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RetailNext Eyes Huge International Growth With $125m Funding

Money talks, and in this case, it's saying in-store analytics are becoming invaluable to marketers.

With another $125 million in its pocket, in-store analytics company RetailNext is looking to expand its reach and to continue international growth, says CMO Marc Dietz.

RetailNext's Marc Dietz
RetailNext’s Marc Dietz

The funding, which was secured in a fifth round led by Activant Capital Group, more than doubled the value of the San Jose company, which prior to the round, had raised just shy of $119 million in the previous years.

“The additional $125 million in growth funding speaks not only to RetailNext’s promise in expanding its business reach, but also validates the in-store analytics industry as a whole,” says Dietz. “The nature of retail has changed, and every store will need comprehensive shopper insights to thrive and be successful. The days of brick-and-mortar retailers competing on product, price and availability alone are long gone.”

Power To The Brick-And-Mortars

Since its inception in 2007, RetailNext has worked with retailers, manufacturers and malls in their efforts to better understand shopper behavior, delivering insights to clients so they can “re-invent and deliver a more optimized shopping experience,” Dietz says.

“[The company’s] platform delivers information about shoppers and how they shop, including where they go – and don’t go – in the store, which fixtures and displays engage shoppers and for how long, and how store associate interactions affect not only the shopping journey, but sales as well,” he adds.

The idea is to give brick-and-mortar retailers the same type of benefits ecommerce players have enjoyed when it comes to personalized, real-time data. Thus, RetailNext bills itself as “the Google Analytics for brick-and-mortar retailers.”

An early adopter RetailNext’s platform was American Apparel, Dietz says, and interest has since exploded. RetailNext currently has over 160 retail clients with deployments in over 50 countries, according to Dietz.

Advanced Analytics and Strong Partnerships

As RetailNext continues to attract clients, so does the category of retail analytics in general and the company is not without its fair share of competitors (Euclid Analytics and Nomi are a couple examples of rival companies). What makes RetailNext stand out, and probably what helped it land its “monster funding” as Forbes called it, comes down to the technologies ability to track a customer,via video camera, through their entire, physical in-store journey. This video-graphic data is then matched up with point-of-sale records so that marketers can piece together the puzzle of each customer’s in-store path to purchase. It’s much more than “front door traffic counting,” Dietz says.

RetailNext's Video Data
Example of What RetailNext’s Video Data May Look Like

“Accurate front door traffic counting is important, but it’s very limited in the information it provides a retailer to manage its business — essentially, it tells only how many shoppers entered the store,’ says Dietz. “Advanced analytics provides insights into a shopper’s entire shopping journey, from both within and outside the walls of the store. It’s a much more comprehensive picture of what’s happening in a retailer’s business, as well as a deeper dive into the ‘why’s’ behind a shopper’s decision making processes.”

Moreover, RetailNext is a hardware-agnostic software platform, and “as such, is not dependent on any one data sensing technology,” Dietz says, adding that RetailNext is able to integrate a variety of data streams into its platform.

Then there’s the powerhouse of partnerships RetailNext has formed. Dietz says that the company has teamed up with Nielsen, AT&T, American Express, Qualcomm and Tyco.

Sticking To Retail

While RetailNext is eager to expand its business reach, it’s not interested in seeking opportunity outside of the retail category.

“There a lot of distinct verticals within the [retail] industry,” Dietz says. “What’s interesting is the level of awareness across retailers. Just a few years ago, retailers had to be educated on what in-store retail analytics [were], and what the ‘art of the possible’ could be. Now, awareness levels are high. Retail executives now come to us at industry trade shows, and the dialogue we have with them is much deeper from the initial conversation on.”

We can look forward to those conversations increasing overseas. Dietz says that RetailNext is particularly keen on growing its business in Asia, Europe, and other global markets.

“Currently, about 90 percent of RetailNext’s revenue comes from U.S. operations,” Dietz says. “In a few years, I would expect as much as 60-70 percent of revenue to be derived from international deployments.”