Mobile Search Service
Lifestyle apparel retailer Metropark is reaching out to consumers in a digital way. The retailer has teamed up with NearbyNow to offer a service that allows shoppers to search for products and check inventory from the Internet, or during their shopping trips via their mobile phones.
“Shoppers call our service ‘Google for malls’ because they can search every brand, product and sale at the center. They also can check inventory and reserve products to pick up. Once in the mall, we use mobile phones to direct shoppers to retailers,” said Scott Dunlop, CEO, NearbyNow, Los Altos, Calif.
To date, some 200 malls nationwide have gone live with NearbyNow. All retailers in a participating mall are given a free listing in the online directory. But retailers who choose to sign on, such as Metropark, are charged a fee to receive a premium listing which lets customers call up images of products and also provides more detailed information. Participating retailers can also choose to send promotional messages and advertisements to mall shoppers via their mobile phones.
To activate the service while at a mall, customers enter a mall-specific code (such as “VF” for Westfield Valley Fair) to the code NEARBY. To alert shoppers to the service, participating malls display informational signage, which includes the texting code, on the mall directory and in other key areas.