Local Retailers Jumping Into Mobile Search With NearbyNow

In the push to monetize mobile search, companies such as NearbyNow are connecting local retailers with consumers at the most opportune time -- while they are in the mall.

The Los Altos, Calif.-based company announced a service expansion on Monday, bringing the total number of cities in its national mall advertising network to 27. The service gives shoppers access to local retailer information both before they shop and during their trip.

Consumers can search for specific products and brands from home or while in the mall, and receive stock and price information, coupons and special offers via text message. NearbyNow's combination of keyword search technology, banner ads, and text messaging serves as a multi-platform solution for both consumers and advertisers.

According to data from Forrester Research, the Internet will influence more than $1 trillion in annual in-store consumer spending by 2011. As more consumers research purchases on the Web before buying in-store, services like NearbyNow help advertisers offer the most relevant point-of-sale coupons and promotions.

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The company understands that being informative but non-intrusive is key in creating mobile advertising that doesn't irritate the consumer.

"It's an opt-in service," said CEO Scott Dunlop. "Shoppers can remain anonymous until they see something they like, and while they may receive more than one offer depending on their choices, we limit text messages from our mall partners to two per hour."

NearbyNow also announced plans to expand to 103 cities by the winter, with an additional $5 million it just secured.

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