Using web applications to drive traffic to brick and mortar shopping stores is a strategy that seems to be paying off for retailers. In March, Forrester reported that the “online research, offline buying” consumer market represents $917 billion in consumer spending, which was 30 percent of all U.S. retail sales at that time. As more and more developers build applications for this market, there is a demand for product inventory and store location data. Enter Retailigence, a stealth startup incubated in the Founders Institute that applies the Localeze-model to in-store product inventory and listings.
In conjunction with the startup’s public launch, Retailigence is also announced that it has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Quest Venture Partners, Dave McClure, ZIG Capital, Global Brain Corporation and other angel investors.
Essentially, Retailigence is an open API for developers that want to use brick and mortar store locations and product listings and availability. The startup has connectors to retailers backend systems, point of sale platforms and inventory, and pulls this data into a database in the cloud. Currently, Retailigence is able to pull in data from Target, BestBuy, RadioShack, ToysRUs, The Home Depot and a number of other retailers. It total, its data base includes more than 3 million products from over 50,000 stores,
Currently, 30 to 40 developers are using Retailigence’s API. The startup says the one of the world’s largest newspaper publishers (they declined to name the publisher) is using the API to tag images of products and provide users with the ability to click on the images to find the product’s availability in the store’s nearest location. Another use case for the API could be in a GPS device that can call up product listings and availability at nearby stores.
There’s no doubt that Retailigence’s database could be incredibly useful or both retailers (to attract foot traffic into their stores) and for developers. Milo has been operating a consumer-facing site for some time, and Google recently followed with their Blue Dot product.