Yelp has announced the purchase of Wi-Fi marketing company Turnstyle Analytics for $20 million. Yelp, a company that largely focuses on helping businesses gain new customers, appears to be taking a step forward in the information it can provide businesses with on their new and existing customers. Turnstyle Analytics was founded back in 2012 and now has nearly 3,500 businesses under its belt, including the likes of Burger King and Subway. The service provides businesses with essential data, all of which is collected through Wi-Fi. Basically, businesses provide customers with a public Wi-Fi network at its establishments and with the help of Turnstyle Analytics, are able to gain extra information regarding each individual customer, be it the number of visits they make or simply the duration of each visit.
Whenever a user signs into the Wi-Fi network, they typically do so using their email address. With this, Turnstyle Analytics is able to creates a contact list specific to that establishment. As well as this, once a user has agreed to use the network, Turnstyle Analytics keeps track of any returning customers, allowing businesses to see the frequency in which customers return, how long they are at the establishment, as well as which customers are the most loyal. Aside from customer insight, the service allows businesses to automate their marketing- by having the contact list created, businesses are then able to freely contact customers, as well as schedule messages for certain customers in advance. Examples of such messages include discounts or other incentives to encourage customers to return to the establishments. As well as this, the company can also set messages to be sent out as soon as a customer exits an establishment, or alternatively, encourage customers who haven't frequented the business for some time to return.
With the help of Turnstyle Analytics' tool, businesses are certainly given a huge advantage in ways of connecting to their customers and increasing sales, though for smaller businesses the benefits are likely greater, considering customer retention is especially important for them. With both loyalty and customer retention becoming an ever increasing focus for companies, it remains to be seen how popular Yelp's new acquisition will be, but with the potential marketing benefits being pretty significant, this could prove to be a worthwhile acquisition by Yelp.