Carrefour is among the 240 worldwide brands adopting the new PowaTag app from Powa Technologies for mobile commerce and Bluetooth geolocation.
The technology at the heart of the PowaTag concept is claimed to turn impulse into purchase, allowing consumers to walk up to an item, billboard, screen advert or retail display and purchase the promoted product with a touch of their smartphone screen. But the technology isn’t limited to visual media, it also works by utilising the visual, audio and other sensors now shipped as standard on smartphones so users can also buy straight from television and radio adverts, or PA announcements at events using the PowaTag app and a couple of swift, secure and convenient actions.
Powa Technologies said PowaTag also allows physical locations to be transformed into data-rich browsing environments by interacting with strategically placed low-energy Bluetooth beacons. Shoppers can receive messages containing, for example, special offers as they approach any PowaTag Beacon enabled location. In addition, stores will know a participating customer’s shopping habits and personal preferences are as soon as they walk through the door. Retailers gain unparalleled detail about the purchase including physical location and powerful analytics toolkits.
Speaking at the worldwide launch of PowaTag at New York’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel, retail technology entrepreneur, ecommerce veteran and CEO of Powa Technologies Dan Wagner explained the vision behind his revolutionary technology.
“The combination of PowaTag beacon and PowaTag transact provides retailers, brands, charities and others with an integrated ability to manage the process from discovery through to transaction with unprecedented ease and reach.
“The retail sector is being forced to respond to growing market pressures from customers wanting greater levels of control and freedom of access and choice on how they purchase goods. Retailers can no longer afford to think in terms of online verses offline – they must seriously rethink how they connect in-store and online strategies to provide the agility and innovation needed to enable customers to buy whenever and wherever they may be, when they are at that critical buying-decision moment.
“Our hybrid combination of technologies which include Bluetooth beacons, instant payment authentication and mobility enable retailers to have a richer engagement with their customers and understand their needs and cater for them in a more focused way. Consumers also benefit from having a vastly improved shopping experience.”
Wagner said he has long sought to bridge the chasm between the physical and digital in retail while PowaTag delivers on his vision it also provides unprecedented levels of data and documentation t the previously woolly world of press and broadcast advertising.
“We believe that PowaTag is the future of true multi-channel advertising as well as retail,”he said. “It enables merchants and businesses to collect smart data about their customers, products and promotions and finally be able to quantify exactly how successful an advertising campaign has been. It allows marketers to develop their campaigns and extend the reach of point of sale across any traditional and non-traditional advertising channels.”
Wagner said he knew that it would take enormous investment to bring his transformative solution to fruition. He showcased the technology to the world’s smartest investors and secured $96.7m, the largest Series A funding round every achieved by a technology start-up during 2013. PowaTag has opened offices in 14 different countries to meet demand.
PowaTag is also offering its services to charities free of charge and has been successful in signing up over 35 of the world’s largest charitable organizations. The service’s audio capabilities mean that users can donate to TV and radio appeals instantly, enabling charities to vastly increase the amount of donations they receive, especially as there are no handling fees.
Reaction from the more than 240 market-leading retail brands who have signed up for the service has been extremely positive.
Thierry Pelissier, VP marketing, Carrefour, said: “Powatag will help Carrefour to measure the ROI of all our marketing campaigns (TV, print, online), real time, and fulfill our customers expectations with more efficiency. Among its various capabilities, Powatag will allow Carrefour to provide its customers with a fluid shopping experience, to buy online or access to more product information.”