Social Startups: Aisle411 Helps Shoppers Find What They're Looking For
Have you ever walked into a store, in a hurry, knowing exactly what you needed, but without a clue where to find it?
Nathan Pettyjohn, aisle411's founder and CEO, knows you have, which is why his mobile intelligence company has taken a foothold in working with major retailers and become a Google partner to make brick-and-mortar shopping easier and more efficient than ever. And we're not talking mom and pop retailers, either. Walgreens, Home Depot, Hy-Vee Supermarkets, Ace Hardware, and, most recently, Toys R Us are just some of the retailers bringing this revolutionary retail mapping technology to their stores and improve their customers' experience.
aisle411's proprietary, first-of-its-kind indoor retail mapping and location service and mobile platform allows shoppers to easily navigate through retail stores to find exactly what they want quickly by collecting, organizing and monetizing retailers' product inventory, location data, and enterprise software space planning systems and store maps.
In fact, Toys R Us recently unveiled its installation of digital and printed location maps - created and supported by aisle411 - at multiple locations nationwide. It's just in time for the holiday shopping season, too, which means customers will benefit from the added efficiency during the busiest time of the year.
"There is business benefit for the retailer when each shelf becomes a place to engage shoppers," said mobile analyst Peggy Anne Salz of MobileGroove, a research and consulting firm focused on mobile search, contextual marketing, and business transformation. "But to be 'buyable', products need to be 'discoverable' and 'findable' - which is why retailers should look at solutions like aisle411 that allow them to turn their product data into easy-to-understand information real people can interact with on their mobile devices."
Revolutionizing In-Store Shopping
Using the indoor maps is simple, too. Customers use their smartphones to scan a QR code located on a store map at the entrance. The code returns a mobile-optimized map of the store itself, which allows customers to search for products by name and pinpoint their in-aisle locations in-store. Potential competitors for aisle411 include west coast companies Point Inside, Inc. and Micello - both mapping software developers.
The technology aisle411's producing, though, is mutually beneficial for shoppers and retailers alike. For shoppers, aisle411 increases the efficiency of their shopping trips by allowing them to map products, offer and list by aisle location, and discover unique information based on each shopper's in-store location. For retailers, the technology offers a mobile platform that allows them to connect with shoppers while they're at the shelf, sharing context and location-relevant information meant to enhance their experience in-store.
The partnership between aisle411 and Google's Project Tango seeks to equip mobile devices with software and sensors that capture a complete, real-time, 3D picture of the surrounding environment. They're in good company, too, with companies like Bosch and academics from the University of Minnesota in the partnerships mix.
What It All Boils Down To
The aisle411 technology doesn't just bring efficiency to the table; there's also the long-term, positive impact seen by brick-and-mortar stores. When customers come in and can't find what they're looking for quickly, they're likely to leave instead of spend time searching, which means a loss of both revenue and return customers. Just by improving the in-store experience through the use of both mobile and physical platforms, aisle411's products seek to disrupt the potential revenue loss.
"Mobile brings shoppers into the stores," Salz adds, "and now it's up to the retailer to use mobile to keep them there."
At the end of the day, aisle411's services drive higher customer satisfaction and a deeper level of engagement between both the retailers and their customers - all by simplifying the shopping experience and making it nearly as easy and efficient as online shopping.
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