The big value driver of online advertising into e-commerce is that it's measurable. But despite the rapid growth of the e-commerce sector, it still remains only 8% of total retail sales. Those impressions are going somewhere, but it might be driving people into retail stores, and not necessarily into online shopping.
As Walkbase CEO Tuomas Wuoti explains, “If a campaign is not performing, a retailer could understand if that is because it is not delivering a stream of consumers to their location or whether they are coming and browsing at the store but decide not to buy – the latter being something that can be addressed by improving store operations and customer service.”
So to bring some measurement of online campaigns into stores, Walkbase is bringing their sensor-based Wi-Fi technology that can track mobile phones through stores and uses algorithms to provide analysis of foot traffic patterns, such as visitor trends, capture rates (percentage of passers by entering a store) and customer visit durations.
After collecting foot traffic, they mash it up with Google Analytics data with Google Universal Analytics to give retailers the ability to compare the retail data with their online campaign data, potentially leading to new insights.
On top of this news, Walkbase announces they've received seed funding from two Russian investors who met the company at Slush last November. The first is Leonid Volkov, startup adviser at Yandex, and Leonid Gluzman, who has experience in Russia's Daily Deals sector. The existing Finnish angel investors are now also joined by Jan Blomquist. The details of the round were not announced.
I'm curious how much light it shines onto this missing link, but if anything Walbase is providing retailers with more information than completely stumbling in the dark. Regardless, theres so much to do in this retail tracking sector that I'm sure Walkbase will be an interesting company to watch.