Sky News recently featured a segment on a new campaign to help save Britain’s High Streets. For those of us who have not visited those damp climes in some time, or ever, the emergence of online shopping is being blamed for many stalwart main street shops closing. First went the iconic Woolworths brand – the UK version is somewhat different to the more upmarket SA company – and now a high street sporting goods retailer is bemoaning the lack of feet in store as it closes outlets. This is said to be a concern as life in British and other cities worldwide has traditionally pivoted on the main street shopping experience. Who doesn’t remember shopping with their mom on a Saturday morning? The lucky kids even sat down after the retail therapy was done and had sweets afterwards before heading home to unpack. All of this is set to change and, indeed, it already has. Even in South Africa, Edgar’s this very week announced imminent store closures and the potential loss of tens of thousands of jobs. That’s the human face of the move to online shopping and mobile retail apps. It’s sad but time and progress march on. At least some of the blame for the closure of these flagship city retail stores can be laid at the feet of the owners who stuck their heads in the sand for so long and failed to innovate, preferring instead focus on the minutiae of the retail trade as stores closed all around them. It’s interesting, then, to read about a new app launched to help retailers drive sales through relevant offers. We’ve written before about how mobile marketers can get feet in stores by pairing the mobile online world with the bricks and mortar High Street environment. It can be done, stores don’t have to close, and this new app is great innovation along these lines. By analysing users’ mobile data, What’sInStore helps retailers analyze what products their consumers want discounts for. The app then sends them mobile notifications about what products are on sale in-store. How simple is that? Use mobile technology to solve a real-world quandary that’s the result of technology! Mobile usage results in a wealth of data so this really is a fantastic way to efficiently use it to boost a company’s real-world presence. Wonderful.

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