Imagine going on a shopping trip to your favorite retail store. Sure, there are many advantages to doing your shopping online but there’s something rather pleasurable about being able to see and feel the things you’d possibly buy before actually purchasing them, which is something that just can’t be done online. Of course, before you head down to the store, you’d want to make a shopping list as well. This being the age of smartphones, instead of reaching out for your pen and paper, you’d just key the items you need into the store’s app on your phone.
Now, this is where things get interesting. Wouldn’t it be great to have your mobile app tell you about discounts and deals on the stuff that you intend to buy rather than being bludgeoned with random and, in most cases, irrelevant ads? Also, once you do get to the store, with shops as big as they currently are, wouldn’t it be amazing if the app mapped your path to each of the items you want to buy? Furthermore, wouldn’t it be nice to be told of deals on products that you are interested in which are along your shopping route?
For consumers, the answer to the above questions will almost certainly be a resounding yes. Such an app would allow shoppers to be efficient while offering them advertisements that are geared toward their exact needs. Retailers, on the other hand, are now getting an exclusive and dedicated channel of communication with each of their customers. The reach is remarkable and brands will pay top dollar to be featured on the store’s app. This is mobile marketing catered to the retail shopper and this is the technology that Point Inside provides.
It may be a relatively young firm, but Point Inside’s technologies in indoor mapping, location services and customer engagement are almost revolutionary in the field of shopper marketing. While most mobile marketing focuses on a customer’s location while outside on the street, Point Inside’s technologies are instead focused on his or her location within a store, thereby allowing the consumer to enjoy a great personalized shopping experience while retailers use the space to showcase ads, coupons, discounts and much, much more.
A key feature of the Seattle-based Point Inside’s technologies is that they are easily embeddable into a store’s already existing branding application, thereby giving them access to customer histories, customer interests, etc. “Because we are built into these applications, we have so much access to what that person is all about,” says Todd Sherman, CMO of Point Inside. “So our targeting is much, much greater than traditional mobile marketing. We know what exactly they are interested in and we can use that to hone the messages we give them to be very, very focused.”
With studies showing that 80 percent of smartphone owners use their devices while shopping in stores, Sherman points out that apps using Point Inside allow for “a two-way, one-to-one conversation” to happen between the retailer and the customer. “What we really are about is mobile shopper engagement,” Sherman says. “We use our location technology as a component of that, but overriding that, we’ve got an incredible personalization and recommendation capability. That’s the kind of technology that can be used to deliver ads for various advertisers.”
Point Inside’s technologies have already been put to work and one of their success stories has been with Midwest retailer giant Meijer. Meijer’s “Find-it” app steers customers to exact locations within their huge stores while at the same time delivering targeted content based on their past and current shopping behaviors. Available on both iPhone and Android platforms, the app has utilized Point Inside’s Interact and NSide technologies to provide Meijer’s customers with a comfortable and, more importantly, useful mobile shopping experience.
With such an impressive roster of features, Point Inside’s position as one of the four finalists of the Startup Spotlight Gap Shopper Marketing Challenge at ad:tech seems well-deserved. Besides winning the ad:tech Innovation Award, the winners of the completion will also get a chance to put their technologies to work in-store at Gap. With its excellent mix of location-based marketing, shopper engagement and targeted content, Point Inside is certainly pioneering in this field of mobile shopper engagement. This Seattle-based company will be a tough act to beat at ad:tech in November.
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