WiFi analytics may be the most potent, most actionable source of business intelligence to arrive on the scene since computers first began processing visitor demographics. Looking over the shoulder of a location’s free WiFi guest network, WiFi analytics tools turn terabytes of raw WiFi tracking data into powerful decision-making insights.

By leveraging analytics tools, businesses can get to know their visitors: they can learn who visitors are and how they behave while inside a location.

This up-to-date information can boost business performance by helping managers see how various locations stack up against one another, and discover and implement best practices that can be confidently rolled them out to other sites. With WiFi analytics tools, for example, retailers can optimize merchandise placement, store layout, staffing allocation, or business hours, by embracing retail in-store analytics.

What WiFi analytics can tell managers about visitors

STEP 1: Unearth visitor behaviors

Even if not connected, all WiFi enabled smart devices transmit pings to detect and connect to available WiFi networks. On the other side, access points and/or sensors passively listen to the pings sent by smart devices. This helps in defining the location of the pinging smart devices. Then, raw data collected through the access points and/or sensors are elaborated and turned into WiFi location analytics, that enables businesses to measure foot traffic and analyze visitor behavior.

Used correctly, a WiFi location analytics tool can provide almost real-time answers to questions like how many people visit a location? How many passes but don’t stop? How many are unique visitors? How many have been to the location before? How often do they return? How much time do they spend on the location?

WiFi location analytics can also document how visitors behave inside the location. These answers include where do visitors go? Are they roaming or moving directly from one area inside the location to another? Where do they spend most of their time? What areas capture the most interest? Is there a specific movement pattern that visitors commonly follow?

STEP 2: Discover who visitors are

When visitors sign in to WiFi, businesses can associate a personal digital identity to each WiFi enabled smart device on their network. This way they can collect names, emails and phone numbers, along with additional information like visitor demographics – age, gender and language – and even what devices, browser and operating systems they use.

Then, personal data collected are anonymized and aggregated to provide businesses with WiFi user analytics. For businesses to have a visitor breakdown by gender, age and language would be extremely useful, especially when it comes to running more segmented marketing campaigns. Equipped with this knowledge, businesses can craft strategic messaging that appeals to visitors’ unique preferences.

STEP 3: See how guest WiFi is used

Once connected, visitors start surfing the Internet. Guest WiFi service analytics makes it easy for businesses to monitor how guest WiFi is being used across all their locations.

Guest WiFi service analytics can tell managers how many people visit the business’ splash page, use the network, and what login options are most popular. How many users are new vs. returning during a given period? How many sessions are there? What is the average duration per session? How much upload and download traffic is being used?

WiFi analytics: a continuous flow of information

WiFi analytics collects information whenever visitors are inside the location and logged into the WiFi network. The WiFi analytics package is effectively a magnifying lens that notices visitor behavior and other right-now information in detail. This raw data is transformed into actionable information that businesses act upon to improve both customer satisfaction and brand profits.