Imagine walking down the street and using your phone to access bargains in bricks-and-mortar stores near you? The latest mobile app to hit the gamified commerce scene does just that.
Using geo-location and augmented reality (AR) technology, a new mobile app, Sweep, is giving “bargain-hungry consumers” access to specials in physical retail stores through a location-based mobile app.
Designed to bridge the gap between the online and offline retail worlds, Robyn Foyster, the CEO and founder of Sweep says that this new tech will help revolutionise the way consumers shop and how retailers market their discounts.
“Having worked closely with many retailers during my time in media and as an editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly, I have seen the challenges they face and believe that AR is an exciting way to re-engage shoppers. I’m excited by the opportunity to invest in the future of retail and technology. It’s a fascinating space and the possibilities are endless,” she tells Power Retail.
“If you are sitting in a café and want to see where you can go shopping, you can simply open the app and see all the deals that are local to you,” she explains.
According to Foyster, gamification, social sharing and community-building tools make the Sweep app the perfect blend between a deal site and a social site.
“In addition, traditional retailers will be able to attain valuable customer analytics; data which is predominantly only available via online stores,” she says.
Foyster believes the Sweep app will have an impact on how well consumers engage with cross-channel retail brands.
The app was reportedly developed over a 12-month period by an in-house team that’s experienced in retail technology in Australia, as well as in China and Korea. Speaking about the development process, Foyster says that her team looked at what was working in international retail markets and then used previous mobile app development knowledge to create a product that has been designed specifically for the Australian space.
“We used our learnings from building the app for Vivid last year, which used geolocation and augmented reality to create hidden art which came to life on your smartphone,” she explains.
“If you went to all three areas where Vivid took place, you were entered into a prize to win a Samsung phone. So, we saw first-hand the success of gamifying the experience. With Sweep, we are still rolling out new features as we continue to learn and iterate.”
Blending Gamified Shopping Experiences with Existing Brand and Marketing Strategies
While big businesses with large advertising spends and comprehensive cross-channel strategies have a definite advantage in the modern retail climate, revolutionising the way customers shop across multiple channels and touchpoints can be more challenging for smaller retailers. But, Foyster doesn’t believe that a smaller budget and fewer resources should mean SMBs miss out.
In fact, she believes that mobile apps can be used as both a discovery and a retention tool that, when used correctly, can lure mobile shoppers in-store to increase foot traffic for cross-channel retailers.
“Shoppers have embraced the outsourcing of retail experiences to their smart devices. Gamifying that experience providing not only utility but a fun way to shop and share deals with friends.
“A marketer currently using their own channels (EDM, website, social) to offer deals, experiences and incentives in-store should see mobile apps, like Sweep, as another channel to achieve this end goal.”
Since its launch, Sweep has reportedly received a strong organic uptake, but Foyster still says it’s “early days” and is excited to see how further investments in the technology will make the app the “ultimate shopping companion”.
“Investing in the user experience is our priority and working more closely with retailers. We have a number of exclusive AR activations in the pipeline with local shopping areas,” she says.
Sweep is currently available on both iOS and Android devices.
Never miss our best stories. Sign up for Power Retail’s free weekly newsletter and find our daily stories on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.