Ep 02: Offline data analytics and the future of retail – with Sebastien Béal

seb_hexMy guest for this episode is my dear friend Sebastien Béal, CEO and co-founder or Locarise, a traffic analytics solution for retail business. Locarise’s technology can track people coming by and to a store by detecting smartphone’s wifi signals. Therefore, if you carry a smartphone in your pocket, they know whether you’re looking at the store front, or entering the store, and for how long. Retailers can then use this data to understand and improve their business.

Online data analytics has already been around for some times but, according to Sebastien, we are still at the dawn of offline data. In particular, he sees tremendous evolutions for the retail industry in the coming years, along with the development of wearable devices.

speciality-store

I’m really interested in Sebastien’s experience as I know him since my early days in Japan. In the interview, we dig into what went through his mind when he decided to quit his comfortable day job at a big company to enter the jungle of entrepreneurship. For Sebastien, this transition was not really a jump but rather a logical continuity of his professional project and personal aspirations. We discuss things to consider before quitting your job and how to be best prepared before starting your own business. For him, the importance of finding a good team is crucial, much more so than having a good idea, which eventually will evolve anyway.

We also discuss about Japan’s market, being quite suited for Locarise business. Indeed, the Tokyo metropolitan area is one of the biggest in the world with over 30 million inhabitants and a very high population density. Therefore traffic data makes a lot of sense. Furthermore, the Japan retail industry is gigantic and competition in his sector very limited, which offers Locarise a highway of opportunities. Once again, it proves how much Japan has to offer for whoever put his entrepreneur mindset into practice.

For this episode, I listened to your comments and tried to improve from it. I hope you’ll enjoy listening and please send me your feedback at contact@fredericpeyrot.com to make the next show even better.

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Show notes

  • (1:22) Beginning of the interview
  • (1:51) Locarise Business  and the power of traffic analytics
  • (5:30) How Sebastien started the company
  • (8:30) Privacy issues
  • (9:27) What’s the future of offline data for retail?
  • (11:35) What does it take to quit your job?
  • (18:50) First difficulties when you start your business
  • (21:18) Productivity and team work
  • (24:00) Japan’s environment to start your own business
  • (26:42) Quick fire questions

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Frederic

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