Path to Purchase Toolkit (June 2019)
A roundup of technology-driven tools that drive consumer understanding, engagement and conversion on every step of the path to purchase.
- Pinterest unveiled new, robust shoppable features for the social platform, starting with a dedicated selling section for retailers. The feature is essentially a digital catalog. Shoppers on Pinterest will see a “more from” link below the Product Pins on posted items. That link sends them to a page boasting items for purchase. Another feature is a “more ideas” tag that will be seen on style, home, beauty and DIY boards. A user clicks on the tag to receive personalized, curated shopping items based on what that user has been saving and looking at. Other new tools include a way for brands to upload a full catalog of products and make them shoppable across the platform, an improved search capability, and shopping ads that can be controlled by businesses.
- Navigation app Waze, owned by Google, has collaborated with the WPP agency to develop better ways for brands to advertise to consumers in cars. The goal is to create better types of ads seen on Waze inside the car and better messaging that will influence drivers to stop at retail locations. The partners will test in-car messaging and ads in Canada, France, Italy, the UK and the U.S. Waze has more than 100 million people actively using its app and navigation services.
- Last year, Bose launched sunglasses that have built-in speakers to play music, take phone calls and be a prototype for its foray into “audio AR.” At a recent augmented reality conference, Bose discussed the technology further. Apple is testing audio AR inside a special pair of ear buds. The idea of audio AR, as Bose sees it, is through glasses that don’t use lenses to overlay images for a consumer but uses sensors embedded into the glasses that know what a user is looking at to deliver pertinent audio information. The sensors detect head movement and adjust how the sound should play as well as provide information such as directions. Another example is a consumer could be on a sightseeing tour and receive information on landmarks based on what he sees. Users control the eyewear with voice, head gestures and finger taps.
- A leader in 3-D simulation for virtual store settings, InContext Solutions launched an enhanced, second-generation version of its ShopperMX platform. The platform now boasts upgrades in its infrastructure for better content management, international accessibility, security and more capabilities for specialty retailers. The platform also has an improved user experience and stronger ability to integrate shopper analytics, machine learning and capabilities with its partners as well as internally.
- In London, New Balance opened The Runaway, a physical pub that pours beers and drinks for runners who earned the beverages after accumulating points based on running challenges they completed. The Runaway bar serves drinks only to runners using New Balance’s “Runaway Card” that is added to an Apple or Google mobile phone wallet. No other type of transaction is eligible at the pub. Runners with a synced up Runaway Card in their mobile wallet use the Strava app to track their running miles, which then get translated into points that are exchanged for pints.
- CPG brands can now run sponsored ads on AmazonFresh, Amazon’s online grocery platform for Prime members. As long as the products are available on AmazonFresh, brands can run sponsored ads – and advertisers pay based on a per-click basis. Ads show up to users during AmazonFresh search results and on product pages. AmazonFresh is available in major cities and mostly in states on the East Coast, offering same-day delivery.
- Running retailer Fleet Feet launched a mobile app with a deep, localized rewards program. The app provides a traditional reward system of buy enough product and get free money to spend online or in-store. However, the new app goes beyond to incentivize runners to run and to be involved in the community, including via social. Users earn points – or what they call “Miles” – that can be traded in for unique rewards such as entries into races, branded apparel, gear, running trips and more. Users of the app integrate their accounts with the GPS trackers Strava or Garmin to total how many miles they run or walk, which can be accrued for Miles. They also earn Miles by engaging over social media channels and attending in-store events. Users of the app connect to their local Fleet Feet store and are given access to local events and offers at that specific store. Fleet Feet has 176 stores in 37 states across the U.S.
- London-based Location Sciences, a third-party data intelligence company that verifies the accuracy of location data for digital ads, announced it is expanding its proprietary platform to work with brands and agencies in Canada and the U.S. The firm fights to detect ad-fraud and discover fraudulent location data that can impede digital and location-based ad programs. The Location Based Marketing Association claims that nearly 65% of brand marketers are concerned with the quality and accuracy of location data available. Location Sciences calls its solution Verify, aiming to give brands and agencies more transparency to find suspect digital signal sources.
- Shoppers at participating Albertsons Cos. stores can now get real-time status notifications on their online delivery orders. Albertsons teamed with e-commerce platform Glympse to power the updates over email or text. After ordering, shoppers will be notified with a link to a live map of the delivery route and time of delivery. In the spring, Glympse also powered a buy-online-and-pick-up-at-the-store feature for the chain. Using location data, the notifications communicate where and when the order will be brought out to the car.