Most brands today have a good idea of who their online customers are. But despite the advance of e-commerce, 80 percent of all purchases are still made offline, in physical stores. Accurat uses mobile data to map the physical environment and offline shopping behavior of consumers. By processing, on a daily basis, millions of coordinates (anonymized of course), retailers gain reliable insights that allow them to make informed strategic decisions. Three years after its foundation, major retailers such as Delhaize, Lidl and Brico are already using Accurat's technology.
"Retail, and especially food retail, is an extremely competitive market", explains Roel Dekelver, head of external communications at Delhaize. "Quick access to reliable data is crucial. It is the reason why Accurat acquired in no time a permanent place in the set of analytical solutions we use to underpin our strategic decisions."
Eliminating blind spots
“What profile do your customers have? How far do they drive to visit your store? Which of your competitors do they visit? These are still blind spots for many retailers," says Bart Muskala, one of the two founders of Accurat and previously partner at advertising agency BBDO. “They know maybe 10 percent there is to know about their customers. They have a good idea of customer behavior within the four walls of their stores, but that's about it. How these consumers behave at their competitors or in other stores, or what their daily environment looks like is based on outdated reports from market research firms and on inaccurate surveys of roughly 1,000 customers.”
“These reports and surveys are also just snapshots”, explains co-founder Dr. Ir. Steven Van Canneyt (ex-Yahoo and ex-Realo). “The corona crisis has shown that consumer decision patterns are changing rapidly. Our data gives retailers the missing real-time insights to base strategic decisions on. They can strengthen their local competitiveness, optimize their folder distribution or measure how many extra store visits a campaign generates. For this we also work together with media companies such as Clear Channel, LijnCom and Brightfish.”
Capital round to boost European growth
Accurat has just raised 1.1 million euros to make its technology available to even more supermarkets and retailers (do-it-yourself chains, fashion, horticulture, beauty,…). In addition to Belgium and the Netherlands the start-up is also targeting other European markets, the first contracts in Germany have now been signed. To support that growth, Accurat is recruiting plenty of new talent. There are vacancies for sales people, developers, data scientists and data engineers.
In addition to KBC, PMV and VLAIO, serial entrepreneurs such as Lorenz Bogaert and Toon Coppens (Netlog, Twoo, Realo, Delta,...) also participated in the recent capital round.
Lorenz Bogaert is convinced that Accurat's technology will transform the way retailers make decisions in the near future: “Retailers face difficult decisions every day. Gut feeling, half-truths or outdated insights are no longer good enough. Retailers will be guided in their decisions by the recommendations of smart artificial assistants, which in turn rely on big data. Accurat is the solution to the challenges facing retailers.”