New app to connect online with instore

raincheck appA new online retail tool aims to increase store sales while helping online shoppers find items more easily when shopping instore.

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Bridging the online to offline shopping experience, this solution, an app offered by Australian company RainCheck, allows shoppers to save items in the cloud and be notified if they’re available when they go into a physical shop.

Essentially, the app allows people to find something they like online, tag it and be notified when they walk into a store if it’s available there, RainCheck CEO Cameron Wall told Inside Retail PREMIUM. By merging the platforms and utilising beacon and proximity technology, the RainCheck app assists those who are shopping online but still going in store to purchase.

The company also offers a web-based dashboard allowing retailers to observe, in real time, which items are being clicked, stores being visited and when a purchase is made. All real-time data analytics captured by RainCheck are in online to off-line data that retailers can’t obtain at present.

This is RainCheck’s method of targeting the common, vexing issue of cart abandonment, which happens, on average, 75 per cent of the time, according to Listrak. In monetary terms, Wall puts the cost of cart abandonment at over $4 trillion worldwide, and “about $50 billion” in Australia alone.

The space between the online and offline, which Wall refers to as “a big grey area”, is a chasm in which a vast amount of potential retail sales disappear.

“There’s companies that play in the remarketing space – shoppers might add things to their cart and then abandon them, and they’ll remarket them via email,” Wall said. “There are also some cool companies doing stuff with instore technology. So they’re on each side, but nothing’s really joining the two together. We call it the, ‘grey area of the digital divide’.”

Before consumers buy, most do a lot of research online. ROPO – research online, purchase offline – is around 86 per cent according to DigitasLBi’s Connected Commerce Survey 2015.

“Everyone’s spending a lot of money converting people to their websites, but then they’re not buying there,” Wall said. “So we pick them up there and get them to the point of sale in the store.”

Originally RainCheck’s solution was built so the technology could be dropped into retailers’ mobile apps. However as most retailers don’t have apps, the company built its own (a shopping app that aggregates all of this data) because without a mobile app, push notifications and beacons can’t be utilised.

The shopper has to download the app and when they find items they like online these can be saved into the app automatically, and can be viewed. The retailer allows RainCheck to tag its website, so when the shopper clicks on the RainCheck icon next to the ‘Add to shopping cart’ button on the retailer’s site, the app saves the item’s details in the cloud.

The RainCheck app officially launches in Australia in September through a handful of retailers in the women’s and men’s fashion apparel space. The company is currently in discussion with retail chains of around 20 stores and above. The company is also looking at launching in Asia as well as the US.

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