TripAdvisor's new feature could help change the game for restaurant owners and marketers who work with local businesses.

Media Post reports TripAdvisor will be offering restaurants custom-branded WIFI Plus add-on which lets you harvest customer data & retarget them with email campaigns to encourage reviews & repeat visits.

Restaurants will get a hotspot that connects to their in-house WiFi and Guests would sign in through their custom-branded landing page provided by TripAdvisor WiFi Plus with their email address or social media profile. After they leave, they receive an automatic email encouraging them to post a review. TripAdvisor claims that on average, restaurants using WiFi Plus collect 70% more reviews

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”Trip-Advisor-Flow”

”Trip-Advisor-Shot”

The WiFi Plus dashboard allows restaurants to send one-off emails and set up automated email marketing, eateries can offer discounts and run their loyalty rewards program online. The service can reward diners after a certain number of visits, without the need for physical a loyalty card.

TripAdvisor’s company policy for restaurants stipulates they must only encourage, not incentivize diners into writing reviews. Interestingly, diners are encouraged to write their reviews when they get home – so as not to trigger TripAdvisor’s anti-fraud measures, by reviewing via the restaurant owner’s IP address.

The system also fights the fraudulent by guaranteeing that diners who review have actually visited the restaurant – which will be a big draw for business owners who have been the victim of negative inauthentic reviews - and TripAdvisor points to the fact that their new WiFi program bolsters the integrity of reviews.

TripAdvisor makes no secret of its ambition to make more use of its first-party data for ad formatting, hoping to generate more revenue from its channels. “We really don't feel we've tapped into the opportunity to better understand who these folks are so that we can segment them and offer visibility to these users across all of our endemic clients as well as non-endemic clients,” sad TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer recently.

The Wifi System that TripAdvisor is providing is nothing new for marketers, a lot of these features like the automation can be done with third party softwares like MailChimp, Zapier, Etc. However, for most small business owners, setting up that whole process can get very confusing and time-consuming to learn. So, there definitely is a value for beinb able to get the whole process automated by a trusted site like TripAdvisor for common folk.