What if shopping came to us?
Everyone talks about the possibilities of mobile apps in the retail world. In fact, the options are almost endless: mobile payments, scanning and comparing products in-store, customer loyalty, etc.
Between all these options there’s one that’s especially shinny. It is about generating traffic into the shops, get more people inside physical stores through mobile apps.
This is something that many people –with lots of money– is working on. Not new, but still interesting: once they are inside the store, potential clients meet experienced sales people who can generate conversions with special offers, discounts and sales.
But what if this could work in reverse? Not people reaching stores but stores reaching people. Odd? Nah. New? Neither. Here in Barcelona people sell umbrellas at subway exits on rainy days and coke-sprite-water-beer at the beach when it’s sunny. And it works.
Lafosca offices are located at Barcelona’s 22@ district, an area that is as cool as deserted when it comes to finding a store. What was once an industrial neighbourhood is now a hive of start ups dedicated to new technologies, production companies and advertising agencies, but with few bars and fewer supermarkets.
That’s why –and because saving is nice– most of us bring our food in a lunchbox. Few of us take dessert and no one thinks about bread. And having bread everyday to eat with our lunch would be super great.
This is not a new idea. There’re lots of little towns in Spain without a bakery, so bread comes in a van two times a week. That also works for meat, fish or butane. So, why we don’t do the same with bread and our smartphone?
The simple idea
Here at Lafosca we make apps and not bread, so we’ve thought how this could work using a smartphone. The simple way to do that is through an app through which a user defines where the office –or home, or wherever you want to receive your bread– is. We’ll call this app PAN VAN (from PAN, bread in Spanish, and van). PAN VAN. On the other hand there will be an app for the dealer through which he’ll tell the system his location in realtime. When the van goes near the delivery point, voilà:
Less simple idea, but cooler.
This could end here. A user receives a notification, goes out, takes his wallet and buys the bread he ordered. That’s nice. But what happens here is that the smartphone possibilities are much more. A user could know if a van is near or far, and according to this make his order.
Moreover, a user could receive a notification when a van is near him, choose which one and how much bread he wants and pay for it. All from the smartphone, without any wallet.
Bluetooth Low Energy – iBeacons
We could even put a bluetooth layer over this idea. Added –or as an alternative– to the geolocation, users and dealers could find each others using iBeacons. This would make it possible to determine very accurately how far away the dealer is from his delivery point and, with that, notifications would be much more specific.
Once we’ve made our order, we could receive a push notification like the following one, step out to the street, show our order ticket to the PAN VAN driver and get our bread.
Isn’t that cool? Building something like this would be very interesting. But the most interesting thing is that we can change the word PAN (bread) for any other. There are endless possibilities of what we might call push sale , the challenge is to find products that fit the best to this type of sale. Ideas?