Docomo starts testing new platform for shop discovery and check-in
NTT Docomo has started conducting a field trial of a new online-to-offline (O2O) shop-discovery and check-in platform called “Shoppulatto.” The half-year trial began Friday mainly in metropolitan Tokyo.
The platform for brick-and-mortar stores sends promotional information to smartphones installed with a dedicated app. Information is only sent to people who are near a store, based on their phone’s location information. The app enables users to selectively view information about sales, coupon offers, etc. from specific stores.
If a user enters one of the stores, an inaudible high-frequency sound signal transmitted inside the store activates the app’s check-in feature. The user then receives coupons or other promotions that have been tailored to their age, gender and so on.
The high-frequency sound signal is transmitted by a simple device installed in the store. Numerous devices can be installed in one store, such as one at the entrance to handle the check-in process and others at various sales points to encourage customers to walk around to receive coupons and promotions. Each device is connected to a server for data processing.
The O2O platform also functions as a marketing tool by creating a database on store visitors, including gender, age, area of residence and so on.
The trial will end on Aug 31. Approximately 170 stores are participating at present and more are expected to join. Smartphones require Android OS 2.3, 4.0, 4.1 or iOS 5.0 or higher to use the app, which can be downloaded from Google Play or App Store. Usage is free, except for packet communication charges.