Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Digby Launches LocalPoint

Digby, a leader in multi-channel mobile engagement and mCommerce, has announced the launch of Digby Localpoint, a new mobile platform that enables location-based marketing, analytics and commerce for top brands. 

Through powerful Web-style analytics for shopping activities at a brand’s physical locations and effective, targeted location-aware mobile messaging tools, Digby Localpoint enables brands to attract, influence, understand and own the relationship with their loyal customers across all channels.

How it works
Digby Localpoint enables brands to create "geo-fences" around their stores and other points of interest and embed those geo-fences into the brand’s app. Digby then leverages its patent-pending technology to measure app engagement and events such as geo-fence entries/exits, store visits, UPC/QR Code scans, and other key shopping-oriented events triggered through the app as the consumer visits the store and uses their smartphone to find and research products to enhance their in-store shopping experience. The brand can then deliver rich, targeted messages in real-time for these various events directly to the branded app through a robust marketing campaign creation and management system. 

In addition, consumers can buy through the commerce functionality of the app or in the store, enabling brands to better understand and influence the consumer’s multi-channel buying experience.

Localpoint can be added to a current branded app through a Software Developers Kit (SDK) or in a rich application developed by Digby.   
“Multichannel retailers in particular should recognize that they need a two-fold objective with their smartphone presence: enabling sales, but also serving store shoppers,” stated report author Sucharita Mulpuru, VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research, Inc. “Because the primary use cases of mobile devices are to support multi-channel experiences (e.g., finding more product information in stores, identifying store locations), it is imperative to include multichannel sales influence in any mobile ROI estimates.”

Key components of the Digby Localpoint Platform include:
  •  Analytics – Localpoint Analytics deepens the understanding of mobile consumer behavior around and within specific locations. It provides Web-style analytics on brand and consumer engagement within the store so brands can, for the first time, gain valuable insight into these in-store behaviors to serve their customers better in the future.  
  •  Outreach – Localpoint Outreach enables brands to directly communicate through their app to drive loyal customers to specific locations with regional or local promotions. Brands can send unique “Deal of the Day” offers that are time and location sensitive where it is most logical for consumers to receive them – close to where they work, live and play.         
  • Venue – Localpoint Venue influences consumers with triggered promotional offers and messages on entry, exit, and during their visit. Brand campaigns can be sent upon using the app when locating a store, checking in, scanning a UPC/QR code, searching for a product, rating a product, and even watching a product video.        
  • Storefront – Localpoint Storefront is based on Digby’s long and successful history of providing the best-in-class mobile shopping experience for more than 50 top brands so consumers can easily search browse and buy when at home, mobile, and in the store.
“The ability for marketers to connect with customers locally is rapidly becoming an indispensable part of effective, contextually relevant, consumer engagement,” said Michael Becker, Mobile Marketing Association Managing Director, North America. “Innovation that improves the flexibility and effectiveness of mobile commerce and helps educate marketers on how to better engage consumers responsibly and sustainably, delivers value to the entire marketplace.”

Digby Localpoint helps brands:
  • Effectively engage with consumers through their own branded app, based on their preferences and buying habits    
  • Understand when their most loyal customers visit their locations         
  • Uncover conversion rates for products purchased in retail stores        
  • Drive traffic to their places of business with location-sensitive marketing programs    
  • Influence buying decisions     
  • Enable consumers to search, browse and buy products from their smartphones whether they are at home, on the go, or in the store
I spoke to a Digby manager at NRF in New York yesterday, and he confirmed that Localpoint need not store the consumer by name or phone number (although it can), but could communicate to the smartphone as a token to ID and profile the user of the phone and their past smartphone behavior for promotional purposes. The "geo-fence" can also be any location, including a sports stadium, golf course, etc.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Just over a year ago I posted my loggest-ever blog entry (OK - a "blob" entry!) about the evolution of customer database analysis, from market-driven segmentation analysis 20 years ago to dossier-building individual targeting today. But in the last year or so, a tidal wave of data, driven largely by social media, has crashed onto the beach and washed away those dossier sand castles. "Big Data" has arrived, and it seems to be upsetting everyone's apple cart.

In the January issue of Oracle's Prophit magazine, Oracle VP Venki Rajah, head of Oracle's Industry Strategy and Insight team focused on business technology, writes: "The growth of high-volume, low-density data has outstripped the capacity to provision and operate the required infrastructure in an efficient manner. Enterprises are unable to handle unstructured data, limited by existing infrastructure and data architectures. A lack of enterprise-ready statistical analysis tools prevents the kind of analysis necessary to spot trends. Finally, executives are unable to make real-time analytical decisions because they don’t have a user interface that provides actionable information."

Rajah's prescriptions: better engines to capture unstructured data, better analytical tools, trend spotting via statistical analysis, and interfaces that help turn insight into action.

But however you slice it, it seems to me that the tide is sending us back full circle to the point where actionable market segments become more important than individual dossiers. Tracking any one customer's behavior across all channels and media is going to be less important than seeing the forest for the trees -- trend and pattern analysis -- so that the "outliers" (gifts one buys for others) don't become the significant pointers in cross-sells/upsells but rather the overall activity of the customer, compared to the overall activity (buying and commenting and reviewing and rating and ranting and returning) of all other customers that a company tracks, grouped into actionable "segments," becomes the critical dataset.

At that point, the privacy issue will go away, not like 20 years ago when the data itself was a proprietary competitive advantage, but because the data becomes a commodity, and the analytical tools and actionable insights build true value.

Like always, everything old is new again!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sanderson Wins UK Best Tech Solution Award

Sanderson, the publicly owned provider of multi-channel retail software, has won the prestigious ECMOD Supplier of the Year Award for ‘Best Technology Solution’ at the annual awards ceremony held alongside the ECMOD Direct Commerce Show in London in December.

The ECMOD Supplier of the Year Awards recognise the best of the UK’s specialist suppliers in the direct commerce sector, Ian Newcombe, Managing Director of Sanderson Multi-Channel Solutions Ltd, commented “We are delighted to have won this celebrated award, which strengthens our position as a leading IT supplier to the Direct Commerce community.”

The ECMOD Supplier Awards ask users to vote for the suppliers that have contributed the most to their businesses. Hundreds of nominations were made with 39 companies reaching the short list.
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