In the face of evermore advanced e-commerce algorithms, the smartest brick and mortar outlets are borrowing from their online counterparts to create hybrid shopping experiences that incorporate the best of both worlds. We have already seen Kate Spade’s interactive “coming soon” signs and Rebecca Minkoff’s digital flagship store, for example. Now, Finland-based Sponda have developed the Physical Cookie, a device which could bring targeted digital marketing capabilities — the kind readily available to online retailers — to city malls and shopping centres worldwide.
The Physical Cookie is a system that brings online cookie functionalities to the real world, enabling businesses to collect and use data about a consumer’s shopping practice. The device is a simple key fob that the customer places in their pocket or attaches to their clothes. It doesn’t need to be registered or retain personal data, instead focusing solely on the customer’s time spent instore. The Physical Cookie collects data about the customer as they shop, monitoring their behavior and communicating its findings with participating stores via electronic readers. The system learns from the usage data and creates personlized messages and offers, which are displayed to the consumer on screens instore in real time.
Sponda, in collaboration with ad agency TBWAHelskinki, undertook a successful large scale trial in one of Helsinki’s busiest malls last fall, where 14,000 shoppers carried the Physical Cookie and were rewarded with targeted deals over a four-month period. The technology enables the retail space to react to the individual consumer’s behavior rather than bombarding them with irrelevant advertising. Could this work in your city?