Mobile

The store circular evolved: LocalResponse and ShopLocal help retailers target mobile customers

Today’s shoppers likely spend more time looking at their smartphones than weekly in-store circulars. Hoping to take advantage of this new trend, intent marketing company LocalResponse and ShopLocal, which helps stores digitize their circulars, have joined forces for what could be the next step in shopping.

Using LocalResponse’s real-time consumer intent data (based on check-ins and social media posts about specific stores and brands), retailers will be able to push ads to consumers’ smartphones that point to in-store discounts, coupons, and loyalty rewards, all powered by ShopLocal’s SmartCircular product.

Think of it like this: Instead of poring over a paper circular every week, you’ll be able to check into a store and receive the best deals relevant to you.

“We’re putting the circular into the hands of a mobile savvy, social savvy shopper, [who] may have never seen the printed circular,” LocalResponse president and co-founder Kathy Leake told VentureBeat in an interview yesterday.

Leake says LocalResponse will deliver the ads in two ways: If you mention a company on Twitter, you’ll receive a response that links to a relevant retailer landing page. Even more impressive, you’ll see banner ads in some mobile apps that can expand and show you the store’s circular. (The latter feature is only available in-app currently, but Leake says it will be available for the mobile web by the fourth quarter.)

I asked if any consumers were weirded out by this very direct ad targeting, but Leake said the response has been overwhelmingly positive. She said that consumers realize their check-in data and social media posts are public (unless they’ve been locked down). Additionally, LocalResponse is very careful to share intent data only with the relevant brand (so a check-in at Macy’s won’t be seen by any competitors).

Leake tells me that LocalResponse is looking at an annual revenue run-rate of $6 million this year. In a February interview, LocalResponse CEO Nihal Mehta also pointed to some optimistic findings: “Our bookings in January exceeded our revenue for all of last year,” he said. “We’re looking to double our staff this year and stay cash-flow positive. The goal is to reach profitablity by the end of 2012.”

LocalResponse is based in New York City and has raised $6 million since it was founded in 2007. Investors include Verizon Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Cava Capital, and others.

Photo: Andrew Archy/Flickr


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