8 Tools to Send Messages to Shoppers Based on In-Store Movements

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Discounts. Shopping cart and cubes with percentAs location targeting has gotten more precise, the push toward engaging consumers based on their real-time positions has moved indoors. Increasingly, retailers and CPG brands are using indoor positioning solutions to trigger messages that are automatically sent out to consumers when they’re near specific aisles, departments, or even in-store displays.

Forty-four percent of shoppers now say they’ve used their smartphones for product research while standing in a store’s aisles, which means marketers who fail to connect with customers through effective in-store messaging are losing out on engagement at a critical time in the buying process. Here are eight tools that merchants can use to send offers or promotions based on their customers’ real-time indoor movements.

1. Aislelabs: Use real-time behavior information to improve customer engagement.
Aislelabs shows merchants what their customers are doing inside their stores, right down to the departmental and aisle level. The vendor uses a combination of GPS, WiFi, and Beacon technology to collect visitor behavior information. Merchants are then given the option of using the company’s AislelabsEngage platform to create marketing messages that are pushed to shoppers’ smartphones as they as they walk around inside of a store. Messages can be personalized based on individual shopper profiles, along with specific locations and real-time traffic flow.

2. Swirl: Use “hypertargeted” content delivery to create engaging experiences.
Swirl is a platform that businesses can use to influence the way their customers interact with their stores. Swirl is considered an end-to-end platform because it provides clients with beacons, a marketing console, and a configurable SDK. Using a “hypertargeted” content delivery system powered by SecureCast Beacons, Swirl gives retailers a way to add in-store experiences to their mobile apps. Potential experiences run the gamut from basic “thank you” messages that customers receive as they enter stores, to notifications about limited-time promotions that appear on smartphones as shoppers enter specific store departments.

3. Point Inside: Target promotions based on your customers’ shopping lists.
Using “micro-location” technology, Point Inside gives merchants a way to route their customers to exact product locations through their smartphones. The company’s engagement engine offers enables businesses to send personalized messages, product suggestions, and coupons to shoppers in real-time. Not only can these messages be targeted based on location, but they can also be filtered based on individual shopper profiles. Some of the analytics that Point Inside is able to gather include the details of what’s on a customer’s shopping list, along with recent purchasing histories.

4. Aisle411: Suggest special offers to push customers into different aisles.
Aisle411 is an indoor location platform that helps retailers digitize the in-store shopping experience in a number of different ways. Using the company’s indoor positioning solution, retailers can send shoppers customized alerts—like notifications of price drops or special coupons—when they’re walking through certain aisles or departments. In many cases, these alerts can be designed to direct customers to parts of the store that they may not otherwise visit, or to encourage shoppers to complete their transactions on the retailer’s mobile website. Aisle411’s platform uses existing WiFi networks, along with mobile device sensors, bluetooth, and beacons.

5. Gimbal: Drive customer engagement at the micro-level.
A product of Qualcomm, Gimbal is a geofencing engine that uses proximity beacons to enable instant location-based messaging. Retailers, brands, and venues can engage with customers by sending personalized, location-relevant content to their smartphones (including promotions and offers) when they are physically close to Gimbal proximity beacons. In addition to tracking a shopper’s proximity to beacons, the platform also provides clients with inferred lists of their shoppers’ interests. This information can be useful in putting together custom marketing campaigns meant to drive loyalty and sales.

6. Shelfbucks: Build stronger relationships with your most loyal customers.
Shelfbucks is an iBeacon promotion platform for retailers. What that means is that merchants partner with Shelfbucks and install beacons throughout their stores, allowing them to interact with shoppers in real-time. For example, merchants can send offers to their customers’ smartphones as they walk by specific products, and those coupons can be redeemed by the cashier at the POS. Brands can participate, as well, by sending coupons to customers as they walk by their in-store displays. Shelfbucks’ beacons are optimized for iBeacon, BLE, and NFC, which opens up the number of consumers who can participate a retailer’s program.

7. LocalSocial: Reward customers for visiting specific aisles or zones.
Retailers who are interested in boosting engagement and building loyalty through rewards and incentives can beef up their existing mobile apps with LocalSocial. The in-store engagement platform enables retailers with loyalty apps to reward shoppers with “walk-in points” which unlock as shoppers enter the store or walk through specific aisles. Shoppers automatically receive relevant offers based on where they’re standing in real-time, without having to manually click through the retailer’s app. LocalSocial powers its platform with battery-powered beacons that retailers can place in strategic locations throughout their stores.

8. Sensewhere: Locate customers without relying on GPS.
Sensewhere’s geowhere platform can be used to add indoor and outdoor tracking to any retailer’s branded mobile app. Using “hyper-local positioning technology,” Sensewhere is able to target customers with smartphones while they’re shopping in-store. Retailers can then send offers or coupons to shoppers based on their real-time positions using the company’s adwhere solution. Geofences can be set up for specific people or times, enabling merchants to only push coupons to first-time customers or people who are shopping during slow periods of the day.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.