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NearbyNow rolls out do-it-yourself mobile shopping platform for retailers and brands

The content is updated in real-time, meaning there is no Apple submission required and users can launch an application without a single line of code.
“We’ve found apps to have much higher engagement than mobile Web sites, but heard from clients that creating and maintaining an app is much more difficult than a mobile Web site,” said Scott Dunlap, cofounder/CEO of NearbyNow, Mountain View, CA. 

“So we’ve made a turnkey solution where all clients have to worry about is updating the product content, and we do the rest,” he said. “Our conversion to purchase is around 5.8 percent, versus 0.4 percent for an average mobile Web site.

“Our click-through on ads is 28 percent, versus less than 1 percent for mobile banner ads. Mobile apps are definitely more engaging.”

The mobile shopping platform technology allows retailers, brands and publishers to configure full-featured mobile applications to drive and track both online and in-store purchasing, integrate with social networking and manage their content in real-time.

This positions NearbyNow clients such as GQ, Seventeen, Brides, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Bon-Ton Stores and Runner’s World to take full advantage of a fast-growing mobile shopping market that is expected to exceed $12 billion by 2014, according to Juniper Research.

Applications developed with the NearbyNow Mobile Platform include features such as:

• Web-based content management that allows clients to simulate how content will look on mobile platforms, and update content in real-time without the need to resubmit to Apple

• Auto geo-location, which will find the physical store locations of any product, and interface to over 100,000 stores

• The “Find Now” button that allows shoppers to simultaneously find the closest store that carries their size and the best online deal, a technique that yields 5.8 percent conversion to purchase

• A complete advertising platform, including full-size ad units and video ads that average 28 percent click-through rates

• Access to the NearbyNow Concierge to personalize consumer services

• Reporting to track both online and in-store conversion

• Product search capabilities

• Push notification to notify shoppers of new content, deals, and coupons

• Rich content capabilities such as video, quizzes, surveys, and premium content

• Integrated social networking, allowing consumers to share on Facebook, email to friends, and more

The mobile shopping platform is an extension of NearbyNow technology that already powers over 1 million mobile shoppers who are actively shopping for $2 billion worth of products each month.

The new platform currently has the capability to peruse products from a magazine, find nearby and online stores, play videos, share with friends, notify of nearby specials, events, and new content, and even place items on hold at nearby stores to come try on.

“The mobile shopping platform targets anyone who wants a mobile shopping app, but doesn’t want to have to hire programmers or pay for customized development,” Mr. Dunlap said. “The simulator allows you to drag and drop and see exactly what the app will do. You don’t even need to own an iPhone to launch an iPhone app.

“It is designed to make apps that engage in shopping, in particular driving shoppers both online and in stores,” he said. “So it is best for brands, retailers and publishers whose consumers actively shop.”