GeePS.com, a location-sensitive wireless application service provider, is hoping to increase traffic in stores at a suburban New York shopping mall during the holiday season. The ASP will use wireless direct marketing and its new software platform, GeePSmall, to target mall customers.
Late last month, GeePS began the Go Power Shopping Program with 50 retailers, including Eddie Bauer, IMAX Theatre and Macaroni Grill, at the Palisades Center mall in West Nyack, NY. The mall receives approximately 22 million visitors per year.
The program involves registered consumers receiving marketing messages from their selected list of retailers through a method of their choice. They can receive messages through e-mail — which is the only method that sends personalized messages — voice mail, short message service devices or wireless application protocol-enabled cellular phones.
More than 3,000 consumers have registered for the program.
“We want to provide appropriate and pertinent messaging to consumers to increase traffic into brick-and-mortar stores,” said Jim Wells, vice president of sales at GeePS, Cranberry, NJ. “Finding out what level of acceptance there is amongst consumers with regards to the four different kinds of messaging, and which style of messaging drew the biggest response, is the second focus of the program.”
Wells said the GeePS model is designed to allow marketers in a certain area to reach consumers who frequent their locations with targeted messages.
GeePS began marketing the program to mall visitors Oct. 21 through four mall kiosks, in-mall signage and people patrolling the mall asking consumers to register. Interested consumers were asked to register either in the mall or at www.palcen.com. In order to register, they needed to provide their names, favorite stores or shopping categories and their preferred method of message receipt.
Since Oct. 21, 52,000 e-mails, 135 voice messages, 45 SMS messages and 31 WAP messages have been sent. Wells said it was too early to discuss response numbers or which method was most successful.
For this initial campaign the retailers were not charged for participating. Wells said retailers will be charged in the future on a message-received basis.
“The benefit for us is that we are able to promote to our customers on a real-time basis,” said Cara Halstead, community relations manager at the mall's Barnes & Noble store. “When we have something new to promote, I just have to log on to the Web site and put in a new message and it will be delivered immediately.”
Halstead, who is using the program to get people into the store by promoting events and signings, is waiting until the last week of November to begin promoting specific offers and products. She did not provide any numbers when asked about expectations regarding traffic or response rates.
“With this I don't have to discuss anything with anybody,” she said. “And I don't have to wait a couple of weeks or a month before it gets done and people actually see it. We can be specific and talk directly to the Palisades Center shopper, because I know the people seeing it are our specific customers.”
Halstead started sending messages in early November and has produced between two and four messages per week. She is not asking customers to mention the message when they enter the store.