Areametrics is developing a system that uses Bluetooth technology to help retailers get a better handle on foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores.
What:AreaMetrics, an analytics platform designed to help retailers understand the foot traffic of their physical customer base.
Who: Chief Executive Officer Brandon Bennett and Chief Operating Officer Carey Bennett, husband and wife co-founders.
What it does: AreaMetrics uses software and Bluetooth beacons, small devices that broadcast signals to nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices, to track how customers interact with brick-and-mortar businesses. The system provides data such as how long a person spends in the store, or amount of time spent in specific departments.
How it works:AreaMetrics’ beacons communicate with customers’ Bluetooth-enabled phones through location services the customer must choose to enable for a retailer’s app. The data is collected anonymously during the process, protecting the customers’ privacy while offering a way to gather feedback. “It’s like a customer survey without having to bombard the customer,” Brandon Bennett said.
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Happy hour: The company evolved from the couple’s previous venture: A business called Happy Hour Pal they created while living in Hawaii and looking for ways to eat out affordably. They built a website and series of apps designed to provide happy-hour information. It was well received, but restaurants wanted to know the project was driving traffic, so the couple installed Bluetooth beacons in the restaurants.
Honolulu to Seattle: The company then shifted a bit. “We kind of moved toward analytics capabilities and one day realized that we could expand into retail,” Brandon Bennett said. After completing the Blue Startups accelerator, the Bennetts and fellow co-founder, Chief Technology Officer Alan Solidum, relocated to Seattle to recruit potential employees and remain close to retail partners.
Funding: Now working out of WeWork co-location space in Westlake Tower, the small team of six has raised $2.5 million to date and plans to use the most recent round of funding to expand its team.
What’s next:The company plans to focus on more retail pilots; it has a major pilot project with an undisclosed national and international retailer.
— Charles Clark