Placecast Offers ShopAlerts Integration

Placecast has enabled its ShopAlerts platform to be integrated with any smartphone app to offer shoppers location-based push notifications when a consumer is near a store, even when the app is not running.

ShopAlerts delivers real-time notifications about deals, offers and events in the shopper’s immediate area to any mobile phone, using geofences. These are virtual perimeters around real-world geographic areas, such as store locations, entertainment venues, outdoor destinations or neighborhoods.

With the new feature, retailers deploying apps can encourage consumers to use their app, visit a nearby store or event and generate higher engagement around offers and specials, bringing consumers ‘back to the app’.

Placecast notes that many retailers have developed apps, but says they struggle to get consumers to use them, because the app experience requires action on the part of the consumer to open it and search for offers, new products or other content from the brand. ShopAlerts’ new feature now enables consumers to receive a location-based message from the retailer’s nearest store or other relevant location, without the app being open – encouraging them to open the retailer’s app for more information. Just as ShopAlerts programs work on any phone, this new feature works on any smartphone platform.

Placecast says it will work directly with retailers to integrate ShopAlerts into their apps, helping them to design a program and create a messaging strategy, select the number and size of geofences, and activate locations.
After a retailer integrates with ShopAlerts, opted-in customers will receive location-based push notifications when they are in a geofenced area. In addition to notifying the consumer of offers, discounts and events at nearby stores, the platform can also leverage preferences expressed by the consumer, CRM, loyalty or past purchase data to increase the relevance of the message.
Time of day and weather can also be taken into account to create added relevance, and brands could also enable a location-based notification when a specific product is available at a nearby store. As with all ShopAlerts programs, consumers are in control; they must choose to download the app, and they must opt in to receive location-based push notifications from the participating brand.
“These new features enable an app to deliver push notifications tied to nearby locations, which immediately extends the utility and usage of a retailer’s app,” says Placecast CEO,  Alistair Goodman. “Consumers see ShopAlerts as a valuable service – they can get an alert for a deal or store nearby without having to take the time to turn the app on and search for something around them.”
Greg Sterling, founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, believes the combination of geofencing with push notifications opens up exciting possibilities for brands. He says: ““Geofence retail marketing is one of the biggest trends of 2011, as evidenced by the adoption by major carriers like AT&T and Telefonica’s O2. Placecast’s decision to integrate geofence retail marketing into apps has the potential to bring more utility and relevance to the retail app industry.”
Placecast recently announced the launch of ‘ShopAlerts Self-Serve’, a B2B solution that the company will licence to vertical companies like mobile operators, yellow page providers, retailers, financial institutions or deal services that work directly with merchants. ShopAlerts Self-Serve gives small and medium businesses the ability to create, launch and record results of location-based mobile marketing campaigns including coupons, through a self-serve platform.
ShopAlerts is currently used by major carriers such as AT&T in the US and O2 in the UK, both of which are running nationwide location-based retail programs that reach millions of consumers. Brands such as Starbucks, L’Oreal, Subway, HP, JetBlue and SC Johnson participate in ShopAlerts programs. The ShopAlerts platform can now serve retailers in every mobile medium, ranging from SMS (text messages) and MMS to apps.
There’s more information here.