Yelp has begun running tests to measure how their advertisements affect offline restaurant visits. Last July, Yelp ran attribution tests with Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill, a Canadian restaurant chain, using the review platform’s recently acquired WiFi software.
How Yelp’s Test Worked
When users signed in to Jack Astor’s guest WiFi network, Yelp matched their email address with registered Yelp accounts. Users who may have viewed Yelp ads without connecting to the restaurant’s wireless network were not counted in the study. Users who did not click on ads but viewed them were placed in a one-day attribution window, while users who viewed and clicked were placed in 30-day windows. Customer data was not used to calculate potential revenue, but Yelp collected data from Jack Astor’s in regard to average meal value and table size.
Over the course of July 2017, Jack Astor’s made $110 for every dollar spent in Yelp ads, with over a third of the revenue coming from new customers. Some of the data was captured through Yelp Cash Back Rewards, an app Yelp uses to track offline conversions and revenue. It is one of the initial on-to-offline data trackers available to small businesses in order to determine ROI. Google and Facebook are continuing to invest in methods of offline attribution for their advertising, which will hopefully become more broadly available in the near future.
Since this was the first test, offline attribution from Yelp is not yet available to small business owners. The positive results from the test make this all but a foregone conclusion.