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Calloway SmartCentres mall introduces location-based shopping app to drive sales

July 6, 2011

Mall retailers can send offers via app

A Calloway SmartCentres mall in Canada is using a new hyper-local shopping app that provides offers to consumers inside the mall and enhances the overall experience. 

Shoppers who sign up for the app receive offers from retailers such as Old Navy and Quiznos as they walk around and shop. Consumers sign up once to receive customized shopping experiences on their mobile device from multiple retail locations.

“This is a way for retailers to provide very localized offers within the store as well as advertising, product information and other shopping tools,” said David Peres, chief marketing officer at Bee Media, Toronto, Canada.

Cross-sell opportunities
Shopping mall company Calloway REIT introduced the app last week at its Calloway SmartCentres Retail Centre in Etobicoke, Canada.

Shoppers will see signs promoting the app as they pull into the parking lot.

There is also a sweepstakes for a $1,000 shopping spree to promote the app. 

The company will roll it out to a total of 130 shopping malls this year.

Calloway will be able to drive incremental foot traffic to individual stores by reaching shoppers in common areas. Additionally, it can drive loyalty and increase the average basket size via cross-selling and up selling.

Retail tenants will be able to advertise to users who are inside the mall but may not have had their store in mind as a destination.

The app was developed by Bee Media and works inside any retail location that has signed on to the program.

Canadian Tire, a Canadian general merchandise retailer, introduced the personal mobile shopping experience in April at a store in Toronto.

Bee Media is also in discussions with additional Canadian Tire franchisees as well as with retailers in the United States and Britain to deploy the personalized shopping app.

The shopping app is being promoted on point-of-sale materials throughout participating stores, on window decals and at the end of aisles.

Shoppers who want to use it must first enable Wi-Fi. Then they text Bee Media that they want to sign up, create a profile and download the app.

Users next see a mobile experience that is unique to that retail location where they are shopping. Typical content on the app includes in-store offers, advertising, product information and other shopping tools.

The next time users walk into a store with the service, they can simply launch the app to receive a customized mobile shopping experience for that retailer.

“The benefit to consumers is that they don’t have to have many retailer apps loaded on their phones,” Mr. Peres said.

Relevant offers
For advertisers, Bee Media provides a way to deliver relevant offers based on the location of consumers at the time when they are shopping.

The app is available to download for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry phones. There is also a browser version that is available across multiple devices.

Bee Media wants to expand the app to include shopping list functionality and QR code scanners. The company is also building in an interactive map to help users navigate around a store or mall and find specific categories.

Another planned future innovation to the app will be the ability to target offers within three meters of where consumers are standing, enabling retailers to target offers within an aisle.

Retailers will also receive information about foot traffic from Bee Media. 

The app addresses the growth in smartphone usage in Canada.

“We’re finding that smarthphone penetration in Canada is hitting 55 percent among consumers 18 to 25 years old and it is growing quickly,” Mr. Peres said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode, Assoc. Editor, Mobile Commerce Daily

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