Venture capitalists have written a cheque totalling €3 million for Walkbase, a Helsinki-based marketing organisation platform that helps brick and mortar retailers use showrooming to their advantage.
Walkbase is a platform that gives retailers the tools to measure, understand and optimise what is a very omnichannel journey for consumers. Smartphone-enabled shoppers bounce between online and offline channels while they search, research and purchase products.
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, former CEO of Nokia, and SBT Venture Capital are behind the funding that Walkbase intends to put towards strengthening sales, marketing and customer insight teams and growing the brand in Russia and the EMEA regions.
Disruption on the horizon
The lessons being learned from online e-commerce are now being applied to offline retailing, a notion that Tuomas Wuoti, CEO and co-founder of Walkbase, says is being helped by the volume of data available.
"The world of retail is about to enter into the next major disruption after going online,” Wuoti said. “A prime advantage of online has been the ability to accurately measure buyer behaviour.”
“In online stores, everything can be optimised in real time for the best possible shopping experience. Thanks to new technology, this ability is now spreading to offline retail. It’s taking place really fast and Walkbase is leading that disruption."
Forecasting for CMOs
Aimed at the new breed of chief marketing officer, the walkbase platform utilises offline customer behaviour data to help with campaign analysis and forecasting. Most of the firm’s clients are from the UK and cover automotive retail, banking and fashion retail.
Merging online and offline has to be a focus for retailers in the next couple of years as more customers shop primarily online, which is why ex-Nokia man Kallasvuo was so enthused by the platform.
“Walkbase is solving a big problem at the intersection of connected shoppers, retail analytics and personalised shopping experience and is one of the most exciting early-stage companies I have encountered,” Kallasvuo said.
Plans for additional Walkbase pilots are already underway with a number of UK high street retail chains.