"A year of innovations with the Lab", "Trends 2013", "2012 Review"... If we hesitated for the title of this new series of articles, the beginning of the year is above all an opportunity to take a step back from the day-to-day news.
We have therefore endeavoured to bring together by major trends the various startups analysed during the past year. This first episode focuses on the fact that the mobile, much more than a purchasing channel, is gradually becoming the armed wing of "connected commerce", whether it be e-commerce, m-commerce or the digitalisation of points of sale.
The mobile, connected arm of commerce?
If the mobile phone is establishing itself as an online shopping terminal, it is more surreptitiously becoming a tool for acquisition, choice and loyalty, a sort of link between the worlds of physical commerce and online sales.
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Take Ubudu. This mobile application offers promotions in physical stores. So far, nothing new. But it also sends you geo-targeted offers when you enter a shopping area. So you don't have to look for the right deal anymore: it's the one that comes to you when you pass a store. This is called "geofencing". An incentive to stroll around in the city?
To perfect the whole thing, Ubudu is able to generate coupons to the "Passbook", a sort of virtual wallet designed by Apple to dematerialize loyalty cards, boarding passes or show tickets on its iPhone.
While Ubudu anticipates the desires of motorists by "pushing" its promotions, consumers may also want to satisfy their curiosity by inquiring about a specific product. Take that coat or dress you've seen in a fashion magazine. But what is its brand? For the press, Auriane Denis has imagined Press'Criptuma solution capable of recognising a product photo by scanning it with a mobile phone. The application is then able to give you the brand, the points of sale or the price of the photographed clothes.
You want to go beyond the magazine?
Smartsy is able to recognize an object from the front or slightly from the side. Soon it should even be possible to scan it from any angle. The application works very well with a jar of Nutella or the latest book by Delphine de Vigan. Once recognized, Smartsy associates to the object a content created by the brand or by the mobile community. In the case of Nutella, you'll find a video, a recipe, "dietary" information and a promotion. The creation of this content is facilitated by a visual editor, without a line of code, and therefore easily usable by a marketing department.
Our everyday life is an ocean of unused data, potential sources of savings for consumers, stores of value for entrepreneurs. That's the beauty of Big Data: allowing us to unlock these resources! Take a simple receipt. It's of little value on its own, but the combined set of all your proofs of purchase contains your consumption habits. When properly analyzed, these receipts can help you make your shopping list and manage your budget. Shared anonymously, they will allow brands and retailers to send you personalized promotions. That's what the mobile application offers. Skerou by scanning and analyzing your receipts.
In the same vein, the startup company Bankin'. automatically retrieves bank statements from French Internet users to provide them with an analysis of their spending items. This mobile application is free in its basic version. Eventually, the startup will be remunerated by proposing to its user base the most relevant offers taking into account their consumption habits: financial products, telecom packages, energy operators...
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After getting lost in the clouds of big data, let's get back to more mundane considerations. In stores, we rave, moan, dream, suggest, vituperate... What if the suggestion boxes of our brands were replaced by a virtual agora, where merchants could collect feedback from their customers and respond to it in front of everyone?
That's what Critizr. This mobile application is not just another consos review site, but a platform dedicated to points of sale and reserved for their customers. Four possibilities are available to the latter: share a suggestion, a problem, ask a question or compliment the merchant (yes, yes, say nice things to him too!). After giving their opinion, motorcyclists are asked to rate five points: welcome, friendliness, cleanliness and a final criterion left to the merchant's discretion.
As we will see in the next episode, the mobile, the armed arm of connected commerce, is also emerging as the necessary tool for augmented reality.
Article published in The E-commerce Lab / 25 Jan 2013