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November 30, 2016

Attention Shoppers: You’re Being Analyzed

(kenny1 /

Commerce Signals, developer of a bridge platform designed to connect advertisers and publishers with data from financial institutions, announced a partnership this week that combines transaction with location data so retailers can understand customers’ “purchase journey.”

The analytics startup bills its “data bridge” as a secure platform for aggregating and analyzing transaction data from credit card companies and other financial services companies. The platform rollout on Tuesday (Nov. 29) offers near real time access to purchase data that can be used to pitch products and gauge incremental sales based on targeted advertising.

The Silicon Valley startup also announced a partnership with New York-based PlaceIQ, developers of a location-based data platform used to track shoppers via mobile phones and other “digital activities.” Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the partners said the collaboration would help retailers gauge the impact of advertising campaigns on store foot traffic and sales.

The combination of credit, location and other consumer data gleaned, for example, from mobile devices illustrates how retailers and advertisers can literally track consumers from parking lot to store aisle, determine what they looked at and ultimately what they purchased.

The partners said the combination of transaction and location data would help reduce the time needed to gauge the sales impact of advertising campaigns from weeks to days. “With an understanding of sales impact and the consumers’ purchase journey, a retailer can adjust a holiday campaign while consumers are still out shopping for and thinking about making purchases for that holiday,” explained Commerce Signals’ Adam Paulisick.

The combination of the transaction data bridge platform with location data is intended to help retailers measure the impact of ad campaigns on actual sales by moving beyond standard metrics such as website visits or clicks on links. Despite growing online sales—up 10.8 percent during the first days of the holiday shopping season, according to global payment tracker First Data—the partners note that more than 90 percent of retail sales still occur in brick-and-mortar locations.

Meanwhile, the new platform is positioned as providing anonymous and “aggregated purchase data [that] can be used for measurement and optimization, while protecting the underlying data,” added Commerce Signals CEO Tom Noyes.

Along with “specialty” retailers, the company and partner PlaceIQ said they are targeting the hotel, travel and restaurant industries.

Meanwhile, other analytics tools also are being deployed during this holiday shopping season to gauge consumer-buying preferences. These range from recommendation and Customer 360 systems to path-to-purchase and market basket analysis.

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