Google Analytics of the physical world – made in Spain

Image | Benefits On Madison

Can we track consumers in the physical world? Absolutely — tracking data is no longer just for online businesses.

The number of people that enter your store, the places they visit most frequently, the products that call the most attention and the time spent in front of each shelf – these are the kind of data that can be extracted from any physical establishment, whether it’s a big department store or a small neighborhood shop.

At first we might think of this kind of information as only available to online businesses, but this is no longer the case. Startups have arrived on the scene with new technologies that allow us to observe and measure the behavior of people in physical spaces. Recently, Spanish businesses seeking to become the “Google Analytics of the physical world” have sprung up, that are aiming to increase engagement with users at the point of sale.

One such startup is Metrikea, based in Madrid. The company has developed a technology using sensors that can be installed anywhere that detects periodic signals emitted by mobile devices. Using the information received by the sensors, businesses can more efficiently distribute products, assess conversion marketing campaigns, increase sales or reduce stock. In short, they can better understand customer behavior.

Google Analytics of the physical world – made in Spain

Image | Michael Senchuck

Mobile devices are the primary source of information in this sector. Everything revolves around them. Without them it would be impossible to get this kind of valuable data. The technologies used to track devices are varied, but the main ones are Wi-Fi, NFC (Near Field Communication) and the Beacons. Using these technologies, small devices responsible for issuing a signal on shortwave can view and analyze how consumers move within an establishment.

Another company that works by analyzing the behavior of users in the retail sector is Proximus, a startup based in London, but run by Spaniards. Its CEO, Jorge Bueno stresses that the short-term goal is to “teach large distribution chains how they can improve sales ratios by analyzing the behavior of their customers when they enter physical stores”. He notes that in Spain, large retail chains are not used to investing in innovation however, “the vast majority are aware of the importance of tools like ours to understand what exactly is happening in their stores.”

Another Spanish company that has developed similar technology is Movintracks Beacons – a cloud platform capable of designing interactive experiences, mediated through mobile devices.

Finally, we can look at the case of Social and Beyond, a startup based in Barcelona that has developed a platform similar to the three that have been presented in this article, but also allows brands to connect with their customers through social networks. The objective is to enable access to promotions, while simultaneously sharing related content that their customers find interesting. Users pay more attention to personal recommendations that are familiar to them than to advertising from third parties, and with this in mind Social and Beyond attempts to spread its products and promotions virally through its users.

The Mobile Transformation Programme (MTP) aims to promote and stimulate Barcelona's key mobile sector, in addition to directly educating citizens and visitors about Barcelona's role as the world's mobile capital.

The strategic sectors to which the MTP assigns priority are Tourism (hotels, dining, etc.), Retail (shopping, commerce, etc.) and the Creative Industries (gaming, audiovisual, culture, etc.).

Mobile World Capital presents a global vision that effectively integrates mobile technologies into the fabric of the industries transforming our lives. Committed to expanding the mobile experience throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain with strong support of the public and private sector.

Mobile World Capital is leading mobile transformation through commitments in Competence Centres, local Industry Development, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation programmes.

MWCapital offers an open platform and exhibition showroom where citizens can understand and experience how mobile is enhancing our lives: The Mobile World Centre, located in the heart of Barcelona on Plaza Catalunya.

More information: