The ability to target online ads is a huge advantage to e-commerce sales. But observing and quantifying consumer behavior in brick and mortar stores has been notoriously difficult. As a result, there is little data-backed reasoning for why some products sell better than others when placed in certain areas of stores.
Mediar seeks to bring data and artificial intelligence to shopper behavior analysis for physical stores. The company’s software platform integrates with a store’s existing security surveillance system and then collects anonymized shopper behavior data that brands can use to improve their sales. KingsCrowd reached out to Mediar CEO and co-founder Gustavo Lemos to learn about what sets the company apart from competition and how brands can benefit from the software.
Note: This interview was conducted over phone and email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
In your own words, how would you describe Mediar?
Mediar is a shopper behavior AI for brands and retailers to reduce lost shoppers and maximize in-store missed sales opportunities. Mediar built a software platform that connects to existing security video cameras inside the stores and harvests anonymous shopper behavior data in real time.
What inspired you to take the leap and start this company?
I had the idea for what became Mediar in one of my first work experiences at a convenience store. I was trying to understand how to display products on the shelf better. A Coke marketing lady told me: “Top selling products, top to bottom, left to right because that is how people read.” At that moment, I realized there was an opportunity to bring science at scale to shopping. A few years later, I was joined by a fantastic team with deep expertise in retail, data analytics, and Software-as-a-Service that has been helping me build the company.
What does the competitive landscape look like, and how do you differentiate?
Mediar is the only company that correlates shopper behavior at the shelf level with sales ticket data, allowing brands and retailers to increase sales and optimize in-store promotions. On one side, incumbent companies like Nielsen and IRI primarily focus on what was sold — sales data. Mediar focuses on what could have been sold — behavior data. On the other side, a few behavior analytics companies focus on the store level, whereas Mediar focuses on the moment of decision, the shelf.
What kinds of insights does Mediar provide for brands and retailers?
Insights on how to sell more. We help brands and retailers reduce their lost shoppers and maximize in-store conversions. In one example, our solution identified that toothpaste shoppers tend to dwell more and have a higher inclination to buy at the back of the store, close to pet food — contrary to the traditional belief that toothpaste should be promoted close to oral hygiene corridors. By promoting the right product in front of the right shoppers at the right time, this leading brand increased shopper conversions by more than 50%.
What geographies do you work with?
We are headquartered in the U.S. and have a presence in Europe and Latin America, which are among the largest markets for global consumer packaged goods brands.
Who is on your team and how did you come together?
Most of our executive team had a chance to know and work together in different capacities, making the relationships respectful and harmonious. Our team has a diverse and international background that fosters collaboration and various points of view. Including myself, here’s who we are:
Gustavo Lemos: CEO and co-founder with a background in engineering and business education from top schools like Stanford. He has experience building businesses since age 9, and he founded (and led to market leadership) his first data analytics company post-undergrad.
Andrea Betti-Berutto: Interim CTO with more than 25 years of experience in wireless radio frequency and internet of things, strategic initiatives, company reorganizations, and M&A. Also a partner and cTO at GigCapital, a fellow at IDT, and co-Founder and CTO of GigOptix, iTerra, Fujitsu, and ESA.
Cristiano Monte Mor Paranhos: director of customers and insights, co-founder with 12 years of experience managing global behavior understanding and retail analytics projects, also has FDC and Babson College executive education. With Gustavo, he was nominated for the IBM Global Entrepreneur of the year with Mediar.
Ronaldo Palermo: VP Sales, more than20 years of experience in management and sales in the retail industry. He previously held senior executive positions at Santander Bank with a focus on market expansion and product evangelization.
Frederic Thuard: sales director with 22 years experience as a serial entrepreneur and senior executive in mobile, market intelligence, and analytics. Previously worked at AppAnnie – Data.ai, Kochava, and Tapad-Experian. He received his education from Insead and Sorbonne University.
As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? Have you set any future goals for the company?
The retail analytics space is evolving at a fast pace, and shopper behavior data has become an essential element for decision-makers from brands, retailers, big tech, and market research companies. If we can execute our plan in the next 12 to 18 months, Mediar can be well-positioned as a critical asset in the transformation of this trillion dollar industry.
Also, consumer behavior data has been the backbone of internet commerce for decades. Google significantly built a $250 billion revenue business on its Adsense platform by understanding how consumers behave online and serving brands’ ads so they can shop better. Yet, 90% of the sales are still offline. Imagine that same tool applied at scale in brick-and-mortar retail. Just like Google helps brands promote their products online, Mediar will help them promote their products in-store and offline.
We look forward to seeing where Gustavo and his team take the company. Mediar is currently raising on Republic.