You’re walking down the shoe aisle of your favorite department store. You’re browsing. You’re probably thinking to yourself, "Do I really need another pair of shoes?" Your phone buzzes. You take it out of your pocket to find a push notification from a shoe brand with a discount offer. It’s a brand you like. You were on the fence. You buy the shoes.
That, or a variation thereof, is the ideal scenario envisioned by Swirl, a beacon tech provider that announced the launch Monday of what it’s calling the first programmatic ad exchange for proximity-based in-store mobile marketing.
The Swirl Ad Exchange, SWx for short, is in the process of integrating with around five DSPs and agency trading desks, although Swirl declined to name which ones. Swirl has relationships with several mobile app publishers, including Condé Nast, coupon and shopping app SnipSnap and Hearst, also a Swirl investor.
Brand clients include Lord & Taylor, Hudson’s Bay, Marriott, Alex and Ani, Timberland and Kenneth Cole. The company also recently formed a partnership with Motorola Solutions to power the latter’s indoor locationing platform MPact.
The Swirl technology works by communicating with shoppers through apps and strategically placed indoor beacons. Consumers who opt in to receive notifications – either via the Swirl app, a retailer’s own app or one of a number of third-party apps – are messaged in-store based on their location and previously stated preferences.