News

Micro-targeted in-store mobile marketing platform launches

BY Jason Owen

BOSTON — Swirl today launched a new software platform specifically designed to attract and influence in-store shoppers with micro-targeted digital content and real-time, personalized offers delivered to consumers’ smartphones while they shop.

The Swirl In-Store Mobile Marketing Platform enables retailers to quickly and efficiently make mobile phones an engaging and value-added part of the in-store shopping experience for consumers. Alex and Ani, Timberland, Kenneth Cole, The Blues Jean Bar, Scott James, and Exhale Spa are among the first retailers to deploy the new technology at their retail stores in New York and Boston starting today.

With over 90% of retail sales still taking place in brick and mortar stores and over 50% of U.S. adults now carrying a smartphone, leading retailers are searching for ways to leverage mobile technology to enhance the in-store shopping experience while at the same time addressing consumer privacy and data sharing concerns. A recent Swirl survey found that up to 83% of female shoppers would be willing to share their location information if they received appropriate value in return, and 58% would be thrilled if they received a personalized offer on their smartphone while in-store.

The Swirl platform combines a next-generation, web-based marketing console with proprietary Bluetooth based sensors and mobile apps to help retailers engage with consumers while they shop. With the platform, retailers are able to drive store traffic, understand the preferences and behaviors of in-store shoppers, and increase retail purchase rates. The in-store experience can be delivered to consumers through the Swirl app or as an add-on to retailers’ existing mobile apps.

"We are constantly looking for ways to leverage next generation technology to enhance the shopping experience for our customers across all channels," said Ryan Bonifacino, VP digital strategy at Alex and Ani, one of the fastest growing retailers in America. "Swirl’s innovative platform allows us to better understand and influence retail shopping behaviors while at the same time providing our customers with a more engaging in-store experience."

How It Works

The Swirl iPhone app (available for download on the App Store) helps consumers discover the latest styles, organize fashion collections, and track offers from over 200 top retail brands. Users who opt-in to the Swirl in-store feature automatically receive rich mobile content notifying them of personal offers and style recommendations when shopping in participating retail locations. The limited-time offers, complete with countdown clock, are tailored to individual shoppers based on their personal preferences, past shopping behaviors and interactions with the Swirl app. Users simply show the unique offer code to a sales associate before it expires to take advantage of their own personal in-store flash sale.

Participating retailers place Swirl’s small, battery-powered, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy-based sensors in their stores. Installation takes less than 5 minutes and requires no power or Internet connection. The sensors detect when a Swirl user is within range, triggering the delivery of relevant content and offers while they shop within a particular department or area of the store. Sensor range can be set from two feet to six hundred feet, offering retailers a multitude of location micro-targeting options within their stores. Using Swirl’s sensors instead of phone-based GPS, wifi-tracking or self-check-in mechanisms allows retailers to verify precise location presence within a store without costly hardware or infrastructure investments and in a way that is both seamless and transparent for consumers with privacy concerns.

"Consumers today shop and interact with brands in ways that we never would have dreamed possible 10 years ago," said Jim Davey, vice president of global brand marketing at Timberland. "As Timberland looks to engage a younger, more style-conscious consumer, we need creative marketing solutions that keep up with this consumer’s digital lifestyle. We think Swirl creates a really exciting way to enhance the shopping experience for our customers, on their terms. It also gives us valuable, real-time insights so we can hone in on and better serve our customers’ needs."

Using the Swirl marketing console, retailers can analyze shopper behavior to personalize and optimize the mobile experience for individual users. Retailers have full control of the mobile content and offers that are used to tailor the experience for shoppers in their particular store.

"Consumers are actively using their smartphones while they shop in stores, and retailers now have an opportunity to leverage that by offering compelling in-store mobile experiences that are both value-add to the consumer and aligned with the retailer’s business goals," said Hilmi Ozguc, CEO of Swirl. "Our platform gives brands an exciting new set of capabilities to inform, engage and influence in-store shoppers in a unique and effective way."


Get connected and follow us on LinkedIn for the most in-depth coverage of drug store news. Join the conversation.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

News

McKesson receives top award from nonprofit for promoting employee health

BY Jason Owen

SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson Corp. today announced that it received Platinum certification in the 2013 Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles award presented by the National Business Group on Health. McKesson was recognized for its ongoing commitment and dedication to promoting a healthy workplace and encouraging employees and families to pursue and maintain healthy lifestyles.

“McKesson is partnering with our customers to create a stronger, more sustainable healthcare system capable of delivering better care to patients," said Jerry Warren, Senior Vice President of Total Rewards, McKesson Corporation. “We believe our focus on employee health and wellness better prepares our teams to provide superior service to our customers and the millions of patients they serve. That’s why we provide our employees with the resources they need to help them be healthier and more productive.”

McKesson began its wellness journey more than five years ago, committing to provide employees customized benefits that are built on prevention and wellness. Under the program, McKesson provides employees with flexible tools and resources to enable them to monitor and improve their health and realize their full wellness potential. The program emphasizes preventive care, which has been covered 100 percent for several years, and online tools that provide easy access to personalized resources for employees and their families.

McKesson’s senior leaders have championed its wellness program as both a business strategy for health and productivity improvement and as a catalyst to increase employee engagement. Employees have embraced the initiative and are now averaging nearly 90 percent participation. Employees continue to increase their engagement in wellness throughout the benefit year. In 2012, 78 percent of McKesson employees completed three times as many wellness activities as a traditional program. Moreover, of that 78 percent, nearly half completed five times more wellness activities.

Formed in 1974, the National Business Group on Health is the nation’s only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to representing large employers’ perspectives on national health policy issues and providing practical solutions to its members’ most important health care problems. The group’s members are primarily Fortune 500 companies and large public-sector employers — including the nation’s most innovative health care purchasers — who provide health care coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families.

“We are proud to honor McKesson for its ongoing commitment to providing lifestyle improvement programs that encourage healthy lifestyles for their employees,” said Helen Darling, President and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “McKesson is among an elite group of organizations that are leading the way to promoting healthy workplaces and lifestyles. McKesson and its management team should be proud of their commitment to their program and we congratulate them on receiving this award.”

Since 2004, the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards program has rewarded those organizations that have found creative solutions to advancing the well-being of employees. The program serves as a means of sharing successful interventions, programs and services, and illustrates best practices that can be emulated by other members.


Get connected and follow us on LinkedIn for the most in-depth coverage of drug store news. Join the conversation.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

News

New pneumococcal vaccine as safe as previous version, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

PASADENA, Calif. — A new vaccine against pneumococcal disease appears as safe as an older one, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Kaiser Permanente and published Wednesday in the journal Vaccine, compared the new 13-valent vaccine with the seven-valent one used before 2010. The Food and Drug Administration approved the newer vaccine, called PCV13, in 2010 after a series of trials. The valent number refers to the number of varieties of pneumococcal disease the vaccine prevents.

Researchers for Kaiser Permanente analyzed electronic medical records for 600,000 children aged 1 month to 2 years who received PCV13 over a two-year period, finding no increased risk of harmful side effects in children taking the new vaccine compared with those taking the older vaccine. Funding for the study came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"It is important that children receive the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine as it provides protection against very serious and potentially fatal infections, including meningitis and bloodstream infections," lead study author Hung Fu Tseng said. "The new vaccine protects against an additional six types of pneumococcal bacteria."


Get connected and follow us on LinkedIn for the most in-depth coverage of drug store news. Join the conversation.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES