We have to wait and see if it's executed correctly, but adding Turnstyle's customer-tracking capabilities to the Yelp ecosystem could be a game-changer for retail/restaurant loyalty programs. It alleviates a TON of data collection bottlenecks. We'll also have to see if customers object to the loss of privacy. Myself, as a customer, I would rather participate for the convenience of being rewarded, but I expect not everyone would appreciate being tracked.
Recently, a restaurant owner shared a snapshot on Facebook that included a view of one of his best customers in the background. And that customer had promised his wife he was NOT going to the cafe that day. Gotcha!
Marketing Land: Yelp buys Turnstyle to expand targeting and offline attribution capabilities, 2017-Apr-5 by Greg Sterling
Earlier this week, Yelp bought a company called Turnstyle for a reported $20 million. Turnstyle can be characterized in various ways; it calls itself a WiFi-based marketing and loyalty platform....
Turnstyle enables businesses to offer guest WiFi in exchange for customer email addresses (opt-in). The company uses the phone’s MAC address to identify the device, when it returns to the venue, for either loyalty or attribution purposes or both.
Yelp has been building out its marketing capabilities and programs relatively quietly over the past couple of years. Late last year, it introduced loyalty program Yelp Cashback (using Empyr). It has also been beefing up booking, messaging and transactional tools.
Turnstyle gives Yelp an intriguing new set of capabilities to help businesses market to customers and figure out if those efforts are working. Here’s what Yelp could do with Turnstyle:
- Help businesses build customer lists.
- Help them identify and segment audiences (e.g., frequent guests, lapsed customers).
- Find/segment audiences in other ways (i.e., demographic, behavioral) when combined with other data.
- Track online ads or email to store/venue visits.
- Retarget in-store customers online on Yelp or third-party networks.
- Offer email marketing or an enhancement to its customers, based on offline visits (combined with other data).
I’m not saying that Yelp will do all these things, but Turnstyle provides the technical capability to do them.
TechCrunch: Yelp acquires Wi-Fi marketing company Turnstyle Analytics for $20 million, 2017-Apr-4 by Sarah Perez
The move, Yelp explains, is aimed at expanding the types of business marketing services Yelp already offers beyond those that are focused on customer acquisition, to also include those that help businesses with customer retention and loyalty.
Toronto-based Turnstyle was founded in 2012 that today supports nearly 3,500 businesses, primarily across the U.S. and Canada. According to the logos on its website, these customers include Back Alley Burger, Burger King, Broncos Slider Bar, Subway, and others....
Yelp explains that the average consumer today spend more than five hours per day online, but still makes approximately 93 percent of their purchases offline. With Turnstyle, Yelp aims to give its small-to-medium sized business customers a means of connecting with those offline customers.
In addition, it points out that free Wi-Fi has been shown to increase foot traffic and sales figures. 62 percent of customers spend more time in places that provide free Wi-Fi and 50 percent of those customers spend more money on services and products as a result of the extra time spend in the establishment, Yelp noted, pointing to a Small Biz Trends survey....
The [Turnstyle] product is currently used by a number of clients, including restaurants, cafes, retail stores, auto dealers, spas, salons and others – basically, anywhere a consumer may be spending time and lingering around, and expects there to be free Wi-Fi.