January 9th, 2013 by Kelly Liyakasa

Euclid Analytics claims to be the Google Analytics for the brick-and-mortar retail store. And that’s not too far-fetched, considering one of its cofounders was the founder of Web statistics analysis platform Urchin Software, which was bought by Google in 2005 and became the modern-day Google Analytics. If that’s not enough lineage for you – here’s more. Euclid’s other cofounder and CEO Will Smith (no, not that Will Smith), is the grandson of the founder of the International Council of Shopping Centers, and was baptized in brick and mortar from an early age.

Euclid just announced the launch of Euclid Zero, an offering that brings data from new enterprise WiFi partner companies Aruba Networks, Aerohive Networks, Fortinet, and Xirrus into its Web management dashboard and sensor technology that tracks in-store engagement through metrics like visit duration and frequency.

One of the arguments is that mobile shoppers end up buying online for lower prices. However, one of the arguments in favor of showrooming is that the mobile price-comparer has a good chance of being converted into a mobile-purchaser if mobility is used to the store’s advantage. Euclid’s solution might provide more ammo. Here are excerpts of my recent chat with Smith about this and other news:

How do you track foot traffic through a phone?

Smith: “Before, you had to have a piece of physical hardware in the store, but with this release, if you have an access point from Aruba or Aerohive, it’s really just clicking a button on your management console, and Euclid will be enabled. I think that’s kind of unheard of from a traffic or analytics perspective – the idea of not running wires is one thing, but the idea of not having sensors is a completely new concept.”

People are being measured through their mobile phones. Is security accounted for?

Smith: “In our relationship with the retailer, we contractually require them to provide notice that they’re using Euclid. In all cases so far, it comes in the form of a sticker or a panel at the front of the store (with a QR code or link for opt-out information)… I think that’s a really important point. Any time you’re talking about analytics, privacy is an important notion to consider, and I think in our space, the physical world, the company that addresses privacy correctly is the company that’s going to succeed in this space. We’ve really invested a lot in this.”

It’s almost as if online and offline have converged. You talked about bounce rate, but in a physical sense. What’s been the biggest change in “in-store” to date?

Smith: “I grew up with my grandfather building shopping centers, and he would go out…and see how long people stayed in stores, so it was very gut-based. There just wasn’t data. My cofounder comes from the ecommerce side, where it’s always been very data-driven and I think the progression that we’ve seen is 20 years ago, online and offline were in a very similar spot. Traffic had just been introduced to offline with ShopperTrak, and companies like that. Online, you had things like the little ticker at the bottom of your eBay page, which told you how many people visited your page. And in the last 10 years, that’s really changed. Ecommerce has completely changed and you’ve seen massive growth of companies like Amazon and eBay, where nothing has really happened offline. And so I think what I’ve seen, and what we’ve seen in the last year or so, is people who we initially talked to who said, ‘I’ve been doing merchandising for 20 years, and I know how to do this’ or ‘I don’t need your data,’ have changed their tone to say, ‘Amazon’s really hurting me. I have been doing this for 20 years and I have my gut intuitions and that’s super valuable, but what does your data tell me that I can’t see?’”

Euclid Analytics dashboard overview

Euclid Analytics dashboard overview

Interesting. What kinds of metrics does Euclid track?

Smith: “We’ve tried to make it customizable depending on your function in the organization, and also, what you sell. Certain metrics might be more important to you than others. You might say, ‘I’m an apparel retailer, and I really care about capture rates and I want that to be front and center on my dashboard.’ Or, ‘I’m a coffee shop owner, and I live and die by frequent visits, so you can have that on your front page.’ We allow you to look at the data not just in terms of historical charts, but to look at the distribution. How many people stayed for five minutes, ten minutes, etc. You can see…engagement rates, and not just the average.”

Where are you expanding?

Smith: “In terms of new spaces we’ve gone into, we were very laser focused on mall-based retail when we began, and that was a function of bandwidth. But what we found to be the case is, there are all sorts of things that need quantifying. So we’ve expanded into quick-service, and with this Euclid Zero announcement, we’re going to be expanding into events venues and conference centers as well with our partner Xirrus.”

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