Yelp has announced the acquisition of Wi-Fi marketing company, Turnstyle Analytics for a sum of $20 million. The move is expected to allow Yelp to add upon its marketing services and allow the brands it helps to reach out to a greater number of customers. Turnstyle Analytics is a company that allows businesses to connect with their customers via the novel scheme of providing the latter with a free Wi-fi network.

Turnstyle was founded in Toronto in 2012. The company counts over 3,500 brands among its customers including the likes of Back Alley Burger, Burger King, Broncos Slider Bar, Subway and so on. What the company actually does, is that it offers customers free Wi-fi access and lets brands have customer behavior, details about their visits and more that it gleans from their logins. What it also does, is collects the e-mail ID of everyone who is logging in. What basically happens here, is that users themselves help Turnstyle build out a customer list in return for free WiFi access.

The startup can then provide this list to brands, along with details like which of their customers frequent them most often and so on.

Yelp an Turnstyle fit together pretty nicely. For instance, Wi-Fi has been shown to be a factor in driving footfalls to shops. What’s more, it will also allow small and medium businesses to directly connect with their offline customers. Which is really important. It is a lot easier connecting with your online customers. You have their e-mail IDs and a whole lot of other information besides. Information they themselves provided while purchasing something. With this acquisition, Yelp hopes to be able to bridge the gap and let businesses focus on offline ones as well.

Businesses using Turnstyle can also do stuff like sending out e-mails to their customers. What’s more, it can also encourage them to repeat their visits by giving them things like loyalty points. Brands can also automate things like message delivery days and days in advance can send coupons in e-mails and SMS-es.

Speaking on the topic,  Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp co-founder and chief executive officer said:

We’re excited to expand our product offering for local businesses through this acquisition. Turnstyle helps connect businesses to consumers through free public Wi-Fi, and is an effective retention and loyalty program that helps businesses be more successful

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