Placecast Launches Card-Linked ShopAlerts for Smarter Geofencing

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A new product from Placecast hopes to change the way you receive mobile discount offers. The company is launching a new “Card-Linked ShopAlerts” service that uses new technology to combine location, retailer, and credit card information to give consumers discounts at local stores and chains such as Starbucks, L’Oreal, and The North Face.

How does it work? Pretty simple (once, of course, you get beyond all the complicated technology). Potential customers must opt-in. Once they do, they will receive push notification offers sent to their mobile phone if they are inside a certain geofenced area. There is also search functionality that lets people look for offers in their area. After purchasing a product with the linked card, they will receive a discount or money back directly to their account.

That sounds similar to some other current services, but Placecast has layered on another level of targeting. The company’s recently patented technology allows it to “correctly match store locations with transaction data between processors, issuers, retailers and now mobile app and wallet providers.” In other words, they take data that’s in many different places and forms and distill it down into simple, easy-to-use metrics. This allows consumers to receive more effective, better targeted deals and store owners to see exactly who is using the deals as well as how and when they are doing so.

“We’re excited to be providing a mobile service that drives foot traffic into stores for retailers on a performance basis,” Placecast CEO Alistair Goodman said in a statement. “Retailers will not only succeed in acquiring and retaining in-store customers, but will also see increased shopping frequency and basket size. This is one of very few ways that allow brick-and-mortar retailers to measure the ROI of their mobile program in real-time.”

According to current Placecast data, “anywhere from 12 percent to 37 percent of the offers received from merchants, retailers, and credit card companies start with inaccurate store location data.” The new service will — hopefully — eliminate the waste.

“For the first time, a brand can actually measure the ROI of their marketing spend, and can measure on a cost per transaction basis.  Card-Linked ShopAlerts “closes the loop” — the loop between a consumer getting an offer, visiting a store, making a purchase, and then getting a reward based on that purchase on their credit card statement,” Goodman told Street Fight in an interview.

The question is: how well will it work? Frankly, there’s no way to know until the service rolls out and we all try it on our own. But the early data seems promising. ShopAlerts has 10 million active, opted-in users across the United States and the United Kingdom and 160 brand partners, according to Goodman. They have the scale and the idea. Finding a way to tie vendors to credit cards to location to accounts is an impressive achievement if it works. And having your pocket vibrate and tell you there’s a $20 discount at a local store isn’t a bad thing as long as it’s not too oppressive or intrusive.

Noah Davis is a senior editor at Street Fight.