If you’ve ever found yourself lost, wandering aimlessly and alone through the labyrinthine aisles of a big box retail store, Aisle411 may be able to help.
The startup has raised $6.3 million in its first round of financing.
Aisle411 powers searchable store maps for retailers. It collects data on retailers’ inventory, in-store product locations, and floor plan information, and turns it into digital maps. Consumers can access the maps from their mobile phones to find the items they are looking for.
The goal is to help stores provide a more convenient, in-store shopping experience for consumers. Wandering around large stores trying to find specific products is frustrating. Aisle411 said on its site that providing a searchable map can lead to increased loyalty and bigger basket sizes.
Google conducted a study which found that 84% of smartphone shoppers use their phones while in a physical store. Furthermore, shoppers who use mobile spend 25% more in-store than people who only occasionally use a mobile phone to help with shopping.
This presents a valuable opportunity for physical retailers to learn about their customers, provide a better customer experience, and hopefully drive sales.
In addition to digitizing inventory and creating maps, Aisle411 also applies indoor positioning technology to help businesses understand shopper behavior. It uses Wi-Fi networks, mobile device sensors, Bluetooth, and integrates with other location services to figure out where shopper are in the store and how much time they spend there.
Retailers can use this information to provide real-time customer service and make data-driven decisions. They can also deliver targeted offers.
Aisle411 was founded in 2008 in St. Louis and claims to be the first to market with a mobile product search service. It now powers maps for 12,000 locations and works with clients like Walgreens, The Home Depot, WinCo Foods, and Shop’n Save.
St. Louis-based Cultivation Capital led this round, which brings Aisle411′s total to more than $10 million. Don Dodge also participated in this round along with Plug & Play Ventures St. Louis Arch Angels, the Billiken Angels, and the Springfield Angel Network.
The financing will support Aisle411 as it scales to meet demand and add to its list of retail partners.