Crystal ball? Sure, no one has one, but everyone wants one and Foursquare Analytics aims to be that for retailers.
Foursquare on Monday plans to unveil Foursquare Analytics at the second annual Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas. It is a dashboard for brands to see what trends are taking place at brick-and-mortar, anticipate what’s next and respond accordingly.
Foursquare at its core is a location-based technology firm. For consumers, Foursquare City Guide provides suggestions for coffee shops, restaurants, stores and other places to visit, while they can also check in at places they visit via Foursquare Swarm and earn points or real-world deals in the process. Data is being gathered while all of this is going on, which helps advertisers see the patterns in foot traffic.
The new solution lets advertisers access a dashboard where they can see all of this anonymous user data in the aggregate to better understand shoppers — how much a retailer has and to what competitors the rest of it might be migrating.
“It’s a technology platform to understand your share of shopper traffic as a retailer or a fashion brand with brick-and-mortar outlets and be able to see how it’s trending over time, where your customers are coming from [and] going to. Are they loyal? You thought they were a good customer from their own purchase history but it turns out your best customers go even more, let’s say, to Target,” explained Foursquare chief executive officer Jeff Glueck.
This information can be viewed based on a specific region, designated marketing area or demographic to see what traffic the competition owns.
“We feel this data set is really powerful for constant market research to understand what’s going on in the market and this technology is world-class,” Glueck said.
Companies such as Microsoft, Samsung, Pinterest, Tencent and Uber use Foursquare’s technology to build their own respective location-based features. Now, Glueck said, that same technology will be applied to the brick-and-mortar world.
Foursquare Analytics beta customers include H&M along with Taco Bell, Equinox and TGI Friday’s.
“If you’re H&M, you have a database of customers and you know how often they purchase, but you don’t know what they’re doing in other stores or what share of wallet you’re getting,” Glueck said. “You may not understand how it’s changing every few weeks in different demographics…and so this is now a tool for retailers to understand, ‘Hey, our growth rate this quarter isn’t as good as we had forecast….’”
Foursquare took a look at T.J. Maxx, which is not a client, as a case study of what the new product can do.
The company assessed the discount retailer has an engaged audience of Baby Boomers. About 77 percent of its customers shopped them at least twice over the past 12 months with about 5 percent of its frequent shoppers stepping into a store every other week. Foursquare Analytics was also able to pick up on the fact that Target, specifically in the Los Angeles market, has been eating some of T.J. Maxx’s share. In Detroit, Kohl’s Corp. appears to be gaining steam over T.J. Maxx. While Foursquare Analytics can’t tell a company why that is — if Target perhaps started marketing more to that group or merchandised differently in those stores — it serves as a flag for a company’s analysts to be aware of what Glueck called a potential “storm cloud” for the retailer.
“We can be an early warning system,” Glueck said. “That can then help you counter market.”
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