ZipKey Connected Products Connect Every Time (in Half the Time)

Published by Jason Cannava July 18, 2018

The customer experience with connected products is strongly impacted by ease of use and reliability.  We've found that ZipKey®-enabled products connect to a user’s WiFi network faster and more successfully than any other onboarding method, and this not only improves the customer experience of the product but also increases sales.

We have measured the user experience of connected products across four different environments:

  1. Traditional SoftAP - This is a typical SoftAP process used by the majority of non-ZipKey connected products.
  2. ZipKey SoftAP - Cirrent’s SoftAP local onboarding is used when ZipKey networks are not available.
  3. ZipKey Coverage - Where there is ZipKey network coverage but the user’s network credentials are not available from their ISP, the ZipKey coverage flow provides a simple, reliable cloud enabled onboarding experience.
  4. ZipKey Subscriber - The simplest experience where there is ZipKey network coverage and the customer's network credentials are available via their Internet Service Provider (ISP).

For each of these scenarios, we measured the success of the overall onboarding process and the time required to onboard each device.

Success Rate

The success rate varied substantially across the different environments. Green indicates successful onboarding and red indicates failed attempts.


 ZipKey SoftAP

ZipKey Coverage

 ZipKey Subscriber

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As you can see, the ZipKey experience is significantly better than traditional SoftAP experience. In fact, ZipKey subscriber AND coverage had 0 failed attempts to connect-- every customer was able to successfully connect their product to the home Wi-Fi network.  

On the other hand, 60% of customers that went through the typical SoftAP process failed. If the majority of your customers cannot actually get their product connected, you can be sure your support line will be ringing off the hook and you will see many more negative reviews and returned products.

An alternative to traditional SoftAP provided by the Cirrent solution (if the customer owns a ZipKey-enabled product but is not in range of a ZipKey network) is ZipKey SoftAP. Cirrent has made some key improvements to the SoftAP process to make it more reliable and intuitive for the user. The impact of our improvements is clear as we observed that 35% more of the customers were able to successfully onboard the device over traditional Soft AP. 

With the ZipKey subscriber and ZipKey coverage experience, your customers won’t fail. They will connect their product quickly and securely. The impact of an improved onboarding experience is proven in the bottom line -- lower support costs and fewer returns. A 60% failure rate with traditional SoftAP is unacceptable, hurting your company and the IoT industry as a whole. 

Setup Time

Setup time is a critical metric for connected products -- how quickly can consumers get to the positive experience of actually using the product? We measured the average onboarding time for three environments:

ZipKey Subscriber

 ZipKey SoftAP  


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Average = 2 min, 51 sec Average = 4 min, 2 sec Average = 7 min, 5 sec

The ZipKey-enabled product setup was much faster than SoftAP. Customers that went through the ZipKey Subscriber flow managed to set up the connected product in less than 3 minutes on average. Further highlighting the improvements to SoftAP that the Cirrent team was able to implement, ZipKey SoftAP average time to successful onboarding is around 4 minutes in comparison to a little over 7 minutes with traditional Soft AP.

Product setup failures and a lengthy setup time lead to a negative overall experience with your product. The quicker that your customer can begin to use the product vs. wrestling with setup, the more positive experience that they will have.

As we know, a positive customer experience translates to better product reviews and more sales.


There’s no doubt that ZipKey dramatically improves Wi-Fi onboarding: the success rate improved from 40% to 100% and setup time was cut in half. In addition, a ZipKey-enabled product will never have to go through the onboarding process again even if the device is disconnected from their home network. With Cirrent’s solution, your product will be able to automatically reconnect -- offering a seamless connectivity experience for the customer.

With all this extra time on their hands, the customers will have more time to enjoy your great products and the experiences that they deliver. Get started today.

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