Hans Yu, Founder, CounectHans Yu, Founder
In today’s digital world, consumers are shifting more of their spending from physical stores to e-commerce. For shopping malls to survive in this new environment, they need to reinvent their business by leveraging new technologies. Take for instance, the flawed practice of charging rent based solely on the retail tenant’s sales. This is because mall operators do not have access to the actual transaction data of retailers since it is tied to their point of sale (POS) systems. Especially in Asia, most mall operators rely on a manual approach to report sales figures, determine revenue, and charge rent accordingly. In contrast, real-time sales figures could provide insights into operations and marketing activities, which in turn would help mall operators evaluate a retail tenant’s value and negotiate a rental contract backed by supporting evidence. Beijing based Counect helps overcome this hurdle with its plug and play solution that automatically collects and analyzes sales transaction data from receipts, which retailers provide to customers. “Counect offers smart data solutions that help secure rent revenue, boost performance, and consequently increase property and asset value,” adds Hans Yu, Founder of Counect.

The company’s solutions seamlessly integrate with existing POS systems and only take around 10-15 minutes after implementation to process data in real-time. Data is collected from every single sales transaction and sent to the cloud for processing through network connections. Then, an artificial intelligence-enabled parsing system automatically extracts key data elements from the digital receipts and inserts the structured data (transaction data, time, ID, items bought, etc.) into the database. Counect also provides clients with comprehensive analytic results such as sales trend and changes, ranking analytics, purchase behavior analytics, tenant’s status analytics, and sales index using its analytics model.

In addition to transaction data analytics, Counect provides a plethora of solutions associated with retail analytics. The first is a Purchase Recommendation Engine, which analyzes and exports the purchasing patterns and then categorizes and displays the results in Counect’s REAL BI dashboard. In addition, the engine also features a stock-keeping unit (SKU) purchase frequency and popularity analytics. This allows malls to gain insights regarding the most popular products sold and the ranking of other products in comparison. Another solution called
Tenants Healthy Adviser sorts retail tenants according to rent per unit area, sales per unit area, and rent-to-sale ratio to indicate the health of a tenant. Tenant health is required to determine rental policies such as rental increasing and identify in advance retailers that may end their leases before the contractual period. The third solution, Smart Shopping Guide, integrates sales SKU data and CRM member profiles to provide personalized recommendations according to different purchasing behavior and preference of each customer.

Counect’s smart data solutions help secure rent revenue, optimize retail mix, boost performance, and consequently increase property and asset value

The last but not least, Counect REAL provide data integration service with other systems. Data from other system could also be integrated into our database and BI Dashboard for cross data analytics, the analytic results will also be able to transmit back to other system through standard API.

Currently, Counect’s solutions have been implemented in over 1000 shopping malls across 100 cities in seven countries and process more than 3 billion transactions per month. Citing one instance, Yu mentions the case of a client, one of the largest mall groups in China. The client lacked accurate transaction sales data to run big data analytics for their mall operations and utilized a traditional loyalty point collection method, which involved collecting receipts from the customer service counter. After implementing Counect’s solutions, the client was able to perform transaction data analytics in real-time and also automatically collect loyalty points through customer self-service. The client also saved 1.4 million each year by optimizing service staff costs and increase rental income by one million per year. Since its inception in 2010, Counect has been focused on research and development to ensure its solutions adapt to the ever-changing needs of 21st-century shoppers. Counect’s comprehensive solutions for sales data collection and intelligent analysis have enabled the company to remain ahead of competitors in the space.