Posted: Feb 13, 2019
To run a successful restaurant, you must have access to reliable, comprehensive data in real-time.
While online businesses have been using customer analytics for decades, guest Wi-Fi analytics have recently emerged to provide owners of brick-and-mortar businesses with the same sorts of data-driven advantages.
Whether you run a single location or manage a multi-unit chain, guest Wi-Fi analytics can be the catalyst for continuous improvement, helping your business reach more profitable heights by improving marketing campaigns, saving on costs, making more informed operations decisions.
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What Are Guest Wi-Fi Analytics?
Guest Wi-Fi analytics refers to the collecting and analyzing of customer data from Wi-Fi-enabled devices – like smartphones, laptops, and tablets – via your restaurant's guest Wi-Fi access point(s). The data is sorted and presented in an easy-to-understand graphical interface.
Every mobile device – smartphone, laptop, tablet, smartwatch – sends out a broadcast signal as it searches for available Wi-Fi networks. This is what populates the ever-changing list of networks you see on your mobile device when you’re looking for a wireless network to connect to. The broadcast signal that's sent out contains a unique code that's associated with the device called a media access control address, or MAC address.
At the same time, any Wi-Fi access point within range can pick up the signal from the mobile device, including the MAC address. This is how a Wi-Fi analytics platform is able to collect specific guest Wi-Fi behavior data and associate that data with individual customers.
While the system doesn’t know the customer’s name or demographic details at this point, it will be able to log several valuable metrics into the database from the moment a customer walks through your door, even if they don’t log into your Wi-Fi. This is referred to as anonymous data.
Accessing Customer Behavior Metrics With Your Guest Wi-Fi Analytics
If your restaurant has guest Wi-Fi available for customers, and it should (this 2017 restaurant technology report found that restaurant-goers rank guest Wi-Fi second when determining which types of restaurant technology have the biggest impact on their dining experience), the anonymous data included in your restaurant's Wi-Fi analytics can provide never-before-seen insights into customer behavior at your establishment.
Here are six examples of rich customer behavior metrics available to restaurateurs who tap into the power of guest Wi-Fi analytics:
Dwell times – This metric allows you to know how long visitors are staying at your location. The metric can also be queried by hour, showing the average visit duration during each hour of the day.
First-Time Visitors – The number of visitors to your location who have never been seen by the Wi-Fi analytics platform. This metric is valuable in measuring the return on investment of your customer acquisition campaigns.
First-Time Visitor Return Rate - This metric tells you how many of your first-time visitors came back to your location.
Daily Traffic - This is the average number of customer devices detected at your location during each day in the time period selected.
Popular Visit Times - The average number of customer devices detected during each hour of the day. This allows you to see precise foot traffic values over the course of the day.
Average Customer Repeat Rate - This is an accurate representations of how many times customers have returned to your location in the time frame specified.
How to Enhance Your CRM Customer Profiles With Guest Wi-Fi Analytics
When a customer logs into your restaurant's guest Wi-Fi, they are often required to provide their name and/or email address to access the internet. When this happens, a Wi-Fi analytics platform, like the one available from Bloom Intelligence, will instantly begin building a customer profile around that individual customer.
Any previous anonymous data that was associated with that device via its unique MAC address is added to the patron’s customer profile. Other data points in the profile include age, gender, email address, zip code, and phone number.
Combining the metrics and insights available via a guest Wi-Fi analytics platform with the customer profiles you have housed in your restaurant CRM solution is a lot like solving a puzzle: Though the many pieces on their own are valuable and important, together they paint a beautiful picture of your customer's journey and behavior while at your restaurant.
Can Your Restaurant CRM System Do all of This?
How to Use Guest Wi-Fi Analytics In Your Restaurant Marketing Campaigns
As with the customer profiles available in your restaurant CRM system, the customer profiles created by a guest Wi-Fi analytics platform can be filtered and sorted to reveal important insights about your repeat customers. You can then put this data to use in both your restaurant customer acquisition strategy and your restaurant customer retention strategy.
Since customer behavior is monitored while they're within the range of your Wi-Fi, pre-written marketing messages can be automatically emailed to the customer based on specific behavior criteria. Most Wi-Fi analytics platforms utilize email for sending manual and triggered marketing messages.
If a customer visited your location for a predetermined amount of time, you can have the platform send them an email thanking them for their loyalty and perhaps including a coupon for a free appetizer or dessert. When a new customer visits for the first time and logs into your guest Wi-Fi, you can send them an email welcoming them and providing an offer, coupon, or other incentive to get them to return.
Messages can also be triggered by demographic data, such as a customer’s birthday or zip code. A message could be sent a few days prior to their birthday or to a list of customers in a specific area of the city, for instance.
Segmented and triggered email marketing can give consumers what they expect in today’s marketplace: personalized, engaging messaging. This will help you solidify a positive brand image while increasing customer loyalty, spend, and satisfaction.
As an added bonus, guest Wi-Fi analytics are also useful for making data-driven staffing and purchasing decisions. Not only can you identify the high-traffic days and times with accuracy, you will be able to better predict them. With this, you'll be able to schedule the appropriate number of staff members at the right times while avoiding overstaffing and the accompanying revenue hit. Guest Wi-Fi analytics can also be used to influence your inventory purchasing strategy, helping you keep your food items consistently as fresh as possible, decreasing the likelihood of ‘86’ing a product.
If you're interested in learning more about guest Wi-Fi analytics and a platform that can integrate seamlessly with your cloud-based POS system, reach out to the team at BloomIntelligence to learn more.
What's the Wi-Fi?
Using the data from your restaurant's guest Wi-Fi analytics is easy to do with the right tools, and the strategy can garner great returns when used properly.
With the fierce competition in today’s restaurant, coffee shop, and cafe sectors, guest Wi-Fi analytics can be the catalyst for gaining a strong competitive advantage, helping you develop an even stronger customer retention strategy, ensuring the lasting success of your restaurant.
By Allen Graves
February 5, 2019
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