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.