CQuotient, With $3M from Bain, Looks to Help Retailers Adjust to Customers’ Buying Behavior

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important decision they make. One of the retailers I pitched to found CQuotient’s vision compelling and became our first (and paying) customer.

X: What’s the main problem you’re trying to solve?

RR: Competition in retail is incredibly fierce, and has become even more so since 2008 when consumers slashed their spending. In the new retail landscape, growth is going to be driven by winning more of the purchases from the customers you already have, not by constantly getting new consumers and churning through your old ones.

The only way to win this “share of wallet” game is to understand your customers better than the competition: what they buy, when, how, which channels. But understanding isn’t enough. You need to flow this understanding into all the decisions you make that affect the customer (pricing, offers, assortment, service, etc). And you need to do so at scale (hundreds of stores, thousands of products, and millions of customers).

What products/platforms/services exist today to help retailers do this well? NONE.

X: So what are you actually building, and what is unique or special about your technology or business approach?

RR: We’re building a cloud-based data-and-analytic-app platform:

—Customer-level behavioral (what they buy, and when/how they buy) and other data will be the “raw material.”
—Optimization apps will crunch this data and generate recommendations for action by retail execs.
—The apps will leverage proprietary data-mining/machine-learning models of customer behavior.

CQuotient’s secret sauce:

1. Our models of how individual customers will behave when exposed to different marketing and merchandising actions.

2. Our ability to combine big data, sophisticated math/computer science, and retail domain knowledge to build products that are wicked smart but “speak” retail.

X: How do your and Graeme’s experiences at ProfitLogic, Oracle, and Allurent inform your new strategy? Can you share a specific lesson or two that you learned?

RR: Graeme and I met at ProfitLogic. So we have both seen first-hand the value analytics can provide to retailers. ProfitLogic was very focused on adding tangible, measurable financial value … Next Page »

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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