LONDON, United Kingdom — “Twenty years from now it will be bizarre if you walk into a store and the store doesn’t know who you are,” say veteran technology journalists Robert Scoble and Shel Israel in Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy. Indeed, the authors believe that the kind of personal data and analytics that have transformed retail on the web are set to have a profound impact on the physical shopping environment.
Now, Euclid, an analytics company based in San Francisco, has announced the launch of Euclid Express, a service offering "Google Analytics for the real world" which helps physical retailers measure and make sense of metrics like foot traffic, the effectiveness of window displays, time spent in store and repeat visits.
The service uses sensors that detect the "MAC address" of Wi-Fi-enabled devices, a unique identifier also known as a “burned in address,” though any store using it is contractually obliged to inform customers about how to disable Euclid if they wish.
Meanwhile, Pradux, a startup based in New York, identifies, sources and allows consumers to shop the clothing they see on their favorite television shows, including Girls, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Modern Family, Gossip Girl, and 90210.
The idea for the company first came to founder Alex Koblenz when he attended a Jay-Z concert and wanted to know what the rapper was wearing. “I went home and tried Googling it for hours, thinking that maybe someone on the Internet might have posted about this — no one did,” Koblenz explained.
The site also invites individual users to upload images containing fashion products, link them directly to online stockists, such as Net-a-Porter, Macy’s, Topshop, H&M, Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman, and earn a commission on resulting sales.
“Retailers have been extremely supportive of what we are doing. There is no cost to them except when a transaction is made. Plus, the data we provide to retailers and brands helps them sift through a lot of the noise,” added Koblenz.
Mallzee is a new personalised shopping app that won’t let you buy an item unless your Facebook friends approve it first. If they agree, a user can move ahead and complete the purchase (and Mallzee receives a commission). If the answer is no, the app blocks the sale, but learns about a user's taste through the opinions of their social graph and recommends products that may be a better fit from a library of over 750,000 clothing and accessories items. Thus far, over 200 brands have signed up to the network, including Asos, Reiss and Urban Outfitters.
Jenny Cusack is an innovation researcher at GDR Creative Intelligence, a London-based foresight consultancy that identifies innovation in retail, branding and hospitality.