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How ShopAdvisor Helps Merchants Reach Consumers

Location-based mobile shopping apps, much like the devices they rely on to reach consumers wherever they shop, have been becoming increasingly ubiquitous over the past few years. As technology has improved and targeting has become more sophisticated, retailers have struggled to create compelling user experiences that drive actual sales. A new app from ShopAdvisor promises to do just that through even more refined targeting and creative content.

The New York Times recently reported that ShopAdvisor, the four-year-old technology company based in Concord, Massachusetts, is using beacon technology, paired with behavioral data analytics, to create more targeted and appealing offers that draw shoppers into stores and drive more actual sales as they browse. While the practice of geofencing — setting up a perimeter around a mall, store or even a specific section within a retail space (linens, for example) — is not new, the pairing of this kind of on-demand behavioral analysis to deliver smart campaigns is a breakthrough in the industry.

As JiYoung Kim, senior vice president for Ansible, the mobile division of the Interpublic Group, told NYT, “We’ve had at least three years of heavy-duty, location-based marketing under retailers’ belts. Everybody has the same tool, and targeting alone can only take you so far.” For all of the retail industry’s efforts, mobile shopping apps to date have relied on blanket push notifications and what NYT calls “robocalls” that deliver repetitive offers to all customers who come within a beacon’s established perimeter.

What makes the ShopAdvisor approach enticing, Kim told the outlet, is that it not only locates a shopper to an exact location within a store but can deliver personalized creative content from that retailer to that shopper in the moment. For example, a shopper may be offered a 20 percent discount on a pair of shoes she’s recently viewed online, along with a review from a popular magazine of the shoes, all designed to make a purchase more likely.

“When you give people a marketing message about something that they actually want, in a location where they can act on it, that doesn’t feel like an ad or an annoyance,” Scott Cooper, ShopAdvisor’s founder and president, remarked to NYT. “It feels like a service to them. They tend to respond to it.”

ShopAdvisor, which has raised $11 million in venture funding, has seen revenues explode as it embraced beacon technology. The company drives revenue by charging the media companies and retail brands for which it creates its products fees to reach customers through its platform, based on scale, scope and frequency of the campaigns.

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