A new mobile app from Intu, the U.K.’s largest mall operator, seeks to to prolong the amount of time consumers spend shopping through geotargeting. Shoppers who use the app can view their location on a digital map and see which nearby retailers are broadcasting deals.

“Footfall is difficult to shift in a big way, but you can affect dwell time, which has a big impact on turnover and frequency of visits,” Intu Digital managing director Karen Harris told the Daily Telegraph. “We could send an offer for a free cupcake and coffee to people who have been there for one and a half hours, so they would be encouraged to stick around and spend more.”

Intu’s app confirms that the best omnichannel mobile app experiences feature an in-store component, a trend observed by L2’s Intelligence Report: Omnichannel Retail. For example, the Neiman Marcus app lets customers call, text, or even video chat a specific store’s sales associates from any location. Joe Fresh encourages downloads of its app by offering an in-store coupon.

Yet while most brand commerce apps include in-store features, brands have been slower to implement beacon and geotargeting capabilities. The L2 study finds that 63% of brand commerce apps let shoppers scan barcodes to identify products, but a mere 6% of retailers can identify customers via their smartphones when they walk into a store. And while use of beacons could help retailers reach out to nearby customers, only 8% of brands are testing the technology.

Beacon & Geotargeting Technology Implementation Status

By launching an app that utilizes such capabilities, Intu has put itself ahead of the competition. If other retailers want to dive into omnichannel, they will need to follow a similar strategy in leveraging new app technologies.

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