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Presence Analytics explained

By :

30th June 2014

Presence analytics explained

Presence Analytics bridges the gap between Google Analytics and the real world, offering real time data and reporting using WiFi technology. It’s similar to how cookies track user browsing online.

This information gives our venues an unprecedented level of insight into consumer behaviour and opportunities to engage customers directly. We already serve demographic and engagement information from users to venues through the Purple Portal. The portal allows businesses to understand who is visiting and using the hotspot, how long they are online, as well as their age, gender and any other relevant information that they offer in their social networking profile.

Customer tracking

The Presence Analytics feature also incorporates Customer Tracking. This is facilitated by tracking the MAC address (unique number associated with any WiFi enabled device), and the received signal strength indicator (RSSI), which identifies roughly how far away the device is from the Access Point. This tracking capability is relevant to all devices regardless of whether the user authenticates onto the network.

From the continual storage of this intelligence key elements can be identified, such as how long the devices stay in a location and how often the device returns. Reports can then be generated on data such as footfall, repeat vs new visitors, average number of visits, average visitor duration and recency of visits.

Geo-fencing technology

Location Based Services utilise Geo-fencing technology to allow this data to be taken one step further by drawing invisible lines around specific sales areas or locations, to identify behaviour patterns within that area. This is facilitated by setting up WiFi grids where activity is monitored, allowing instant confirmation of who is using the network and where.

We can then gauge how long consumers will remain in these areas and what purchases they are considering. This information assists venues to develop marketing strategies that can be implemented in real time, including email and messages sent to a consumer’s phone, highlighting offers in the store.


The customer has the right to opt-in or opt-out of tracking. If a customer is not opted in, our software can still detect an anonymous MAC address, confirm whether that MAC address is a new or repeat visitor, and see how long that device stays.

By using Location Based Services (only available with certain hardware manufacturers) the device can be tracked within the specific venue. The accuracy of the location-based tracking also depends on the number of access points in the space.

If a customer is opted in, the device MAC address can be linked to personal data such as their age, gender, name, email address, location, language, Likes, etc. meaning relevant vouchers can be sent to the visitor.

The issue of privacy has been raised in relation to customer tracking. It must be addressed to allow both retailers and their customers to feel comfortable and have clear guidelines on analytics use. After all, if the retailers better understand the needs of their customers, the outcome will be positive – better store layouts, improved traffic flow, evacuation points, safety and removing the frustrations that customers often feel when receiving non-specific and irrelevant marketing messages.

A note from Gavin

“Purple WiFi’s social login feature provides a wealth of understanding, but when added to Presence Analytics and Location Based Services, things start to get really interesting.

“We support an individual’s right to privacy and right to control the collection of information. They need to feel confident that information collection is in their best interest and once they understand the advantages of opting-in, in terms of better targeting and relevant offers, it is our belief that they won’t be opting out.”

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