Venuelabs Helps 100K Storefronts See Local Blind Spots

22 Feb

Shoppers carry their purchases during the Black Friday sales at a shopping mall in Tysons Corner

Seattle-based Venuelabs has just announced that it is now tracking over 100,000 storefronts in nine countries. Angel-funded Venuelabs is a location-based analytics and marketing platform that provides retail and storefront brands with storefront analytics and location intelligence. The company launched its platform in February 2011, and has worked with retailers, brands and restaurant chains such as Jaguar, Juice It Up, Chevron, and Little Caesars Pizza to aggregate and report on location-based activity relative to their respective retail footprints.

The company has seen dramatic growth in location-based consumer activity at retail storefronts over the last 12 months, related to the continued penetration of location-aware smartphones and the growth of local consumer services and mobile applications like Foursquare, Facebook Places, Yelp, CitySearch, and UrbanSpoon. Across the more than 100,000 storefronts, Venuelabs has measured over 41 million people talking at storefronts, more than 24 million interactions, over 184,000 distinct sources, and more positive consumer feedback than negative (58 percent vs 42 percent).

Venuelabs founder Neil Crist says the company usually works with brands that have between 400 and 7,000 retail locations, with an average of seven to 10 online pages for each location on services like Yelp and Foursquare. “That’s too many pages to follow for the brand,” Crist said in an interview. The company introduced the VenueRank product in November 2011, when it was already tracking more than 55,000 storefronts. VenueRank assigns a score out of 100 to each of a brand’s retail locations based on their online engagement at a local level. ”The brands we were working with were asking a lot of questions about the relative importance of a check-in, a tip, a Like, a Tweet, or a review, and how to look at these things in a unified way and measure that,” he said about the motivation behind VenueRank. “Retailers, particularly the ones with more than 200 locations, are now starting to rely on VenueRank to understand how their stores compare to each other, and how their stores compare to competitors.”

The location analytics space is hot at the moment, with several new entrants jumping in to fill the apparent void left by the traditional keyword-based brand and social monitoring tools like Radian6, Visible Technologies, and others. Other location analytics providers include Los Angeles-based Momentfeed, New York-based LocalResponse and Vancouver-based Geotoko, which was recently acquired by HootSuite.

The keyword-based solutions fall short for retailers because local storefront activity, content and sentiment is not captured or analyzed. This local blind spot is the most critical to monitor and analyze, because it represents customers in store, at the point of purchase. When companies monitor the more mainstream social media channels of Facebook and Twitter alone they miss key opportunities to connect “fans” to physical locations.  Monitoring online conversations as they relate to physical locations will become increasingly important for brick-and-mortar stores trying to connect with a new base of customers.


One Response to “Venuelabs Helps 100K Storefronts See Local Blind Spots”

  1. Carla June 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    hey, i like your valuable article in which you have described very well with point wise.

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