LSA|14: Data Promises Big Changes in Local Shopping

This morning’s first panel, moderated by Steven Jacobs of Street Fight, showcased new data technologies that will revolutionize the future of local.  The panel speakers included Florent Peyre, co-founder and COO, Placemeter; David Shim, CEO, Placed; and Sri Palasamudram, chief evangelist, Retailigence.

Peyre shared how his company, Placemeter, is analyzing video streams from both public and crowd sourced cameras to help businesses.

“Once you have coverage, you start seeing very interesting consumer facing applications … We push our data into existing applications that have millions of users.”

He gave the example of a consumer looking for a nearby coffee shop.  Existing apps already provide listings of nearby coffee shops, but Placemeter can add another layer of information, for example, which coffee shop has little wait time.

New York City’s uber-popular hamburger chain Shake Shack has put technology in place to help navigate the lengthy lines at its Madison Park location.  Shake Shack broadcasts a live video stream to show customers the length of the line. Placemeter uses the publicly available stream and processes it.

“That’s somewhat interesting but doesn’t tell me anything.  It doesn’t tell me when the line is going to get shorter and how long it’s going to take to get a burger.  We measure how long the line will take you and how many people are in the line.  So it moves from just you looking at it to where you can plan your day around it.”

Shim’s company, Placed, is measuring actions in the real world in a different way.  Placed has built a panel of 150,000 consumers that allow the company to measure where they go 24/7 via mobile device apps.

“That default has made it possible to measure what’s happening in the physical world – really looking at the data and seeing what’s happening in stores.  We’re going to see it continue to push that way.  It’s going to get to the point that it’s like Web – where you can measure drop off rates, etc.”

Shim shared an example of how this technology can help businesses measure advertising ROI.  A client that executed a mobile ad campaign for $100,000 had tracked only 155 orders for the campaign.  However, using Placed data, the client was also able to measure stores visits, and found that the campaign generated 13,000 visits to the store because of the ad, proving a higher ROI for the campaign than originally believed.

Palasamudram’s company, Retailigence, is aggregating product data from local stores to make it searchable.  With one million products in the database, consumers can perform a quick keyword search and see which stores nearby have the product they need.

“As a consumer it gives you tremendous convenience so you don’t have to go store to store.”

Palasamudram said that consumers are often delighted to find that many nearby businesses have the products they need, not just the usual suspects or vertical retailers that you would immediately think about.

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