6 Chicago Tech Companies Working Behind the Scenes to Enhance Your Shopping Experience

June 28, 2016 By Alida Miranda-Wolff

Featured on Built in Chicago

Whether you’re staying in touch with your loved ones, picking up reservations for a hot new restaurant or simply killing time, odds are many of your experiences are curated by some tech company or another.

But the all-pervasiveness of tech goes far beyond moments when you reach for your smartphone or your laptop. Even when you’re doing seemingly non-techie things like picking up groceries, some technology company is probably shaping your experience.

You’ve probably already heard of Belly and Spring Rewards, who both run their consumer-facing rewards programs out of Chicago. But we thought we’d introduce you to some of the companies that work behind the scenes in retail, too:

A provider of virtual reality renderings of in-store experiences, InContext Solutions helps retailers and brands try out new store layouts and design concepts without having to actually build them first. The company’s clients include Walgreens, Coca-Cola and AB InBev — the maker of Budweiser, Michelob and Goose Island beers — to mention a few.

Channel IQ helps manufacturers track consumer sentiment and prices across tens of thousands of online retailers. In so doing, they let brands keep track of their competitors, see what their customers think about their products, and ensure that pricing for their products is consistent across the board.

Finding out what’s actually in food can be trickier than one might expect. Label Insight is trying to do something about that. With its transparency platform, the company scrubs up content and nutritional information, improving transparency for consumers, retailers and packaged goods manufacturers alike.

Everyone knows that online retailers use analytics to get the right products in front of the right customers at the right time. But what you may not know is that brick-and-mortar retailers use the same tools to fight back. Chicago analytics startup SwiftIQ sifts through millions of individual transactions to spot patterns that help retailers understand their consumers’ behaviors better.

Providing accurate product information is crucial to the success of any online retailer. Customers who get what they were expecting are more likely to make a repeat purchase and less likely to return purchased merchandise. Shotfarm helps manufacturers and retailers ensure that they’re on the same page about marketing content and product information.

ShopperTrak helps retailers and mall operators understand consumer behavior, ranging from store traffic and conversions to the impact of marketing campaigns on sales and customer loyalty.