Flooz Takes Its Service Mobile
Flooz's first offering is a reminder service that sends a message to consumers' devices alerting them of birthdays and other gift-giving events, and offering them a chance to buy Flooz from their devices.
Consumers must register for an account at the site as well as register their wireless device and credit card number. At the "add a reminder" section of the site, they can enter various events, such as Bill's birthday on July 17. They then can ask to be alerted two days before the occasion. On the wireless device it reads: "Don't forget Bill's birthday. Would you like to send Flooz now?" They can select "Purchase Flooz" or "No Thanks."
Currently, 7,000 people use the online Flooz reminder service.
"It's the first thing that works and the first thing that makes sense," said Robert Levitan, CEO of Flooz.com, New York. "People are busy, and our product is made for busy people. It's all about sending somebody a gift last minute or long distance. We're not doing it because it's the sexy thing to do. We're doing it because it makes sense for our customers. We're not about the hype of mobile commerce. We're about the reality of it."
The wireless world is just like the Internet, said Julie Fergerson, chief technology officer at ClearCommerce Corp., a provider of transaction management solutions for e-commerce and m-commerce based in Austin, TX. "Wireless is in the information stage," she said. "It's just like the Internet all over again. There's not a lot of buying yet."
Levitan sees wireless communications and Flooz as a perfect match. "We're hoping people will realize it's the perfect application for a mobile device," he said. "They will not just be able to communicate but also to make a transaction. That transaction is giving."
Flooz probably will offer wireless capabilities for its corporate clients and merchant partners in the near future.
ClearCommerce is an early mover in the wireless transaction solution space. Merchant clients can install its ClearCommerce Engine on their wireless Web server to use its real-time credit card processing, fraud detection and tax/shipping calculations. Competitors include Tantau and Phone.com. ClearCommerce clients include Mary Kay, MSN.com and Apple.