Attention Shoppers!

Yes you looking at the Ragu!

We have all be using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for some time.  We started this journey with Garmins, Tom Tom’s and other devices specific to on dash installation.  They worked pretty well but you needed to continuously update the street files to get the most out of these devices.  Then the car companies started to install in dash navigation systems.  I do not know about you, but these interfaces always seemed complex and unusable to me.

Then of course, these capabilities became part of our smartphone applications.  We first had Google Maps, MapQuest, AmAze and of course Apple Maps (Much better now)  Then we were introduced to social GPS with Waze, but they were purchased fast by Google. All great apps and all free.  Are you spending any money on Garmins or Tom Tom’s anymore?  Not me 🙂 And of course our phones themselves have Location Based Services, so retailers and the like know where you are and can send you advertising and other content

Now we are moving this indoors with Apple’s iBeacon technology.  What is iBeacon?  It is an indoor positioning system; a network of devices used to wirelessly locate objects or people inside a building.  Apple has already rolled this technology out to their retail stores.  It uses Bluetooth technology, which by the way is of course enabled on all smart phones.  Now there is a coincidence 🙂 This technology will provide the retail store with your exact in-store location, enabling them to communicate directly in the moment of your purchase decisions.  Yowsa!

On Monday, iBeacons were introduced with supermarkets Safeway and Giant Eagle.  inMarket’s (The company providing the solution) iBeacon Mobile to Mortar platform sends out a variety of information to iPhone-owning store visitors, so long as they’ve opted in to use the service via one of its compatible apps, such as CheckPoints.  By enabling the service, shoppers can expect to receive notifications to their Apple handset such as discount coupons, loyalty rewards, and reminders about what to pick up.  The technology was previously introduced in Macy’s through a relationship with shopping application Shopkick.

We are no longer lost in the supermarket.  We know where you are, always.

Webman

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Go Inside

“If you are not on the inside, your are on the outside”

Gordon GekkoWall Street

Well apparently Apple wants to be on the inside.  The last mile in the marketing, promotional, geo-location part of the food chain. There is still one slightly uncharted territory that will — without question — be the last mile in marketing. It is the ability for a brand to deliver contextual and highly targeted marketing at the local retail level. We may be inching ever-closer to this reality.

On March 23rd, 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple acquired a company called WiFiSLAM for an estimated $20 million. WiFiSLAM is GPS for the indoors. It is able to triangulate the location of consumers, track their every move and deliver contextual marketing messages to them while capturing a tremendous amount of consumer data.

For Apple, this may be the next big thing. Some speculate that Apple will try to grab the mapping of the inside spaces while Google continues to map the oceans and the arctic. Google is just as busy trying to capitalize on this idea of mapping the inside of spaces as well. But it’s not just a game for Apple and Google. Amazon has been hard at work capturing tons of consumer information at the retail level.

A little Eve 6 for you.

Look no further than their Price Check for iPhone app that enables consumers to scan a barcode, snap a picture of a product or use text/speech search to find out how much the product is on Amazon. This business of showrooming has become a contentious talking point in the retail sector, as more and more consumers are using their smartphones and tablets to find a better price at the physical location. These consumers are using the stores as a showroom, but completing their purchases on their mobile devices and having the products shipped to their homes. What we don’t hear much about is the data and information that Amazon is capturing about consumers, how they walk through stores, what they’re price checking, the price variances from store to store, trends in merchandising and more. All of this (and more) is being captured, each and every time a consumer uses the app to find a better price. While it’s not real-time information like WiFiSLAM is offering, Amazon still has tremendous information about consumers and how they make their way through many different retail environments.

It looks like stores are going to become as dynamic and intelligent as their e-commerce counterparts. So long as retailers seeks permission from their consumers and use this technology to drive more value to the consumers, these types of technologies could well be the linchpin that secures the future of retail.

Inside game is now officially on.  Just as spring arrives.

Webman

Awesome or Creepy

You decide….

As you know there are a number of applications that utilize GPS.  GPS stands for Global Positioning System.  It is a radio navigation system that allows land, sea and airborne users to determine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day.  We hear about GPS all the time these days.  Very prominent in all technologies and applications like Google Maps, Foursquare and so many others that are asking you to allow them to know your location.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, Mysterious and spooky. They’re altogether ooky, The Addams Family. Their house is a museum. When people come to see ’em, They really are a screa-um. The Addams Family. Neat, Sweet, Petite. So get a witch’s shawl on. A broomstick you can crawl on. We’re gonna pay a call on The Addams Family.

We have covered a number of applications previously that want to use your location to provide you with coupons, deals and offers to visit their retail locations. Foursquare states that it makes the real world easier to use. They build tools that help you keep up with friends, discover what’s nearby, save money and unlock deals. Glancee takes this further and helps you discover these hidden connections and meet with people important to you.  Explore the profiles of people nearby and be notified when somebody has common friends or mutual interests. Text or call, meet up for a coffee, and stay in touch. Create new, meaningful connections with new people just like you.

And here comes a new entrant into the mix – Highlight – Highlight is a fun, simple way to learn more about the people around you.

If someone standing near you also has Highlight, their profile will show up on your phone. You can see their name, photos of them, mutual friends, and anything else they have chosen to share. When you meet someone, Highlight helps you see what you have in common with them. And when you forget their name at a party a week later, Highlight can help you remember it.

As you go about your day, Highlight runs quietly in the background, surfacing information about the people around you. If your friends are nearby, it will notify you. If someone interesting crosses your path, it will tell you more about them. Highlight gives you a sixth sense about the world around you, showing you hidden connections and making your day more fun.

Fabulous or Creepy?  You decide…

Webman