Beacon- and sensor-based analytics – These companies provide hardware and software to help stores track visitors. They focus on data collection for internal analytics, such as merchandise tracking, adjusting staffing levels, monitoring promotions, etc. Euclid Analytics, for example, promises visitor tracking to monitor the impact of promotions on driving store visits and better understand stores’ busy times and aisles.
Beacon-based marketing – These companies also track visitors, but focus more on proximity marketing use cases (which may also include some analytic insights). Estimote provides small, colorful beacons that send push notifications to users’ phones about products or promotions when it senses someone near. Kimetric’s sensors aim to visually identify shoppers’ age, gender, eye focus, and clothing style to present them with personalized marketing.
Beacon analytics and marketing – These startups track visitors and provide a mix of internal analytics and proximity marketing services.
Indoor mapping – These startups take advantage of connected devices to create detailed indoor maps of stores and malls. Stores can help users find the right items and direct them to promotions.
Service robots – Simbe Robotics and Fellow Robots are designing robots for use in-store, to help customers find items and ensure the shelves stay stocked. Fellow Robots worked with Lowe’s to launch the LoweBot in eleven stores this fall.
Loss prevention – Gatekeeper uses RFID tags that work with wheel-locking features to automatically stop shopping carts that leave the store area, helping prevent theft. Carttronicstracks baskets and carts with RFID tags, provides cameras that receive signals from the tags and can film anyone leaving the store with unauthorized items.
At-home shopping buttons – Kwik and Hiku offer connected devices that can automatically place online orders for goods from users’ homes, comparable to the Amazon Dash buttons. Kwik will provide branded buttons that let customers re-order items with one touch, while the Hiku device can also scan barcodes, to identify items for re-ordering, and can recognize users’ voices.
Smart dressing rooms – Oak Labs created an interactive, touchscreen mirror that lets shoppers request new items, adjust fitting room lighting, and see outfit recommendations. The mirror can sense which products the shopper brought into the room using RFID technology, and then present related products, save the items to shoppers’ online accounts, or display related items. Oak has worked with Polo Ralph Lauren.