Do You Know Where Your Customers Are?
by George Shaw, CEO Pathr
It’s a great feeling to see our retailers reopen nationwide. As customers, we have waited to walk into our favorite stores, eagerly finding new merchandise and admiring new floor layouts. At the same time, retailers are keen to understand how customers interact inside their physical stores. Tech innovations, especially powered by AI, can reveal insights about customers that retailers may not see in plain sight. Today, I’m excited to focus on spatial intelligence – technology that measures how people and objects move and interact in a given space.
I recently sat down with Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s chief strategist, and explored how spatial intelligence provides meaningful insights to help understand customer behavior in real-time.
Watch the Vodcast
Listen to the Podcast
What’s in it for Retailers like You?
Advancements in spatial intelligence allow retailers to capture customer interactions within their physical locations and unlock new growth opportunities for their business.
AI-powered spatial intelligence can impact retailers in many ways:
- Increasing Sales
Redesign how certain merchandise is placed in-store to target sales growth per customer.
- Decreasing Losses
Predict suspicious customer behavior, like shoplifting, in physical stores in an unbiased way.
- Optimizing the Workforce
Ensure checkout counters are appropriately staffed during a given time and day of the week.
Powered by Pathr technology, retailers can glimpse into their store performances and see trends driven by real-time human behavior. In order to level the playing field against online retailers who are already studying every single customer buying behavior, brick-and-mortar stores can remain competitive by understanding how their customers interact in physical spaces.
The Pathr Story
My curiosity for understanding spatial intelligence began during my years at MIT Media Lab, where I was part of “The Human Speechome Project” observing how a child develops speech throughout the years and how that child’s interactions in a physical space impacted his ability to learn words.
Watch the TED Talk: Deb Roy: The birth of a word
This knowledge led me to work closely with Bank of America while still at the Media Lab, to analyze customer behavior in banks and help the banks make decisions according to what customers intended to do, whether it was a withdrawal, deposit, or speaking with a teller.
Later, I helped to implement similar technology while leading the data science team at NBA player tracking and analytics provider Second Spectrum. Spatial intelligence helps NBA coaches win more games by understanding and anticipating their opponents’ movements and helping fans enjoy the game more by providing real-time insights based on player movements.
During my time at RetailNext, I helped revolutionize the way retailers generate and utilize data about how customers move through their stores. Fast forward to late 2019, I founded Pathr, the industry’s first and only spatial intelligence platform to drive actionable business insights.
Navigating the Retail Landscape with Pathr
We are empowering retailers with actionable insights to better understand human behavior in-store and interactions that happen within other customers or staff members. Recently, we worked with one of the largest luxury malls in the U.S. and uncovered insights around the usage of escalators and elevators during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, customers favored escalators since many were afraid to be in close proximity with others. As we have seen many stores reopen, retailers may see differences in customer behavior, including increased numbers of people occupying common areas.
One of the biggest benefits of our technology is the ease with which our software can be implemented to existing infrastructure. To give you an example, Pathr can be connected with your own in-store security cameras, now becoming a means of insight used by your marketing, merchandising, and store operation teams.
Data privacy is at the heart of what we do, protecting customer data by not measuring any identifiable information, such as gender, age, and race. In fact, we don’t even re-identify people across visits to one or more multiple locations. Retailers can acquire unbiased data and leverage it to understand human behavior without any preconceived notions.
We are on a mission to empower retailers with rich insights that can transform their business – for the better.