Deals

Cisco gives stores more info on shopper location and habits with ThinkSmart buy

Cisco is buying Wi-Fi analytics company ThinkSmart Technologies for an unspecified amount.

By analyzing Wi-Fi data, Cicso says retailers should get a better scoop on how quickly consumers move in stores, when they’re the most crowded, and where consumers go when they shop. (Of course, this assumes that most shoppers are carrying smartphones with them, which is likely the case.)

With the Wi-Fi data, retailers can in turn adjust their own operations to accommodate customer flows. Lots of people coming in at 3 p.m.? Add a few more workers. Shoppers not sticking around for long? Find a way to keep them — and their wallets — in stores longer.

With online retailers like Amazon eating the collective lunch of their brick-and-mortar counterparts, companies are eager to find any way to improve the in-store experience for shoppers. And improving their trove of data is the first step toward doing that.

Cisco’s ThinkSmart buy is the latest in a long line of acquisitions by the company this year, which include security company Virtuata and software maker NDS.

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