What is WiFi analytics?

What is WiFi analytics and why is it important for your business?

If you provide public access guest WiFi, this article gives some insight into what WiFi analytics are, and how they could benefit your business.

Firstly, what is WiFi analytics?

Put simply, WiFi analytics means to gather customer data through the use of guest WiFi, which is the free WiFi you get in hotels, cafes and numerous other locations.

WiFi analytics collects customer data in two different ways.

Authorised data

The first method of collecting data is through associated devices, which are customer devices which have logged into your public WiFi network. These devices can be smartphones, laptops, or any other devices with WiFi capabilities.

The data that is collected from these customers is gathered during the access journey that requires customers to fill out a form with information about themselves.

What data can be collected from this method?

From authorised data, businesses can get to know the personal details of their customers. These details can include:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Contact information

Here is an example of how Ocean Hotels would collect authorised data:

Wifi analytics: Screenshot of guest wifi log in portal showing how authorised data is collected

This type of data allows insights to who customers are, and enables the opportunity to target customers on a personalised scale.

Unauthorised/presence data

Unauthorised or ‘presence’ data isn’t as dodgy as it sounds! With unauthorised data, you can see the number of devices noticed by an access point (AP) based on pings, and not specific individual visitors.

The first time a device pings, your AP captures the unique MAC address, and tracks it throughout the visit, without the visitor having to sign into the WiFi. From this, we can see the overall trends in raw visit numbers and how this changes over time.

You can also track raw visit numbers from all visitors and the overall trend in behaviour through the use of unauthorised data. Utilising the unauthorised data provides insights into not just the visitors who entered, but also who passed by your venue but didn’t enter: in other words, a measure of potential traffic.

These two different data types can tell different stories about how visitors are interacting with a venue, such as how long they stay, if they are a new or repeat visitor, and what time of day is most popular.

Data security and user privacy

The misuse of customer data, such as selling data or emailing a customer who does not want to be contacted, can result in “Data Conflicts”. These conflicts can (if not dealt with professionally), result in the brand losing credibility and legal action being taken.

Luckily for all customers that use our solution, Genius is globally compliant with a number of data protection acts, including General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and more. Because Genius is fully compliant, it means that our customers don’t have to worry about collecting or using data illegally.

For more information about this, you can easily find out more by searching “(Your country) data protection laws”.

Why is this data important?

By using the authorised data gathered from customer devices, businesses are able to optimise the space and functionality of their stores, which can influence how long their customers stay in one area, or how far they may need to travel for more popular products.

A good example of in-store optimisation is in supermarkets. When you go into your local megastore for essentials such as bread or milk, they are always kept at the furthest points of the store. This means you have to walk through all the other aisles, and somehow end up buying more than you went in for.

Here’s why you should invest in WiFi analytics

Collecting offline customer data is more important in today’s business environment than ever before. Knowing who your customers are has to be on your priority list. By marketing to customers who you know will be interested in purchasing your products or visiting your stores, you not only save time, but you also save money on wasted campaigns.

Want to find out more about how WiFi analytics can boost your business? Get in touch now.

Genius Technology Solutions logo

Genius WiFi is powered by our global partner, Purple WiFi – this article was originally published by Purple in March 2023.

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