One of the most difficult things marketers come across is trying to gather consumer payments and buying trend data across multiple merchants. A 2-year-old startup called InfoScout uses consumers to provide just that using the cameras on their smartphones.
InfoScout uses “fun and engaging” apps designed to motivate its proprietary consumer panel to share with the company details of their purchases across all retailers where they shop, regardless of payment method, CEO Jared Schrieber told Market Platform Dynamics CEO Karen Webster in a recent podcast interview. The company then provides insights using the item-level content and payment details back to brands and payments companies, he said.
(jump to: 1:12) “The challenge in this industry has long been that any approach that relies on agreements with merchants is going to have a number of restrictions in terms of which merchants are willing to share, how much they’re willing to share,” Schrieber said. “And we’ve decided to just approach consumers directly and offer them an incentive to share their purchase activity with us."
InfoScout’s system helps brands overcome the problems they’ve had getting data tied to actual people, not just store-level data, he explained. With new channels emerging, brands and retailers want to stay on top of any shifts by shopper segment, such as life stage, profile, and other demographic attributes. And they want to collect this data by individual to help target offers, Schrieber said.
Moreover, InfoScout also can help merchants identify shifts in shopper behavior through a “360-degree look,” Schrieber said. For example, it can show Walmart who among its customers also is shopping at Target, what they’re starting to buy online at Amazon, and the extent to which they still use a local market for produce or go to Walgreens for a prescriptions, he said.
InfoScout recently published a study on its blog demonstrating how Millennials are shifting their spending habits from Walmart to Dollar Stores, especially those with lower incomes.
The company has been named as a finalist for a 2014 PYMNTS Innovator Award in the category of Most Innovative. The Innovation Project 2014 will be held on March 19-20 at Annenberg Hall on the campus of Harvard University. Click Here for more information.