The service enables retailers and brands to reach opted-in mobile users based on their location. The move follows O2's launch of the service in the UK, where the company says that 6m consumers are now receiving location-based commercial messages on their phones.
Eugene Mitchell, director of new business for Telefónica Ireland, says: “The growth of location-based services creates great opportunities for proximity marketing. It fuels a growing expectation among consumers for tailored advertising via their mobile phones, with messages that are directly relevant to their passions. Customers are looking to take advantage of relevant bargains and deals and want these to be delivered in a convenient and timely manner. Our innovative new service provides a great experience for customers, connecting them with their favourite brands at a time and a place that really suits them.”
The service uses 'geofencing' technology from Placecast, whose ShopAlerts platform has been deployed in the US and UK. According to the company's research, 65 per cent of customers who were part of the initial programmes made a purchase as a result of receiving a promotional message, and 60 per cent of participants found the location-based messages to be “cool and innovative”.
Alistair Goodman, CEO of Placecast, says: “The success over the past year that the O2 UK program has seen confirms the fact that consumers are actually very receptive to location-based mobile marketing messages, provided they have control over the types of messages they receive, and the number of messages is limited.”
on November 29, 2011
Network VAS company Evolved Intelligence has launched a virtual home environment (VHE) application as a remotely hosted service.
This service automatically corrects dialled numbers for roaming mobile phone users, helping calls route correctly. This results, claims the company, in an increase in billable calls made by roamers.
Nick Jones, CTO at Evolved Intelligence says: “The key benefit of this new technology is that it allows us to deploy VHE for an operator without having to install active SS7 equipment in their network. In fact, because there is no SS7 install project, the operator can even trial the service before rollout. For this reason we refer to this technology as 'zero touch'.”
Zero touch technology is an extension of Evolved Intelligence's existing work on remote hosting technology for network value added services. The company already offers multi-tenanted hosted value added services which are connected to client operators via a secure IP connection to a local network interface function (NIF).
Says Robin Burton, head of marketing at Evolved Intelligence: ”This new service is built upon our existing VHE solution. This solution already has a number of key advantages over alternative systems. Because of our network architecture, for example, we can offer VHE for pre-paid as well as post-paid subscribers.
“The number of combinations that may need translation is huge. It is also a task that can never be finished; there are always changes being introduced to numbering plans. Our team has developed a language that allows us to easily change the rule sets for individual countries. We also, as part of our service, monitor the calls being made by roamers and identify the ones that are problematic. That way we can quickly cover the bulk of calls being made.”
on November 29, 2011
Business telecoms provider DAMtel has updated its DAMcart mobile web and app systems to include 'web crawling' tools.
These tools extract information from a source site and then transform, optimise, and load it onto a mobile site or application without the need to integrate with the source site's eCommerce platform.
DAMcart integrates with retailers' existing eCommerce platforms providing a mobile web or app version of their eCommerce infrastructure, and the web crawling tools cut development time further, says the company.
Alexander Wood, DAMtel's co-founding director, says: “Before introducing this spidering technology, we had to build an API feed so as to successfully integrate with the eCommerce platform and payment gateway. This process alone could take 6-8 weeks. But now we are able to turn our solution round within a month and work on more builds. Both DAMcart and our clients benefit because we save on development time and they save on cost. By making the whole process cheaper and more efficient, the traditional 'barriers to entry' for smaller companies are being removed.”
on November 29, 2011
More than 70 retailers and FMCG/CPG brands – including Tesco, Amazon, Carphone Warehouse, Ted Baker and ShopDirect.com – have so far signed up for the Mobile Retail Summit being staged by Mobile Marketing in London on 26 January 2012.
Mobile marketing firm Velti is the Gold Sponsor for the event, while eCommerce and mCommerce specialist Venda is a Bronze Sponsor. The event is free for retailers and FMCG executives to attend, but don't delay – there are only 70 more free places on offer. You can register online now here.
For non-retailers, a delegate pass costs £595. Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) members who are not from the retail community can take advantage of a 10 per cent discount to attend, sponsor or exhibit.
Alongside the conference, the exposition will feature exhibition stands for 20 mobile solutions vendors to showcase their expertise – companies including Golden Gekko, Venda, Velti and Global Bay have already signed up, but there are 12 spaces still available.
The event aims to educate retail executives on all aspects of mobile marketing. It is broken down into four distinct sections – 'On Device', 'Driving Footfall', 'In Store' and finally 'The Future' – which will look at the full range of ways in which retailers can take advantage of mobile phones, covering everything from QR codes to mCommerce. Delegates will hear from thought-leaders in each field, and from retailers, sharing their mobile experiences. To get involved, register here.on November 29, 2011
Outdoor apparel retailer Moosejaw has implemented a mobile point of sale solution across its stores in the US Midwest.
The solution, from cross-channel retail technology firm CrossView, is based on the Apple iPod touch. The system aims to deliver the kind of functionality traditionally associated with freestanding PoS systems, such as sales transactions, whilst allowing sales staff to roam the store.
The iPod touch device is connected to a Linea Pro cradle, which features a magnetic stripe reader and barcode scanner. The device is integrated into the retailer's CrossView Cross-Channel Commerce platform, which was deployed in 2008 to unify call centres, PoS, and online commerce on a single platform with a single view of products, pricing, inventory, marketing, promotions and customers.
The company says the system allows sales staff to better serve customers anywhere in the store, and also helps reduce checkout queues and saves space in the store. Moosejaw says it garners a positive customer experience, improving loyalty.
“This is the next logical step in removing barriers between our customers and sales staff,” says Eoin Comerford, senior vice president of marketing and technology at Moosejaw. “Creating that close connection with customers online and in stores is a big part of our brand, and the CrossView Mobile POS plays to that strength.”
“The value is very clear – better service, improved visibility, empowered sales associates, stronger revenue streams,” says Mark Fodor, CEO of CrossView. Moosejaw also plans to outfit new stores with the handheld technology as it expands into more markets over the next 12 months.
A CrossView case study of the Moosejaw implementation can be read here.on November 29, 2011
Hotels booking site Venere.com has launched a mobile site, created by Usablenet. The site, which is a member of Expedia, says mobile is becoming the predominant channel for booking last-minute accommodation online.
The site is optimised for “the most common mobile devices”, says the company, and the initial launch covers English, Italian, Spanish, German, and French language markets. The mobile site features a dominant search box, as well as a section dedicated to special 24-48 hour deals.
Spyros Assonitis, director of global marketing at Venere.com, says more features are to follow. “Hotel bookings are much easier and faster if you can rely on your mobile,” he says. “For this reason our next step will be the launch of the 'Hotel Near Me' feature and many others to allow customers to find accommodation while traveling.”
Nick Taylor, CEO of Usablenet, says: “With travellers being inherently on-the-go, mobile is a natural channel for this consumer. We are proud to partner with innovative companies such as Venere, who are truly committed to understanding and catering to their customers' needs.”
As part of the mobile site's launch, Venere.com is running a competition that offers consumers the chance to win one of 40 holidays if they book a room via the mobile site before 23 January. Head to the Venere.com competition page for more details.on November 29, 2011
The Mercedes Benz Brooklands dealership in Weybridge is using PageOne's Campaign Manager console to deploy interactive SMS-based Short Code and keyword campaigns. The company says that campaigns can be created in minutes using the web-based console.
A secure online account allows users to configure key variables such as the campaign duration, choice of automated response type, and campaign keyword, in real time.
The dealership has found that the systems enables ad-hoc marketing campaigns. Dealership manager Ian Straw says: “It has allowed us to simply target a key area of our customer base and our success rate has been approximately 50 per cent better than we expect on a mail-out, at a tenth of the cost.”
Campaign Manager is also being used to enhance customer service. Now when ordered parts come in, the customer receives a telephone call and a text message.
Straw says: “It's simply a great way of making sure that the right people get the right information at the right time. It generates a record for us, so we know a client has been contacted and also capitalises on the fact that a text message is highly likely to be promptly read.”
The Campaign Manager has also been used to streamline internal communications. The dealership now uses it to update the 65-strong after-sales care team, sending them daily texts that updates them on targets, performance, and key information.
For more information on PageOne's Campaign Manager, click here.on November 29, 2011
Monocle magazine's Monocle 24 app has hit 5,000 downloads in its first month, propelling it to the top spot on the paid-for news apps on the Apple App Store.
Developed by app development company Mubaloo, Monocle 24 enables users all over the world to listen to Monocle's radio station both live and offline via the app's built in TimeShift browser, which is sponsored by Rolex. Users can view upcoming shows and make playlists.
The app is designed for a global audience and features the ability to offer content flexibly across various time zones, says Mubaloo. Users can recommend places of interest which Monocle will visit and add to Monocle's 25/25 destination guides, in addition to a weather button on the home screen.
Mark Mason, CEO of Mubaloo, says: “The Monocle app demonstrates the quality of developers that Mubaloo has attracted. The success in just a month is testament to the marriage of great design from Monocle and development from Mubaloo. The partnership between both companies meant that we were able to integrate some truly advanced features into the app such as 25/25, the travel guide to provide both business and leisure information about cities to view Monocle's recommended restaurants, hotels, shopping, transport, fitness centre and Rolex retailers.”on November 29, 2011
Digital magazine publishing company 3D Issue has launched version 5 of its creative software. The upgrade supports the creation of digital magazines created and viewable in HTML5, as well as Flash.
3D Issue 5 also features eBook conversion tools for Kindle, Nook, and other eReader devices, and a publishing tool called PressJack, which converts blogs, RSS feeds and web pages into dynamic digital magazines.
“3D Issue has been on the forefront of digital publishing since its inception, and we are pleased to bring our technology to our widest audience yet, allowing iPad and iPhone owners to access the dynamic, interactive content that HTLM5 digital magazines can offer,” says Paul Mc Nulty, MD at 3D Issue. “We want to go beyond translating static print magazines into static electronic magazines. By using HTML5, we can provide all readers with a richer experience that truly realises the promise of digital technology – with live links, embedded videos, and many more features. “
The software works with PDFs, and allows the user to add dynamic content to static magazines. 3D Issue can add hyperlinks, videos, and sound, and then creates a digital magazine with animated page turning and table of contents functionality. On tablets, the magazine runs in a browser.
“It's a critical part of any publishers strategy to have a digital presence,” says Mc Nulty. “HTML5 is the future. Publishers have to go to wherever their users are, whether it's an iPad, iPhone, desktop, or Kindle or other eBooks so we've also created an eBook mode, which strips down the publication to focus on the text.”
The PressJack feature presents online content in a magazine format, with clickable layouts that update automatically, and dynamically optimise layouts for to the screen on which it is viewed.
“We realised that tablets and mobile devices were really growing in popularity, and it would be a platform for that content is consumed on. So we developed PressJack, where the content is responsive to the environment it's being consumed on,” says Mc Nulty.
PressJack is currently only available in Flash.
Head to the 3D Issue website for more information.on November 29, 2011
Yesterday, Cyber Monday, marked the start of the virtual Christmas shopping season, and according to retail technology specialist One iota, it appears mobile will have played an important role. Indeed, according to a recent study into eCommerce by One iota, the Christmas trading period of 2011 will be remembered as the year retailers finally started to wake up to the power of mobile.
The research – One iota analysed the social and mobile commerce sites of the Annual IMRG/Hitwise HOT 100 in November 2011 – revealed a dramatic jump in mobile commerce adoption. Of the UK’s top 100 retailers, 42 per cent have now gone mobile, up from just 26 per cent in June this year and a mere 20 per cent in January 2011.
The research also showed solid growth in the number of retailers establishing a brand presence on Facebook. Nine out of 10 retailers in the top 100 now have a presence on Facebook, up from 75 per cent in June 2011.
There was also significant growth in the number of retailers who are implementing transactional Facebook stores. While ASOS led the pack at the start of the year, there has since been a massive increase in social commerce uptake – seven per cent of all retailers now have a transactional presence on Facebook.
“It isn’t a major shock to see such a jump in mobile take-up, particularly as we are now in the busy Christmas trading season,” notes One iota CEO, Damian Hanson. “It’s a critical period, and shows that growth in mobile can no longer be ignored. For most of our clients, mobile now accounts for over 10 per cent of their traffic.”
Hanson believes that the combination of social media and mobile technology will become one of the key areas of focus and investment in 2012. “While many retailers are starting to get out of the blocks with their strategies, they now need to make these channels work effectively for them in order to establish ROI,” he says. “We’ve seen many ‘quick fix’ solutions adopted on mobile, and many retailers have simply taken the basic stepping stone into mobile by scraping existing online sites. 2012 will be the year where retailers need to think more about how their social, mobile and local shopping journey properly integrates for a longer term approach, as shoppers demand fantastic experiences across every channel they shop.”