Sep 05, 2014 | By poq

Ecommerce Insider: Menno Kolkert, Plot Projects

Plot is an easy to use plugin that enables you to send real time notifications to app users when they move within range of a geographical point. Plot Projects has created the most advanced hyper local targeting plugin for apps, allowing apps to send Location Based Notifications to their app users. A ‘Location Based Notification’ is a notification that is automatically sent when a user approaches a specific location. Location Alerts increase engagement and conversion. Plot combined proven technologies with the Plot Predictive Location Tracking Algorithm. This algorithm is the most advanced of its kind and optimizes both accuracy and battery consumption.

Poq recently caught up with Plot Projects’ Co-Founder Menno Kolkert, to discuss how retailers can incorporate this technology into their e-commerce apps in the near future.


(Menno Kolkert – Co-Founder of Plot Projects)

How did the concept for Plot Projects ‘Location Based Notification’ service, first begin?

The launch of the iPhone, back in 2007, was the start of the unprecedented growth of smartphones. The growth of mobile internet is even faster than the growth of the ‘World Wide Web’ 15 years ago. Publishers experience a rapid shift of traffic from the web to mobile. There are bumps in this mobile highway, though. With an average of 60 app installed on mobile devices, it’s no wonder users forget about your app, even though once they were triggered to download it.

Marketers have been using push notifications to re-activate their mobile users. Push is a very powerful tool for mobile, but it comes with responsibility. Users are happy to receive them, as long as they are relevant. However, generic push notifications most of the time aren’t and can be perceived as spammy. That’s where Plot Projects comes in. Adding location and time make push notifications much more relevant to mobile users. Because of this relevance, click through rates are much higher than for generic notifications.

What exactly is a geofence and how does it work?

A geofence is a virtual perimeter around a location. The idea is to create geographical zones in which the notifications you send would be relevant to the receivers.

For example, you could decide to set a geofence of 200 meters around your store, because people in that zone are more likely to be sensitive to your communication. Once you created your geofence, you can choose to send a notification to each of your app users that enters that predefined geographical zone with, for example, an offer valid in-store.

Your notification is then very relevant to your users because they are already close-by, and not kilometers away like they would with generic push notifications. Moreover, geofencing would allow the customer to receive far less notifications and thus reduce the spamming impressions.

How could geofencing be used in the retail industry?

The opportunities for geofencing campaigns in retail are numerous. Indeed, being able to target consumers personally based on their location is an advantage for both the consumer, who receives only relevant communications, and the retailer, who sees a much higher conversion rate. The key is, like in any form of marketing campaign, to find the right message and not to be afraid to think outside the box.

Some companies have shown the power of geofencing in their recent campaigns, our personal favourite being sneakers’ reseller Meat Pack. The company set geofences in their competitors’ stores and sent notifications to users entering these geofences with an extremely compelling offer. Customers would see a countdown playing on their screen, starting at 99% off and decreasing by the second until they reached the store. Doing so, they hijacked over 600 customers from their rivals and created buzz with a fun but simple geofencing campaign.

When do you predict e-commerce retailers across the board, will begin to expose ‘Location Based Notifications’ to their app users?

Currently the biggest user group for geofencing are mobile couponing apps and mobile services apps like Vouchercloud, and Find&Save. We help them re-engage their mobile users. We see a lot of retailers running geofencing campaigns via these apps. The results are impressing and we experience retailers realizing they can do this themselves. They have apps and a user base. Targeting their mobile users location based helps them increase foot traffic to their stores, and thereby increase their turnover.

Read more about the service on: Plot Projects.

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