Ohio-based Dónde has launched a mobile app which enables people to find local stores where the product they are looking for is on sale and then provides the retail outlet with analytics services based on customer interaction data.
Mobile offers many opportunities for improving the customer’s shopping experience. However, consumers still find it difficult to find out where a given brand or product is actually on sale and in stock. A study carried out by Cincinnati-headquartered startup Dónde shows that 80% of all visitors to mobile sites are simply looking for the location of the store in question, and 50% of searches on mobile are for stores in the neighborhood. There are a number of apps in existence that offer a store locator, but they do not usually provide information on brands and products that can be found at a particular outlet. Those apps which do offer this type of service only cover specific fields, such as SnapTell which directs you to the nearest bookshop that has the book you are looking forin stock, based on a photo of the cover. Looking at this general situation, Anthony Nicalo and his co-founders decided to launch an equivalent service for all retail segments – Dónde, which has just raised $1 million in seed funding. The app links mobile site visitors to the bricks and mortar stores of retailers and brands and uses context-based tools, including targeted ads, coupons and special offers, in a bid to stimulate retail sales.
Smarter mobile store locator tracks down in-stock products
Brands or retailers wishing to take advantage of the Dónde solution just need to provide the company with the details on where their products are available. This can be as simple as giving Dónde their distributor sales reports, or the service can connect to their vendor database. If the business has the capability, Dónde can even tap into their real-time inventory levels. Once live, consumers browsing the website from their smartphone or tablet will see a store locator option that immediately shows them the nearest stores to their current location and lets them filter the resulting list by the product they are looking for. Dónde is offering the locator itself free of charge, because it believes the solution should be a commodity, but it plans to generate revenue by providing data management and marketing analytics solutions.
Channeling data into a customer tracking service
Dónde is looking first and foremost to focus on the customer’s experience on mobile. Co-founder and CEO Anthony Nicalo explains that after the initial phase the company will focus, going forward, on data analytics services to the retailers, based on customer interactions and online-to-offline sales conversions. Meanwhile other apps, such as Apple’s iBeacon and TheFind’s Shop Nearby, are already positioned to track customer behavior by monitoring customer smartphone interactions with products during the in-store journey. This system helps retailers to gain a better understanding of how customers move through their stores, providing such details as how much time a person spends in front of each display.