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Small NJ merchants drive cross-selling opportunities via beacons

A group of small merchants in New Jersey is leveraging beacons and a mobile application to deliver relevant offers to customers at nearby businesses, driving cross-selling opportunities.

The pilot program for recently launched in Summit, NJ, and has already delivered more than 1,000 offers. For example, users entering a daycare center will receive an offer for a discount at a nearby toy store.

“For the first time, small businesses can band together and leverage the power of community using cross-sell technologies that until now only the big guys have been able to,” said David Ingerman, CEO of PlaceCodes. “We like to say it’s ‘like an Amazon recommendation engine for brick and mortar.’

“And the merchants don’t need to know anything about technology,” he said. “They simply specify merchants with whom they would like to partner and the offers that they would like delivered at those locations.”

Hyperlocal relevancy
PlaceCodes using Estimote Beacons launched the service. The goal is to help small businesses, which are under pressure from big retailers and online powerhouses such as Amazon, to leverage the power of community and leading edge hyperlocation technology.

Participating merchants can create Pairings of complementary products and services. Then, when consumers who have downloaded the app enter the complementary location, they will receive an offer.

For example, someone entering The Learning Circle daycare center will receive a discount at The Toy Professor toy store.

Restaurant-goers who enter bring-your-own-bottle restaurants such as Rosalita’s and Tito’s will receive a pop-up offer from The Wine List to have wine or beer delivered directly to their table.

Shoppers who walk into the Sweet Nothings chocolate shop will see an invitation to walk two blocks to Ahrre’s Coffee Shop to pair coffee with their chocolate.

A growing opportunity
Beacons typically require consumers to have an application on their phone to receive messages. While a number of retailers have enabled beacon messaging through their own branded apps, enables users to engage with a number of different local merchants through one app.

In April, Rita’s Italian Ice rolled out an enhanced application that leverages beacon technology, social network sharing and rewards customized to users’ preferences (see story).

Macy’s recently discussed how the department store created a valuable consumer connection and drove application downloads during Black Friday weekend through a beacon-driven gaming campaign (see story).

The challenge for will be encouraging consumers to download the app.

We are in discussions with a number of media partners who have expressed interest in leveraging our platform in hundreds of additional markets to complement their offerings,” Mr. Ingerman said. “We have also received inquiries from chambers of commerce, economic development and downtown organizations, and even students who are interested in leveraging our platform on college campuses.”