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New Ways to Target Mobile Mall Shoppers

The mall may become even more of a major mobile shopper targeting arena.

Mall shoppers have always faced a number of lures, from newspaper promos before they arrive to in-mall signage once they get there.

When mobile came along, texting offers, QR codes and to a lesser degree NFC tagging were added to the mix.

Then targeted coupon apps came along so that offers could be sent to consumers on-the-go in hopes of driving them to a mall or store.

Companies like RetailMeNot recently added huge signage in malls, suggesting that passersby download the app to get real-time deals at stores in the mall.

Then beacons started entering the world of malls in a big way, with major mall owner Simon Malls and Mobiquity Networks installing beacons to target shoppers who opt-in to messaging in the common spaces of the mall.

Now comes yet another method aimed at linking mobile shoppers to in-mall deals, though not in the form of an app but rather through a mobile website piggy-backed on a mall’s Wi-Fi.

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Retailers including Sephora, Express, Things Remembered and Art of Shaving at six Taubman shopping centers just started using the system from California startup StepsAway as essentially a real-time publishing tool to reach in-mall shoppers.

When a shopper enters one of the malls and signs in to Wi-Fi, they are directed to a default page from StepsAway, where they see all the offers of participating merchants. The idea is to use offers to drive shoppers to certain stores.

“Our objective is to sell things in the mall,” StepsAway CEO Allan Haims told me.

“If a retailer has too much inventory, they can run an offer in the mall only,” said Haims. “It’s only the stores in the mall.”

The in-mall offers just launched in the Twelve Oaks Mall, MI, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, CO, Fair Oaks Mall, VA, International Plaza, FL, Stamford Town Center, CT and the Sunvalley Shopping Center , CA.

For mobile shoppers looking for deals -- and research consistently shows they are – the number of ways to receive those deals is increasing.

All they have to do is head to the mall.

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 Check out the MediaPost conference on beacons, being held Nov. 3 in New York (IoT: Beacons).

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