Shoppers may soon receive personalised instant alerts on their smartphones that are triggered by virtual boundaries.
Geographic Information System (GIS) technology company Esri Inc. is touting a solution that will enable retailers to place an invisible perimeter – known as a geo-fence – around a storefront, triggering push notifications to customers’ smartphones when they cross the boundary.
Personalised special offers – promotions, time-sensitive discounts or loyalty bonuses – will be delivered directly to the customers’ smartphones to attract them into the sender’s store.
Esri Malaysia chief executive officer Lai Chee Siew said, “Unlike SMS or email campaigns, the technology doesn’t bombard shoppers with random promotional material at an inappropriate time or place.”
“Instead – by taking advantage of a smartphone’s GPS features – GIS technology can provide retailers with precise details of customers’ movements.
“It is an equal exchange – the customer is prepared to provide some personal information, such as their location and shopping preferences, in return for special offers or higher quality service from the retailers,” he concluded.
“For example, the technology was used as part of a free virtual racing game in the United States, where players were sent a special promotion from AMP Energy – an energy drink owned by Pepsi Co – when they passed a 7-Eleven store.
“By buying an AMP Energy drink and scanning the can, players received special tips and tricks to help them win the game and claim a variety of prizes.
“The campaign drove sales distribution of AMP Energy Orange up 70% and total sales up by 5% at participating 7-Eleven stores during the promotion.
“Malaysian businesses will be able to use GIS technology in the same way to provide a greatly improved retail experience to shoppers, while taking ground back from competitors,” Lai added.
Lai’s comments follow a recent Nielsen-PayPal joint study, which reported nearly 50% of Malaysia’s e-commerce market – worth RM 3.65bil – was generated from mobile-related sales.
This figure is projected to reach 59.6% by 2015.