French fashion retailer Comptoir des Cotonniers is using a platform developed by Powa Technologies to turn posters, billboards, magazines, cafe table tops, postcards, flyers and even TV adverts into ‘virtual boutiques’ that let consumers order and pay for goods with their mobile phone.
The retailer is using the platform to create 10,000 virtual boutiques across the streets of major French cities, including Paris, Toulouse and Marseille. After an initial three-minute sign up process, purchases can be completed using the new Le Fast Shopping service in seconds with goods then delivered to the shopper’s home within 48 hours.
Powa offers an ecommerce app that is available as either a standalone solution or as a white label option that can be integrated into existing ecommerce apps offered by merchants or brands. Consumers can then use the app to make purchases by capturing ‘PowaTags’ included in print, radio and TV advertisements, in catalogues, on billboards, retail displays and on ecommerce sites.
The company has raised US$96.7m to roll out the technology internationally and has the backing of more than 200 retail brands including Reebok.
“It is a transformational technology; a platform that allows merchants and brands to convert transactions from physical printed pages, closed shop windows, TV commercials or broadcasts, fashions shows and open air events — any of these scenarios — into a transaction,” CEO Dan Wagner told NFC World when the platform was unveiled in March this year.
“All of these methods are simply there to allow the phone to understand what it is looking at and then to carry on the transaction.
“Whenever you see a PowaTag on a printed ad or a mail order catalogue or a poster, you hold your phone up at it and all the data is transmitted to your phone with all the options to buy that product.”
For audio ads, he continued, “we use a watermark that is embedded into the audio broadcast; the watermark is generated by our self-service platforms and allows the viewer to listen, using the microphone of their phone. The mic picks up the trigger messages and triggers the application to display the product.”
“As a leading fashion retailer, this is exactly the kind of innovation that we look for at Comptoir des Cotonniers, utilizing technology to better meet the needs of our customers,” says CEO Nancy Pedot.
Pedot went on to say that, “with 10% of the retailer’s traffic already coming from mobile, this was a logical step. It also helps to cement the link between online and real world stores without cannibalizing either. Only certain lines will be available on the ‘boutiques’ and some special goods only available through that channel. This way we give customers the brand experience and instant shopping but still encourage them to come into the stores to browse and buy other lines.”
Take a look at the video below to see how it works:
The move by Comptoir des Cotonniers marks the first brand signed up to PowaTag to stick its head above the parapet. Along with Comptoir des Cotonniers, PowaTag has partnered with more than 475 global brands and retailers, with hundreds more in progress.
Retailers pay a fixed fee of 25p pre transaction up to £250 then 50p for transactions above that. They get to share the data of who buys what with Powa, but only Powa holds all the data on who scanned what and didn’t buy – something that may stick in the craw of some retailers, but is the real value to Powa of the service.
Dan Wagner, CEO of Powa Technologies, comments: “The technology will play a vital role in enabling the company to meet the growing demands from shoppers with busy lives wanting to purchase in a multi-channel environment. It is companies like Comptoir des Cotonniers that have implemented the rapid adoption and deployment of innovative solutions that will be the ones to come out on top in the new customer-focused paradigm.”
For more details see http://www.lefastshopping.com/
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