Always be testing.
That’s certainly an important part of running a business, no matter whether it’s a digital company producing hardware or software or if you have a traditional brick-and-mortar store. While there are plenty of tools for the former, testing can be expensive for physical stores to execute. But Prayas Analytics has an offering that might take care of that.
Using existing infrastructure inside a physical store, Prayas Analytics says it’s able to glean enough information to help retailers make more informed decisions on how to increase sales. There’s no installation needed, and all pertinent software can be installed and integrated with the retailer’s existing systems. All the software needs is to tap into the store’s security cameras.
It’s one thing to try to spitball what’s happening in a store, but it’s another to have actual data and insights to educate yourself on why customers leave, how to make your workforce more efficient, ways you can better position merchandise and the overall store environment to increase purchases, and more.
But while gleaning information from security cameras might help make a store more effective, tracking people can be controversial. Company cofounder Pranshu Maheshwari said not to worry: His service doesn’t use any facial recognition or record any identifiable information. What is shared is aggregated data that Prayas Analytics uses to not only help retailers better understand how to keep people in the store, but also what customers are doing while in line to pay.
The problem that Prayas Analytics addresses isn’t new and their technique isn’t exactly revolutionary, but its appeal to retailers is that expensive infrastructure won’t be needed to get the data that they need. Maheshwari says getting started can take a matter of days, not weeks or months. Other user-tracking options for retailers include beacon sensors, surveys, mystery shoppers, and other techniques — Prayas Analytics’ approach seems less invasive to consumers.
The cost of using this service will vary based on the store and takes into account factors like the store size and the type of data needed. Currently, Prayas Analytics has a pilot program going, with customers including some in the Fortune 500 across various verticals (office supplies, department stores, apparel, and fast food, for example). Smaller retailers are also testing out the platform.
The company is backed by Y Combinator and the Dorm Room Fund.