An MIT startup has found a way to make online shopping more interactive and more personal. Akash Bhatia MBA ’12 and Purushotham Botla SM ’13 founded Infinite Analytics, a predictive marketing and analytics company, in 2012 after creating a prototype for the idea in a class taught by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, MIT professor and inventor of the World Wide Web. They wanted to create something even better than the personalization of Amazon.
“There is a ton of data available,” says Botla. “Along with that there are platforms where you can make sense of this data. Trying to understand that data as well as building an application on top of it was conceptually challenging as well interesting.”
Their platform is designed to predict user behavior based on available and shared data, convert that into actionable insight, and then personalize the retail experience by providing buying recommendations on websites as well as email.
“You walk into a retail store,” explains Botla, “and of course, you’ve already entered a specific store that you like. You might be in one corner of the store looking at, maybe, dresses. Someone comes to you and asks you a question and helps you to better find what you’re interested in. That can’t happen for the online world and we’re trying to solve that problem. Our software understands what you might be looking for, what colors you’re interested in, what designs you are interested in, and starts showing you those kinds of products.”
Their product can learn and predict patterns of interest based on image recognition software—matching similar colors and patterns. In addition to image-search recognition, Infinite Analytics seamlessly integrates the shopping experience across multiple channels and devices—something that not even Amazon can do.
Aside from the benefit of delivering the exact products you want to your email when you’re ready to buy, the platform has proved valuable to retailers, with increased conversions as high as 217%.
The company recently showcased its retail personalization engine, built on the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform, in New York at the National Retail Federation (NRF) conference. Infinite Analytics also works with clients like Airbnb, eBay, Comcast, and the NBA.
Bhatia says that although they are currently focusing on retail, they plan to expand into healthcare and financial services.
Want to know more? Infinite Analytics is one of the 20 companies that will be represented at the MIT Alumni Virtual Career Fair Career fair on Friday, January 29. Learn more about the career fair and register today.
“Since the beginning, we’ve been attracting interns from MIT and have also had people join us from the school of engineering and Sloan,” says Botla. “We’re excited about the exclusive nature of the virtual career fair to try to attract more MIT people for some of the openings that we have to continue to build a great team and product.”