Developed by engineers during their tenure at Cisco, the Retail Next in-store analytics technology tracks traffic coming in and out of the store, where customers spend most of their time, how they navigate the store and how long they spend in front a specific aisle or display with the use of cameras, WiFi and Bluetooth. To maintain customer privacy, the cameras are installed in the ceiling to provide a top-down view of shoppers and their path (only the tops of heads are seen). The company provides customizable and kinetic map reports that include traffic numbers, dwell time, weather data (rainy days = low traffic) and conversion rates for employees from CEOs to general store managers.
RetailNext helps retailers, shopping centers and even manufacturers analyze data on store traffic and buyer behavior. Their customers are interested in the use of displays to interact and engage with their own customers and potential customers. Suzanne Tran, director of marketing communications for RetailNext, said she knew the interaction would be something different for that audience. It was something RetailNext had never done before, so they wondered just what the reaction would be.
The RetailNext Insights team analyzed 5.4 million shopping trips to U.S. specialty and large-format retailers, comparing traffic, sales and other metrics leading up to, during and after Valentine’s Day. Overall, men’s stores saw a 13.8% decrease in sales the day before Valentine’s Day (versus the same day in 2013). However, this category saw more than a 22% increase on the actual holiday. This pattern is consistent for women’s stores, which saw a year-over-year decrease of 13.5% in sales the day before, but a 15.2% boost the day of.
“RetailNext Releases 2013 Full Holiday Retail Performance Data” is among the top three most emailed releases on the PR Newswire website. Even though this announcement was made weeks ago on January 10th, the importance of this story during difficult economic times continues to drive visibility for RetailNext, and the brand deftly positioned itself as a source of analytics and insight relating to brick-and-mortar retail. For these reasons, RetailNext’s story is the subject of this week’s Content We Love.
RetailNext analysis indicates that Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday in 2014, as compared to a Thursday in 2013, made it easier for more people to shop that day. Sales for Valentine’s Day this year fell prior to the holiday compared to the same period in 2013, but rose on the actual holiday itself, Feb. 14.
As a group, we invest in mobile technologies, and that is really our core expertise. Under the mobile umbrella, I’ve been scouting pitches in applied data, analytics and advertising for the last five years. Right now, the convergence of online and offline at retail is also very interesting, and we have just done a few recent investments in entrepreneurs who are actively enabling that: RetailNext in the US and SolarVista Media in China. As a group, we also focus on mobile technologies in local marketplaces, embedded systems, connected car, mobile consumer (mostly gaming and wearables) and mobile enterprise.
Aside from virtual security, via robust data protocols and remote stocktaking, closed-circuit camera technology is also facing an upgrade. RetailNext, a Silicon Valley-based in-store analytics developer, premiered its next generation use for security cameras, which sees them paired with RF sensors and in-store Wi-Fi to capture the dwell time of individual shoppers in different sections of any given retail outlet. This data can then be used to profile individual consumers for marketing and merchandising purposes, as well as to maintain in-house security.
Shelley E. Kohan is vice president of retail consulting at San Jose, Calif.-based RetailNext Inc., which helps merchants gauge consumer behavior. She said retailers have never stood pat when it comes to customers. For instance, video cameras have been used to monitor consumer shopping behavior for years. Wireless-device activity provides another avenue of keeping tabs on customers, Kohan said.
There are a range of companies also providing similar “offline analytics” to retailers and venue owners, utilizing multiple technologies, including iInside, RetailNext, Euclid, Mexia and a number of other firms. Major League Baseball is deploying iBeacons in all its ballparks to offer in-stadium mobile marketing and loyalty services to sports fans through its MLB app.
The PRSONAS’ virtual presenter immersed trade show attendees in a unique and unforgettable experience. In simple terms, she had great WOW factor, and proved to be a wonderful tool for experiential marketing in a highly competitive setting. Plus, Angi, who collects web-quality analytics in the physical word, generated over 2 dozen requests for more information, which made booth host, RetailNext extremely happy. The folks at BizBash even ran this story about PRSONAS & RetailNext at the NRF show.