Imagine this, you are walking along the busy shopping area of Indira Nagar 100 ft road in Bangalore, as you pass by or get near each shop, the shop senses that you are there, quickly looks up what are the things you love, what are the colors you like and other preferences. You then get a message from the shop that gives you a list of things that you maybe interested in that are available now. You then have the option of walking into the shop and buying it or if you are busy, the shop will deliver it home and you can continue with your work! Sounds like a fantasy? Well, think again! This is already here in Bangalore! An innovative app called MobMerry is bringing IoT to Bangalore to help you to shop.
Interaction One, a Bangalore based start-up focused on innovation and building memorable mobile experiences, is set to transform the retail and lifestyle industry with the launch of Mobmerry, an app that connects retailers to consumers. Mobmerry empowers retailers to have higher engagement with the consumers through product discovery, real-time notifications of new products, deals, and discounts in the consumers’ immediate area. The convergence of the physical and digital world is considered to be the future of retail. The app allows shoppers to
virtually explore their city and trigger personalized offers, products and food recommendations in real-time. Mobmerry aims at bringing the retail stores to consumer phones thereby driving consumers to the store through target marketing using geo-location. It is an easy to use interface with technology & design beautifully integrated to provide a seamless experience for the user. A merchant can effortlessly showcase his products with just the touch of a button and has been provided with a facility to push live marketing feeds directed to a specific target audience. The app alerts the retailer of the customer’s basic details and preferences as soon as the customer walks into the store.
Krishna Prasad, CEO and Co-founder, Interaction One says, “Retailers can’t wait for customers to come to them. Consumer shopping habits have changed; you have to take your product to them. Stores and brands that deliver easy integrated ways between digital and physical are the ones that are going to succeed, this means having technology that has these tools and solutions. Mobmerry delivers the power of smart discovery of products using a taste and preferences algorithm for consumers and a platform for retailers to take the physical world to these connected consumers via Beacons (IOT).”
Mobmerry has tapped into the mind of their audience using preferences and analytics and used that to understand the need for a quick, and effortless way to shop and discover what is happening in any shopping location. The average Mobmerry consumer is a young professional with disposable income but not a lot of time. Taking this into consideration, Mobmerry allows retailers to create real time marketing communications via “buzz” notifications to their consumers creating relevance and reason for consumers to walk into the stores.
This approach makes the app very unique. The other apps start and end at being e-commerce apps or delivering food or getting local help. In my opinion, Mobmerry is one app that has a thoughtful combination of user preference analysis, location based updates and real time support for physical shopping. This model is a big success in heavily mobile based populations like South Korea where the customized user experience is helping outlets and apps to make good profits. The methodology of a beacon that handles the transmission to the user makes it easy for the otherwise offline shopping outlets to get app enabled and reach the hands of the young professional who is on his mobile. So effectively bridging the gap between online and offline shopping.
According to a report published by SAP, The Internet of Things (IoT) will generate US $329 billion of revenue in the retail sector by 2018. Retail is expected to be one of the biggest sectors benefitting from the rise of IoT. The future of the retail sector is in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) applications, known as beacons. Interaction One will be the first company to deploy over 1000 beacons across Bangalore, making it one of the largest beacon deployments in India. This will make Bangalore the first city to be lit up and connected virtually. And as a professional residing in Bangalore, I am looking forward to this. With 30 stores onboard in Indiranagar, Bangalore, such as Aviraté, Celio, Guess, Jack & Jones, Kazo, Lee, Vans, Vero Moda, Wrangler to name a few. Mobmerry is on its way to providing technology and completely changing the nature of the retail industry in India.
Vipul Mathur, Head Marketing, Lee says, “ As consumers today are embracing technology like never before, especially with their mobile phones becoming an integral extension of themselves, it’s imperative for the physical retail environment to adapt to this change. We need to constantly experiment and see how we can use this technology to our added advantage, be it in a more focused targeted communication, creating more meaningful experiences, read consumer behavior with sharper analytics, manage our inventories better – the possibilities are endless”
Beacon technology used by Mobmerry has been provided by Kontakt.io, a Polish hardware company funded in 2013. Trevor Longino, Head of Marketing and PR at Kontakt.io said, “As a company, we are constantly looking for ways in which our beacons can make a difference. We are glad that with such a large deployment we will be able to bring local businesses into the Internet of Things era and by that taking the whole local beacon market to the next level.”
The Indian retail industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast paced industries across the globe. India is considered to be the world’s fifth-largest global destination in the retail space. However, a report published by property advisor Knight Frank India Pvt. Ltd and lobby group Retailers Association of India, estimated that the share of modern trade in retail would slip from 17% in 2013 to 13% in 2019, while that of e-commerce would jump from 2% to 11% in the same period. This considerable drop in the share of retail outlets is one of the primary concerns of the merchant. The rapidly growing e-commerce industry has resulted in decrease of footfall and sales for the traditional merchant.
For merchants, beacon technology will prove invaluable. Beacons provide businesses with large amounts of available data such as how long consumers spend at certain locations, busiest days of the week, and number of people who walk into the location per day. This information can help merchants make tweaks and changes based on the data collected to make their business more efficient.
Mobmerry has also partnered with Virtuous Retail, an institutionally owned developer-operator of community-oriented premium Lifestyle Shopping Centres for its latest flagship development, VR Bengaluru on Whitefield main road. Mobmerry will deploy over 300 Beacons across the centre to enhance shopping experiences for VR Bengaluru’s patrons. Ankit Samdariya, Vice President, Virtuous Retail / Xander Group said, “We are excited to be partnering with Mobmerry in our efforts to enhance customer engagement at VR Bengaluru. Mobmerry will aid us in sending personalized offers and promotions in real time to our customers to complement their purchases. In due course, our patrons would be able to explore VR Bengaluru virtually from the comfort of their homes through this platform.”
Mobmerry intends to create a significant connection and conversion between consumers and merchants. Mobmerry has the ability to use the consumer’s retail and dining likings to connect them to the merchant and begin a productive and fruitful conversation. With the ability to link the Mobmerry account through Facebook, the process is convenient and stress-free.
So Bengaluru, pull your socks up! IoT is here and time to make merry with Mobmerry!