App-free tap-and-shop platform rolls out

EditorNews Make a Comment

Closing the gap between the digital and physical world is the objective for Kiwi tech company TapMe Media which is starting to roll out its marketing and activation communication platform.

TapMe, a brand developed and owned in partnership with Auckland shopper activation agency Energi, will work with businesses to more easily engage consumers via their smartphones.

TapMe will be available in key retail spaces enabling consumers to use their phone to tap or scan for instant access to key information without the need to download an app or visit a website.

“As smartphones continue to lead in terms of mobile device penetration in New Zealand, businesses are looking for ways to engage existing customers and extend their reach without having to encourage the download of an app or push people to a website,’ says Energi ceo Ben Hickey.

TapMe will allow consumers to choose what information they want via strategically placed TapMe tags that can be tapped by Android users or scanned by iPhone users. One tap or scan delivers instant access to the information about a product or to view deals available in store.

“According to a recent Deloitte study, the influence of mobile on in-store sales has increased by more than 45 per cent over the past year,” Hickey says. “The research shows that people using mobile devices are more likely to purchase and that the value of a transaction also increases. Customers are demanding a more tailored shopping experience via their smartphone.

“The technology is controlled by the consumer who ‘pulls’ the information they want rather than the business or retailers pushing information, some of which may be unwanted, not relevant or simply ignored.

TapMe managing director Nick Harrow (who is also technology campaign manager at Energi), says Kiwis will soon be able to walk into stores and see the TapMe tags. ‘It won’t take consumers long to get used to the benefits of a tap. It may be that they visit their local coffee shop and can tap for instant access to special deals, promotions and loyalty schemes. Or it may be that a tap takes you directly to information about a product you are purchasing.”

TapMe claims the tags will also help businesses who are struggling to engage with or reach new customers via an app or traditional advertising. “Sending out time-consuming electronic newsletters, producing hard copy advertising and encouraging people to download and use a bespoke app is becoming less effective in today’s consumer landscape,” Harrow said.

“As TapMe is introduced into the New Zealand market, it will provide a quick route to big data. Gathering data means better consumer insights which will help businesses to further analyse the best ways of engaging their customers.

“Additionally, the technology will give businesses an accurate analysis of how the technology is working for them. The key to this competitive advantage is the bespoke software and analytics engine that sits behind TapMe. This was developed by Harrow and his company Silk Webware.

“Whilst similar schemes have been developed and embraced with great success abroad, this technology is relatively new to New Zealand,” Harrow says. “I believe Kiwis will also be quick to embrace the TapMe. If you think about how many apps you have on your smartphone – how many do you actually use? And when you get handed a card with a link to a website, do you actually ever visit that site or does the card just hang out in the bottom of your bag before it eventually makes its way to the bin?”

Harrow says we’re also moving beyond websites, apps and electronic newsletters. More and more, consumers are expecting an experience that is instant and tailored to their needs.

The TapMe tags can be easily applied to most surfaces and work using near field communication chips. Near field communication (NFC) allows electronic devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching the devices together, or holding them within a 10cm proximity. The information that the tags broadcast can be altered in real time allowing brands to quickly test and compare offers and react instantly to those that work well.

NFC is the contactless technology used by mobile wallets such as Semble – New Zealand’s first mobile wallet, which launched earlier this year.

The opportunities are endless, says Hickey. “As TapMe gains momentum, we’ll be looking to add loyalty schemes and much more. Loyalty is a particularly valuable direction as it would eliminate the need for consumers to carry around a collection of loyalty cards. A TapMe tag in stores with loyalty programmes may be more appealing to customers and less time intensive for businesses.’

TapMe Media has several pilots in the market with New Zealand companies and the product will continue to be rolled out across markets right through 2016.

Share this Post