More Content and Commerce; Tracking Goes Offline

Joining the content and commerce ranks, Food52, a community cooking website, launched a shop this week. Provisions sells (what else?) cooking supplies and ingredients. Adding retail to a successful content site, rather than adding content to a successful retail site, is a less common course. But will a crowdsourced cooking advice and recipe site prove to be a strong platform for niche retail? Perhaps.

In large-retailer news, I just watched a short Bloomberg TV interview with the CEO of Euclid Analytics about tracking smartphone-carrying shoppers in stores. Euclid’s service offers retailers a comprehensive picture of foot traffic, bounce rates, and time spent in specific areas of a store.

Not immediately obvious: anyone with a smartphone is trackable, regardless of if they choose to connect to in-store Wi-Fi. As the interviewer said: “mobile allows brick-and-mortar retailers to start to get the data advantages that websites have had for the last five or ten years.”

Here’s a screenshot from the interview explaining how the technology works. Note the use of “anonymous”; Euclid knows they have major privacy concerns to address.

Euclid's mobile tracking service explained