TrafficCourt

Text Messages While Shopping

The New York Times has a piece about new in-mall services that send text advertisements to shoppers while they are already at the property.

Technology companies like NearbyNow of Los Altos, Calif., and GPShopper in New York have introduced mobile Internet applications that allow shoppers to use their cellphones and PDAs to search the inventory and prices at the local mall, save them wasted steps and, sometimes, turn up last-minute bargains and promotions.

GPShopper's Slifter service for mobile product searches was first to the market last year, but some analysts believe that NearbyNow's mall-centric approach has more immediate potential.

NearbyNow first tested its system last holiday season in the Eastridge mall, in San Jose, Calif. The mall posted about 10 signs prompting shoppers to send a six-digit text message to the address “Nearby” for sales information. Shoppers received a welcome message from the mall, listing the number of sales in progress and asking users to type in the brand or product they were seeking.

Retail Traffic carried a story in November about one of the services mentioned in the Times piece.

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