Omnichannel retail is nothing new. For the past several years industry experts and analysts have increasingly told retailers, big and small, that in order to survive they need to deliver a seamless experience across their brick-and-mortar, Web and mobile channels, allowing consumers to shop how, where and when they want. The retailers that have done so are surviving. The ones that that haven’t are dying off.
But it’s not enough to simply be wherever the consumer is. To offer a truly omnichannel experience, a retailer needs to track each shopper’s journey from start to finish and from screen to store — and vice versa — because, after all, the moment of purchase could happen at any point along the way. That’s where Washington, D.C.-based Revmetrix comes in.
The start-up, which this week announced that it had secured $2.2 million in seed funding for its first product, has developed software to help retailers not only identify those omnichannel shoppers but also leverage the data gleaned from those interactions to paint a detailed picture of customer behavior. This in turn will enable them to build better, smarter interactions at every point of engagement for their shoppers.
“It’s about creating a shopping experience that’s tailored to every single customer and how he or she shops,” explained Hemang Gadhia, co-founder and CEO of Revmetrix, who started the company in 2013 with Christopher Brown.
Sounds simple, but in reality when a shopper researches a product on their smartphone, reads a review on their iPad and then completes a purchase in-store, most data reveals that to be three different customers, as opposed to just one. “You have to have some sort of validated credential like a login or a loyalty card that you’re activating in each of the channels for most retailers to realize it’s the same person,” Gadhia said. He pointed out that most consumers don’t enter those details until they’re actually making a purchase, which means that until they do so they’re essentially anonymous to the vast majority of data-tracking platforms.
Revmetrix, on the other hand, tracks everything that happens before the transaction. “Every click, every view, every visit is just as important from a data perspective as the data itself,” Gadhia said, noting that his software can identify the same customer on different devices with more than 80 percent accuracy.“For instance, every time a customer visits an e-commerce site on their mobile phone or laptop or tablet, it makes a request to a server and that server then responds to that request by serving up a page. Hundreds of different data points that are exchanged in that process.”
Likewise, an IP address or a geographic location leaves behind another digital footprint. All that data is then collected and matched with other information, such as online shopping habits, purchase history and demographic data, to offer a complete view of customer engagement.
“Within that, retailers can then make complex queries like pulling data on every customer who’s a shoe buyer who lives in California, Washington and Oregon and spends more than $200. The software spits out two million names and the retailer can then run a targeted email campaign to those customers,” Gadhia said. From a supply chain perspective, he added, once retailers can access customer interaction data in real time, they can make smarter business decisions.
Revmetrix recently signed its first retailer to its pilot program — Gadhia declined to reveal names — and hopes to add seven more by the end of 2015. “We’re solving a big problem here,” he said. “At this stage we’ve gotten to maybe a small fraction of the ultimate value we’ll be able to provide over time.”