While it’s true that retail plus mobile internet over time equals fewer brick and mortar stores and more properties devoted to mail-order fulfillment, that’s not the whole story. Mobile technology applied by retailers to traditional retail store floors has not yet produced the “killer app” that fundamentally reshapes customer experience. If a new company called Pulsate has anything to say about it, that all changes now.
Pulsate’s key innovation is to notice that mobile-enabled retail shoppers are not merely seeking out the lowest price on goods sitting on retailer’s shelves. This practice, sometimes called “showrooming”, is the nasty e-commerce problem from the point of view of retailers loathe to spend shelf space on goods that people will merely buy online from another vendor after seeing them up close. Pulsate figured out that that customers are also expressing a preference when they whip out that Android of iPhone in a store.
This insight is key because that shopper’s preference can be known – and that means the retail store can beat the customer to the punch by delivering content to the customer at critical points in the retail foot traffic pattern.
Microbeacons and MacroFence. What?
Pulsate’s technology centers around concepts of Microbeacons and something called a MacroFence. To get the skinny on these brick and mortar retail technologies, check out this video by Robert Scoble, interviewing Patrick Leddy, CEO of Pulsate.