CEO Interview: Point Inside Helps Mall Shoppers Navigate the Holidays
Not everyone finds holiday shopping fun or easy. Today, the Wall Street Journal cited a stat reported by ad-exchange company Mobclix Inc., which tracks mobile application usage, thatthere has been a 77% increase in downloads of shopping and shopping-tool apps for Apple Inc.'s iPhone on Black Friday compared to last year.
Consumer behavior around shopping has dramatically changed with the penetration of smartphones that can let customers get real time data on promotional offers, do comparison shopping for the best deals, find a store, and read reviews of merchant’s service staff. As more devices with GPS receivers get into the hands of consumers, finding the location that has the right product at the right price will become even simpler.
But according to Kevin Foreman, CEO of Point Inside, getting to the location where you want to shop is only half the battle for consumers. He assertsGPS systems work great with line of sight to reach satellites, but they aren’t very helpful for customers navigating a mall layout from inside or to get from your car to a specific store and back.
In my recent interview about his upcoming iPhone application launch, Foreman talked about the consumer problem he thinks he and his team of wireless experts can solve.
Point Inside provides consumers with directory information for navigating around mall floorplans to find bathrooms, escalators and stores, discovering promotional offers, and getting information on seasonal mall events like Santa Claus’ hours or Christmas Caroling.
Foreman’s data indicates that one out of seven pedestrians entering a mall uses the directory to begin their shopping experience. In addition, he estimated from customer research that as many as 15 shoppers per day need help in locating their car in the mall.
I asked Foreman what he feels will drive the consumer to use a mall application most, and he indicated that “way-finding”, finding a path around the mall to specific destinations like an elevator, ATM or store, is the most universally valuable tool his company provides.Continued on the next page