According to a comScore report, e-commerce sales in 2013 grew 14% over the year while total retail sales grew in single digits in the US. While online sales may be increasing at a rapid pace, physical store sales still account for a big portion of total retail consumption. To ensure continuous improvement in brick-and-mortar store sales, marketers are relying more and more on effective data analytics. According to a market report, retailers were expected to spend nearly $2 billion in 2013 on business intelligence. Retail giants like Macy’s have invested in big data analytics services and believe that these services have helped them increase store sales by at least 10%.
San Jose, California-based RetailNext is a leading provider of big data analytics solutions for retailers. The company was founded in 2007 by Marlie Liu and Alexei Agratchev. Initially, they were known as BVI Networks, but they renamed themselves as RetailNext in 2011.
RetailNext’s solutions provide retailers and manufacturers with real-time data on product consumption and shopping patterns to identify opportunities for growth. Their patented solution uses video analytics, Wi-Fi detection, Bluetooth, on-shelf sensors, beacons, and data from point-of-sale systems to inform retailers about consumer shopping habits. Using their solutions, retailers are able to get information on various brick-and-mortar metrics such as people counting, sale conversion, queue analytics, staffing optimization, shopper activity maps, display and window effectiveness, and mobile in-store analytics. Retailers are able to integrate RetailNext’s platform with their store’s promotional calendars, staffing systems, and weather services to even analyze how internal and external factors affect customer shopping patterns.
Their products help collect information from more than one billion shoppers annually across 40 countries and 140 retailers. Some of the major retailers who have adopted their solutions include American Apparel, Bloomingdale’s, Montblanc, and Verizon Wireless.
Last December, RetailNext announced the acquisition of Wi-Fi analytics company Nearbuy Systems in a deal valued at “high teens millions”. San Mateo-based Nearbuy Systems allows consumers to connect to a free Wi-fi service available at retail stores. In return, Nearbuy Systems would track the customers’ movements in the store. RetailNext will be able to integrate Nearbuy’s offerings into their systems to deliver detailed analytics into customer movements.
The company has been venture funded so far with $59.4 million in funding from investors including Qualcomm, Tyco International, American Express, Activant Capital, August Capital, StarVest Partners, Commerce Ventures, and Nokia Growth Partners. Their last round of funding was held last week when they raised $30 million in a round led by Nokia Growth Partners at an undisclosed valuation. They plan to use these funds for geographic expansion and continued research and development.
They do not disclose their financials, but analysts estimate that their annual revenues are well into eight figures and are recording 100% growth rates.