Check it Out: Why Your Ads Should Be Saying ‘Cheese’
Last year, consumers caught a glimpse of how powerful digital storefronts can be with Kate Spade Saturday's shoppable windows. This year, Powa Technologies plans on making much more than store windows shoppable.
The U.K.-based startup Powa Technologies has developed PowaTag, a payment technology that allows consumers to purchase a product by simply taking a photo of it on their smartphone, making virtually any ad shoppable. Some of the most unique places for these shoppable ads have included bus stop windows and taxicab screens. The PowaTag platform combines technologies, including Bluetooth beacons, digital audio watermarks, QR codes and embedded social media links, to enable consumers to scan an image and purchase instantly via their smartphone.
While over 1,1100 brands worldwide, including Ugg and Champion, have already signed on to use the PowaTag app, the technology only recently premiered stateside last December in a campaign with leading men's underwear brand 2(X)IST. The retailer's sales increased last December when it deployed nine shoppable ads at bus stops, on billboards and on taxicab screens all around New York City, each providing a unique and instant way to shop.
"PowaTag's partnership with 2(X)IST meant that for the first time consumers in New York were able to instantly buy from the popular brand through different channels," says Dan Wagner, founder and CEO of Powa Technologies. "Virtual stores set up at key locations across the city meant that not only new sales channels were introduced, but also that the way people experienced the city changed."
The PowaTag app — which is currently offered on Android and iOS devices — enables retailers to engage with consumers in real time for instant shopping gratification. Consumers have already shown an interest in digital storefronts, and Powa Technologies believes 2015 will be a busy year for retailers testing virtual storefronts and shoppable billboards.
"Offering the freedom and flexibility that consumers now demand, virtual storefronts enable retailers to break free from the constraints that strict opening hours place on consumers’ shopping behavior," says Wagner. "What was previously a closed shop or a street corner is turned into a dynamic marketplace."