of the Plusnet study are to believed, investing a little more in business grade wireless broadband may generate positive results for UK firms.
The evidence suggests companies are aware of the business case – BT recently announced plans to provide free Wi-Fi services in 300 pubs and bars around the UK.
Also last week, public Wi-Fi provider The Cloud revealed it would be creating wireless broadband hotspots in 450 Caffè Nero outlets across the UK.