Unlike a few online shopping outlets, a new app called GeoMall is not trying to replace the shopping center. Instead, it’s gearing up to implement a new technology to make the shopping experience more seamless and fruitful.
Malls are crowded spaces. Filled with wandering people, screaming babies, and squeaky shopping trolleys. Trying to find the right pair of jeans on sale can be a real mission. And grabbing the attention of an average roaming customer is a huge challenge for retailers.
By using pieces of hardware called iBeacon, GeoMall founder Thabang Mashiloane says that he’s found a way to leverage the much-talked about power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to give customers, retailers and storeowners a communication channel.
iBeacon is a low-cost, low-power in-door positioning transmitter that can prompt smartphone and other devices to do something when in close proximity. In GeoMall’s case, this would be pushing a coupon to a user’s phone when they walk pass a gelato store or directing them to aisle where all the specials are.
When the app is downloaded, you’ll get a list of stores that you can choose to follow. Once at the mall, you’ll then get information from these stores including real-time navigation, coupon, specials and various offers.
On the retailer’s side, there’s a Backend. This is used by the store manager who’ll get up-to-date analytics about customer behavior. Moreover, property owners can use the app to help shed light on where the customers are coming from and understand their traffic.
“We’re exploring most emerging markets like China and even Singapore where the mall culture is massive. We’re also looking at other facilities other than malls like airports, events and stadiums,” he says. Asked about the competitors, Thabang says that a lot of the companies are still very traditional and that the market seems fragmented.
GeoMall is expected to officially launch at the end of this month.