Bridging the gaps in the online-to-offline process is often seen as an insurmountable challenge. Retailers just want feet in their physical stores. Customers are doing more of their shopping online and need a pretty good reason to convince them to take the trip. Retailers, in an attempt to scratch that itch, are resorting to all kinds of tricks and traps, including the perfunctory deals and discounts. However, one Australian startup thinks that all retailers need to do is give the right customers a nudge in the right direction — all at the right time.
In an interview with MPD CEO Karen Webster, Cameron Wall, CEO of RainCheck, explained why he thinks his startup’s app could give consumers and merchants what they really want when it comes to keeping up with the evolving retail environment. Half shopping companion app and half merchant-facing marketing platform, RainCheck promises to “bridge the online world with the offline world,” Wall said.
How might that happen? By addressing the staggering statistics behind products abandoned in online shopping carts. According to SaleCycle, 77.5 percent of online shoppers walked away from digital baskets without making a purchase. Wall noted that while it’s nearly impossible to tell whether those customers were ever going to close on their purchases, it still indicates interest.
That’s where RainCheck comes in.
Instead of having those potential purchases lost to the Internet forever, RainCheck’s app cross-posts selected products from online stores to users’ personal apps. When shoppers visit a mall or city center with storefronts that carry products they’ve placed into carts but have all but forgotten about, beacons broadcast which store has customers’ preferred items in stock, as well as any targeted promotions to drive conversions on the spot.
“There’s over $4 trillion in merchandise left abandoned in shopping carts online,” Wall said. “This is $4 trillion globally, and $15 billion in Australia alone. This is stuff that someone has expressed an interest in buying and never carried through. That’s gold for retailers if you can find out who these people are.”
Still in closed beta, RainCheck manages its own network of in-store beacons and tracks 24 distinct data points, including when customers conduct online research, what type of items they’re searching for and what genre of retailer they’re interested in — data that many smaller retailers simply don’t have the time, infrastructure or resources to glean themselves. While the app is still adding features, core functionality at the moment includes the full suite of online cart-saving and cross-posting options and the ability to share saved lists with friends and family.
However, Wall hinted at some of RainCheck’s upcoming features that could strike it rich with data-hungry retailers. Wall gave an example where a retailer considering changes to in-store inventory and displays can go into RainCheck’s dashboard to check how many shoppers have added individual items to their saved lists. If the goal is to move product quickly, the retailer can send push notifications to those specific customers, including time-sensitive discounts. On the other hand, if the goal is to maximize the impact of in-store displays, the retailer can adjust product placements around the store to achieve maximum visibility for the items online shoppers have already demonstrated interest in.
Above all of RainCheck’s under-the-hood data analytics and targeted promotional capabilities, Wall summed up the app’s value as simply giving both consumers and retailers what they both want out of the online-to-offline path to purchase.
“[Click-and-collect] has become really big in the last 16 months, and RainCheck is what consumers really want out of [click-and-collect],” Wall said. “And I know it’s costing retailers a lot of money to move merchandise around when people order and want to pick up in store.”
RainCheck is scheduled to go live in November for Australian retailers only initially and for Apple iOS users, but if success follows in the Land Down Under, it might not be long before Wall and RainCheck have solved online cart abandonment once and for all for merchants everywhere.
At least that’s the plan.