A new app that will help retailers fight back against the web will be piloted in Bury St Edmunds.
Free to retailers and shoppers Bubbles Online Services’ Open 360 app was unveiled to retail members of OurBuryStEdmunds last night and will be trialled in June, July and August.
David Bayliss of Bubbles Online Services, who lives in Bury, explained that the app is based on tiny ‘beacons’ in the shops.
“Through wi-fi or Bluetooth the beacon picks up the app on the user’s phone,” he said. “The shop owner can pre-set some offers so if, say, an over-35-year-old male comes in it will tell him black dress shoes are on offer.
“A young woman wouldn’t want to know about offers on men’s shoes, but would be told about fashion boots.”
The app has the ability to recognise items the users has previously searched for online so they will be told if they enter a shop offering the same thing.
David added: “There are lots of different levels. We will start the trial with the basics and be fitting things in as we go along.”
They are hoping to work with schools so that older students can feed back information about the app and how it works.
He said Bury had been chosen partly because they knew its retailers were willing to try new things.
“We’ve also got a great mix of independent and national shops in, what we call, a proper town centre,” David said.
Mark Cordell, chief executive of OurBuryStEdmunds said:“We are really excited about Bury St Edmunds being chosen for the pilot and the first to trial such a ground breaking app, especially as it will greatly benefit our high street retailers connecting their visitors online search with a more personalised shopping experience, the kind that is only possible in a shop.“
Julian Fisher, chief executive of Bubbles Online Service said: “The retailer will connect directly with customers through their mobile devices.
“Shop owners can now fight back against online sellers and the odds are stacked in the shops’ favour.”
The app is not yet available.