Seeking to combine recommendation, location based services, social networking and mobile, Dutch company Whatser has rolled out an app that lets local businesses and global brands gather and reward loyal customers based on where they are. And fashion brand G-Star Raw has become the first global brand to tap into the new tech.
The location-based app is a mobile marketing platform that lets users ‘collect’ their favourite spots – typically shops, venues, cafes, restaurants and bars – and then share their collections with friends and discover new places to go based on their location and the recommendations of friends they trust. When a user adds a spot to their collection, they receive relevant offers, promotions and updates from that business.
For businesses, Whatser offers a meaningful way to communicate with and reward regular customers to build loyalty, drive foot traffic and increase sales. The merchants pay Whatser €8.33 per month and this gives them access to a simple dashboard that lets them message their fans about deals, offers, events and more.
The first global brand to sign up to use the platform is G-Star RAW. Shubhankar Ray, brand director for the fashion retailer explains: “Mobile marketing has evolved beyond coupons. We want to connect to our regular shoppers in a relevant way and keep them updated when new styles arrive and when we have special events in our stores. Whatser provides us with the ability to communicate with our customers in a way that is meaningful and creates value, which helps us build stronger relationships with them.”
Businesses that claim their spot on Whatser can immediately begin communicating with customers. They will also have access to Whatser’s advanced monitoring dashboard for tracking message history and user activity on their spot’s detail page.
Whatser also plans to add the following features to the platform in the coming months:
• Push notifications: Merchants can send updates and promotions to customers who live in their city. These messages will appear as push notifications and in the user’s activity stream.
• Peer-to-peer sharing: Users can share the updates they receive with their friends. Updates go viral and a merchant’s circle of regular customers grows organically.
• QR codes: Merchants can send out specials that can be redeemed in store. Coupon redemption will be tracked within the Whatser dashboard.
Whatser Co-Founder Michiel Verberg tells us that: “Whatser is not a check in social network but more a service that uses location to filter information so that people can decide where they want to go and what they want to do. It works for merchants as it doesn’t lead to a sudden mob of people all with money off tokens turning up, but more lets people who like a place share it with friends and slowly grow the merchants business organically and long-lastingly.”