Clothing, footwear and textile retail group Edcon is set to launch an in-store mobile app.
Project Integration Manager at Edcon, Priya Thakoor said, “In the past, customers would have to look for an attendant to get help or information on a product, but they were not always immediately available. The SmartShop mobile app delivers all the information they need, such as pricing or the availability of different sizes, in real time, to enhance their shopping experience. It's more than just a novelty application, as it delivers real value to our customers,”
3fifteen was the ideal technological innovation partner, Thakoor said, as it had a long track record with Edcon.
The app was initially developed on the iPhone platform but 3fifteen has since launched Android, Microsoft Windows Phone and BlackBerry applications.
“We initially identified that app up-take on iPhones is far higher than any other platform, so we developed the app for that platform first,” said Digital Marketing Manager at 3fifteen Tarkan Diraz.
Diraz said the iPhone platform was the ideal testing platform as it was easy to use and they knew it would deliver a great user experience. “However, the app maintains its look, feel and ease of use across all four platforms,” he said.
Three key components in the Edcon SmartShop app deliver a multi-layered user experience.
- Using a phone camera to scan and read the barcode on a product, a customer is able to check the price and item stock level in real time to see what sizes are available in all stores. “We achieve this by securely transferring data over various web services that then talk to the back end of the Edcon stock system. This gives users the ability to get information on exact stock levels, while integration with the phone's GPS lets the app determine a user's location, to serve up information on the closest stores that stock the item they are looking for,” Diraz said.
- If the item is not in stock, the app also enables users to order stock via the existing Edcon FashionHotline system. If the item is not available, customer care will be notified to contact the customer to make alternative arrangements, but if there is stock the item will be delivered to the user's preferred store. The costumer will receive an SMS when the item arrives and they can then go and collect and pay for it in store. According to Diraz, SmartShop will eventually become a full e-commerce platform that will enable customers to search the full Edcon catalogue for products and purchase items, then have them delivered to their homes without the need to ever set foot in a store.
- The third key component of the app lets customers view their account details. “Customers are able to log in with the same username and password that they currently use on the Edcon website as we have securely married the two profiles,” says Diraz. “The app lets users view their instalments, and gives them their 'Thank You Edcon' loyalty points balance.”
Additional functionality includes Facebook integration, which gives access to full contact details, maps and directions to a liked store.
The Edcon SmartShop application is available for free download from the Apple, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry app stores.
“Our main aim with this project was to prove that local consumers have the appetite to integrate mobile technology into the retail environment, to enhance their shopping experience,” Thakoor said.