“Smart floor” analyses purchasing behaviour in stores
In the USA, a smart floor sensor has been developed by the start-up company Scanalytics to help companies gain better insight into consumer behavior. The lightly transparent, square panels can easily be laid over the floor and measure the pressure exerted by a person when he or she steps on them by means of numerous built-in and particularly sensitive sensors. The data collected and analysed in this way tell the owner of a shop when someone enters it, how long they stay there and which shelves or products interest them the most.
Touch screen on the floor provides important data
According to Scanalytics, the sensors function “like a touch screen on the floor”. The store owners only had to lay several of the two square feet (around 0.19 square meters) of large panels in the store and connect them with each other by cable. Smaller businesses shy away from the relatively high price of floor tiles. “The costs range from $20 to $1,000 per month, depending on the size of the business and the required analysis applications,” says Scanalytics. There are no privacy concerns in the USA. The collected data does not allow personal identification of a customer,” emphasizes CEO Scanlin.
“Whether you own a small business or manage a chain of thousands of stores, it’s time you take control to identify and improve your customers’ shopping experience,” says the Scanalytics website. Our floor sensors provide an unprecedented insight into the behaviour of visitors to various events or shops,” explains the manufacturer.
“Online retailers already have many opportunities to collect data on purchasing behavior. With the help of our product, stationary retailers can now learn to better understand what consumers liked and disliked,” says Scanlin.
Uses in Germany?
According to the manufacturer, the device can also be used elsewhere. The platform phys.org cites Joe Scanlin, CEO and co-founder of Scanalyticts: “For example, to reduce energy costs in office buildings or to alert staff in a retirement home when a patient has fallen to the ground somewhere.” According to its own data, however, the company has so far primarily been a retail company among its customers.
Stationary retailing is under pressure to collect customer data similar to online retailing. It remains to be seen whether floor sensors for collecting data on customer behaviour in shops in Germany will prevail. In Germany there are stricter data protection regulations than in the USA. Furthermore, every shopkeeper asks the question of cost-benefit. What conclusions are drawn from the collected data? What does this mean for advertising and investment? It is likely that companies will benefit the most from this new technical opportunity which offer both stationary and online goods and will be able to link and refine their collected data even more effectively in order to be able to make even more individual and targeted offers to customers.