The STOVENDO startup of NFQ Technologies, dedicated to the management of omnichannel retailing processes, has operated only under a year, but has already managed to attract an investment of EUR 1.5 million. The investment consists of funding for an international project won by the company and the EU funding for innovation.
Based on the data analysis and mathematical models, STOVENDO helps analyse the behaviour of buyers and turn untapped potential into new sales. This platform already helps retailers to integrate online and in-store retail channels. The completion of the research part of the project will make it possible to analyse the behaviour of buyers in physical stores like it is done online.
Tadas Četkauskas, Business Development Manager at NFQ Technologies, notes that the boundaries between physical and online shops are disappearing. ‘Retailers with both types of stores can no longer treat them as separate business units. Modern customers visiting a physical store check comments and additional information about the product online and frequently examine the choice available online prior to visiting a physical store. Consequently, customers expect a unified experience across the sales channels’, he said.
STOVENDO helps businesses with more than one online and in-store channel to integrate sales processes and systematically monitor and analyse sales data, untapped potential and customer expectations across all retail channels.
According to Mr Četkauskas, monitoring of sales statistics alone is not enough for modern retail trade, ‘We can see the types of goods people view online, when they make a decision to buy and when they leave the store. But how to measure the behaviour of buyers in a physical store? With STOVENDO we work to identify the goods that the buyers check and try on in a physical store and then put back to the shelf, for what reasons they behave like this and how to turn these lost opportunities to sales. In addition to the analysis of the user behaviour online, we help retailers to understand and assess the buyer's expectations fairly accurately.’
The funding attracted for the STOVENDO team will allow it to experiment with customer behaviour data and build mathematical models that will subsequently allow to manage the entire omnichannel retailing cycle, and measure and forecast change results most efficiently. With the help of researchers in business data analytics at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), models will be developed to analyse and forecast the in-store behaviour of buyers with the same accuracy as it is done online.
‘With STOVENDO we set out to take a huge step in R&D. Our researchers in business data analytics will help the company build its data analysis software that will allow to generate valuable reports,’ Assoc. Prof. Rita Butkiene, the Head of the Department of Information Systems at the Faculty of Informatics at KTU, said.
In the coming years, the global online retail market should grow by at least 20%, but it will still remain in the shadow of the physical retailing with its biggest capital concentration – a total of 90% of sales take place in physical stores. Therefore such online giants as eBay, Amazon and Google expand their sales models and experiment in search of the synergy between in-store or online sales.
‘It is obvious that the retail market is changing and there is a shortage of technology tools analysing the data of not only online, but also in-store sales and providing forecasts for improving business efficiency. We launched STOVENDO less than a year ago and there was so much interest that we soon had first clients in Lithuania and abroad,’ Mr Četkauskas said.
According to Mr Četkauskas, STOVENDO stands out for its ability to analyse and forecast data across a large number of different sales channels. The successful product development in conjunction with KTU researchers opens ways to compete with the leading market players who invest in omnichannel retailing technologies and predictive analytics tools.