InfoScout Acquires Shelfie


  • Acquisition accelerates InfoScout’s ability to help data-driven marketers understand and engage consumers like never before.
  • Shelfie’s co-founder and CEO, C.J. Acosta will join InfoScout to lead marketing initiatives.
  • Shelfie’s co-founder and CTO Edward Betancourt will join the team to lead development of InfoScout’s Insights platform


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – September 23, 2015 InfoScout today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Shelfie, an innovative retail data crowdsourcing company, for an undisclosed amount.


Shelfie developed a highly efficient, real-time crowdsourcing solution that captured hundreds-of-thousands of retail shelf images from shoppers across America.   The acquisition supports InfoScout’s and Shelfie’s shared mission of empowering data-driven marketers by delivering crowdsourced insights straight from real shoppers.


“Brands and retailers are starving for insights derived from the actual behaviors of real people as opposed to the legacy model of requiring framed survey responses from professional panelists.” said Jared Schrieber,  InfoScout’s co-founder and CEO.  “We’ve seen rapid adoption of our real-time shopper insights platform this year and are excited to bring the Shelfie team on board to help us further accelerate that growth.”


InfoScout’s portfolio of mobile apps engage over 1,000,000 Americans throughout their path-to-purchase.  These apps have recorded more than one-hundred million shopping lists and receipts to provide marketers with same-day insights into shopper behavior across all retailers at the item-level.


C.J. Acosta, Shelfie’s co-founder and CEO, said, “By operating America’s largest and richest source of consumer purchase data, InfoScout has successfully turned a very important part of market research on its head, all by leveraging mobile, crowdsourcing & image processing technologies. This aligns perfectly with our mission at Shelfie. Combining our strengths and knowledge with an industry leader like InfoScout, will allow the Shelfie team to make a bigger impact in this space than what we could’ve ever done on our own”.


About InfoScout

InfoScout’s real-world analytics make brands better marketers by providing the industry’s largest, richest & most actionable source of consumer behavior throughout the path-to-purchase. Leading consumer goods companies such as Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and Unilever leverage InfoScout’s data and analytics to measure and improve market share, brand loyalty and the success of new product launches through a better understanding the ‘why behind the buy.’


About Shelfie

Shelfie provides marketers with unprecedented visibility into what’s happening at retail stores so they can improve and be more efficient in their marketing execution. The solution is powered by a mobile app which crowdsources thousands of images of store shelves from real consumers all across the nation. The Boston-based team brought their idea to market last year as part of The Brandery accelerator in Cincinnati, OH.


Target Boycotters: More Bark Than Bite?

Target Gender Neutrality


On August 7, Target announced that it would be removing gender-based labels in the Toy, Home, and Entertainment departments of their stores, and Americans were quick to blow up their favorite social media channels with statements of support or anger.

If we’ve learned anything about the Internet, we know that whenever someone is willing to share an opinion, there’s another person willing to mock that opinion.  One man took it upon himself to pose as a Target customer-service agent to “help” the myriads of angry Facebook-ers.


Target Troll


Thank goodness InfoScout is in the business of measuring behavior and sentiment rather than expressing it.  It could have been us on the receiving end of that help.

With waves of individuals claiming they would never shop at the retailer again, we used InfoScout’s real-time visibility into Target and its competitors (online and offline) to determine whether actual shopping behavior mirrored the online proclamations.  Early data indicates that the boycott claims propagating Facebook and Twitter may have been more emotional release than reality, as Target’s share of shopping households and trips remained at a general flatline.


Target Shopping Over Time


It could be that the instantaneous nature of posting on social media captures fleeting emotional spikes rather than lasting sentiments – proclaimed boycotters’ momentary anger may have been quickly replaced by the convenience of shopping at one of Target’s 2,000 nationwide stores.

It Wouldn’t Be The First Or Last Time A Social Media Rant Ended Up Being Inaccurate In Retrospect.


Jaden Smith Tweet


InfoScout provides real-time insights into the path to purchase.  Contact us to discover how a new generation of shopper & consumer insights can be applied at your company.

Apple Pay Adoption Losing Steam

Earlier this year, InfoScout teamed up with PYMNTS to begin tracking the adoption of Apple Pay.  At last week’s Retail Reinvention conference in Chicago, CEO Jared Schrieber shared why Apple executives should be concerned.

First, consider the changing profile of shoppers capable of completing an Apple Pay transaction.  As we get farther away from the iPhone 6 launch last September, we see a growing population of Apple Pay eligible shoppers who are upgrading their devices based on the timing of their mobile plans rather than the desire to own cutting-edge technology.  The shrinking percentage of iPhone 6 users driven by innovation has resulted in a rapid decline in the share of users willing to sample Apple’s new means of payment.


Apple Pay Adoption Bell Curve

Apple Pay Attempters


The latest survey results reinforced data from March, indicating that Apple needs to increase education and awareness among its consumers to become a relevant player in the world of payments.  “Very few Americans understand why they should even consider using Apple Pay.  They don’t have a problem with their current payment methods, so why fix it?,” Schrieber noted.


Survey - why Apple Pay is not being tried


Read more in the Full Article published on the PYMNTS website, and contact us if there are business questions you’d like to answer via the nation’s largest purchase panel.


Kraft’s Macaroni Recall: Early Numbers Indicate Sizable Losses

Mac with metal

On March 17, Kraft issued a massive recall of 6.5M macaroni & cheese units after consumers reported finding metal pieces in the boxes.  With purchase metrics from ~250K panelists and our mobile-survey capabilities, we jumped at the opportunity to determine the impact the news had on the Kraft brand, its competitors, and the category.

In the first seven days following the announcement, the number of Kraft macaroni & cheese shoppers dropped 21% from three weeks prior.  We surveyed shoppers who bought the Kraft product after the announcement, and among them, only 37% had heard about the metal in the boxes.   Combine the relatively low recall-awareness among Kraft faithfuls with the sizable drop in the brand’s household penetration, and it’s fair to say that recall-aware shoppers decided to take their money elsewhere.  Which brands benefitted most from the lapsed 21% of shoppers?  It certainly wasn’t Kraft’s competitors – the entire category dropped 14%, indicating a strong degree of synchrony between Kraft Mac & Cheese and the macaroni & cheese category.




In order to respond effectively and immediately, brands and retailers need real-time awareness of how health-related news impact shoppers’ decisions.  With the recent announcement of the avian flu outbreak and Blue Bell recall, marketers should ask themselves whether they have actionable data to optimize their company’s response.  Contact us today to find out why InfoScout has been called “the next revolution in shopper insights” by the largest companies in the game.

This study was conducted using InfoScout’s proprietary receipt-capture technology, which tracks over 150K shopping trips a day from nearly 250K active panelists.  Our ability to survey people based on their purchases give us unprecedented visibility into the why-behind-the-buy.  Check out our website for more info on our data and solutions. 

iPhone versus Android: What Your Phone Says About Your Shopping Habits

The phone you carry says a lot about you.  Some might argue that the sparkly sequinned case you have around your phone says even more, but here at InfoScout, we promise to never judge you.  We will, however, leverage our panel of 250K mobile-powered participants to explore the relationship between phone choice and purchase behavior.

We recently attended a conference where a retailer claimed that 80% of their shoppers had iPhones based upon the web traffic they see by mobile device type.   Rather than using website visits as a proxy for in-store visits, we decided to quickly measure the real-world shopping behavior of our consumer panelists.  With the understanding that the average American is 12% more likely to be carrying an Android phone than an iPhone, we were able to determine the following:


Smartphones Preference, Fast Food


It shouldn’t be a surprise that restaurants and grocery stores that cater to more affluent buyers are more likely to see iPhone carriers making purchases.


Smartphones Preference, Grocery


Smartphone Split


We also analyzed the iPhone and Android breakouts in head-to-head comparisons of top stores within a few retailer channels.


Understanding shoppers’ phone preference is just the tip of the iceberg for InfoScout.  In addition to our real-time visibility into purchases across all categories and channels, we collect demographic, psychographic, and survey data to help us build the most comprehensive understanding of US shoppers, their buying behavior, and the motivations driving their actions.


 About our data:

This blog study includes data taken from over 7-million receipt submissions by 150,133 iPhone users and 108,673 Android users of InfoScout’s Shoparoo and Receipt Hog mobile apps. Special thanks to the team at App Annie for helping us normalize the ratio of iPhone-to-Android phone users in our panel to the true census ratios reflected in this study.  To learn more about InfoScout’s data and solutions please visit

InfoScout Turning Heads for Effective Big Data Management

We do shopper insights pretty darn well at InfoScout, and our clients love the way our real-time capability gives them visibility into today’s purchase data today. With over 225K active panelists, InfoScout collects data from more than 150K shopping trips daily. That’s about 15X the amount of trips provided by other leading shopper panels, and with our 98% month-over-month panelist retention rate, we’re constantly evolving our practice of managing vast quantities of data.

How do we do it? BriefingsDirect, a B2B-focused podcast, interviewed a few of our folks to learn how we manage so much data so effectively.  Check out a few excerpts below, or Listen to the full podcast or Download the full transcript.

Novel Consumer Retail Behavior Analysis From InfoScout Depends on Big Data Chops from HP Vertica

Transcript of a Briefings Direct podcast on how a consumer research and data analysis firm is gleaning marketing data from customers’ sales receipts.

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to the next edition of the HP Discover Podcast Series. I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator for this ongoing discussion on IT innovation and how it’s making an impact on people’s lives.

Our next innovation case study interview highlights how InfoScout in San Francisco gleans new levels of accurate insights into retail buyer behavior by collecting data directly from consumers’ sales receipts.

In order to better analyze actual retail behaviors and patterns, InfoScout provides incentives for buyers to share their receipts, but InfoScout is then faced with the daunting task of managing and cleansing that essential data to provide actionable and understandable insights.

We’re here with Tibor Mozes, Senior Vice President of Data Engineering at InfoScout.

We’re also joined today by Jared Schrieber, the Cofounder and CEO at InfoScout, based in San Francisco.

Gardner: Jared, let’s start with you. We don’t often get the option of choosing how the best data comes to us. In your business, you’ve been able to uniquely capture strong data, but you need to treat it a lot to use it and you also need a lot of that data in order to get good trend analysis. So the payback is that you get far better information on essential buyer behaviors, but you need a lot of technology to accomplish that.

Tell us why you wanted to get to this specific kind of data and then your novel way of acquiring it, please.

Schrieber: A quick history lesson is in order. In the market research industry, consumer purchase panels have been around for about 50 years. They started with diaries in people’s homes, where they had to write down exactly every single product that they bought, day-in day-out, in this paper diary and mail it in once a month.

About 20 years ago, with the advent of modems in people’s homes, leading research firms like Nielsen would send a custom barcode scanner into people’s homes and ask them to scan each product they bought and then thumb into the custom scanner the regular price, the sales price, any coupons or deals that they got, and details about the overall shopping trip, and then transfer that electronically. That approach has not changed in the last 20 years.

With the advent of smartphones and mobile apps, we saw a totally new way to capture this information from consumers that would revolutionize how and why somebody would be willing to share their purchase information with a market research company.

Gardner: Interesting. What is it about mobile that is so different from the past, and why does that provide more quality data for your purposes?

Schrieber: There are two reasons in particular. The first is, instead of having consumers scan the barcode of each and every item they purchase and thumb in the pricing details, we’re able to simply have them snap a picture of their shopping receipt. So instead of spending 20 minutes after a grocery shopping trip scanning every item and thumbing in the details, it now takes 15 seconds to simply open the app, snap a picture of the shopping receipt, and be done.

The second reason is why somebody would be willing to participate. Using smartphone apps we can create different experiences for different kinds of people with different reward structures that will incentivize them to do this activity.

For example, our Shoparoo app is a next-generation school fundraiser akin to Box Tops for Education. It allows people to shop anywhere, buy anything, take a picture of their receipt, and then we make an instant donation to their kid’s school every time.

Another app is more of a Tamagotchi game called Receipt Hog, where if you download the app, you have adopted a virtual runt. You feed it pictures of your receipt and it levels-up into a fat and happy hog, earning coins in a piggy bank along the way that you can then cash-out from at the end of the day.

These kinds of experiences are a lot more intrinsically and extrinsically rewarding to the panelists and have allowed us to grow a panel that’s many times larger than the next largest panel ever seen in the world, tracking consumer purchases on a day-in day-out basis.

Gardner: What is it that you can get from these new input approaches and incentivization through an app interface? Can you provide me some sort of measurement of an improved or increased amount of participation rates? How has this worked out?

Schrieber: It’s been phenomenal. In fact, our panel is still growing by leaps and bounds. We now have 200,000 people sharing with us their purchases on a day-in day-out basis. We capture 150,000 shopping trips a day. The next largest panel in America captures just 10,000 shopping trips a day.

In addition to the shopping trip data, we’re capturing geolocation information, Facebook likes and interests from these people, demographic information, and more and more data associated with their mobile device and the email accounts that are connected to it.

Listen to the full podcast or Download the full transcript.

Apple Pay: What’s to Blame for the Slow Adoption?


slow apple pay

At Innovation Project 2015, InfoScout shared heavily-anticipated findings from our Apple Pay Adoption Tracker survey.  Why have shoppers been slow to switch from traditional payment methods? What are Apply Pay adopters saying about their experiences? Discover the data that caught the attention of VentureBeat, Business Insider, and others.

Apple Pay Adoption: Improving, But Still A Long Way To Go

85% of iPhone 6 owners in the U.S. haven’t bothered trying Apple Pay, study claims

This Holiday Season’s Hottest Gifts: Ideas For The Last Minute Shopper

Black Friday may seem like ages ago already, but this season’s shopping frenzy is far from over. (At least for those 11th hour-shoppers, that is.) For those of you planning to hit the stores tomorrow in one last mad dash, we’ve got some ideas for you. This holiday season, InfoScout analyzed over 3,500,000 shopping trips across all retailers – both online and offline – made by over 178,000 Americans to bring you this year’s best seller lists.

Electronics dominated holiday shopping once again this year with TV’s and Tablets again leading the pack.  Here are the top sellers heading into Christmas:



65″ Vizio Smart LED HDTV


65″ Vizio Smart LED HDTV ($648 and up)

40″ Samsung LED HDTV ($329 and up)

50″ Emerson LED HDTV ($218 and up)

32″ Samsung LED HDTV ($199 and up)

32″ Emerson LED HDTV ($98 and up)




Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 3.54.48 PM

Apple iPad Air 2 16GB

Apple iPad Air 2 16GB ($449 and up)

Apple iPad Mini 16GB ($199 and up)

Amazon Fire HD 7″ 8GB ($114 and up)

RCA 10″ Android Tablet ($79 and up)

RCA 7″ Android Tablet ($29 and up) 




In our extensive, real-time coverage of Black Friday shopping, we found that Xbox One outsold the PS4 to win the console holiday battle for the second year in a row.  Sports-related games climbed the list this year owning 3 of the top 6 spots, a jump from just one sports game in the top 5 last year.   Here are the three most popular video game consoles on the market this holiday season:


Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 3.58.16 PM

Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle

Video Game Consoles

PlayStation 4 500GB Console w/ 4 games ($399 and up)

Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle ($329 and up)

Nintendo Wii U with SuperMario 3D World ($279 and up)





Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Doll

For Girls

Disney Princess Ultimate Doll Collection ($40 and up)

Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Doll ($29 and up)

Disney Maleficent DVD ($19 and up)




Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 4.03.13 PM

Bouncepro 14ft Trampoline

For Boys

Bouncepro 14ft Trampoline ($159 and up)

Zoomer Dino ($79 and up)

Lego Building Sets – Star Wars Phantom ($19 and up)




For Friends & Family

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 4.04.53 PM

Beats By Dre Beats Solo Headphones

Keurig 2.0 K560 Brewer with 48 K-Cup Packs ($149 and up)

Beats By Dre Beats Solo Headphones ($100 and up)

Rachael Ray 15-piece Cookset ($88 and up)

Gift Cards ($25 iTunes, Amazon & Google Play are top sellers)

Dale Earnhardt “The Intimidator” Pocket Knife ($15 and up)

Glade Wax Melts Warmer Starter Pack ($9 and up)

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate: Lindt truffles and our local favorite, Ghirardelli chocolates





Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter @infoscout to stay abreast of the real-time retail action this holiday season.

Data methodology:
Top sellers are listed by price, not by sales rank. InfoScout analyzed over 3,500,000 shopping trips across all retailers – both online and offline – made by over 178,000 Americans over the holiday season to bring you this year’s best seller lists.   For more information related to our data and panel representation, visit our data page.

Top Selling Items on Record Shattering Cyber Monday

Amidst reports of Black Friday’s slumping sales numbers, this past Monday’s online sales hit a record breaking $2 billion mark, making 2014’s Cyber Monday the biggest online shopping day to date.  This is just one more data point confirming the accelerating trend away from traditional brick-and-mortar retail to online shopping as detailed in our prior post outlining Black Friday’s rapid shift to become Cyber Friday.

Which items contributed to this 24 hour e-commerce frenzy? Here are the top selling products at some of the major online retailers:






Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter @infoscout to stay abreast of the real-time retail action this holiday season.

Data methodology:
This data was collected from the online purchases of InfoScout’s 40,000 panelists who share access to the e-receipts they receive in their email inboxes each day. For more information related to our data and panel representation, visit our data page.

Apple Pay’s Black Friday, By The Numbers

Here at InfoScout, we love data.  And we love mobile technology.  So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we’ve put on our analytics hats to learn how the hottest new player in mobile payments, Apple Pay, performed in the Super Bowl of shopping: Black Friday.  To do this, we tracked the shopping behavior and opinions of those in our 170,000 household consumer panel who own an iPhone 6 / 6 Plus and shopped at a retail store that accepts Apple Pay this Black Friday weekend.

Despite its hype within the tech community, Apple Pay still has a lot of ground to cover.  Out of all Apple Pay-eligible transactions on Black Friday, the new NFC-powered mobile payment method was used less than 5% of the time. Let’s explore the details behind this number and what the landscape looks like in terms of Apple Pay usage.


According to these real-time shopper surveys data, just over 9% of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users who shopped on Black Friday have ever tried using Apple Pay at checkout.  Among those who have used Apple Pay, there was a 50-50 chance that they would use it at checkout when shopping at a participating retailer on Black Friday.  To understand the “why” behind this behavior we explored the extent to which the product or experience itself was the culprit.  We asked Apple Pay users what they thought of it as compared to swiping a card, and found overwhelmingly positive reactions to the experience.


If Apple Pay users have had such positive experiences, why did only half of them use Apple Pay when given the chance on Black Friday?  Well, we figured they’d know best… so we asked them.


The biggest piece of the puzzle is simple: they were unaware that the store accepted Apple Pay.  The second-most common reason is that they simply forgot. This isn’t necessarily surprising; the checkout process has become habit for most, and integrating mobile payments into your purchase flow requires change to a very deeply ingrained pattern of behavior.  These two data points highlight Apple’s need to find a way to capture mindshare at checkout, and to remind or inform the user that the purchase could be made with Apple Pay.  Of the two icons currently in use at Apple Pay-accepting stores, only one actually has any Apple branding, and both are fairly subtle and unlikely to grab attention.  If there were a more prominent display, Apple could feasibly increase Apple Pay usage by over 40% – simply by having its user base behave more consistently.



Either of these two icons can be seen at retailers accepting Apple Pay, but only one of them directly refers to Apple Pay.

Taking a step back, however, we see that the biggest opportunity is for Apple Pay to drive adoption among the 90% of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users who have yet to try it – despite shopping at stores that accept Apple Pay.   InfoScout’s survey of these potential users yielded some interesting results…


A whopping 32% of eligible users haven’t tried Apple Pay because they aren’t familiar with how it works, and 11% simply haven’t heard of it.  That means that nearly half of people who are eligible to use Apple Pay can still be influenced via informational outreach or educational advertising. We’ve already seen that most users who pay with Apple Pay find it to be easier and faster, but now Apple needs to better inform their potential user base of these benefits.  Bonus points to Apple if they can use that same campaign to address any security concerns users may have.

Even with all this data in hand, it is very evident that Apple Pay is still a nascent competitor in the payments industry.  Apple Pay has only been around for 5 weeks, and with over 70 million Apple Pay-capable iPhones expected to sell in Q4 of this year, adoption of Apple Pay may shift drastically as more people upgrade their devices and the positive word-of-mouth from existing users spreads.

We’ll be tracking it all, so stay tuned in to all the action by subscribing via the button above.