The third eye represents intuition and insight—an inner vision and enlightenment beyond what the physical eye can see.

Modern shoppers are increasingly time-starved and brand-agnostic. It is therefore imperative for brands to understand as much as they can about the people who are buying their products and how they feel about them, so that they can target their marketing messages in ways that increase sales and enhance positive feelings towards their brand.

However, gathering this data has always been a challenge. Shoppers simply don’t have the time to engage meaningfully with promoters or answer questionnaires. What is needed is a non-intrusive way to gather audience and sentiment data during the retail experience.

Many brands have legitimate concerns that there is a disconnect between their marketing efforts and their target audiences, and this gap has come about because they lack sufficient insight into the demographics and shopping habits of the shoppers who encounter their products in retail environments.

Third-i Marketing Intelligence – the solution
Third-i smart POS displays are an innovative South African solution (using technology developed in the USA) that provides powerful, data-driven answers to several key questions:
• Who is buying our product?
• How do they engage with it?
• How do they feel about it?
• How do our marketing messages influence their behaviour and purchase decisions?

Third-i uses advanced facial analysis technology to accurately determine the shopper’s demographic (with a 98,1% accuracy) and their sentiment (as evidenced by facial expressions) as they engage with the products on the smart display.

The technology also collects data on dwell time, as this provides insights into how engaged people are with the brand or products, and could also highlight the fact that they require additional information to decide to buy or to choose between different products.

Third-i is a non-intrusive system that in no way inconveniences shoppers. Equally, it respects their data privacy – no images are recorded or uploaded, and the system is calibrated to recognise types of people rather than identify specific individuals (this is the key difference between facial analysis technology as used in Third-i and facial recognition). Protection of personal information is a burgeoning area of regulation, and Third-i displays are fully compliant with South Africa’s new POPIA legislation as well as international equivalents such as the EU’s GDPR.

Give and take
Third-i smart POS displays collect information about shoppers and use the insights gleaned to serve specific content to them. Collected metrics are analysed in real-time to determine which brand messaging is most likely to interest and motivate them.

In this way, the shopper experience can be improved, and sales can be increased. In addition, sentiment in response to tailored marketing messages can be assessed, enabling even more tightly focused messaging.

Third-i smart displays have been designed to deliver excellent results in the ‘new normal’ brought about by the global pandemic. Their ability to analyse facial types and expressions is only minimally compromised by mask-wearing (reduced to 97,5% accuracy), and by taking the place of in-person promoting, they contribute to a safer, more reassuring, socially distanced shopping experience.

The breakthrough brands have been waiting for a solution
With Third-i, brands can participate in – and benefit from – a valuable two-way information flow. Harvested data from retail environments (as well as transport hubs and other public spaces) can be analysed through the use of a real-time dashboard. The remote management functionality can then be used to adjust the messaging being served to shoppers.

Infinite insights
Data collected by Third-i units can be used to map foot-traffic flow in stores and malls, and suggest optimised layouts, to improve the shopper’s experience and add to the shopper’s basket.

A holistic offering
The partners behind Third-i offer a comprehensive suite of business and support services based on their knowledge of retail marketing and POS and their in-depth understanding of the immense potential of facial analysis technology and how it can best be deployed.

Third-i’s turnkey solutions include data analysis expertise, creative design capabilities (for bespoke, branded units), and unit construction and installation capacity.

Boosted performance
Third-i partnered with a leading energy supplement brand, Turbovite, to pilot their smart displays in a successful proof-of-concept programme.

The pilot unit was installed at a local independent pharmacy where the brand had experienced a year-on-year loss of 2%. A customised unit designed for Turbovite, it featured a responsive video screen header, dynamic LED lighting, and static on-shelf lighting. Having identified the demographic of the shopper looking at the display through facial analysis , the unit served video content that addressed the needs of each shopper in terms of recommending the most appropriate products from the Turbovite range. This would be synchronised with the dynamic LED lighting to draw attention to the recommended product.

The impact of the unit was instant – in the first 2 months of installation the brand enjoyed a sales uplift of 71% through the pharmacy tills, and was able to turn its performance around for the year, with a 24% year-on-year growth.

Everyone’s a winner
Third-i delivers benefits across the stakeholder spectrum. Time-pressed shoppers enjoy an improved, tailored, and streamlined shopping experience that helps them make intelligent choices. Brands gain enhanced visibility with quality contact with their shoppers, improving their ability to build loyalty amongst shoppers. Beyond that, brands gain real-time data that allows them to optimize their messaging and ranging. Retailers benefit from the increased likelihood of shoppers discovering new products and categories.

A smarter future
Integrating AI into the Third-i displays will enable brands to ‘learn’ which messaging prompts positive sentiment, engagement and ultimately prompts purchases. Real time data and virtual management of the digital content allow brands to adjust messaging efficiently and effectively, allowing brands to optimize ROI of their in-store investment.

For more information about Third-i smart displays, contact: [email protected]


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