Yelp did a study to measure the impact of free Wi-Fi in four different business types: Restaurants, Pubs/Clubs, Clothing Stores, and Cafes. Two metrics for each group were measured: average dwell >me and visit frequency. Visitors were segmented into two groups:
  1. Visitors who have signed into the venue’s free Wi-Fi network (Connected Users), and
  2. Visitors who have not signed into the venue’s free Wi-Fi (Non-Connected Users).


Average dwell time (visit duration) is a measure of the length of time consumers spend in a venue. For many retailers, a common goal is to increase visitor dwell times as longer dwell times result in higher probabilities of purchase, increased the ability to up-sell to higher-margin items and larger basket sizes. A study by PathIntelligence has shown that if you can extend a customer’s visit by 1% you will increase your sales by 1.3%.


How is the visit length of visitors related to the availability of free in-store Wi-Fi? Analyzing the data across Yelp’s network we learned that in every industry group, the visitors who connect to a venue’s Wi-Fi network powered by Yelp Wi-Fi stay longer. As indicated in the chart above, visitors who connect to a venue’s Wi-Fi network stay on average 23% longer than those who don’t, providing venues with a significant increase in sales opportunity.

Another important metric for businesses is loyalty. One form of customer loyalty is “visit frequency” – how often a customer comes to a venue in a given time period. As with dwell time, repeat visits are industry sensitive, depending largely on customer cycle time.


The graph above clearly demonstrates the value of Wi-Fi, with customers who connect to a Wi-Fi network visiting an average of 35% more frequently. In addition to increasing customer visit frequency, free in-store Wi-Fi also works as an effective tool to attract visitors from other countries where data-roaming plans are costly and with low limits. Besides attracting visitors more frequently, venues using Yelp Wi-Fi can take advantage of our Social Wi-Fi features to learn more about who is visiting their stores and engage with them when they enter or exit a venue or zone.