By Chuck Martin
When it comes to mobile commerce, small businesses sometimes can benefit from bigger back-end technologies.
I recently caught up with the person who leveraged location to show where potential customers could find their products, all in very limited supply.
California tequila-maker Tres Agaves Products ran a test in three states to see if they could link mobile consumers to one of their limited-distribution products.
Like many small businesses, Tres Agaves wasn’t advanced along the mobile commerce chain, especially given that the company is only a few years old.
“As a small company, we didn’t have a lot going on in mobile,” says Ned Cartmell, Associate Marketing Manager for Tres Agaves. He says most of the marketing efforts had been focused on traditional distribution and advertising events.
Tres Agaves decided to try a test in California, Colorado and Arizona and commissioned a mobile technology provider to set up geofencing around the relatively small number of stores that carried the product.
When they promoted the product to consumers based on their locations, they found that about six out of 1,000 would click through to the product, which Cartmell says was their measure for success.
The key for Tres Agaves was that since the tequila product was in fewer than 5% of the stores, it was critical to assure it was in stock when a marketing message reached the consumer.
I’ve been tracking and writing about the real-time aspects of mobile for years, since mobile adds to supply and demand the dimensions of time and location, which is precisely what Tres Agaves did.
Some larger businesses like The North Face, Timberland and even ShopSavvy have been using the real-time tracking of inventory to make the matching of consumers with products more valuable.
The ultimate frustration of a mobile shopper can be to find a desired product and travel to the store to find it not available,
Jeremy Geiger, the CEO of Retailigence, the company that provides the inventory information to Tres Agaves and more than 100,000 other stores, says a large percentage of inventory information being provided to tens of millions of consumers is in real time.
The real-time aspects of mobile shopper and product location availability is yet another piece of anti-showrooming.
Chuck Martin is editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute and a frequent mobile keynote speaker and mobile marketing speaker internationally.