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PowaTag offers ad recognition in bid to replace QR codes

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The idea of being able to use real world ads as a gateway to e-commerce has long been seen as one of the main advantages of mobile in both retail and marketing. Until now the only way to make that work was with QR codes. Not any more – now technology allows ads to be recognized as they are, potentially freeing up advertising to be an active gateway to sales, rather than just a way of carpet bombing consumers.

Christmas advertising eats up 70 per cent of the £5 billion Q4 ad spend, but with retail profits under pressure, pumping money into advertising is a risky game. Businesses have no clear sight on how advertising converts into sales, and can face bankruptcy if they fail to recoup costs.

And retailers know that advertising is, at best, a hit and miss affair. Research by Conlumino and Webloyalty finds that mobile proves a popular platform for spontaneous purchases with 43% of people having made a purchase on a mobile device as a result of seeing some type of marketing. Unsurprisingly, TV advertising (16.7%) is one of the most popular drivers to purchase, along with online adverts (11.2%). Proper ads in the real world less so.

Powa Technologies believes that it has handed brands and retailers a game-changing technology that will enable them to unlock the vast potential for return in these campaigns. Powa’s new advertisement recognition trigger brings the offline advertising world to life, boosting return and transforming customer engagement.

The state of the art technology, integrated with mCommerce app PowaTag, recognises normal ads, without QR codes or similar. Once an advertisement is scanned, the app will find the product and consumers can buy in just three seconds, using pre-entered payment and delivery information. This innovation creates a glide path to growth, transforming the fortunes of brands who are struggling to convert adverts into purchases.

This comes at a critical time for businesses, as spending on advertising in the UK continues to spiral, growing at twice the rate of the economy; ad spend is predicted to reach £20.7 billion in 2016, with the global figure expected to hit £452.2 billion. Businesses make this investment without a clear measure of its impact on sales.

Powa’s development provides the capacity to measure return on investment (ROI). By linking the transaction directly to the advert, PowaTag gives deep insight into ROI, even down to the level of highlighting the most productive place for an individual advert. For the first time, brands can break through the anonymity barrier, which obscures offline shoppers, developing truly personalised customer engagement.

For UK businesses, whose ad spend rose at a rate of 5.8 per cent over the first half of 2015, making them the third highest ad spenders globally, an accurate science of the influence of ads is an unparalleled development.

Dan Wagner, eCommerce veteran and CEO of Powa Technologies, comments: “There are a number of barriers which usually get in the way between seeing an advert and purchasing the product – your local store might be out of stock, or you might get interrupted as you go through online checkout, or you might simply forget about the product. By enabling consumers to buy directly through the advert in seconds, brands can be confident that their advertising budget is delivering real returns. For the first time, brands can measure the true impact of their campaigns, tracking which individual advert promotes the most sales and amongst which demographics. PowaTag can collect the data which says an advert in Vogue converted into more sales than a billboard at Piccadilly Circus, or the insight which says an individual consumer really likes red shoes but isn’t so interested in black ones. Given the tremendous expenditure which advertising swallows up, these metrics are an invaluable means to develop directed advertising and personalised customer relationships.”

PowaTag gives shoppers the power to complete purchases anywhere, anytime, using a variety of triggers such as listening to watermarks hidden in broadcast audio or scanning URLs embedded on social media, iBeacons, JavaScript and NFC technology.

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