Return Path Gets Into the Data Business

With today’s launch of its Consumer Insight data service, Return Path takes a step outside of its traditional customer base of large-scale emailers and into the role of data provider. The customer data is derived from inboxes, but it can be deployed in campaigns in just about any other channel.

“This is different from what we’ve done in the past, because it’s not built around deliverability or security,” said Eric Weinberg, president of sales operations. “This is data derived from inboxes but specifically about consumer behavior—very granular consumer activity that could give clients additional perspective.”

Offered as data as a service, the insights are derived from a huge—for the research business—sample of two million people who have given Return Path permission to monitor their inboxes. Captured are not only information on SKUs, pricing, and delivery, but also transactions and behavioral trends. The launch comes just a week after Return Path debuted its Data Cloud.

“The inbox presents a really good snapshot of what people are doing on a given day. There are receipt notifications not just for e-commerce transactions, but for financial services. There is a wide range of content that tells you a lot about people and trends,” Weinberg says.

IRI is the first data company to have accessed Consumer Insight, looking to pair people’s online behaviors with those they exhibit in a brick-and-mortar environment. “This is an opportunity to help clients gain strategic insights from previously unavailable data,” said Robert Tomei, president of consumer and shopper marketing at IRI.

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