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Carrefour supercharges app with indoor navigation, social shopping, targeted ads

June 24, 2013

Hypermarket retailer Carrefour has launched a shopping application in China that leverages some of the latest mobile shopping technologies including indoor location sensing, social shopping lists and advertising options.

The Carrefour Smart Shopper app aims to bring personalization via apps to the next level by enabling in-store shoppers to search for and navigate directly to any product they are interested in. Users can also browse the most current discounts and promotions as well as build shopping lists on their smartphones that they can share with others.

“As companies start to leverage and implement the customer store experience to encompass mobile, allowing apps and mobile Web technology to be used for indoor location will be an important element to the strategies being put in place,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

“Bringing the customer mobile experience from home or out of store to the in-store engagement creating a 360-degree touch point is where mobile is moving and at a rapid rate,” she said.

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Carrefour and spoke based on her experience in mobile.

The Carrefour Smart Shopper app is powered by the Appconomy platform.

Appconomy could not be reached for comment.

Carrefour is headquartered in Paris, France. It is the second largest retail group in the world in terms of revenue and the third largest in profit, after Walmart and Tesco.

Targeted in-app notifcations
The app’s advertising system routes targeted advertisements and offers from the retailer and brands to shoppers while they are near products they are seeking to buy or that they may have an interest in purchasing. The in-app notifications are targeted and personalized based on a user’s location inside the store, their selection of particular products and other dimensions of their behavior and profile.

The social shopping list gives users a way to create a list from items on sale as well as non-sale items and then share the list with different shoppers to ensure no item is forgotten.

The in-store navigation guide provides step-by-step navigation to the area in the store where a product of interest is stocked.

The indoor positioning and sending technology was developed by Appconomy. It is designed to be hardware-agnostic, so it can suit any store layout while taking advantage of increasingly sophisticated location-sensing hardware advances in the future.

In-store mobile
The Carrefour Smart Shopper app is currently in use at select locations in the Shanghai area and will be rolled out to the remainder of Carrefour locations in the city. It is available to download from Apple’s App Store and popular Android app stores.

“IDC issued a report this week stating that China’s smartphone shipments for Q1 2013 leaped 117 percent compared to Q1 2012, with total shipments reaching 78 million,” Ms. Troutman said.

“There is a very big difference in doing business in China versus the EMEA and the U.S., but with the growth of consumers using mobile in the Pacific Rim, especially China, it is an opportunity that cannot be ignored for multinational companies,” she said.

“Anyone doing business in China needs to really understand the culture, but it is a target rich environment.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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