The small-medium business retail experience is primed for disruption. Thirdshelf wants to be there with iPads, iBeacons and smartphone integration. The Montreal-based company worked with luxury retailer, LXR&Co, at the Dx3 conference this week to showcase a simulated example of what mid-sized companies could do to transform their customers’ shopping experience from crappy to classy.
Working with payment processing company Lightspeed, also from Montreal, and Ottawa-based Shopify for the e-commerce portion, Thirdshelf offers retailers an app and in-store product showcase experience that targets the right products based on recommendations, and the right offers based on loyalty. The product works with stores’ existing points of sale so as not to interfere too much with active rollouts.
Store employees have an iPad dashboard that can see customer names and photos — an opt-in experience, of course — to better serve them, and the software is intelligent enough to know that when you’re looking for dress shirts, you’re not necessarily looking for t-shirts, too. The application ties into Thirdshelf’s ambitious loyalty program, which founder Antoine Azar says will span across multiple retailers to unify points for easier redemption. “The heart of it is the loyalty piece,” says Azar. His goal is to generate a network of small-to-medium businesses that work with Thirdshelf’s loyalty program to leverage better deals from companies like Aeroplan.
Stores can take advantage of targeted offers and presence recognition using Estimote’s beacon SDK, similar to Apple’s iBeacon implementation but a bit more generalized. Customers will see push notifications on their phones when walking past product specials within the store, something that retailers can use to target specific demographics. It’s also possible to use the app to call over a store employee, which Azar calls “flight attendant mode.”
Customers can choose to browse in Personalized Mode, which allows the store employees to see their wishlist and loyalty status to better gauge their needs and expectations, or Anonymous Mode, which will show just as much information as you want to display.
Thirdshelf is rolling out its retail product in beta now, with select retailers, and pricing will be based on volume.