The solution allows retailers to create "geo-fences," or virtual boundaries around their locations that trigger opt-in mobile messages when consumers go near them. Alerts can be sent in-store, online, via text-message, mobile site, or social networks like Facebook on any type of cell phone. To avoid annoying users, the service will send a maximum of three messages from a given retailer each week.
The North Face, SONIC Drive-in and American Eagle are among major brands that have begun using ShopAlerts. Placecast's latest funding brings the total raised by San Francisco-based company to $8 million. --Mark Walsh