Place-Based Retail Network Integrates Social Media

Convergence is out of control, in a good way (although sometimes it makes my head hurt). The latest example of super-convergence is Shoptopia, a place-based retail network in malls which combines online, mobile, social and place-based channels in a giant media vortex that totally surrounds shoppers, allowing advertisers to interact with consumers before, during and after the shopping experience.

Shoptopia, operated by PlaceWise Media, combines a shopping center network of more than 300 malls with original lifestyle and fashion content to connect brands, retailers and consumers. It also offers online ad buys to reach shoppers through video, ads, editorial and email; mobile capabilities including location-based services, SMS, mobile web and streaming content; a social component engaging shoppers through user-generated content and brand interaction via Facebook and Twitter; and place-based capabilities including experiential marketing, pop-up retail, broadcasts and live events.

For example, an advertiser might book in-store events across the country, place online ads, deliver pre-event emails to local consumers in target demographics, push location-based promotions to shoppers, coordinate in-store digital displays, interact with shoppers through QR codes, create loyalty programs and encourage interaction over social network sites.

PlaceWise Media hopes to attract advertisers in categories including fashion, health and nutrition, entertainment, food and beverage, and consumer technology, according to chairman and CEO Mort Aaronson, who stated: “Consumers are engaging with brands and shopping in new ways, and as a result they’re always making shopping decisions -- even when they’re not in the store. Shoptopia addresses this new reality, providing advertisers with a truly integrated media network that reaches shoppers through context-relevant content over an engaging interplay of mediums -- all through a single media buy.”

Me personally, I just want my head to stop spinning from all the convergence.  I think I’ll go lie down with a damp cloth on my forehead.

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