xAd Unveils Location Intelligence Platform for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses
xAd, a New York-based company that leverages location data to help marketers understand how best to court consumers, announced a new tool called MarketPlace Discovery on Wednesday. The platform will provide brands with insights about where consumers active in their industries are shopping.
The release builds on xAd’s previous work to provide businesses with location intelligence. While xAd previously used its own location intelligence to run advertising campaigns for its business partners, the new platform will provide actionable location intelligence directly to businesses, said Shashi Seth, chief product officer at xAd, in an interview with Street Fight Tuesday.
Describing xAd’s core goal, Seth said, “We have been focused on solving one problem for our customers, which is finding the right customers and sending them to their stores. Every large retailer … has the same problem: they need more people.”
With Marketplace Discovery, retailers and restaurants will receive data on how many consumers visit their stores, which other potentially competing stores those consumers have visited, and where their shoppers and their competitors’ shoppers are coming from.
“We have two indexes — one is a set of mobile devices and the locations we get from those devices, and the second is the points of interest or locations. Those very well-defined locations and the mobile devices and their locations give us a very good understanding of the people who come to these stores. All of that is what we define as location intelligence.”
It is this data that xAd’s new platform will make available to the company’s partners.
“The launch of MarketPlace Discovery is the first step in making [our] data available to our partners and our customers and giving them the ability to play around with that data and see for themselves how they compare to the industry averages, how they compare to competition,” Seth said. “It is the first step in making sure we target the right users.”
These insights can help marketers determine where they should locate future advertising campaigns and which existing campaigns have been successful, Seth said. The data could even potentially help chains figure out where to open future stores.
“In the past, a lot of this intelligence was built into the campaigns themselves,” Seth said. The “success” of the campaigns xAd has shaped for businesses has been the ultimate “measurement” of the quality of xAd’s location intelligence.
“Now what we’re doing is separating it out and saying the data pieces … are available for people to discover,” said Seth.
While e-commerce is ascendant, approximately 90% of retail sales still take place offline. Given the many sales still up for grabs, traditional retailers are turning to digital tools to expand their consumer bases and keep consumers coming back, Seth said in a release.
MarketPlace Discovery has already been deployed in the quick-serve restaurant industry. Having collected data on foot traffic in the various physical locations of top chains such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Subway, xAd can potentially offer brands information on exactly where they lag behind competitors, helping them identify areas for growth.
The platform, still in beta, is free of charge and available to the public. Later this year, xAd will roll out a “more comprehensive version” of the platform.
The software behind MarketPlace Discovery, BluePrints, automates anonymized data that show xAd where 325 million monthly users across the globe are shopping in nearly 100 million different places, according to the press release.