Tell me who your customers are, I’ll tell you who you are
Eager to deploy Artificial Intelligence and boost physical retail, Navori Labs, the specialist in digital signage solutions, launched Aquaji software. This innovative smart data solution measures and qualifies offline traffic, in order to better optimise and enhance detailed customer knowledge.
ADVERTORIAL edited on May 28, 2021
Please present the new Aquaji solution.
Florent Hédiard: Our new Aquaji software provides retailers with qualified data on the number and nature of visitors to stores, all of whom may be potential customers. It is either integrated with our QL software that offers specialised digital signage, or stand-alone. Aquaji provides the retailer visibility on the demographic aspect of offline visitors (male or female, age group…) and the nature of the visit (length of stay, waiting time, items of interest). A critical competitive strength is the accuracy and reliability of data. A retailer now understands essential but typical questions like how long do potential customers stay in a store? What interests them the most? What products or services did they examine? How long was the queue for a checkout? Which customer journey generates the highest sales conversion? We provide retailers with a simple and effective dashboard, customisable according to their criteria when extracting data. It enables them to take business-oriented decisions and then operational action.
Which clients have you won for Aquaji?
F.H.: Several pilots are underway around the world. Currently, Aquaji is installed in a large food retailer in the USA, in a mall in Malaysia, in the largest airport in Istanbul and with a Canadian bank.
What devices does Aquaji work with?
F.H.: The software is installed on PCs and soon be via the Cloud. It uses existing camera technology already in a store. By using the latest intelligence and computer algorithms, it counts visitors and captures qualitative traffic data. The technology is based on a visual detection system, which detects a silhouette and a face, but not an identity. The data is highly accurate (95%) and eliminates all duplicate entries that are due to repeated in\out traffic by multiple employees or customers.
Is this technology compatible with RGPD protection?
F.H.: Our data is aggregated, anonymised and merged into medians and averages. It is not personalised but processed in RAM. Records are generally only kept for the duration of a visit, or up to 24 hours to allow for re-detection and avoid double counting over a day. All data stored for analysis is always aggregated. This is a very important aspect. Aquaji has 50 settings to match data capture according to local regulations.
How can the solution be implemented?
F.H.: Let’s take an example of queues (or drive-in). When retailers have accurate real-time information on queuing, they decide to open a checkout or close another. We also work with retailers to eliminate waiting and optimise a customer experience (transfer to another queue, coffee break corner, targeted information on offline displays…). Aquaji is attractive for many retailers because the reliability of data makes operational and marketing decisions relevant and easy.
Which sectors are keen on such qualified data?
F.H.: Mass retail, fast food operators and specialty retailers (perfumery, sports goods) must connect their customers and their online sales. They must know performance of inbound and outbound marketing campaigns like communication, corners or shop in shop. It is a major challenge. Accurate and timely customer data is critical to optimise performance at brick-and-mortar stores.
Why do retailers work with Navori Labs?
F.H.: We understand how retailers and mall owners have the same operational stakes. They appreciate and measure offline traffic in a quantitative way by “blind” sensors, but not in a qualitative way. In comparison, online data is highly accurate and specific, but store retailers still do not know about offline potential customers on a monthly or a weekly basis. To date, most of the counting solutions installed in the stores’ entrance give the number of people who enter and leave. They are not able to identify the nature of a flow, or to appreciate that sales staff used the checkout terminals 40 or 60 times each day. At the end of the day, retailers have completely inaccurate and useless data. Another key entry point is for interactive displays. Companies deploy expensive and sophisticated store displays but must make them useful and attractive via targeted content.
To what extent do you reconcile online and offline data?
F.H.: At Navori, we capture offline data. However, the software has a completely open external gateway or A.P.I. to integrate immediate transfer of all information. This continuous data flow feeds into teams of data scientists, who mix it into independent data about e-commerce or online web pages.
What are the next frontiers for Navori Labs?
F.H.: I forecast a sector of outdoor advertising (editor’s note: which includes billboards), i.e., Digital Out Of Home. For the moment, this business functions with raw data and ad-hoc studies. As a result, advertisers earn generic and non-personalised data. For Jacadi, for example, it is critical to know when to display adverts that attract a measured consumer target. With such enriched traffic knowledge from Aquaji, malls can propose more advantageous time slots to advertisers. For an ice cream brand, certain visitor times and areas of a mall are more suitable than others. Some clients are reluctant to share data, but soon the whole industry will be more accurate and sharper in spending for benefits. Rather than selling advertising space at fixed daily rate, prices are measured that attract customers at a prime visit slot. For advertising agencies, it promotes targeted data (programmatic) in order to adapt prices to “exposed” and “useful” potential customers.