A lot of valuable data is literally lying under the feet of retailers. Just the ones that can help retailers compete more successfully with e-commerce monsters like Amazon. Your floor always has something to tell about your customers, but can you hear its story?
In the photo above, taken in December 2017, Joe Scanlin, co-founder and CEO of Scanalytics. He holds a mat with smart floor sensors that can track the movements of people indoors. Like a click map or a thermal imaging camera on a website, these mats allow retailers to see a real picture of customer (and staff) behavior in a store.
The product is called SoleSensor and is a durable 2x2 foot (61x61 cm) transparent mat made of plastic, not thicker than a Watman sheet, with an integrated pressure sensor network. Its installation indoors takes only half an hour, and annual electricity consumption costs no more than $5.
Of course, retail is not the only area where Scanalytics sensors can be used. They are installed in office buildings to optimize energy costs (lighting, heating, ventilation...), in nursing homes to respond instantly to falls, as well as for obvious reasons - on protected sites. A "smart" floor that tracks terrorists' movements in real time and can show their sectors of view will not leave them with a chance.
In November 2017, the start-up Scanalytics even received a grant from the U.S. Ministry of Energy for almost a million dollars - they immediately realized the economic potential of this project.
But it so happened that it was enterprising retailers who managed to get the maximum benefit from "smart" floors and make up more than 60% of Scanalytics clients. Where they usually use SoleSensor mats:
- near the entrance to the store to better understand what makes visitors come in, or vice versa - discourages even looking inside;
- near specific shelves of goods and shelving to see if a particular promotion is successful and which products are of high interest;
- if there is a budget, all over the point of sale for the most complete analysis.
As a result, retailers get a complete picture of the routes and preferences of their clients, which in turn allows:
- to reduce the percentage of potential customers who never dared to enter the store;
- to increase the average amount of time spent by clients at the shelves;
- increase the overall conversion rate of the point of sale;
- improve the conversion of specific products;
- optimize shifts and employee workloads;
- to increase the efficiency of using the space in the sales area;
- reduce the number of "jolts" and queues, and more.
And all this using only SoleSensor smart mats. And they are simply designed to combine them with other technologies and enhance the marketing effect. For example, as a result of the partnership between Scanalytics and BrightLogic, a system based on LED technology was created that started games and advertising when a crowd of people was detected in certain areas of the sales hall - right on the floor!
A government grant and millions of investments have enabled Scanalytics to enter the TOP 10 of the fastest growing companies in the IoT (Internet of Things) industry. Among their partners and clients are such companies as: Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, Qualcomm, American Heart Association, Skyline, Core-apps, McMillan Doolittle, Aviva...
Now the retailer has an accessible tool for analytics, which can compete with the opportunities offered by e-commerce. At the same time to throw a few "smart" mats on the floor - it is faster, more convenient and much cheaper than, for example, install a tracking system from video cameras. Which brings us to another undeniable advantage of "smart" floors - privacy.
"Joe Scanlin's Smart Floors don't invade a person's privacy. Do not demand personal data from the client, installation of mobile applications or presence of Wi-Fi, do not identify and do not look at emotions on his face with the attention of a maniac. Therefore users are as tolerant as possible to Scanalytics technology.
In the company do not hide that could easily define, for example, the weight of people and to target them on this criterion, but underline that intentionally do not go on similar steps. By the way, it can be a marketing "thing" of the brand itself. Thus, the emergence of "smart" sexes at least in large retail chains in the U.S. - it's only a matter of time.
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