AT&T Helps Brands Reach Shoppers On the Spot

Most mobile technologies we’ve covered have been for smart phones. But if the majority of your shoppers have mobile phones, but not smart phones, then foursquare and map apps aren’t going to do you much good.

That’s why Starbucks, Kmart, Kohl’s and L’Oreal are all trialling technology from Placecast, which offers geo-fencing services that allows retailers to reach shoppers within a certain location without requiring mobile GPS capabilities. Rather than wait for a check-in to offer a discount or deal, these retailers are sending over vouchers as soon as shoppers enter the proximity of their retail locations.

AT&T is offering ShopAlerts, which hook opted-in shoppers up with brands they want to hear from. This solves one of the biggest potential pitfalls of such a service – requiring an opt-in means shoppers won’t be bombarded by text messages they don’t want as they walk through the mall. In the UK, O2 offers O2 More, a similar integration.

This technology has a lot of potential – the NRF gave it a Racie Award in 2010, in fact, in the Mobile/Apps category. It could be an interesting way to target shoppers who already subscribe to your mobile messages with a bit more precision, at the very least.

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